Every once in a while, a content marketing campaign arrives like art and catches me off guard. Sometimes those campaigns throw me into a jealous fit of rage. That's what happened when I came across this campaign from Perrier - a drink I know well because my husband enjoys it, much to my dismay. I don't really drink the stuff, but I do have a certain association of an old school elegance with it and sometimes mockingly put my pinky in the air when my husband twists off the top of one occasionally with dinner.
In their latest digital campaign - District Perrier - the brand partnered with Tumblr, Ibotta, and Blippar to connect their Tumblr-hosted content hub to in-store activations. It sounds like a social media ROI fantasy-land. And to top it off, the campaign is aesthetically beautiful. It's a rich media campaign I wish I came up with - leveraging video through a captivating webisode series, well-executed animated GIFs, tastemaker curation of bars and speakeasies, interviews with artists and burlesque dancers, Art Deco-style graphic tiles, recipes, and original DJ mixes that capture the audio essence of the campaign.
But you know how there's such a thing as a "comic's comic" or a "writer's writer?" On Quora, I found possibly the best explanation of a comic's comic:
"Comics who have pushed the art form in ways that excite comics, but that may not be entirely clear to the general public. ...I'd say that a comic's comic often doesn't get great public acclaim, but absolutely gets respect from their peers."
The same can apply to marketers. I believe that's what we're looking at with District Perrier - a marketer's marketing campaign. One that we who do this for a living admire, but the general public isn't entirely responsive to. Let's take a look at what works and what doesn't work about the campaign.
Here's what's working:
#1. Visually stunning.
Eye candy galore. Feast your eyes.
#2. Furthers relevant brand associations.
Sexy, Art Deco-style imagery and content that promotes the old school speakeasy nightlife scene is right up Perrier's alley as a brand. For me, the campaign illuminated an existing connection I didn't even realize I had to the brand.
3. Wide range of media used.
They didn't pull all their eggs in any one media's basket, because despite the promises each content type holds for engagement, it's best to diversify your content. Their web series "Tales of the District" is visually remarkable and tells a story that's relatively engaging - while not reaching Serial-addiction-status.
#4. Content is not alienatingly self-promotional.
In my experience, it drew me in and didn't make me feel like the odd man out for not being in love with the actual drink.
#5. In-store activation closes the ROI loop.
If the public responds, the campaign is set up to capture sales from impressions and engagements online. That's a lot further than most digital campaigns go these days.
But here's the problem: They're not exactly engaging with Tumblr users on their terms.
Tumblr isn't responding. At all. There's no pulse of discussion or user-generated content yet. There are buckets of engagements with their Tumblr posts - from dozens to thousands of notes each, but there are also many posts about being annoyed with being advertised to on Tumblr. Add to that their theme on Tumblr, which loads relatively slowly and the inability to engage with content on each post's page (Disqus comments may have come in handy) - and you've got yourself a brand that only has half of their skin in the Tumblr game. They got the content right for the channel. That's for sure. But they don't necessarily have Tumblr set up in an optimal way for the platform's users to engage with the brand.
The content appears to be inexplicably bombing on Twitter - but why?
As someone who wishes she developed this campaign, even with the Tumblr bugaboo, I still want to interact with this campaign and support it for its creativity, it's near-flawless execution, and it's thoughtful strategy to connect to in-store purchases.
So what do you think? Are we looking at a marketer's marketing campaign or is something amiss? I would love to hear your thoughts.