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There I was, standing in the middle of Times Square on a hot summer night, staring up at a Revlon billboard and wondering why the 20 or so people in front of me had voluntarily corralled themselves into a metal pen. Were they lined up for something? Was there going to be a giveaway? I love a giveaway.
Curiosity got the better of me and I had nowhere else to be so I hung around and watched Emma Stone tell me that #LoveIsOn on the flashing screen. This billboard had to have something to do with the crowd.
After a few minutes, a series of photos of couples in love flashed on the screen followed by a live shot of the crowd in the pen. Ahhh! That’s why they were stopping to watch a really long commercial – to see themselves on a Times Square billboard for 15 seconds. Everyone wants to be a star.
After that loop the crowd dispersed and then the pen started to fill again with the curious and attention hungry. “What a great campaign.” I thought as I wandered off, a little sorry for my single self and wondering if new lipstick was the key. Emma seemed happy.
We’re so trained these days to ignore advertising. So how can a company breakthrough and get noticed? What will make people not only submit, but choose to hear your message? To take five full minutes out of their vacation and watch your brand story? I pondered that, and red lipstick, while I was waiting to see what would happen with the billboard.
You know what they say, “Go big or go home!” For this campaign it was all about grandeur and location. Not everyone gets to be on a Times Square billboard. #LovesIsOn wouldn’t have had the same impact on a kiosk in a suburban mall. No one was going to be lining up to see their mug on a food court screen. You need to find that one thing that will make your campaign unforgettable. Is it the location? The size? The timing?
Involve Your Audience
Give people a unique experience, make them feel special and they’ll pay attention to and remember your company. How many photos of that Revlon billboard have made it into Facebook vacation photos? The brand became a little part of each of their own stories.
Think about the Share a Coke campaign. People saw their name or the name of friend or family on a bottle and, next thing you know, it’s in their grocery cart and posted to Instagram even though they hadn’t come looking for a Coke. “Share a Coke with Melissa? That’s me! I gotta get this.”
What can you do today to make your audience feel like a star?
And yes, I got my own grainy billboard selfie. It’s on Facebook. ;)