Great marketing: a well choreographed firework display

I made an analogy comparing social media engagement with a burning bonfire, getting hotter and hotter over time beneath the flashier pyrotechnics of the other marketing channels.  This got me thinking: if I were putting on a whole “marketing firework display” – using only digital methods with an unlimited budget – what might it look like?

So here goes…


Of course you must kick off the show with the rockets.  They are expensive, launch high into the air, can be seen and heard for miles, though short-lived, with an explosive culmination.  They are definitely impressive, they get you maximum attention for a short period and highlight what you are about.

Some examples:

Adidas France 3D mapping projection / Purpose: Jaw dropper / Why? Show the brand’s power

Desperadoes Beer YouTube Takeover / Purpose: Delight / Why? Show the brands attitude


They explode on the ground and often go off in a series.  These will get you a high degree of attention across one or a number of key locations and create a lot of talkability around them from the watching crowd.  It is the time in the campaign to re-grab the attention, to shout out loud!

Some examples:

Saving lives interactive billboard / Purpose: Chatter / Why? Awareness / engagement

Immaterials lights painting the wifi world /  Purpose: Chatter / Why? Awareness / re-evaluation

Times Square augmented reality billboard / Purpose: Chatter / Why? Awareness / re-evaluation

Smoke balls

Smoke balls, emit coloured smoke for a few seconds, creating a little mist before slowly clearing. At this stage of the campaign you want your consumer to just keep you in mind, to simply reinforce what has gone before.

Some examples:

Skittles Youtube Touch Ads / Purpose: Engagement / Why? Stay front of mind

Old Spice the winning phone-call / Purpose: Celebrate and re-engage / Why? Reinforce association with brand values

AXA interactive TV iad ad / Purpose: Demonstrate / Why? Encourage usage or deeper engagement


Sparklers are what’s called for next.  As what you want is longer-lasting attention and sustained interaction that is led by the consumers themselves, via the content and tools you have provided.

Some examples:

SAS Up For Grabs Facebook campaign / Purpose: Convert audience member to evangelist / Why? Peer to peer evangelisation / deeper engagement

YouTube launches Day in the Life Project / Purpose: Longer –term omni-presence of the brand / Why? Always front of mind / deeper engagement

GAP Born to Fit campaign / Purpose: Showcase collection / Why? Peer to peer evangelisation / deeper engagement

Salute shells and bonfire

Finally, end the show with a combination of Salute shells (they produce a quick flash followed by a very loud report) and the lighting of a bonfire.  In campaign terms these is where you now wish to convert a short-term fanbase to a longterm pseudo-database wanting to be connected with the brand for life.
Some examples:

The Real Life Like Coca Cola Village / Purpose: Deeper engagement / brand celebration / Why? Ongoing buzz and longer term connection

Through releasing a lot of new content and ongoing initiatives, the Facebook page clearly connects with their audience: their engagement rates are incredibly high

Skittle Fan Page / Purpose: Deeper engagement / Why? Longer term connection / customer base

So the finished Firework display below!

Now sit back and enjoy the show:


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