Wedding season is underway, and never has it kicked off with such a bang. Thanks to the recent royal nuptials, the web is buzzing with wedding activity, and publishers are getting in the spirit.
As ClickZ News reported last week, properties like Brides.com and TLC capitalized on the occasion with custom content surrounding the event, all of it creating new advertising opportunities for brands. TLC's wedding coverage, photos, quizzes, and polls were accompanied by video ads from Dove and Comcast's Xfinity.
Over at E! Online, people could try their hand at a "royal name generator" and read the latest news on the royal couple in a special content channel sponsored by Sprint.
At AOL's royal wedding channel, the articles, photos, and videos came courtesy of sponsor Magnum Ice Cream.
The royal wedding proved to be an opportunity that could be exploited by brands across the consumer space. British beauty brand Rimmel London used ads on E! Online to point consumers to its U.S. Facebook page for "Royal make-up tips."
In a clever play on a theme relating to the big day that also ties in with its logo, Rimmel launched an app that allows users to "crown" their friends with titles like "Gossip Queen," "Royal Pain," and "Daddy's Little Princess." The crown appears on their Facebook profile page and those who use the app receive a coupon for a discount on their next purchase of a Rimmel product.
The brand also created additional content for its Facebook fans. Apart from posting commentary from a British celebrity make-up artist on Kate Middleton's various looks, Rimmel took to the streets of London on April 29 to record trends within the crowds.
In what must surely have been the most culturally symbiotic campaign of the week, Universal Pictures partnered with PerezHilton.com to launch an application for its upcoming film "Bridesmaids."
The tool allows readers to create personalized videos featuring their Facebook friends, as well as eccentric blogger Perez himself. After asking users to log in through their Facebook account, the Perez Hilton bridal party tool invites them to select five bridesmaids from among their Facebook friends. A personalized video includes profile photos along with pithy comments about each lady from Perez. The clip can be shared through one's Facebook profile page or sent directly to the featured friends - in the hope, one assumes, that they have a sense of humor.
"Like a wedding, a great movie is a social event, something you experience with friends in the theater and then talk about afterwards," says Henry Copeland, CEO and founder of Blogads, which handles media sales for PerezHilton.com. "Perez taps into that same communal dynamic, allowing a bunch of people to share the same experience in real-time together."
On the mobile marketing front, Universal Pictures is employing Microsoft Tag, a technology that marries offline advertising with mobile through a small tag that can be added to print ads, marketing materials, product packaging, and signage. Mobile Marketer reported that Tags will be featured on full-page ads in such magazines as Cosmopolitan, InStyle, and Us. When a consumer uses a smartphone to scan the code on the Tag, she will be given instant access to the Bridesmaids trailer and additional content related to the film through her phone. Universal is also using display advertising on lifestyle and entertainment sites to spread the word about the movie and drive traffic to the official film site; included in the media buy is the royal wedding section of E! Online.
Any event with an inspiring subtext, whether it's a royal wedding, the Olympics, or the Super Bowl, represents an opportunity for brands to harness the energy of the masses and parlay it into excitement about their products. Increasingly, using custom channels developed by publishers while creating unique branded content that provides value to consumers is a good way to start. If brands can't have a prince of their own, they can at least find solace in an entertaining and engaging campaign.
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Tessa Wegert is an interactive media strategist with Enlighten, one of the first full-service digital marketing strategy and services agencies, serving such brands as Bioré, Bratz, Food Network, illy, Hunter Douglas, Jergens, and Olympic Paints and Stains. An industry veteran, Tessa has worked in online media buying and planning, marketing, and online copywriting since 1999. She is an active freelance writer specializing in interactive marketing who has contributed to U.S. and Canadian publications, including "USA Weekend Magazine," "Marketing Magazine," "The Globe and Mail," and "The Montreal Gazette." She is frequently quoted as an industry expert and speaks regularly at industry conferences and events.
March 19, 2014