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Ka’s missed opportunity to make ‘Find It’ tangible: why brands need to incorporate incentive for time & attention into campaigns

and so to Benjamin Button (great but too long), which Mediation caught last weekend at the Brixton Ritzy; or more specifically the ads that came before it.  the new adidas effort with Becks at the coolest house party ever was on show (wonderful – very post-Skins – and cracking seeing it in the cinema), but what caught my attention was the new Ka effort.

opening with the copy '80 Kas?', the ad clearly invites you to look for and find the 80 Ka images hidden in the ad.  the fact that you could never catch them all in one view means that you have to follow the trail online.  after a bit of online exploring you eventually reach, only this appears not to exist, as you're immediately directed to Ford's corporate space for Ka.

so far so complicated.  the site then has a host of product stuff and ways you can engage with the campaign and the brand, much of which is vaguely interesting but its a bit of a gush of stuff.  everything from Banksy street art in Shoreditch to using mobile phones to make a Ka digitally appear in the real world are present.  and they all genuinely add up to the campaign 'Find It' idea.

the question I have is why?  aside from engaging further in the campaign, what's the reward for taking part?  a huge amount of effort has clearly gone into creating a great ad (= broadcast & amplify the campaign idea) and website (= access & digital engagement), but not a lot of effort – it would seem – has gone into incentive.

you could argue that the website being difficult to find is reward in itself, but its a bit of a push.  no, it seems Ford, like a lot of campaigns, are assuming that engaging with the campaign is reward enough.  it's a busy and cluttered world out there.  time is short and attention precious.  planners should be asking themselves hard questions about what they are giving consumers back.  what's the quid pro quo for their time and attention.

would have been great to have seen some Kas hidden either around the country or in the digital space.  how much fun could it have been to make the campaign idea tangible by physically being able to find and take home a Ka?  this could also have provided the link between the TV ad and the digital experience…  the first person to locate all 80 Kas wins a real one?

the question for planners is clear…  what incentive are you planning into your campaigns?  what's the reward – above and beyond engaging in your brand's idea – for someone's time and attention; it may not come as cheaply as you may think.

(here's that adidas ad – a joy)


3 thoughts on “Ka’s missed opportunity to make ‘Find It’ tangible: why brands need to incorporate incentive for time & attention into campaigns

  1. Clay Shirky was talking about something to do with this the other week; it used to be the case that you could motivate people to come together and do something where there was financial motivation to do so (private sector), or it was necessary for the good of everyone (public sector).
    Now because the ‘cost’ of bringing people together is so low, there’s a third reason people will do stuff… ‘just because’.
    Because it’s fun, or connects them to others, or builds their ego, or helps kill time, or makes them feel better about themselves.
    It’s why Aleks the Meerkat now has 174k friends on Facebook, up from 90k when I looked last week?!?! Why? Hell, why not.
    So for something like this, maybe the thrill is in the chase… but from the way you describe it above, it maybe just ain’t ‘thrilly’ enough…
    Anyway, more on the Shirkty thing here, if you wannit:

  2. hey chap
    thanks for the comment and the link – great stuff… really interesting observation that the cost of bringing people together is so low. its similar to an observation Shirky made at MGEITF last summer; that its the low cost of distribution thats changing the economics of (TV) production.
    whilst I buy the ‘just because’ third way. I don’t think that you can go about planing what way.
    agency : “we thinking you should do X”
    client: “why?”
    agency: “just because”
    “why would people do that” is a question we still need to ask of ideas in the planning process. of course, understanding why people then subsequently do or don’t engage with what we create is a whole other ball game…

  3. Anthony Delany says:

    Interesting observations about the site, a few free wallpapers and ringtones cannot really be considered a reward these days. Since your original post the site has sprung another branch though, in the shape of a map with hundreds of discoveries pinned all over it. Really interesting discoveries too (for the most part), and the option to add your own content. Perhaps the planners answered more questions than you thought, because this doesn’t look like a launch and abandon campaign. Here’s the deeplink so you can Find It

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