Our First Big Ad Campaign: How We Did It
The best brand campaigns are informed not only by the desire to drive awareness and customer acquisition, but also to communicate a message or vision on a mass scale that a company deeply believes in.
This week, we’re launching our first multinational ad campaign. The goal is, of course, to inspire marketers to use smart marketing technology that will enable them to better connect with customers. But we’re also out to spread our message: People are unique. People’s behaviors can be contradictory. And when a brand can connect with all that uniqueness and all those contradictions, special interactions are born.
Everyone will see the end result—the fantastic ads, GIFs, cinemagraphs, new homepage, and more—but the work behind the scenes has been all about embodying a message. Our message is that unique behaviors can spark special interactions; well then, we made our challenge to embody that message in the creative process along the way.
Here’s what we did to create our campaign: People.
The process: blood, sweat, and iterations
At Appboy, working as a team is critical. It’s a part of who we are. So it’s no surprise that the ideation process behind this campaign included teams. A portion of our marketing department split into three groups. Each group had two people; one writer, one designer. Each group’s goal was to come up with two or three pitches for the campaign. After the first round, ideas were refined and two groups presented their final campaign concept to the executive team.
After the final concept was chosen and the friendly inter-departmental competition over, creation and iteration began. We adopted an agile framework for completing the project alongside other marketing priorities. The copy and creative direction went through multiple iterations before they were final (imagine the amount of Google Docs that were created). The tagline went through many transformations (there were multiple plays on the words “fleek,” “slay,” and our CEO’s first name, Mark). Photography and cinematography was done in a full-day session in a house in Red Hook, Brooklyn by photographer JJ Sulin, who is known for taking portraits of people that emphasize authenticity and realness.
In the end, our whole campaign was created in-house (with the exception of JJ), drawing on the uniqueness of each member of our marketing team, who all touched this campaign in one way or another.
Behind the scenes at our photoshoot of our “Sam” persona.
The result: three personas
The stars of the campaign are the customer personas, everyday people with unexpected quirks and contradictions, who represent the varied interests that today’s customers have.
“The personas show a side of people that often go unnoticed,” says Kathleen Waugh, senior director of brand and community at Appboy. “Private customer moments that are only shared with their favorite brands via apps and websites are golden opportunities for marketers to increase engagement and brand loyalty.”
Mel is a history teacher who always has her nose in the books but whose guilty pleasure is binge watching reality shows. Jack is a post-national businessman and workaholic who happens to have a treasure trove of travel reward points. Sam is a family man and prankster who has a love for trendy clothing and bargain shopping. Each persona addresses the concerns of different industries, and each is just waiting for the right marketing message to unlock their hidden, unique side.
Using behavioral data, demographic data, and interests in tandem with multiple messaging channels provided by Appboy, marketers from these industries can influence key actions that will delight these unique personas and ultimately build long-term brand loyalty.
Where you can see the ads
Our goal for this campaign (in addition to brand awareness and acquisition, of course) is to share the message that people’s complexities and contradictions are exactly what marketers can use to build 1:1 relationships.
To help us get our message across and onto the screens and minds of marketers, we’ve set up a distribution plan that covers most major breeding grounds for marketers. The campaign will be displayed in wild postings in New York City, San Francisco, and London, as well as across multiple digital and print mediums, including Ad Age, Advertising Week, Brand Republic, Business Insider, Digiday, The New York Times, NPR, Quartz, and WIRED.