Activation Blizzard's "Call of Duty" franchise has taken the world by storm. The company has released a total of eight remarkably successful games. Activation Blizzard's most recent offering, "Modern Warfare 3," sold 6.5 million copies within 24 hours -- making it the biggest entertainment product launch of all time. The fact that each sequel was more successful than its predecessor points to both loyal customers and powerful marketing.
One area in particular that demonstrates Activation Blizzard's marketing prowess is online video. To promote its upcoming "Black Ops II," the company created an unsettling documentary video featuring future war expert P.W. Singer and Lt. Col. Oliver North. Both individuals propose nightmare scenarios of war. For example, North states, "I have a nightmare scenario that a hacker breaks into our system that controls satellites, UAVs, and even the launch of missiles. Consider what it would be like to have friendly fire from U.S. weapons overhead."
"Black Ops II" is set in the year 2025, in which unmanned weaponry controls every element of war. By creating a credible video with expert perspectives detailing plausible real-life conditions of future wars that mirror the conditions within its game, Activation Blizzard thoroughly engages customers with its forthcoming video game by adding relevancy and verisimilitude to what is really just a fictional creation. Although the video was created to sell video games, its goal is consumer connection, and the company does not interrupt the connection with overt advertising.
In addition, the "Call of Duty: Black Ops II" site in which other online videos and game trailers can be viewed. The following is the official gameplay trailer, which, by the way, had 23,855,832 views as of August 3. (I wonder how this game will do...)
Many would name Samsung as Apple's chief competitor. Recognizing the strong personal connections individuals develop with their mobile devices, Apple and Samsung have been locked in a public battle for smartphone customers. Trying to capitalize on the strong relationship consumers have with their iPhones, Samsung created a video mocking Apple fanatics waiting in a never-ending line for a new offering. Those in line are then persuaded to join Samsung users dancing in the streets, shouting "We're free!"
By depicting Apple iPhone devotion as "blind" and Samsung devotion as liberating, Samsung paves the way for the transference of loyalty from Apple to Samsung.
In an arena not as polarized as smartphones, Samsung had managed to engage customers in another powerful way. In order to promote its flat-screen TVs, Samsung opened its "Samsung TV Portal." Content on the portal includes how-to videos, how-to walkthroughs, product spotlights, and more. For instance, the portal features the following video, "How to Use Social TV: Samsung Smart Minute."
The mission of Samsung's TV Portal is to "provide the information and insight you need to make your Samsung TV experience every bit as enjoyable as you want it to be." Aware that television technology changes rapidly, which subsequently leaves many consumers apprehensive to embrace new offerings, Samsung created a browsing portal to keep its customers up to date. Not only does Samsung sell more products by keeping the public informed, but the company also builds customer loyalty by providing engaging content that ensures each consumer enjoys (and is not frustrated by) his or her purchase.
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Thanks Kyle for all the time it must have done to collect such an inspiring collection of examples. Following on from Brant's comment about being more than "digital minded" I agree, but for slightly different reasons.What all these brands have understood is that digital is so much more emotional than other media. It is intimate and direct, which in my books anyway is the best way to get a message into the heart of a customer. All these brands also seem to have a passion for customer centricity that comes through what they do, how they do it and the words and sentiments they use in their connections.Be warned I will steal with pride a few of your great examples - but will of course give you the credit!
Looking through these cases, which are great examples of brand based CRM initiatives - I'd say it's much more than being ''digital minded''. At the heart of most of these are strong value-add services. It's like saying "shops build sales through bricks". Digital is merely a facilitator, a building material, for developing compelling, customer driven, elements. Digital media does enable faster, more iterative, development of customer value-adds, but don't forget the basics too. Also, would be nice to see actual results - but I know details like that are rarely made available.
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