I had a big "Ah Ha" moment during the last few moments of Creative and Critical Thinking this week and have been anxious to post it ever since. Putting in down in writing moves me much further to having my "elevator speech" ready which has been something I've been struggling with since my move towards ARGs and truly interactive marketing.
We were talking about "play" (already too many quotes in this post) and it's role in the work place now. How some companies will have Legos, Play-Doh or Slinkys in board meetings to keep people active and thinking during what usually turns into a gathering of people trying to email on their Blackberrys as discretely as possible. Or offices that allow you to completely customize your workspace to what stimulates you (IDEO). We have also been talking about the Montessori schools and other alternative school that put an emphasis on interactive learning rather than having a teacher read a power point to you.
Thats when it hit me! Lately people have been saying "duh" to making work and school more playful to get people interested and active, but why haven't we moved towards this with marketing? Getting people to play with your product has been around for a while with diy commercial contests, Facebook pages and online product reviews but few brands have risked really pushing the envelope.
Normal billboard ads get boring. Let people stumble on to something they aren't expecting and follow the rabbit hole. Make them want to see what is at the end. People love stories and if they live one out they're going to remember it. Get creative and do something different to get people talking. If someone invests the time and energy into your product they're going to remember it a lot more than the ad they past on the highway on their way home from work. Get people engaged and having fun with it because they want to be entertained not necessarily because they're looking at your company.
I thought of a simple analogy:
- White chalk and board(Talk at students)
- Dry erase board with multicolored markers(Talk at students)
- Interactive and stimulating exercises(Play with students)
- Simple "Buy my stuff because it'll make you happy" ads (Talk at consumers)
- Flashy designs and millions spent on optimum commercial spots(Talk at consumers)
- Create places online and offline for people to be engaged: blogs, riddles, meetings, real life games, ect. Get people thinking and moving even if its not always directly related. (Play with People)