Best practice from Mabox.
ITN Source, a division of ITN, holds one of the world’s largest archives of moving images with over 750,000 hours of iconic footage captured over three centuries.
All is unique and never to be filmed again. This extraordinary library offers a much wider range and greater depth than most of its rivals, including high resolution material for marketing campaigns.
ITN Source is also in the unique position that all their footage has been digitised and can be accessed, edited and downloaded directly from their website.
Unfortunately ‘stock footage’ is dirty word in the advertising industry. There are two reasons for this: firstly, creatives gain more kudos from shooting their own footage; secondly, many creatives’ past experience with stock footage has been poor.
The challenge for ITN Source was to prove that archive footage is a valuable addition to any creative’s arsenal.
The objectives for this campaign were to:
- Build awareness of ITN Source’s capabilities amongst the untapped market of a cynical advertising industry.
- Drive users to the ITN Source website and capture registrations.
- Promote word of mouth and online recommendations within the target communities.
Advertising professionals are highly judgemental of any promotional material they receive. Most is met with the response ‘I could have done a better job of that’ and dismissed outright.
The only way to get under their radar is to wow them with creativity. The most appealing ideas are irreverent and intriguing and don’t involve anything as tedious as opening an envelope (too much creatively uninspiring mail passes across their desk every day).
They also have a magpie instinct, hoarding anything interesting that might provide future inspiration.
Within the advertising industry the obvious targets were the creatives themselves, but Mabox recognised that these should not be the sole targets.
Equally important were the decision influencers - the TV and digital production teams, both in and out of the agency. With more of an eye on cost than kudos, these important individuals would help to reduce the reluctance some creatives have over stock footage.
Media and Creative Strategy
Mabox began its creative journey with research within the industry, both in the UK and the US, to further build understanding of attitudes to stock footage (most sites have poor quality and limited variety), understand current awareness of ITN Source (very limited) and identify key websites that creatives visited.
It used its insights about connecting with advertising professionals and developed a campaign using the language of advertising scripts to build curiosity. Its idea was based on posing questions such as ‘Who shot the Pope?’; and ‘Who released Nelson Mandela?’.
The end line ‘Cut to ITN Source’ again used the industry language while also implying that users could stop wasting time and head straight to ITN Source for inspiring footage. In developing the ideas, Mabox worked closely with the researchers at ITN Source to find fresh and interesting footage.
Mabox placed banner ads on key industry websites in the UK and the US posing the question ‘Who shot JFK?’ etc. To discover the answer viewers had to click through to an ITN Source microsite, which answered the question and directed them to explore the ITN Source digital library and register their details for a competition.
Knowing the power of word-of-mouth within the industry, it also created a viral version of the ‘Who shot JFK?’ advertising and used data lists to reach individuals within the industry.
This was followed up with banners on third party e-shots (e.g. emails from Creative Review), asking the question ‘Who shot JFK?’ Recipients were asked to click on a subversively non-corporate URL address, thus tapping into the zeitgeist of user-generated digital content.
Finally, Mabox developed lenticular postcards that brought to life iconic footage such as Hurst’s perennially controversial goal in the 1966 World Cup. Using 12 frames of moving footage bought the clip to life, and meant it grabbed attention.
Timing and Budget
The campaign ran throughout April 2007
The results behind the campaign were impressive.
For the viral campaign 50% of those who received the email visited the website versus an industry average of 26.1% and only 21% amongst the more cynical creative and media industries. 39% of those who received it passed it on.
For the e-shots on third party mailers, 7.4% of recipients went to the ITN microsite and of these 17% then visited the ITN site itself and 22.7% entered their details for the competition.
The banners clearly achieved their objective of peaking people’s curiosity, as click-through rates were 0.64%, more than double the industry average of 0.28%.
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