The Three Coolest “Media Hacks” of 2016 (So Far)

There’s no question that as marketing and media professionals, we are all constantly seeking ways to cut through the clutter and do something new and different. Buying a TV spot in the NCAA Final 4 or running a native ad campaign through Buzzfeed can do that and make a huge impact for many brands. But sometimes, the most impactful and talked about ad campaigns exist in channels and venues that didn’t exist before.

Let’s take a quick look at 3 of the coolest “Media Hacks” of 2016 so far.

  1. Audi’s New York Auto Show Wi-Fi Takeover.

How clever is this? We’ve all been to conferences, trade shows, crowded airports and events and searched for that nearest free Wi-Fi connection that doesn’t force you to give up a kidney or your first born child. Right?

Well, Audi not only offered free Wi-Fi to customers at the NY Auto Show but named the networks with short branded benefit statements, directly comparing themselves to the competition.

Lines like:

A4 More Horsepower than 328i                 Ooooh Burn BMW.

A4 HP > C300.                                               You like that Mercedes?
The cool thing is that not only was it a unique opportunity in a venue that didn’t exist before, immediately disrupting and commanding attention, but it also offered something of value to the consumer, something we as marketers have to continue to do if we want to create real connections with our audiences.

  1.  Bringing Morgan Freeman’s pipes to Waze.

Who wouldn’t want Morgan Freeman as your co-pilot?

In a recent activation with Google’s Traffic App Waze, the movie London Has Fallen is using one of its leading men’s well-known voice to advertise in a channel that doesn’t have a traditional media offering.

Users could change a setting through the app and Freeman’s voice will replace the standard turn-by-turn guidance. Since Freeman plays the role of Vice President in the movie, he addresses you, the driver as if you’re the President with lines like, “The people are counting on you… to DRIVE. Let’s go!” and, “The time has arrived, President Wazer. The world awaits your commands”.

This isn’t a brand-new offering or idea from Waze – Arnold Schwarzenegger and Stephen Colbert have both leant their voices to the popular app to promote upcoming projects. But it is something that’s sure to continue to turn heads (or ears?) as marketers come up with unique integrations.

  1. The World’s Tallest ATM

As an official sponsor of the NBA All Star Weekend, BMO Financial (The Bank of Montreal) was looking for a unique way to showcase their integration with the big event beyond the traditional signage and spot buy.

So, they took the exact height of a basketball hoop (10 feet) and built an ATM that only your average NBA player could actually use. (Side note: Gheorghe Muresan (NBA 1993-2000) is the tallest player in NBA history at 7’7” tall. Can you imagine him trying to bend down to use a standard ATM?)
They found a unique way to associate their brand with something they were surely spending big $ on (the NBA sponsorship) by bringing their own twist to it and creating their own branded campaign around it.

It generated quick digital buzz and solid press, leading to 23 million impressions in just a few days. Once they got that quick PR hit, they supported the overall idea with a follow up paid media campaign including TV, paid social + digital executions. The big takeway here is in order to stand out during a popular event, you need to connect your brand to the event in a simple, relevant and impactful way that your audience will appreciate.

Examples like these are why we often recommend our clients try out some of the newest emerging media platforms before they become mainstream. The CON is that they are not always fully tested & vetted, but the PRO is that we often garner stronger performance before the masses jump in and ad blindness & fatigue start to kick in.

And just to think…We’re only one quarter into the year! We’re excited to see what else 2016 has in store and what new media executions & ideas we can bring to our clients.

Written by: Danielle Perez

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