If you find yourself in the tech or web industries, you’ve probably heard the phrase “Content is King.” While I am not writing to either challenge or validate that statement today, I am writing to investigate the whole concept, and provide some examples of what we here at Top Draw Inc. define as great content.
Content can be words on a page, images in a gallery, directional links, even videos and live feeds; however, despite all of the options available to web campaigns, not all content is awesome, some is just bad. There are however some example of just plain awesome. Here is a list of some of Top Draw Inc.’s favourite web campaigns and web content. Enjoy…
Beyonce’s Visual Album, Dollar Shave Club – Kim Misutka
Kim gave us two examples; one, is Beyonce’s Surprise Visual Album. Beyonce bucked tradition by choosing to release her album by surprise. Although the media remains adamant that it was one of the worst kept secrets in the industry, many fans were pleasantly surprised to see iTunes blasted with the intense visuals of Beyonce’s newest album. On top of that each track has an accompanying short film that fans who can’t get enough can couple with the usual audio experience.. Hence the “Visual Album”
The second of Kimberly’s suggestions, and the provider of all my razors is DollarShaveClub.com. The concept is simple, send us a buck (a bit more for the upgrade and delivery) and Dollar Shave Club will send you a blade cartridge every month to your mailbox. A worthy enough business idea on it’s own, but the true genius came in the form of their online marketing video. A hilarious spin on the CEO explaining his product. Mike as he introduces himself at the very beginning of the video displays with hilarity, both how, and why you should use his razors. Spoiler alert: “They’re F*&%ing Great”
McDonald’s Your Questions – Mark Yiu
Director of Design and Usability for Top Draw Inc, Mark Yiu has provided a little known channel of one of the world’s most well known brands.
A visit to http://yourquestions.mcdonalds.ca/ provides answers to consumers’ questions. All the questions are claimed to be answered by McDonald’s representatives and many rumours and urban legends are actively dismissed. One great example is the 100% Pure Beef theory. For those who are unaware McDonald’s claims to make it’s patties with 100% Pure Beef, many have asserted that this is simply a corporate name that they use to be able to make the “100% Pure” claim. In a video response a McDonald’s representative visits a corporate lawyer to perform a NUANS search to prove that there is in fact no registered corporate entity or trade mark of 100% Pure Beef.
Mark finds that the up front and straightforward method of addressing these concerns, complaints and assertions really makes this campaign stand out. By facing these issues head on McDonald’s goes a long way in easing concerns and building or rebuilding brand trust and loyalty— and his guilt.
Subservient Chicken – Adriel Michaud
Our next example is an old one, but a true gem. Adriel Michaud Top Draw Inc. Partner and Director of SEO. Has dug up a blast from the past. If you visit http://www.subservientchicken.com/pre_bk_skinned.swf you will encounter what is meant to look like a live feed of a man in a terrifying chicken costume. What follows is pure web based creativity that is both funny and more then slightly unnerving.
By issuing commands to the chicken via a command field you can make the chicken costumed performer, undertake tasks from sitting to flying, even attempting to lay an egg. Of course it’s not live, if it were this man would have been in the costume since 2004, and Burger King’s storied Have it Your Way campaign. Which I am sure would be highly illegal, and the man in the suit would have most certainly lost his mind by now.
Instead in a true testament to creativity, the designers of the site came up with close to 200 commands that they predicted the user would request (or variations of those requests). They recorded the man in the chicken suit performing these tasks. Upon your command you will be able to witness this truly bizarre example of the limitless nature of web content creativity.
WestJet Christmas Miracle – Pam Santos
Pam Santos, Top Draw Inc. Project Manager has brought up one a recent and popular publicity campaign by Canadian airline West Jet. If you have not yet seen the campaign it involves an interactive gift box at both Hamilton International or Pearson International, where passengers on there way to Calgary were asked by Santa at a remote location, (the North Pole) “What they would like for Christmas?”
Upon their arrival to Calgary airport, while waiting at the luggage carousal, gifts descended down to the waiting passengers. These types of publicity campaigns fit right in with the season and with over 35 million views, this is an example of a company using online and viral marketing to increase their brand recognition and loyalty.
How To Knock Off A Saddleback Suitcase – Don Allen
Don Allen, Senior Web Developer for Top Draw Inc. brings us a shockingly detailed example of how to make a knockoff Saddleback Suitcase, by the owner of Saddleback Leather.
This video can be found on devour, but it’s a really cool example of identifying a company hurdle and then just beating it down with honesty and humour. Throughout the video the owner shows how you can make the bag with cheaper material, by a cheaper process and how to avoid all those expensive “Quality Measures” that his company makes.
The video’s real purpose behind the humour is not so much instructional as it is a public awareness message. The owner here is highlighting the differences between the authentic method and materials and what you are really buying when you decide to purchase a knock off. It’s a unique way to confront a very old business problem.
Chuck and Subway Vs Cancellation – Tammy Valgardson
Tammy, Senior Web Developer at Top Draw Inc. chose the Subway Sandwich campaign to save the NBC show Chuck from cancellation. In recent years the Nielson Rating system has come under fire as not being representative of true viewership. Fandom and the online communities have driven more and more networks to consider whether or not relying on the Nielson ratings is the best way to gauge the following of their individual shows.
In one scenario, Chuck an NBC one-hour “dramedy” was always on the verge of being cancelled. The fans of the show launched countless campaigns to demonstrate, not only did they watch the show, but were deeply invested in it. One such campaign came after the second season finale, Fans began to frequent the chief sponsor of the show, Subway, and bought $5 Footlong sandwiches. After doing so they filled out comment cards stating that they bought the sub, in aims of encouraging the continued support of their favourite show.
Chuck was picked up for another three seasons. Subway played a role in many episodes, often comically. In the end the electronic store where the majority of the scenes took place, the “Buy More”, was purchased by Subway.
Chipotle Back to the Start – Sandenn Killoran
Chipotle has made a name for itself building online campaigns to highlight their commitment to using organic ingredients and more naturally raised meat then any other company. They call it their Food with Integrity policy and it has gained praise from consumers and ad agencies alike.
My favourite ad from this campaign features an animated music video where a farmer expands his family farm into a factory. Near the end he feels lost and disgusted at what his life’s work has become so he rips it all down and goes back to the traditional nature friendly method of farming. The entire thing is made all the more epic by a haunting cover of Coldplay’s The Scientist, performed by Willie Nelson.
The video establishes great brand awareness, respect and loyalty. If I ever have an opportunity to work on such a brilliant project I will consider my career as having peaked.
What Do You Think?
Well those are just a few of the web campaigns, advertising, marketing strategies and content that inspires us here at Top Draw Inc.
What makes your Greatest Hits list? Do you have any issues with ours? Let us know in the comments below.