To brighten up a misty Thursday in London, we invited Gianfranco Chicco, European Marketing Director of the Webby Awards into our shiny Shoreditch offices for some lunchtime inspiration. The event was part of the Webby Talks series, which looks deep into the web trends of the year and presents them to companies around the world. This year’s series focuses on how the modern internet forces us to create and invent truly original experiences - or suffer the consequences.
Here are five things we learned from Internet or Die.
1. Online success can be simple
Pokemon Go’s success is a great example of how existing technology can be used to create something completely new. Niantic, the company behind the game, used Google Maps API paired with its own augmented reality overlay - and the resulting game attracted over 40 million players in just a few weeks.
2. Digital and physical harmony has changed
Until recently, most successful brands had two things in common: A strong physical presence and a weak digital presence. The Quality Liquor Store in San Francisco managed to flip that notion on its head. The company's physical presence was the complete opposite of their online presence: its website was basically Beyonce, whilst its physical store was a desperately struggling tribute act. None of this prevented the brand from becoming a huge success. The point is, it doesn’t necessarily matter how loud your brand is physically, if digitally it is screaming from the rooftop.
3. Be entertaining: Gianfranco told us 59% of people stated the main reason they shared anything online was because it was funny - so keep it entertaining. That’s what international development charity Mellon Educate did with their What the f*** have you done with your life? campaign.
The campaign used grains of sand to highlight the hours we waste watching cute puppy videos or hot girl fails online while we could be using our time or money to help build a school. Message landed.
4. Be useful: 59% of people also said the reason they’ve returned to something they’ve shared online is because it was useful. Working with We Are Social, Netflix made full use of this fact when it partnered with language app Babbel to help fans of Spanish language Narcos to speak Spanish like El Patron. By creating something useful and entertaining, the app was downloaded by over 100,000 people around the world.
5. Create immersive experiences: Immersive experiences are an integral part of brand success. Don’t just show your audience your message - let them live it. Nosulus Rift created technology compatible with a South Park computer game which allowed gamers to - in true South Park style - smell farts ‘as they happened’ in the game. Not quite the immersive experience we were thinking but definitely one that will never be forgotten.