Transmedia Storytelling as an Effective Theme Park Marketing Strategy

In a lot of ways, developing an effective theme park marketing strategy evokes quite the “roller coaster” of experiences. There are highs and lows and oftentimes, it even throws you for a loop!

But- it doesn’t have to always be that way, particularly when you have a good sense of what your target audience is looking for in its theme park experience. At our marketing agency in Orlando, we understand that people visit theme parks to be entertained, excited and thrilled, but also to relax and escape everyday life. One of the best ways to get people to choose your park over your competitors’ is to tap into their emotions through emotive storytelling.

This isn’t a story with an introduction, a middle and a conclusion like you might’ve been told in your third grade English class. We’re talking about transmedia storytelling, which describes the art of being able to tap into what people are thinking about, and being able to give them great content and visuals to help inspire them. And, by inspiring potential customers through images of what a great vacation could do for them, you’ll hopefully also be able to inspire them to buy plane tickets to Florida to spend a week at a local resort hotel.

In telling an emotional story, your imagery and words should reflect your commitment to this appeal. A photo of kids laughing on a double decker carousel in LEGOLAND’S Fun Town is going to grab a child’s attention and make them want to escape in the same way. A bullet-point list of facts about your park? Maybe, but think about how much more the photo might resonate with a parent who has a LEGO- obsessed child.

Disney is a master at this, and Universal has appeal through its rides inspired by famous favorite films. A perfect example of incorporating media and other immersive storytelling techniques into a marketing strategy is the soon to be newest Universal Water Park- Volcano Bay. Keep your eyes open for this marketing plan, it’s going to be one for the books (get it? Since we’re telling a story? We think we’re funny.)

Unfortunately not every theme park has learned to tap into that universal trigger that keeps people thinking about their experience there through the generations. So if you’re a theme park marketer, one of the most important things you can do is focus on the importance of story in everything that represents your brand. And if you need ideas on how to bring that story to life, contact the expert team at our Orlando ad agency to help you navigate the twists and turns of this exhilarating industry!

3 Things You Should Know About Addressable TV Advertising

Redefining the world of traditional marketing, addressable TV advertising uses programmatic forms of TV allowing for household-based targeting.

TV advertising isn’t as targeted as digital…or is it? According to Google Consumer Insights, addressable TV advertising allows brands to show their ads to specific households, rather than targeting audiences by the program being shown. Addressable television is a great way to reach specific households across television services no matter the show they’re watching.
With Nielsen recently acquiring Sorensen Media, addressable TV is growing more and more powerful. Marketing Land says that this move will help Nielsen begin offering addressable TV along with in-depth measurement services. Well known for their detailed market research, Nielsen leads the pack when it comes to audience targeting and insights.

There are a lot of advantages that come with addressable TV advertising, so we decided to share a few.

1. Save money

Programmatic media buying is not a new concept by any means. But leveraging its power in combination with addressable tools means that a TV advertising agency can get their message to the target audience without spending your ad budget on anyone who happens to watch that specific show. This singular household targeting raises effectiveness while saving money on ad spend.

An experienced media strategy agency can effectively leverage traditional channels to reach your consumers where and when they’ll be listening. That’s the crux of it all, reaching the right people, in the right place, at the right time. Which takes a lot more than an effective channel or method, it requires the right agency.

2. Not service-specific

Addressable TV advertising isn’t the only way to reach specific consumers leveraging the draw of shows. There are many others, channels such as OTT advertising and mobile targeting, but many of those rely on one specific service provider. OTT allows advertisers to reach users on specific streaming services, while addressable TV is more akin to programmatic, traditional TV buying. Which simply means that OTT is more limited. For example, Hulu advertising is only for Hulu while Addressable TV reaches across any cable or satellite provider.

Understanding your audience is the key to selecting any channel and budget. By using an effective audience segmentation consultant you can define who you are looking for and what drives them.

3. Opportunity in precision

Addressable TV advertising brings a strategy of its own kind for reaching specific audiences. It’s that specialized opportunity for detailed targeting that makes this tool so unique. Once you understand who you are looking to reach, addressable TV is an efficient mix of modern and traditional that optimizes your reach over any program. Many channels claim that, but the optimization here is in reaching the right people versus reaching the most. With addressable TV, you are paying only for your targeted households.

Highly specific targeting is no new concept to most expert agencies. As it is with all advertising, the right strategies can make or break your campaign. But with detailed targeting, it becomes even more important that the audience targeted is the correct one for your brand. Most other markets won’t be reached at all.

The takeaway

When all is said and done, addressable TV lends itself well to effective advertising. It’s cost-effective, has a broad reach, and allows the opportunity for incredibly detailed targeting. Leveraged correctly, it can turn a good campaign into unparalleled success.

As a full-service agency, BIGEYE knows what it takes to make any channel effective for your brand, as well as which channels are worth spending your money on. We optimize each ad placement to reach your market effectively and reliably. When you’re ready to branch out, let’s chat!

Top Five Things to Consider When Advertising on Hulu

Choosing how to advertise on Hulu can be complex, which is why working with an OTT advertising agency to help with streaming service offers is key.

An over-the-top advertising or OTT advertising tool allows brands to advertise on apps and streaming services. When looking at Hulu’s advertising technology, many opportunities become clear. From T-commerce which allows viewers to purchase directly from the ad to interactive interstitial that shows your commercial then enables viewers to explore more content within the ad itself. As an experienced OTT advertising agency, we decided to dive in and get to know Hulu ourselves.
Some tips to keep in mind when deciding how to advertise on Hulu:

1. Not everything needs to be interactive

Hulu has a lot of interactive options that are meant to get viewers clicking for more. Take a look at the full list. While these are valid and exciting offers, it’s important to consider how your chosen media can enhance your product rather than how trendy that media’s capabilities are. If you have a product that requires high-involvement purchasing like a car or a home, being able to dig into the details to see more and learn more makes a lot of sense. If your product calls for a shorter consumer journey, a classic ad, Hulu’s slate advertising, or custom integrated commercials could be a better approach.

It’s important to note that we’re not saying that those interactive options aren’t valid. They can be entertaining and engaging. Allowing your consumers to choose which version of your ad they’ll watch can make them feel like they have some control. But if the audience doesn’t particularly care, then those extra seconds of ad selection can come off as more bothersome than empowering. It all comes down to knowing your brand and your message while deeply understanding what motivates your target market.

2. Leverage context targeting, get specific

When it comes to streaming media, you can get incredibly detailed with your targeting. Determining the type of shows your consumers watch can seem pretty simple. But with so many options on how to advertise on Hulu, you need an in-depth understanding of what motivates your target market to predict what they’ll respond to. Will they care enough to find the controller and click for more? Are they watching on TV through a device? On the computer? On the phone? Some of Hulu’s advertising types work only through a browser. Some are only seen by those who are browsing around. So if your target market is full of planners who only open Hulu when they’ve got their show in mind, they won’t see it. You need to get specific about your targeting; it has to go deeper than a tendency to stream media. How does your audience stream? When? Where? On what? These details matter. How each of Hulu’s options applies to different contexts that can be found.

If you pinpoint what motivates your consumers to listen, you can leverage the unique capabilities of Hulu advertising to drive real results. For example, if news about a specific show on Hulu coming back will attain consumer attention more effectively than your current campaign, then your OTT advertising agency should consider the custom integrated commercials option on Hulu. These take main actors or environments from popular shows and put your product into the mix to explore interesting applications of your features while driving consumer interest. Learn more about in-depth, strategic targeting.

3. High-tech ads have their place and time, so choose traditional options

As an OTT advertising agency, anything and everything ‘cutting-edge’ can feel exciting and enticing, but it’s not about the amount of fun you have creating or placing the ads—it’s about their effectiveness. Hulu advertising doesn’t center around the video or even experiential advertising. It has to center on your consumers and what appeals to them while they’re streaming. Effectively promoting your products can be as simple and classic as product placement. With Hulu’s masthead product placement your market will come across your brand right next to Hulu’s recommended popular show while they browse for the next series to watch. A page brand placement is also a possible solution, but it will only be seen by those scrolling through streaming options from a browser.

4. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket

Your campaign should vary, once you’ve correctly targeted your consumers you don’t want your message to get too repetitive or boring. Your OTT advertising agency should vary your ad buys between the multitude of options Hulu provides to keep your consumers engaged rather than tuning out. A good example would be a mix of ad selectors allowing your consumers to choose between 2 or 3 different video ads then supporting it with masthead product placement to retarget your market on another day. Raising interest in a way that isn’t monotonous or annoying. Another good mix could be a custom integrated commercial to get your consumers listening and seeing your features in an engaging way, then following it up with a T-commerce placement where they can see one of your campaign commercials then make a direct purchase. Learn about our strategic marketing.

Whatever mix you end up going with, promoting your products in various innovative ways will keep your target market engaged with your brand, keep your product top-of-mind, and reliably drive brand recognition. No campaign should feature just one ad. Once your branding is targeted as specifically as Hulu allows, a single-note campaign will become repetitive and monotonous. Varying the media type, especially on the same platform, will keep your message fresh and engaging.

5. Approach with a strategy in mind

There is a lot an experienced OTT advertising agency can do with advertising on Hulu. However, with the multitude of options and varied audiences, you need to approach Hulu advertising with clear goals and tactics in mind. Otherwise, your message can get buried in the noise of the platform itself. Get an expert team that will do the research, build the strategy, and crafts the creative needed to design an impactful campaign that will get your consumers talking. The goal is to end up with one contiguous campaign that seamlessly delivers your brand’s message in an engaging way to drive conversions. Equipped with a deep understanding of your audience, effective communications, and Hulu’s capabilities your campaign has the potential to drive incredible results.

The takeaway

Hulu can be a greatly effective platform for reaching and engaging your audience. But it is important for your OTT advertising agency to remember some key elements. Not everything needs to be interactive, cutting-edge technology can be really engaging but it needs to match your branding and products. Hulu shows attract specific audiences, know who will be seeing your message and position your communications accordingly. High-tech ads have their place and time, so do more traditional options, consider how each message will be communicated across executions. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket, let your campaign vary to keep your consumers listening. Finally, approach with a strategy in mind, don’t get bogged down in the details. Have clear objectives and set tactics to reliably achieve your goals. Contact our team of media buyers and planners to assist you.

Digital Marketing Agency Deep Dive on Instagram’s Recent “Bug”

As a digital marketing agency, we’ve uncovered the details, but now it’s your turn to decide if Instagram’s latest issues were intentional.

You don’t have to work for a digital marketing agency to remember the chaos that ensued after Snapchat redesigned its platform.
Prominent influencers reacted in horror, slamming Snapchat’s new look and feel. Daily users began departing in droves. Advertisers grew nervous and began to deploy resources elsewhere.

And as for Snapchat’s leadership? They played it cool, rolling out the usual party line that accompanies most digital redesigns: Sure, people hate it at first, but they always come around.

Except in Snapchat’s case, they didn’t — forcing the company to walk back some of the changes as its user numbers plummeted along with its stock price. Overall, it was a terrible experience for Snapchat, but at least it offered a stellar case study in “what not to do when implementing a redesign” for other platforms.

Or did it?

What was behind Instagram’s transformational design change?

During the last week of 2018, Instagram rolled out a surprise update to its app — one that sparked an outcry highly reminiscent of last year’s Snapchat redesign debacle.

This surprise update eliminated the ability for users to scroll vertically and instead introduced a horizontal scrolling system. As you might expect, this rather significant — and entirely out of the blue — change created all sorts of anger and astonishment online.

In the immediate wake of the change, the word “Instagram” began trending on Twitter, as celebrities and typical users alike vented outrage about both the new design and the unexpected way it was implemented.

It seemed, at least for a moment, that l’affaire Snapchat was back for an encore presentation. And, for those working at a digital marketing agency, it was a turn of events that brought one question to mind: Could one of Snapchat’s primary competitors actually make the same devastating mistake less than a year later?

A bug, not a feature

In the wake of the outcry over Instagram’s sudden change, the company blamed “a bug” for changing how the feeds of “some users” appeared. Instagram relayed that the problem was fixed and apologized for the issue.

Some observers, however, expressed mild skepticism as to whether this update was truly a bug. Adweek pointed out that Instagram’s buggy update could actually introduce interesting new possibilities for digital advertisers. Instead of simply scrolling past ads, users would be required to tap to get out of displayed ads, similar to the way Instagram Stories is set up. This could introduce the possibility for at least one new metric: How fast users tap out of specific ads.

Business Insider noted much the same thing, pointing out that horizontal scrolling is more consistent with Stories — a format that Mark Zuckerberg claims will overtake the Facebook News Feed as the primary way people share and consume content. This is expected to occur by mid-2019, according to Facebook projections.

The takeaway

Was Instagram’s update a bug or a premature rollout? In our estimation, probably a bit of both. Given the advantages of horizontal scrolling, it’s likely Instagram meant to test the update to a small subset of users, then accidentally made the release much wider than intended. Either way, in the wake of last year’s Snapchat-Gate, Instagram needs to proceed very cautiously when considering such changes.

At BIGEYE, we believe a digital marketing agency needs to combine world-class creative with exceptional technical capabilities. If your business could benefit from an exciting new approach to marketing, please contact us today.

Why Alexa Skill Programming Allows for Safe Library Use

She can tell you a story, call you an Uber and give you a delicious dinner recipe — and do it all in a British accent if you like. Thanks to Alexa skill programming, there seems to be no limit to what our favorite digital assistant can do.
Here’s another one: Alexa can accomplish everything we just listed above while using her “inside voice.” That’s right, Alexa now whispers — and it’s just as weird and fun as you’d expect.

Why you never have to worry about Alexa waking the baby again

Amazon’s new “whisper mode” for Alexa, which was announced in September, officially went live in October. Now, if you whisper your question or command, Alexa will reply in kind with her own whispered response.

While this seems like a smart new feature for parents of young children, or people in busy office settings, the development of whisper mode was prompted largely by another factor: The desire to make Alexa more lifelike. By giving her the ability to whisper back at you, Amazon’s engineers have made her more human sounding and natural, able to respond to conversational cues more intuitively.

The result is something to behold. Alexa sounds breathy and more than a bit eerie – but also very natural and human.

Whisper mode is not turned on by default, so users will have to ask Alexa to enable whisper mode (simply saying “Alexa, turn on whisper mode” will do the trick). Or, you may also choose to turn on whisper mode by toggling through the app.

Alexa: Smarter, faster, better

As The Verge mentions, whisper mode is yet one more step in making Alexa more contextually aware by expanding her AI-enhanced capabilities. Alexa uses machine learning to discern sound patterns that are evident in whispered speech, which then triggers a whispered response.

This same machine-learning network is used by Alexa to recognize smoke and carbon monoxide alarms. Alexa can also use it to identify the sound of glass being broken, which allows Alexa to serve a home security role. By becoming more contextually aware, Alexa is able to recognize more than just human speech — and therefore play a much larger role in the home.

Amazon’s Alexa Brain Initiative is working to refine the voice assistant’s “memory,” so to speak, allowing her to track and recall information across multiple dialogue sessions, something that will make it easier for users to engage with the vast number of third-party Alexa programming skills currently available. Users can also ask Alexa to remember specific information, and then furnish it later.

Amazon has also made progress in the effort to make skill launching easier and more user-friendly. Instead of following rigid conversational cues, the goal is to have Alexa activate skills based on natural human language — ultimately becoming so refined that she can recognize a request even if it’s delivered with a stutter, a digression, a long pause — or a whisper.

Is your business taking advantage of Alexa Skill Programming?

Smart speakers are poised to have a transformational impact on the way we live and do business, much in the same way that mobile devices did a decade before. At BIGEYE, our voice experts specialize in Alexa skill programming — and we’d love to show you how your company can benefit from the right set of skills. Contact our Alexa experts today to take the next step with your brand’s voice and capabilities.

A Star is Rebranded: What Your Business Can Learn from Lady Gaga

Rebranding…it’s not just for businesses.
Look no further than the example of Stefani Germanotta, better known as “Lady Gaga.” Fans know that Gaga has reinvented herself numerous times in a musical context: She began as a neo-burlesque club act and New York cult sensation, before exploding onto the scene as a world-conquering, meat suit wearing, dance music pop star.

After pushing the conceptual art boundary as far as it could go, Gaga shapeshifted into a rootsier, rock-heavy persona that saw her minimize the glam and artifice in favor of a more personal approach to her craft and her presentation.

None of those transformations hold a candle to Gaga’s latest rebranding, however: Full-fledged, Oscar-caliber A-list actress.

Rebranding on the big screen

Gaga isn’t completely new to acting. Her credits, in fact, stretch back 15 years, all the way to a bit part in an early episode of “The Soprano’s.” She’s also taken a starring role in the popular “American Horror Story” TV series.

All told, she has 40 credits to her name on TV and film. However, there is a major caveat: Almost all of those appearances were tied into her musical persona, and none of them featured a performance quite like her leading role in “A Star is Born.”

Gaga has drawn rave reviews (and likely Oscar notices) for her role as Ally, a diamond-in-the-rough singing waitress who eventually climbs to the top of the record industry after being discovered by co-star Bradley Cooper’s famous yet troubled troubadour.

Though she’s drawn critical raves for a performance that marries powerful acting with showstopping singing, landing this role was only the first step in Gaga’s most recent — and most impressive — rebranding.  She isn’t content to merely arrive on the scene as an Oscar-contending actor.

As a recent New York Times Magazine profile makes clear, Gaga is playing a much bigger role — that of a screen siren from Hollywood’s Golden Age.

Marilyn-inspired look featuring platinum blond hair and stilettos? Check.

Arriving at the 2018 Venice Film Festival on a sailboat with one red rose in hand? Check.

Buying a mansion in the Hollywood Hills? Check.

Given that it’s grounded in a remarkably powerful performance, Gaga doesn’t so much play this role as inhabit it. It’s also fair to say that — even for a master of transformations and reinventions — this represents her boldest and most successful rebrand yet.

Taking a page from Lady Gaga’s branding story

Lady Gaga has a special genius for fusing styles, identities, and dexterously remixing the ideas and images of other famous artists (Madonna, David Bowie and David Byrne to name just a few).

Brands don’t have access to Gaga’s creative brilliance, but they can still learn important lessons about audience building, rebranding, and utilizing resources, such as a branding agency.

One example: Gaga’s connection with her fans is amazingly deep and powerful. In an era where fame is often fleeting and fickle, Gaga has built a global fan base numbering in the tens of millions. Her art isn’t solely responsible for this connection; Gaga is a master of using social media and other digital forms to interact and communicate with her fan base.

Gaga’s most ardent followers, whom she christened “Little Monsters,” are among the most passionate and devoted fans in the world. In every corner of the digital world, you’ll find them evangelizing on her behalf, defending her from critics and reveling in all things Gaga. In return, Lady Gaga showers them with affection, interacts with them personally across social platforms, and gives them exclusive access to songs and information.

Why is there such a fierce bond between this superstar and her fans? It’s the same reason why her rebranding efforts have been successful: Authenticity. Anyone (or any brand) can pivot on a dime; yet if this transformation isn’t grounded in something deep, real and true, fans (or consumers) aren’t going to respond.

Lady Gaga’s rebrand as Hollywood screen siren is rooted in her Oscar-worthy performance.  Her previous transformations and incarnations were all rooted in her deep understanding of the musical and artistic traditions she was mining for inspiration.

For brands seeking to replicate that success, it’s a smart idea to follow the same framework: Build a meaningful connection with your audience, and ensure your rebrand is rooted in something authentic.

Finding the right branding agency

At BIGEYE, we’re big fans of Lady Gaga — but we’re even more entranced by the idea of helping businesses develop their own genius for branding. With some assistance from the right branding agency, we believe almost any business can build the audience it deserves.

Contact our branding team today to build your own following of little monsters and advance your brand!