Reebok are sprinting ahead when it comes to reactive storytelling
A couple of weeks ago, head of Reebok’s Global Newsroom Dan Mazei sat down for a Q&A on the theme of reactive storytelling.
Reactive storytelling basically means delivering relevant content linked to a viral news event. This technique lets you ride the crest of a wave and enter your brand into a mass dialogue. It shows you’re in the know and can help consumers see your brand in a whole new light.
Speaking to NewsWhip’s Gabriele Boland, Dan talked through some of their most potent campaigns to date. And, there’s a ton of stuff for content marketers to get their teeth stuck into!
Dan described how: “Our strongest weapon on a day-to-day level is reactive storytelling, our ability to quickly, nimbly, be part of the cultural conversation in a meaningful way for Reebok, so that the consumer is finding out something about the brand that they never knew before.”
Reebok have had some standout reactive storytelling campaigns in recent times, including:
- A social media campaign with the hashtag #FitToLead that challenged all US presidential candidates to run a 10-minute mile.
- A series of instructional blogs designed to help people keep fit while watching ‘Gilmore Girls’ and ‘Orange is the New Black’ box sets.
- A joke product description for a ‘Sweat Shirt’ (T-shirt that’s already been moistened by a fellow gym bunny) in response to Nordstrom’s £330 ‘Pre-muddied Jeans’.
- A range of T-shirts with the slogan “Nevertheless She Persisted” released to raise money for the Women’s March in the US.
There are pros and cons to this model. It’s great for brands with a limited content budget, for instance. But, your ideation to publication ratio is going to be low.
If you want to test this technique for yourself, here are some tips you should keep in mind:
- Choose the moments you jump on wisely: The events should have an appeal broad enough to be newsworthy, but not so broad that every other brand will be on board.
- Be genuine: News is often about more than the event itself; it’s about the feelings that lay behind. You need to understand and address these feelings.
- Make your marketing processes adaptable: You’ll need the capacity and/or bravery to drop what you’re doing and focus on something else at a moment’s notice.
- Test, test and test again: Chances are your first attempt won’t go viral. Keep at it, learn your lessons and be creative in coming up with unexplored angles.
Half of small business website visitors are looking for product info
In fact, product information left the likes of opening hours and contact info trailing in the dust:
This is a real boon for content marketers.
It means all those hours spent writing up slightly random product descriptions were worth it. And, it provides ample ammunition for persuading clients and bosses to pack their sites with valuable keywords through their product descriptions in future.
But, the report also sounds a cautionary tone. It turns out SME site visitors expect the exact same level of online experience as they do on the websites of larger brands:
Product descriptions are clearly an effective means of optimising consumers’ on-site experience. And, in a world where people expect the same from major brands with bulging budgets as from hard-pressed SMEs, scoring straightforward wins like this is a must.
Spotted in the news…
In amongst all the election hoo-ha, an intriguing semantic phenomenon was taking place.
Soundbites were a key column of Theresa May’s campaign. Usually appearing as catchy yet vapid three-word phrases, the most memorable included “strong and stable”, “coalition of chaos” and latterly “enough is enough” (brazenly nicked from police officers who were criticising the cuts).
Eagle-eyed political observers will have noticed Jeremy Corbyn metaphorically lobbing these back at May during the reopening of Parliament. The lesson? If you come up with a slogan, you’d better live up to it. Otherwise, it may turn against you!