Friday, November 28, 2008

Gillette's Trying to Connect

The latest online attempt for Gillette to interact with it's consumer base takes online interaction to a whole new level. The website is a cross promotion between Gillette and EA Sports and promotes their Champions of Gaming tournament. Who would have thought that most EA Sports gamers are men who need to groom more often? The real experience comes from two promotional tools that are available for a visitor to interact with. The site allows you to "Star in your own Times Square billboard" and "Host your own press conference". These two features take this one dimensional campaign used to hype an online gaming tournament (and provide a nice hallo for the Gillette brand) and goes a step further to provide the environment for a consumer to:

  1. interact
  2. be involved in their own story
  3. increase the possibility that in some way they will associate this positive experience with Gillette in future purchase decisions.

Meanwhile, the corporate sponsors are provided with the data needed to better reach these people in the future - increasing the relevance of the promotions they bring to market and improving the product (or at least its marketing).

"Star in your own Times Square billboard"
Innovative and interactive. Playing to the egos of sports fans everywhere, this application allows you to upload your picture, which it will place on a EA sports billboard in Times Square. The site will send you a photo of it and gives you an approximate time when it will be 'live' (my approximate time was between Nov.1 and Dec 31, VERY approximate)

"Host you own press conference"
This takes the "Snakes on a Plane" phone call from Samual Jackson one step further. You upload your photo to the website. The application places your head on top of a suit in a press conference photo. It then animates your face so that your eyes move and blink, and your mouth moves. Then you are taken through a really interesting process. You input your phone number, and immediately receive a voice automated call. It asks you "press conference" questions and records your response. Your response is placed into the sequence of the press conference, where you animated image answers the questions posed by the press.

Although this site is still a commercialized connection, and is somewhat superficial, this online experience succeeds in three ways:

  • It entertains
  • It delivers on the promise (the experience is flawless)
  • It plays on the insight of fame to connect the consumer to something bigger.

If Gillette and EA are following the consumer response beyond the immediate sales I'm sure they are hoping to see, this website could become bigger than either company expects. The next step for this site to build a true brand following, would be to watch for consumer engagement, allow the consumers to control the experience more and connect to each other. This will assist both companies far greater than the current emphasis on connecting these consumers to the product.