At orientation Rick Boyko touched on the "Art of the H3ist" campaign done by McKinney. This campaign reinforces the idea that mixed media is no longer a creative outlet. It is a standard. As BMW Films did in the past with its online short flicks, Audi did with the A3 launch. Audi challenged other car manufacturers to step up their promotions and to do more than the traditional 30 second spot. Mckinney said, try a mixed media approach with a clever message and an entertaining theme. They invited people to participate and to become part of the promotion. Audi rewarded savvy consumers with insight about the heist (later changed to the "H3ist") and encouraged them to participate further in this media experiment.
We were fortunate enough to have Matthew Fischvogt (Alumni), copywriter for the dramatic Audi experience, speak at our orientation. The campaign won an International ANDY Award, a Oneshow Award, a Cannes Lion, and Effie. Effies are given by the American Marketing Association for results, as opposed to other awards which focus on creativity. This campaign walked that imaginary line between creativity and effectiveness. It walked the line like a bad mutha, shut, yo mouth! <--Quoting "Shaft" the original movie, not the Samuel "snakes-on-a-muthaf#@kin-plane" Jackson version.
Other car manufacturers are following this trend. Integrated communications are the future of advertising. Marketers must create a dialog with the consumer and respond faster than ever. Al Gore's invention (the info super duper highway) is making communication faster and more dynamic.
It is possible to misuse the IMC priciple. Chrysler had the right idea with the "Ask Dr. Z" campaign, but I don't know how effective the good Dr. will be for Chrysler sales. Dr. Z is not an actor, he is Chrysler CEO Dieter Zetsche. I have nothing against Zetsche or DDB, the agency responsible for the campaign. Zetsche is actually a smart, funny guy, from what I read. Even if it works, it's way too easy to talk shit about the campaign. It's asking for it. Is Dr. Z the best Representative of the Chrysler product? Maybe for the company, but not for the product. He needs a little more Nascar in'eem (in him) and maybe a PBR stain on the stash. Good intentions, awkward execution. But what do I know, I'm just some punk kid off the streets who loves advertising and hates the idea of Dr. Z as the Chrysler mascot. Better luck next time. If the Dr. Z campaign proves to be more effective (without combining it with the employee discount promo) than the Audi campaign or the Volkswagen GTI "Fast" campaign (CP+B), then I will eat doo-doo, and smile for the camera.
Now that that is settled. Integrated marketing communication is effective but only if done right. I couldn't begin to quantify what "right" is, but I can tell you what it feels like. It feels like an Audi on a breezy summer day, without that not so fresh feeling.
P.S. The A3 is a station wagon. The trend towards "sportback" AKA station wagons has been on the rise, especially in Europe, and it is home now. Me and Sir Mix-A-Lot like sportbacks and we cannot lie, you other brothers can't deny. If automakers think it's ok to move back to old boat-mobile stations wagons, then I will be the first to raise the terror alert to fake woodgrain. Keep it cool man, cool.
In the meantime take care of yourselves and buy Audis.