Friday, May 23, 2008

War! What is it good for? Mobile marketing, actually...

Check out this video to get a taste of how the mobile and engagement marketing is changing the face of spicy snack marketing in that there Japan!
2D barcodes, mobile phones, kids who want to have fun, spoken to in their language (and I don't mean Japanese, dude) - and all to get them hooked on a new snack.

The recruitment is a bit 'facebook zombies' but, you know, this stuff works for the short-lived community. And if playing this game is its purpose, then the tool is a pretty good fit. To join in you have to buy a packet of snacks - so kids who can influence end up getting more people to buy, who get more people to buy, etc etc.

The same kids even used other social networks they were already members of to meet and organise battle strategy (there's that latent community thing, see below) - and no doubt to recruit, too.

Genius. Evil perhaps, but it's being explicit (honest and upfront) about that!

This is all about tapping into a latent community (you ain't likely to recruit someone you don't already know), not using a set of tools to build one. It's why it has worked.
It has, as Clay Shirky would request, the plausible promise (it'll be a bit of a laugh, and one you can have with your friends), it has the right tools - and ones which the latent community was using anyway (the mobile phone) and it has an outcome that all parties agree is ok with them (buy the snack, join the party).

Via the genius of Tomi Ahonen and Communities Dominate Brands.

Will they still buy when the war is over? Will they still buy when they are bored of the game? That's the risk - but they will have at least bought and paid for the snack. If they like it they'll stick with it. It's only marketing when all is said and done.

The clever bit would be to take those armies and get them involved in suggesting new flavours, helping to shape the next products - make them an evil army of snack creators.

Now I can hear the evil laughter...

The rate of change is so rapid it's difficult for one person to keep up to speed. Let's pool our thoughts, share our reactions and, who knows, even reach some shared conclusions worth arriving at?