2017 - The Year Of The V's

Every year we try to anticipate what new ideas will have cultural impact that entertainment brands and brands in all categories can leverage. We believe that brands and their agency partners must “Move at the Speed of Culture,” with speed driving the urgency to act today.

As we look ahead to 2017, speed will continue to be a factor as marketers in the entertainment sector learn to navigate the world of the “V’s” – Video, Voice and Virtual Reality – all tactics that the consumer experiences as it happens.

Video has been on the front burner for marketers across all categories. Be it original content, the use of influencer videos and especially the traditional commercial. But in 2017, we are going to see more emphasis on live video. 

When it comes to speed, there’s nothing more in the moment than live. And platforms have quickly created opportunities for real time exchanges with consumers and their brands. We will see even more uses of Live Facebook video, Instagram video and more. Live feeds that enable consumers to interact in real time with products, people and services. Where questions are answered, advice is given, demonstrations are featured and class is in session. 

Voice will also begin to have more impact in 2017 with personal devices that provide voice interaction, speaking up at the marketing table. Alexa, Google Home, Siri, Cortina – whatever name it goes by, interactivity with voice activated devices will be more on the minds of marketers. There is a reason Amazon’s Alexa, for one, sold out during the holidays. 

Some marketers are already activating voice as part of their campaigns. Star Wars brought Amazon’s Echo into its plan for the release of the new Rogue One movie with Alexa ready to answer Star Wars trivia queries and more. 

The voice-activated digital assistants are evolving to incorporate personal data that is not just reacting to voice commands but also serves up ideas. Marketers and agencies will find new ways to integrate voice interaction with marketing to create wholly personalized experiences that are more relevant and relatable to consumers. Consider the opportunity to ask your device to search for a theater playing the newest film, order your tickets and then get notified in case traffic might delay your trip to the movie.

The third “V” that is expanding as a marketing tool is Virtual Reality. Entertainment brands are ideally situated to leverage VR. Many studios are developing extended video content that they can use to enhance the stories they tell through film, programs and series. We have seen it with Ghostbusters, The Voice, and the recently announced “Alien: the Covenant” which will incorporate a virtual reality experience as part of the film’s release this spring.

One of the earliest uses of VR in the entertainment sector that continues to be a model of integrating the VR experience with a larger brand attraction is the Game of Thrones “Ascend the Wall” immersive installation. The highlight of the exhibition was a VR experience that enabled individuals to ascend the “Wall of Ice” via Occulus Rift goggles and an elevator cage that made the fan feel with all five senses what it felt like to be on the top of the wall of ice, a central part of the Game of Thrones storyline.

While the tool kit for marketers to create ever more engaging content continues to expand, the challenge is to use these tactics in ways that add value and meaning to your property. That’s where culture comes into play. Being able to bring cultural relevance to your marketing campaign as well as technological bells and whistles is where the magic of marketing in today’s era happens.

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