Leverage an Experience to Inspire

I was recently reading a music blog and a Starbucks banner ad caught my attention. It had a volume indicator moving up and down and it was asking me to create my own DJ sampling music mix. I clicked on the ad and ended up spending several minutes creating my own mix – all the while Starbucks giving me little clues to their new Frappuccino mix flavors. At the end, I shared the mix with my Facebook friends and then was given a coupon to try the new Frappuccino mixes. This fun experience got me thinking about how Starbucks use to advertise and how it has changed.

Starbucks old vs. new banner ad

I found an example of their old banner ads and compared that to this new approach. What a difference! You can tell Starbucks has embraced the idea of inspiring people to engage with their brand versus the outdated method of only relying on push messaging.

Tim Williams from the Ignition Consulting Group has a great webinar on developing creative briefs that can produce these kinds of experiences. Essentially he says to approach your brief this way:

  • Assume you can’t use advertising. What would you do?
    • What help or value can you offer your audience? This is what my colleague Andy Laing refers to as “the value exchange”.
  • Once you have the idea:
    • Why might consumers talk about this idea?
    • How do they get involved?
    • What keeps the conversation going?
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