In 2020 companies dedicated almost 80% of their marketing budgets to the digital channel. However, this increase means that marketing efforts have to work harder to stand out. Many are utilising interactive media to compete. Interactive approaches use immersive techniques to grab the viewer’s attention, meaning that the message is more likely to be processed at a deeper level and create a memorable experience that influences consumer behaviour — here are a few examples of how it’s done.
It’s becoming increasingly common for companies to apply gaming mechanisms to their digital marketing strategy. Using rewards such as points or badges appeals to our competitive nature and creates the potential for deeply engaging content.
A fantastic recent example of gamification is Estée Lauder’s ANRCADE, an online collection of four beauty-themed games. Once hooked in by these games, players learn about the ‘age-defying’ properties of the new beauty serum before they are redirected to the Estée Lauder shop. These entertaining games have a futuristic design, nicely emphasising the idea of a product ahead of its time.
Wendy’s had a different take on gamification, seen in their ‘Keeping Fortnite Fresh’ campaign. Fortnite, a popular virtual game, at one point encouraged players to store beef in virtual freezers. Wendy’s created an avatar to destroy the freezers, emphasising their brand message of not using frozen food. In total, people spent 1.5 million minutes watching the Wendy avatar destroying freezers — amazing engagement.
VR is a technology that creates an artificial environment for the user. It’s also a powerful marketing tool — 75% of the world’s top brands have now used it in their marketing strategy. Most commonly, this will be a visual overlay (which is actually augmented reality, but they’re in the same family) that interacts with the real environment, such as Pokemon Go. Social media filters on platforms such as Instagram and Snapchat are another extremely popular example. Taco Bell let users turn themselves into — you guessed it — tacos and Starbucks used a ‘which drink are you’ filter.
AR is simpler and more cost-effective. However, VR provides the opportunity to fully immerse customers. For example, Boursin’s recent campaign created a VR experience via headset that involved a multisensory journey through their product’s ingredient and flavour combinations. As headsets become more affordable and widely used, we may see more complex and innovative VR marketing campaigns.
Effective quizzes spark curiosity and tap into the user’s competitive side. For example, have you ever noticed how many quizzes use a tagline like, ‘Only a genius can answer 15 of these questions correctly.’ Some of these quizzes may seem silly — does anyone really need to know what kind of bread they are? However, they are incredibly engaging. 96% of people who start a BuzzFeed quiz finish them, an extremely high rate of content consumption.
Sebago Brewing Company used internet quizzes in a clever way. They identified a subset of their customers that were also dog owners, so designed a quiz which asked about their customer’s dogs, then suggested a ‘Dog-friendly adventure’ at a location where the customer could also enjoy a Sebago beer.
BrewDog have taken the interactive quiz idea even further by replicating a classic pub quiz. We’re all missing experiences like these in the COVID-19 world of lockdowns and social distancing, so 102 of BrewDog’s physical bars have gone virtual. People can take part in online beer tastings, Q&A sessions, games, music and other entertainment. What a fantastic way to stay connected with customers during this tricky period.
Digital marketing is more important than ever, but as more companies realise this, it’s tougher to stand out. Interactive marketing such as gamification, virtual reality and quizzes are being used in inventive ways to engage and entertain users. As technology continues to develop, so will the possibilities to create thoroughly immersive marketing experiences.