One of the most engaging and talked about ads in recent months was the Sony Bravia ad where they sent 250,000 coloured balls down the streets of San Francisco and filmed them as a metaphor for the amazing colour viewers will get from their latest technical innovation in digital television viewing (Color like no other). Generating an almost Cog-like interest, the spot intrigued those who saw it to wonder how Sony did it (without CGI just like Cog – thank you very much). The really interesting part of this promotion, though, is the making-of site available at www.bravia-advert.com. The Internet has given ads like the Bravia spot, and Honda’s award-winning Cog spot a life of their own online – but it has also led to these Director’s cut sites where users can have a deeper understanding of the ads and process for making them.
Broadening the view to television and movies, the same phenomenon is happening there … the process of moving extended features, outtakes, exclusive footage and making-of content online. The DVD was where this idea first took off – but now the web is becoming a key repository for this type of content, releasing it faster, to a broader audience, and usually for free. In fact, as the prelaunch marketing strategy for the new King Kong movie, opening in theaters today shows, this idea can also be used effectively as part of prelaunch activity as well. The well-publicized Kong is King Production Diary blog, up for months during the making of the movie, offered a real time documentary of the whole process of making the movie and as a result offered the ultimate director’s cut … letting enthusiasts watch the movie being made and even participate the making. Is it possible the smoke and mirrors of Hollywood is finally clearing a bit? As mobile video devices such as the ipod video and mobile phones that play video become more common, marketing strategies that offer content content in an immersive experience like this will continue to evolve and make a bigger impact. One day soon, the marketing of movies, television shows, and even products and services with entertaining TV ads will be far more immersive an experience than even those big screen previews with surround sound.