Similar to the music industry, most people who work in Digital PR could name their inspirations and influences, the first digital campaign that they got really excited about, and the campaigns that still inspire them to this day.
I decided to start working in the digital world shortly after stumbling upon a small interactive film created by artist Chris Milk as a music video for We Used to Wait by Arcade Fire and in collaboration with Google. The film, called The Wilderness Downtown, is built using HTML5 and uses Google maps and street view to tap into some of our most private memories.
As if by magic, the video takes you on a tour of the places and sights that were part of your childhood, and the character in the video appears to walk along the street where you grew up.
It’s an emotional journey, and to make it even more interactive it also asks you to create a message – a digital postcard – to leave behind as a memory of your journey. Other users can then view you postcard to see how you reacted to the video.
It’s a truly brilliant digital campaign and without a doubt, it is my single biggest influence in the online world. To me it demonstrates the power of a great digital project. It taps into your emotions, it connects with you personally, and it leaves you feeling a strong and genuine connection with the brand that goes well beyond anything that traditional advertising could attempt.
Whatever brand or client I am working with, the biggest piece of advice that I can give when putting together a digital campaign is that it’s all about the customer. Every piece of content should be created with the customer’s feelings and emotions in mind, and every social media post should attempt to tap into and connect with the daily lives and concerns of the people you’re talking to.
With that principle in mind, your next Facebook or Twitter campaign could be the one that genuinely reaches out to your audience, and that gets them clicking the ‘forward’ button without even being asked to do so.
Cover image courtesy of Frank Behrens, flickr.com
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