Tuesday, January 19, 2010

This it is: two Aussie brand entertainment campaigns that snuck in before 2010

This is it!

Having worked in the world of brand entertainment for a few years now, I've had too many "Is this it? Is this really it?" moments to count.

I'm sure those folks who work in the world of brands and mobile can relate.

"This is it! The year that [insert mobile or brand entertainment here] is going to take off."

Last year there were several clues that a shift was occurring in the Australian market: TV networks burdened by bad balance sheets; brands becoming more demanding of media owners and looking to make their dollars count in a tough climate; a few highly visible and successful brand entertainment campaigns like Rexona's Greatest Athlete; and of course, the many articles that spewed forth weekly from our press.

Sadly this didn't turn out to be the case, and developing large scale brand entertainment projects in the small Australian market is still as challenging as ever.

There were however, two campaigns that snuck in before the end of the year to give me a good feeling about 2010.

Over summer, Tourism Australia premiered their TV series No Leave, No Life. Based on their campaign of the same name, the series drew on the insight that Australian's are not as laid back and relaxed as we might think - we don't take enough holidays and need to restore our work life balance. Apparently we've accumulated 123 million days of leave between us!

This Network 7 series plucked little Aussie battlers in need of a break from their workplace, and whisked them away for a dream holiday experience.

The focus was on driving a connection with the audience through the integration of stories about the Australian experience, and the No Leave, No Life message rather than leveraging it across a bunch of mediums.

You can view the series here - it rated through the roof for a non ratings season prime time offering, proving (yet again) that programmers and brands can work together to attract and entertain audiences.

Coles also launched The Great Aussie Cook Off, a national competition and TV series to find Australia’s best family of home cooks (disclaimer, this is a Brand New Media property). In this instance, the TV series on Network Nine was the centrepiece, but by no means the primary connection point for audiences.

Research BNM did in early 2008, showed that despite the plethora of cooking shows, people wanted to see real families from a diverse range of backgrounds cooking their own recipes.

In each episode, families competed head to head to see who could cook the best three course meal, using the same mandatory ingredients – as voted by the audience.

You could watch the show, purchase the cookbook or download that week's recipes online, buy the recipe ingredients on special, cook the recipe and vote for your favourite. In contrast to the Tourism Australia campaign, the emphasis was on leveraging the family home cooking proposition across a range of channels, particularly in-store.

Obviously, one of these campaigns belongs to a major tourism body and the other a major retailer, so we can assume they had very different objectives.

2010 may not be 'the year', but with the introduction of additional FTA digital channels, we might be getting closer.

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