There are 368 drive-in movie theaters left in America. These have outlasted VHS tapes, DVDs and downloads, but they may not survive the transition to digital-only movies. By the end of 2013, Hollywood will stop shipping out celluloid film reels – so to stay in business, drive-ins will have to buy digital projectors at a cost of $75,000 or more. Not many can afford this cost and may have to close.
Honda’s new socially-fueled multimedia “Project Drive-In” campaign aims to give these outdoor venues a second chance. Says a Honda spokesman: “Cars and drive-in theaters go hand-in-hand, and it’s our mission to save this decades-old slice of Americana … We’re committed to helping the remaining drive-in theaters flourish with the move to digital projection.”
Honda will donate digital projectors to five theaters based on web and social voting; further donations will depend on the results of an Indiegogo crowd-funding campaign. This is a great, credible example of a brand getting behind a relevant cause and igniting a social movement.
This generally involves the cooperative efforts of a for profit business and a non-profit organization for mutual benefit. These efforts must have an organic alignment to the sponsor brand, as today’s consumers recognize authenticity, and can spot campaigns that don’t have it.
Kate Spade has collaborated with online retail site Ebay to launch touch screen e-commerce window shops at four locations across New York City. These play on the age old concept of ‘window shopping’.
Shoppers can browse the 30-piece ”Saturday” collection then make a purchase via Paypal (online payment site) on the giant touch-screen window. They can do this any time of the day or night. After picking the items they want, shoppers receive a text message to their phone asking where and when they want their pieces delivered. It can be as quickly as an hour, the next day, week – whenever they want.
The Kate Spade “Saturday” collection is the ‘younger, cooler sister’ of its origin brand Kate Spade New York. Its launch combines high street browsing with an innovative e-commerce function – arguably exactly what retailers need to do in order to leverage the new world of so-called “Omnichannel”.
VIRTUAL TO ACTUAL
With the advent of always-on and ubiquitous internet access, and ever-increasing digitization – our actual and virtual lives are starting to blend in to one. Brands and designers are increasingly creating physical assets that enhance or embody the virtual digital lifestyle so consumers can enjoy a tactile and tangible object alongside the digital.
Finding somewhere to kick a ball around in the city can be a challenge – which is why Nike decided to make things easier for soccer players around the world using a laser-projected pitch.
Using an app, soccer players with nowhere to play in the city in question can request a visit from the company’s laser-equipped van. The van’s crane is then raised above an open area, and the digital soccer field is projected onto the urban landscape.
A pair of small nets are then unloaded to complete the venue, turning an initially barren urban area into a lively game of soccer. Not only is the idea fun, but it gives kids and teenagers without access to the right facilities a chance to hone their skills wherever they can find the space to play.
This is also a great example of a brand offering genuine value to consumer in line with its “Play” brand promise, and generating positive word of mouth.
Rather than just inter-rupting consumers’ lives, brands are increasingly looking to provide useful services or applications that give people something they actually need – without demanding an immediate return.