Simple messages packed into focused campaign concepts and strategies is what makes ad campaigns fly in 2023.
The trick, in my experience, is to take a simple concept and package it in an unexpected way that makes the audience’s mind trip over itself.
But it never ceases to amaze me how sophisticated and complex the thought process is to get to those simple messages.
Nobody said it better than Oscar Wilde when he said: ‘Life is not complex. We are complex. Life is simple, and the simple thing is the right thing.’
Filtering the simple out of the complex way we see things is one of the hardest task for any creative endeavour.
It was simplicity and, as always, the audience that were the guiding light in the development with Bank Austria of their latest student campaign: Bereit für die Zukunft.
Data helps in simplifying things.
The data we pulled when conceptualizing the bank’s campaign revealed that AI is a huge topic in students’ personal lives and their university lives. Plus, with today’s tech blowing up everything that seemed to be certain before, students are apprehensive about what the future will bring.
The AI topic was an obvious one with many students experimenting with shortcuts in their student lives with it (cheeky grin here, as I would have been one of those students if the tech had been around when I was in Uni) but I didn’t expect what the data told us: that after the evergreen concerns in a student’s life of friendships and relationships, AI and tech’s disruptive impact on life is the most dominant concern amongst students.
The creative concept that packages this – what I call – a “trigger topic” with the bank’s goals flowed freely after this finding. And this is how we arrived at this concept:
First, we asked AI to write the lyrics to a catchy bank-inspired Hip Hop song that would become an Ohrwurm for their student target audience.
Then we worked with AI on a campaign video featuring the tune, and other OOH assets.
Then we created an Augmented Reality (AR) marketing campaign out of it.
In this first-of-its-kind campaign in Austria, the message is: “Bereit für die Zukunft. Mit deinem Bank Austria Studentenkonto.”
“Schreib mir einen Essay, warum ich als Studentin ein Konto bei der Bank Austria eröffnen sollte.”, says an AI chatbot prompt superimposed over a 20-something woman dancing in her bedroom. This is the random and unexpected beginning to the campaign’s anchor video.
This is shortly followed by another prompt, “Mach einen Song daraus.”
A bank-inspired Hip Hop song kicks off, and the dancing woman pulls some bank-inspired moves to the catchy beat – a beat composed by Nima Yahya, with AI-generated lyrics.
The digital spot has been built out into an innovative OOH campaign, which is starkly a new direction for the bank – an AR marketing campaign which has got students dancing in Uni campuses.
When scanning one of the campaign posters (hung up around Uni campuses) with a phone camera, the user will see the same dancing woman featured in the campaign video come to life in 3D.
After the dancer is done with her bank-inspired dance, she challenges the user to a dance-off with her.
While the campaign has just launched, the bank is already seeing concrete results from the campaign, with 100s of people activating the AR experience, account sign-ups, and vast awareness being generated on the bank’s digital channels.
We’ve worked closely and intensively with the bank on its digital marketing game in recent years, and they’ve admirably been able to flip it on its head to the point that the bank is now running a slick, modern social media marketing game which is even being used as a best practice case study in universities – people should check out their TikTok channel to know what I mean.
“We wanted to speak directly at what’s on students minds in 2023. Nothing is more on their minds than what seismic effect tech like AI and AR is going to have on their future – it’s even disrupting the way they go about their lives today. In reality, most students have tried at least once writing an essay with ChatGPT. “, says Margit Bittner, Marketing Manager at Bank Austria.
“We spend a lot of time listening to our audiences these days, so we’re creating campaigns and content that bring them value, rather than interrupt them in their digital spaces.”
It’s becoming more and more difficult to earn the audience’s attention. And this is the fun part.