The 4 digital content tricks marketers have up their sleeves

Representatives from Paddy Power, ZenithOptimedia, John Lewis and Evian reveal their digital marketing content secrets at Ad:tech London.

Ad:tech London 2015: brands and agencies reveal their digital content secrets
Ad:tech London 2015: brands and agencies reveal their digital content secrets

Crude-looking videos

"Hacky, crude-looking content can have a good viral effect," said Paul Mallon, head of digital engagement at online betting brand Paddy Power. "Something shiny or glossy doesn’t always work with consumers."

As an example, Mallon used the brand’s partnership with former Manchester United footballer Paul Scholes, who was Paddy Power's pundit for the 2014 Fifa World Cup.

In the brand's video (above) Scholes diverts from his interview to kick a football at two loud Italian football fans.

Paddy Power has also been experimenting with this concept through user-generated content (UGC).

Mallon explained: "Our Fan Denial short-form videos highlight the moments that matter to football fans.

"Most of it is illiterate content, but we put a voiceover over the one-minute video and on average, they are getting about 200 retweets and 200,000 views. It’s relatively easy to produce and a quick blast of content."

Mobile voice search

According to research conducted by ZenithOptimedia, search engine usage on mobile has declined year on year from 55% to 49%, with more consumers moving to in-app search.

Stefan Bardega, the media agency’s chief digital officer, highlighted one area yet to be dominated by the search engine market – voice search.

He said: "If you’re a marketer, you should be aware that the key impact on a business and the rise of search is using voice in a different way to how consumers type."

Humanising technology

John Lewis Monty's Magical Toy MachineJohn Vary, innovation manager at John Lewis, spoke about how the brand’s technology will change over the next few years.

He said: "Innovation is a philosophy not a process. At the John Lewis Innovation Lab we try and build a buffer around what we do, almost protect us and have a phase of creating ideas.

"We know we’re part of a 150-year-old company that has goals, but we have to break rules, just in the right way."

Monty’s Magical Toy Machine, part of the retailer's Christmas 2014 penguin campaign, was singled out as an example of the brand's "humanising technology".

Monty’s Dens were set up in 44 stores. Each one featured a digital toy machine that used photogrammetry technology, which makes measurements from photographs to broadcast short videos of a child’s favourite toy onto a screen.

It was then brought to life by a member of staff, who physically handed the toy to the child.

Vary said: "We wanted to empower people to tell stories using technology."

Reboot success

Evian’s #Wimblewatch 2014 campaign captured spontaneous moments and brought them to life.

Hugh Ayling, brand manager, said: "We used a mix of celebrities and hardcore tennis fans to get reactions to real-time tennis play as it happened."

As a result of the success of the campaign (71 million Twitter impressions and seven times more brand mentions compared to 2014 and 6,677 #Wimblewatch mentions) Ayling said Evian’s next plan for the 2016 tournament will be to create #Wimblewatch 2.0.

He said: "We’re well into planning, usually working 18 months ahead. We cracked a key insight with our audience, and are looking at replicating last year’s real-time digital campaign in a bigger and better way.

"It will be some sort of a re-run, but Evian has always been known for doing something a little risqué and different."