Show Me What I Want To Hear

I don't know about you, but I rarely read up on the latest free checking offer, or better yet, the details for how to develop a detailed health plan to deal with impending menopause. The latter may be simply because I'm a male, but nonetheless, nothing is less invigorating than the fine print and copious amounts of copy associated with the pharmaceutical and financial industries these days.

So why not use video for the communication of "fine print" information--especially since consumers are reading less and relying more on TV and the Internet for information?

Know what?

We would likely all agree that menopause is probably not top-of-mind for most people when you think of compelling content. Ogilvy has, however, made this topic not only compelling, but also created an informative interactive experience that breaks down the barriers typically associated with asking your physician those uncomfortable questions.

Ogilvy recently launched its "Know Menopause" site for Wyeth, which show a panel of doctors that the user can interact with to learn more about menopause, how to recognize symptoms, and even how to counter act them through different lifestyle changes. The site's host also helps users compile a checklist of questions to ask at their next doctor visit. This form of informational delivery enables video to go beyond simply being a branding or direct response message. When mixed with a branded Web site, it creates a marketing communications tool for promoting the product and brand.

No longer trapped

Nothing screams excitement like your personal checking account. Sorting out which account is right for you is just downright draining. Starcom/IP Pixel recently helped WaMu liven up the topic of personal checking accounts by incorporating rich media into its site.

The rich media and branded Web site stepped outside the box of direct response and branding, and pushed important information to consumers through the use of interactivity and humor. The campaign leveraged Flash 8 video to drive home the answers to some of those often-thought-about, but-never-really-asked, questions. There is even a little pleasure taken in making these "stodgy" bankers uncomfortable and agitated by asking the "hard to answer" questions. Go ahead, just ask about how you'll receive free checks for life, or perhaps you want to know how you can earn three cents back for each transaction. Those stodgy old bankers just get so irritated and it's fun to watch and hear what they then have to say. The meter on the left showing their attitude just further confirms their irritation.

Bold tough

Ford Motor Company's Bold Moves campaign (full disclosure--PointRoll was involved in the campaign), brings the viewer behind the scenes into Ford meetings, design sessions, strategy sessions and all the various workings that the layperson would never be privy to.

The video is a means of communication for the company's die-hard fans, its investors, and even just anyone interested in the company culture and thought process. Here, video is a communication tool, not simply a brand message delivery medium. It provides the detail that most people would ignore in copy.

It's a wrap

A product is a product is a product, or so it seems these days. Brands are constantly fighting to distinguish themselves and create that separation from the competition. Video is a key delivery mechanism in raising awareness of these differences in a manner that engages the user and drives home the message, while also reaping the traditional benefits of brand awareness and/or direct response.

Whether it's a diet change to deal with menopause, learning about the newest "three cents cash back offer" from your checking account, or seeing how the CEO of Ford uses strategic pricing, video can always make it more interesting. Mix in a little interactivity, and you have an unbelievably powerful messaging tool that proves to be more of an advocate to the user, then simply a squawking box of mumbo-jumbo.

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