Virtual v. live – what’s the debate about?

Posted by: Line Up on November 17th, 2010 IN Experiential marketing

Some say that virtual events are stealing share of the marketing purse from live events, others wonder how digital and live can be integrated and live happily side-by-side. The marketing press perpetuates the discussion both on and off-line.

But from where we’re standing, it’s not a question of either/or. These days, we all want to maximise spend which obviously means maximising the impact and reach of out-going communication. The question therefore is not one or the other; reaching audiences now requires a multi-platform approach.

So when Volvo recently wanted to provoke a reappraisal of the brand by a younger audience, they called us in to create a series of live events that would stir up the kind of on-line hype required. The launch of the ‘naughtier’ S60 – so called because Volvo have given it some serious driving credentials – invited celebrities, fashionistas and the social élite of the social networks to parties in London, Berlin, Madrid, Paris and Milan. The objective? To out the ‘naughtiest city’ in Europe via a series of undercover experiments conducted on the unsuspecting party-goers.

Not only did the sleek S60 get admired by the uber-trendy party goers but once the festivities ended, bloggers were keen and quick to spread the word to a new and younger audience for Volvo. With 600 attendees at each party, features in high-profile fashion press and on-line seeding reaching a total of 1.5 million to date this landmark campaign for Volvo has been declared a resounding success.

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At the other end of the spectrum, Skandia UK, one of the UK’s leading long term investment companies, wanted to reach out to the IFA community via new channels. Trailblazer, an annual industry gathering, had, in previous years, required IFAs to attend one of a series of regional events. This year, we worked with Skandia to create one smaller, core event to be cascaded live on the web. Edited overnight and bolstered with 17 pre-recorded film modules, a Trailblazer website offered IFAs the full flavour of the event in easy-to-digest modules that they could view on demand. Whilst achieving significant costs savings, the reach of this live and on-line event now equals previous roadshow figures and the numbers continue to rise.

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Live and on-line working hand-in-hand is what our business is about these days. That’s why we can’t understand the debate.

Line Up

Line Up

Line Up is an award-winning, creative communications agency, headquartered in London. We create engaging live and digital brand experiences for internal and external audiences all over the world.

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