With live video content everywhere today, brands are not only being tasked with diving into the content pool, but figuring out how to quickly get their footing with audiences.
A recent Brandlive and IBM Cloud survey showed that 95% of brand execs see live video as a key part of their 2018 strategies. However, companies can’t just connect with live alone. Today’s content approach demands a multi-dimensional mix of short-form, and long-form content, live content and physical experiences. Audiences want things in this immediate moment, and they’re happy to look for them across the web.
As Big Block Capital Group CEO Seven Volpone recently explained in a discussion with TV[R]EV:
“You need to be able to capture the attention of your audience through whatever gateway they find your specific universe of content and/or experiences. So if it’s a short-form meme, or long-form content, or an event, you really have to be everywhere in that ecosystem of the creative supply chain.”
Volpone’s Big Block recently announced its investment in Ripplebox, a live broadcast marketing firm specializing in highly-produced content. Ripplebox creates both long-form and short-form content for brands and large events, including recent activitations with the Grammys and Super Bowl XLII.
Revolving the marketing mix around these sorts of live activations and content packages are all part of where Volpone sees the media world going in the near future, and he says that Big Block’s brand partners are seeing things similarly. They understand the partial shift away from TV advertising, billboards, etc. and the focus on experiences. They just need the road map to embrace that new world. It starts with meeting the audiences where they are already.
“Taking people to where the brand wants to go is a common mistake,” said Volpone. “You need to be able to say ‘what are people interested in and how do I meet that audience where they are and give them more of what they want? Because I want to align with them.’”
He shared additional tidbits from his time at esports company ESL, where he says his team discovered that “Millennials, Gen Z — they don’t want to be told where to go. They want to discover it.” The lessons learned there around music activations for gaming events like Katowice (basically ESL’s Super Bowl, as Volpone put it) showed that dropping breadcrumbs/carrots to make something discoverable shows a more distinct understanding of these younger generations and how they have consumed content — and will in the future.
Subcultures in music, art, fashion, entertainment are guiding the content strategy and approach for brands all over, specifically looking at live. Despite the fact that the manufacturer no longer makes the NBA’s uniforms (that contract belongs to Nike), adidas was still able to create an engaging cultural experience around the All-Star Game in Los Angeles as a lifestyle brand. Partnerships with artists like Pharrell Williams and Kanye West have aligned them to music subcultures.
The brand’s live experience around the game included events at 747 Warehouse Street, to release customized new sneakers. Adidas’s messaging is all about “creators” in whatever form they take — music, art, athletes, etc. By inviting sponsored athletes and musicians like 2 Chainz, Snoop Dogg and N.E.R.D. for panel discussions, the live event became a meeting of cultural minds; an exclusive experience bringing worlds together under the same premise. Portions of the proceedings were shared with their audience online, using live experiences to draw them into the larger brand conversation.
Another brand playing in the lifestyle space, Red Bull, puts its name on a limited number of events, but largely operates in the background of the culture. That allows the experiences to play out live and unencumbered by the brand, giving a more genuine experience to visitors. It also creates a more personal quality to live content as its produced. People aren’t attending Red Bull’s event. Red Bull is attending theirs (and of course, is happy to hand them an energy drink if they need one).
Big Block’s bet on live not only looks to capitalize on emerging trends, but potentially create some new ones themselves. Volpone sees live content at the center of this multi-dimensional marketing approach going forward, and sees Ripplebox as the method to further push the company into that space. He hinted we’ll be seeing more of this approach from Big Block and Ripplebox in the near future as well. They’ll soon be announcing a partnership with this year’s E3 Expo as they look to further link brands and consumers through their personal passions.