What’s omnichannel storytelling, and why you need it

April 24, 2019 - Posted by Aesthetic

Your brand is the total sum of all experiences your audience has with you, along with the feelings those interactions generate. The audience experience IS the brand. And that comes from an array of touch points across a variety of strategically integrated channels and platforms – also known as omnichannel marketing.

So, how do you create an omnichannel brand experience?

You need to have a big picture strategy that brings your brand to life, and engages your audience in the real world —online and offline— in a way that’s relevant to them. Over the last few years, an omnichannel approach has become standard practice, but it can be challenging to get right when you need to zoom out for the macro perspective, while also being detail oriented so that each interaction is meaningful.

The brands that do it well are those that think creatively and push the brand experience envelope. The following three brands have perfectly executed omnichannel marketing, and the outcomes from each campaign have been amplified through the masterful incorporation of each touch point.

Local businesses and blockbuster global phenomenons alike have used multi-channel marketing to take their brand to new heights. The following four examples showcase brands who have effectively implemented the strategy and reaped the rewards.

1. Xbox Survival Billboard




In 2016, Xbox was planning a UK launch campaign for a new game, Rise of the Tomb Raider. With competition from other major games launching during that same week, they needed a way to stand out. So, they took a billboard ad and turned it into an entertaining omni-channel stunt.

Eight fans were challenged to stand on a billboard and see who could last the longest through gruelling conditions. The watching public could vote online to choose what weather the participants would get hit with — snow, rain, wind, and heat, along with London’s natural weather.

“We could have stuck with just a livestream from the billboard, but the campaign came alive in so many more touch points, like the livestream banners and out-of-home sites,” said Lolly Thomson, Chief Creative Officer for the campaign.

The creative team crafted the narrative in real-time, responding to audience participation and feedback. One contestant got hypothermia (which they’d fortunately planned for) and two contestants ended up going on a date (not planned for, but makes for a fun plot twist).

Most importantly, the team were able to build significant audience participation from contestants, viewers, and voters. They engaged their audience for a full 20 hours (until the final contestant jumped down), generating a huge 22,000 public votes. This resulted in 56,000 hours of streamed content, with 3.5 million views across a single day, and an average time on page of 8 minutes for the microsite. The campaign won 17 Lions (including 5 golds) at Cannes.

Channels and touchpoints:

  • Casting for contestants with long-form copy ads, posters, social posts, and two-minute radio spots
  • Real-life billboard on London Bridge
  • Microsite — survivalbillboard.com
  • Twitch
  • Online voting
  • Livestream digital banners
  • Livestream to out-of-home sites in key U.K. cities
  • Real-time online interaction and responses between the audience and brand

1. Coca-Cola’s Drinkable Ad




Coca-Cola knew two things: that 50% of people who tried their Coke Zero beverage would go onto be monthly consumers, but that 85% of millennials hadn’t yet tried Coke Zero. They needed a campaign that would reach this audience and get them engaged enough to try their first Coke Zero.

So, they came up with the first ever drinkable ads. Every ad could result in a free Coke Zero sample – in real life, no matter what channel. Channels varied from physically serving free Coke Zero from billboards to audio/visual advertising like TV/radio ads, plus print ads and interactive tweets.

So, how did they make all these ads drinkable? Where the ad included an audio component, Shazam (mobile app) identified the audio, then translated that into an in-store redeemable coupon.

As a result, people could participate from at home, at the park, on public transport, or at a massive sporting event amongst thousands of others.

The audience embraced Coca-Cola’s drinkable ad campaign. The drinkable billboard at the Final Four Music Festival delivered around 10,000 Coke Zero samples, generating 40 million+ media impressions. They had a 25% coupon redemption rate, 19% conversion rate on the drinkable flyer, and delivered 155,000 samples over the first weekend. In just 48 hours, the campaign resulted in 43 million+ PR and social impressions. The campaign even overloaded Shazam, with 200,000 hits from one event.

Channels and touchpoints:

In-store redeemable free drink at 7-Eleven, Domino’s, QuikTrip, and Speedway.

3. Opticians Council of Canada Love Your Eyes Campaign




The Opticians Council of Canada designed this campaign to boost awareness around the value of licensed opticians and drive more consumers to local optic stores.

The core focus of the campaign was an interactive video display that toured several larger malls in multiple cities across Canada. The audience could use their silhouettes to interact with the video, learn about licensed opticians, and choose different types of eyewear for the characters in the video. The reward for participation was a “Love Your Eyes” gift pack in a box, which included eyecare and eyewear related items, plus a $100 gift certificate redeemable at local participating stores.

Other channels and touchpoints built on this experience, including face-to-face interaction with an optician onsite, social media content, and an online trivia game where users could win even more prizes.

The campaign resulted in $240,000+ gift certificates issued, 600% increase in daily traffic to website, 7,300 entries in the online contest, and 900% increase in daily Facebook reach. And the public (some of whom waited in line for two hours to participate) could talk directly to an optician about their needs and concerns, reinforcing the value of a licensed optician.

Channels and touchpoints:

  • Interactive video display
  • Onsite optician to answer questions
  • Gift pack and gift certificate
  • In-store visit at participating stores
  • Social media content
  • “Love your eyes” landing page on the main website
  • Campaign website with more information and FAQs

Online competition and trivia game to win prize packs

4. Maleny Dairies Queensland

Maleny Dairies

Businesses of any size can use an omni-channel approach. One great example of this is Maleny Dairies, a Queensland-based dairy farm and small business that has seen substantial growth over the last few years. This has been all the more significant when you look at the big picture. Many dairy farms in Australia are struggling to remain viable due to feed costs through a long drought and low milk prices. But in this time, Maleny Dairies has built their own brand, allowing them to charge premium prices, increase production at their processing plant, and pay their farmers a good rate

How do they do it? Through creating an amazing experience, using multiple channels to connect with their audience, and (of course) developing an amazing product.

With a strong local focus, Maleny Dairies run farm tours onsite nearly everyday. During these tours, visitors experience:

  • An educational presentation and history on the farm
  • A factory tour
  • A cow being hand milked (with the option of tasting fresh milk, sprayed straight into your hand!)
  • The milking shed (in full operation, depending on the time of day)
  • Product sampling and taste testing
  • Feeding calves

After these tours, visitors can truly experience the rich history behind the brand and all the effort that goes into each product. They understand why it’s important to support local farmers and can see who they’re supporting when they pay an extra few dollars for milk.

With 4.5 stars and over 350 reviews on TripAdvisor, it’s safe to say that the Maleny Dairies farm tour experience is a great success, inspiring greater brand loyalty. Many visitors go on to request Maleny Dairies products at their local supermarket.

You don’t have to be a big business to do omni-channel marketing well. In 2017, Maleny Dairies reported a huge 71% increase in sales, attributing it to increasing their farm tours, transparency in their practices, building a strong relationship with customers, and growing their presence across social media, radio advertising, and billboards.

Channels and touchpoints:


Omni-channel brand experiences are more powerful

Best practice omni-channel marketing involves developing a creative, meaningful, and engaging brand experience in real life and complementing this with other channels. This results in significant flow on effects:

  • The audience is more likely to actively participate, and then share their experience online
  • Users are more likely to engage with the campaign on social media
  • Media organisations are more likely to take notice
  • The campaign can go beyond impacting a few hundred people in real life, to reaching millions around the world across an array of channels

Each campaign we’ve covered strategically used multiple channels (both online and offline) to reinforce their message, increase participation, and boost visibility. Because they showed up in more than one place, they were able to reach a larger, more diverse audience and create a more impactful, longer-lasting brand experience.

These days, a strategic omni-channel approach is essential if you want to reach a large or diverse audience, or have a greater impact. The right mix of channels will provide many different opportunities for your audience to engage in a way that appeals to each individual. Opening up the opportunity for more people to experience your brand, and appreciate the campaign from multiple angles.

Aesthetic can help you create exceptional experiences across every touch point – fill in the form below, or just give us a call on 03 9044 4353.

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