Creative Edge: Social, video and mobile technology can help amplify your events

The panel session discussed the challenges of amplifying events
The panel session discussed the challenges of amplifying events

The final panel session at Creative Edge in Brighton yesterday (22 September) looked at the challenge of amplification, and specifically how video, social and mobile technology can be used to leverage brands.

The session was hosted by broadcaster and journalist, and chair for the day, Julia Hartley-Brewer, and saw contributions from James Poletti, head of digital strategy at RPM; Gawain Owen, digital lead at Nestle; and Tania Seif, head of social marketing at Coral.


Owen began by reminding us that we are also consumers. "Everyone is a consumer, and everyone engages with media… I think sometimes we forget this," he said. "The consumer is taking us on a journey and wants to engage with media in a different way."

In terms of the power of video, he pointed out that YouTube is the second largest search engine, only second to Google, indicating the scale of demand for video content.

"How do we engage with B2B and B2C consumers in a more engaging manner? Video is certainly a good option," he said. "It’s not just about paid media, but what we get back from it as well."

Using a recent Nestle video campaign, on the best way to say thank you, he asked rhetorically: "How did we grow brand recognition, and margins, for example, by doing this?" He said the company invested a small amount in a YouTube tool, whereby you can see second by second when people began to drop out of the video, and then asked the creative agency who produced it to re-edit the video from that point. "Video is an amazing opportunity to cost effectively target a specific audience," he added.


Speaking on the opportunities for amplification via mobile technology, Poletti first warned that while amplification from events is traditionally difficult, the web is changing dramatically, and is being led by mobile communications resulting in many opportunities.

"The mobile is the best way we’ve come up with for experiencing the internet," he said. "It’s always in your hand, it is proximity aware, it can be a camera, your wallet, and all the apps you love."

Poletti told delegates that there is data to show that 60% of 16-24 year-olds use mobile as their key access point to the internet, and that only 9% of mobile use is restricted to out-of-home.

He suggested that one of the best ways to get viral impact is by faking it, using the example of Pepsi’s recent drone festival friend finder, a stunt that was entirely staged with the aim of producing great video content.

He says that brands looking to amplify their content from an event need to ask themselves: "What is the event that is going to speak to my digital audience?" With ‘the internet of things’ offering a huge opportunity, there are certainly opportunities to achieve cut-through, he added.


Lastly Seif spoke on the use of social media by Coral to achieve growth targets and get ahead of its competitors. The bookmakers saw social media as a great way of engaging with the 18-34 year-old audience.  "It was a good opportunity to put our brand in their hands," she said, referencing the prevalence of smartphones.

Coral has had most success on social with Vine and Twitter, and its approach has not been to do the hard-sell, rather take a more light-hearted approach to its material. "We try to entertain them with content that we know will appeal to them and that they will share," explained Seif.

For the Cheltenham Festival, in March, Coral produced its own race using micro pigs, dubbed the CheltenHAM festival. "We were looking at ways to stand out. We wanted people taking about our brand," she said.

Coral produced a short video, which was shown on Twitter, that asked people to vote on which pig would win the race.

The footage of the racing pigs reached more than seven million Twitter users, gained coverage on BBC One, and resulted in a 478% increase in socially referred traffic to its website.

More: Creative Edge: What constitutes a tribe, and are they still relevant today?

Creative Edge: "Consumers are fine with a branded cultural experience as long as it's good"

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