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THINK. CREATE. PERFORM. THINK AGAIN.
June 19th, 2015

Case Study: Unlock the 007 in You

Here is an interesting case study. In October 2012 the James Bond film Skyfall was released to the world. One of the major promotional sponsors was the Coca Cola Company. They created a series of ads prior to the release promoting the film. When you think of the marketing fire power available to a juggernaut like Coca Cola to promote one of the most successful film franchises of all time one would anticipate the results would be incredibly successful.

They weren’t. Although the ads were very well produced they fell flat with audiences. Here is an example of one of the ads – “Unlock the 007 in You” – New Coke Zero Ad

The issue was not production value; there was obviously no shortage of resources for effects. The problem was audience connection. You will note that the ad received 531,675 views on YouTube; hardly award winning numbers in return for the production costs.

While the theme of “Unlock the 007 in You” is a solid foundation the audience had no way to get emotionally involved. Now hats off to the team, they reversed that trend by creating an experiential campaign that made the audience (the every-day person) the hero. Check out the video of the campaign and the results; 10,842,907 views vs the previous 531,675 and with considerably lower production costs.

The experiential approach obviously garnered a much more desirable result.

Think – The key to this dramatic difference was the creative team asking how they could actually bring the theme of “Unlock the 007 in You” alive for their target audience and make it believable so people could relate while at the same time providing entertainment value.  By making their target audience the hero instead of an actor the creative team was successful in building a script where the audience could say “that could be me!” The platform for an emotional attachment with the message is now properly constructed.

Create – With the audience clearly identified and what experience was to be delivered the next critical decision was the environment. The choice of a train station was brilliant because it is something that everyone can identify with. The creative also capitalized on the subtleties of the venue choice; many James Bond scenes take place in every day public locations, train stations have a lot going on, it creates its own energy and has an existing very real cast of characters, the physical plant is conducive to creating “situations” that would have to be overcome. By selecting a public train station all the everyday people became part of the script adding to the believability of the storyline. By putting a challenge associated with the task they also created a subtle connection to the “reality” shows which have become so popular because the audience inevitably says to themselves “I could do that”.

Perform – Did you notice some of the subtleties in delivering the performance? The violin player by the Coke machine playing the James Bond theme! The attractive girl running interference. The physical obstacles. Finally the ever present deadline. Elements of the James Bond brand were brought to life as part of the story. The final challenge of singing the James Bond theme with the other people who just happened to be there was a terrific final reinforcement of the brand and once again extended the story by involving the bystanders in an impromptu manner.

 Think again – By selecting this method of delivery the creators were successful in having an immediate measurement mechanism and also giving the brand life and promotional value beyond the timeline of a traditional ad. The original ads had a shelf life of relevance. The experiential campaign can have a life far beyond that if it is successful in delivering entertainment value in addition to the core messaging.

Finally, when analyzing a campaign there has to be a ROI discussion. The original ad had set design, special effects, actors to hire, all at substantial cost. The experiential campaign used natural surroundings and real people to create a far more effective campaign at a much lower cost.

- Written by Keith Andrews -