NOS Energy drink produced an interactive short film that allows the online viewer to take the part of the main character and choose an adventure, starting on how to get to work after waking up late. The films continues with numerous ads for NOS Energy, and each film ending with two options on which direction to proceed in. The intriguing part is how well the interactive video translates into sales. Each part of the interactive film has a clickable link that pops up, offering the viewer to a chance to print a $0.49 coupon for a 650 NOS Energy drink. The coupon image was posted a few days ago on the BevWire twitter account, so readers may have found out and gotten a chance to take advantage of this deal.
David Pullara, Coca-Cola’s senior brand manager strategy and architecture manager on the energy portfolio says,
“We thought the idea of putting the NOS drink fans in charge of their own adventure was a great, powerful idea. We know empowerment is a big deal to our fans, they want to know they are in control.”
However, in going through the steps of the interactive video, I hardly felt in control of my own adventure. Each video differentiates in length, but the “right” videos tend to be longer (1+min in length) while the “wrong” videos tend to be shorter (30-45 seconds). If you clicked on a video that they did not agree with, it would show you some quick content but the ending would show that you clicked on the wrong link and would tell you to re-select. Ultimately, this video made me feel like I was being led down a path to see what they wanted to show me – I am not as “in control” as they say.
In any case, the interactive video is a great idea, departing from the energy drink’s more traditional marketing maneuvers. Anything that compels the viewer/shopper to make a decision increases their commitment to the video and ultimately the product. Meanwhile, inserting a printable coupon is a great idea to connect online with offline, ensuring that the emotional appeal is kept a high level, ending with the viewer consuming a NOS Energy drink themselves.
The clickable coupons are also intriguing because it gives NOS Energy a direct and quick measure of the campaign’s effectiveness on so many levels. While youtube views can be counted to see how many times each video was watched, the coupon indicates how many viewers actually choose to take advantage of this offer. And when they ultimately receive all the printed coupons back from Mac’s Convenience, they will see how many coupons were actually redeemed – meaning how many viewers actually were converted into customers.
While I may represent a small percentage of the beverage consumer, my personal experience indicates that this marketing campaign was a success. I followed through the entire interactive video and bought a NOS Energy for $0.49. For those that saw the video and ensuing coupon, it would seem like a no-brainer to go and pick up a 650ml NOS Energy since the coupon was a steep 86% discount from the regular price. NOS Energy did not cheap out either, since they could easily have lessened the discount or even switched the trial product to the 473ml can and not the 650ml bottle. What the manufacturer realized is that this was an interactive brand experience, where the video showed a 650ml bottle so the ultimate offering to the consumer should be the 650ml bottle and not a 473ml aluminum can.
However, in my quick conversation with the Mac’s employee shows that I was the first person to come in with a coupon for the NOS product. This may ultimately indicate that while the interactive video was successful in getting viewers, not enough coupons were redeemed. Pullara later adds that the intention is to have consumers promote the interactive video and go viral. My belief is that the video never went viral and momentum was lost. At the end of the day, a great Canadian marketing campaign that translated some online traffic into actual cases sold; it would just have been more effective if it was publicized more. The lesson may be that while the video could have gone viral to increase viewership and coupon redemption, some more publicity and media support could have been provided to make this a true success.