Remember the replicator from “Star Trek”? the device that derived from transporter technology to dematerialize matter and then reconstitute it in another form. When I first saw the movie as a child, I thought it was crazy and it could never be real… After all, Star Trek is a sci-fi movie.
But twenty years later, when we look around, we have phones that talk to us, machines can scan our face and recognize who we are and robots that can clean the house for us. Sci-fi wonders become real in a speed faster than we imagined 10 or 20 years ago. And we also created our modern version of “replicator’- a 3D printer.
All the rapid changes of technology we are experiencing nowadays speed up the digital innovation we are capable to implement in the physical world. Our consumers can not only experience our creative ideas digitally (on the web, phone, TV etc.) , but also experience them in real world, where they can interact with the ideas (touch, smell, talk etc.)
One good example is Mercedes “Tweet Race” campaign in 2011 for Super Bowl. It engaged twitter activities to actually power four teams racing to arrive at Dallas Texas for the Super Bowl. The teams had to generate as much twitter activity, aka “tweet fuel”, not only to earn points for their car fuels, but also for their performance on different social media challenges they faced along the way. The team that reached the destination with the highest score would be the winner.
In this case, everyone is able to engage with the brand not only via social media channels such as twitter to follow the race, but also via physical world, where they can tweet for their favorite team and fuel up their tank to help them win the competition,
Tesco in Korea also implemented their digital ideas into the physical world by using QR codes, Consumers can finish their grocery shopping while waiting for subway trains and have their groceries delivered to their home. No more time waste in grocery stores or carrying heavy grocery bags home.
More and more marketers realize the importance of physical world intersecting with digital. Consumers are more willing to interact with the messages and brands, because in most cases, they benefit from the initiatives. (Recently, Walgreens created a mobile app, allowing people to print their Intagram pictures remotely from their phones and picked up in local Walgreens in an hour) It also creates buzz online and offline to further promote the brand, because people consider it cool and hip. Either way, the brand benefits greatly from digital campaigns like this. So what are you waiting for as a marketer?