Project Reconnect is the World Federation of Advertisers’ attempt to create new rules of engagement for marketers in the digital age. By talking to consumers about what is and what is not acceptable, we hope to identify the new ground rules for how and when it is appropriate for brands to get involved.
These video sessions were filmed in New York as part of the WFA’s Global Marketer Week earlier this year.
Be subtle with your sell
Today’s young citizens don’t respond well to blatant, in-your-face tactics. These New Yorkers tell us that what they want are subtle messages that don’t impact on their online experience, are woven into it or add value to content consumption. What they’d like marketers to do is focus on sophisticated product placement rather than traditional ads, in-game advertising rather than pre-rolls.
Don’t ask if you don’t need
While younger citizens may have a different attitude to privacy to older consumers, our panel of school age New Yorkers point out that they still care who knows what about them. Marketers need to think carefully about the information they request, they say. Demand personal information when all they want to do is play a game, for example, and you will lose them.
Don’t interrupt, don’t hassle
Giving a brand permission to contact you isn’t the same as inviting them to spam you. Our panel of young New Yorkers said messages should be sent out at respectful intervals, anything more is simply hassling them. That said they do trust big brands to be respectful of their privacy and expect them to ensure that they aren’t contacted with irrelevant messages or too often.
Stand for something
Today’s young people are not simply fixated about getting stuff. Our New York focus group argued that brands who want to appeal to a younger audience need to stand for something. Marketers need to remember that it’s not just about acquiring more stuff, it has to be the right stuff from brands that want to improve the world.
Be funny if you want my eyeballs
Young consumers are acknowledged to be the hardest group to engage. But if you have a sense of humor then you could succeed. Our New York panel agreed that for brand content to appeal it really had to be engaging, funny and relevant. Top of their list of cited campaigns was Old Spice but marketers need to be careful. Even cool campaigns wear out so they need to keep the message fresh.