AIPIA Summit: ‘Brands need to think like entertainment companies’

By Jenny Eagle contact

- Last updated on GMT

19 Crimes wine uses AR to tell a story. Photo: TWE.
19 Crimes wine uses AR to tell a story. Photo: TWE.
People are getting used to having their phone and using it to interpret information around them, according to Leo Burnett.

Speaking at the opening day of the AIPIA (Active & Intelligent Packaging Industry Association) in New Jersey (June 4), Tod Szewczyk, VP, director, emerging technology and innovation, Leo Burnett, US, said the mobile phone is an interpreter, giving consumers an appetite for ‘going deeper’ on topics that matter to them. 

Hold people's attention

He said brands need to think and act like entertainment companies, this means understanding what consumers want and being able to provide it to them whenever and wherever they want it. 

Brands need to become their own entertainment company or partner with an entertainment company in this space​,” he said. 

In his opening presentation ‘How the (new) attention economy creates demand for connected packaging’, Szewczyk said packaging will ultimately be looked at as a bridge to entertainment and a bridge to get you offline to online. 

Most of us now have cell phones, transforming to a digital connection point, which puts the user at the centre of the brand. The challenge is figuring out ways to capture and hold people’s attention because people see over 5,000 adverts a day​.   

There are more ads exposed to us than ever before and we cannot possibly process all that information but it is ever present in our lives. Most people are glued to their devices than ever before​.” 

According to Leo Burnett, 77% of US adults now own a smartphone.  

If you’re thinking about targeting millennials you are going to have to reach them via a smartphone nowadays otherwise you won’t reach them at all​,” he added.  

There are 450 million WiFi networks in the world, up from 100 million five years’ ago. 5G will increase this speed to 10GB (gigabytes) per second. Right now the 4G LTE download speed is 1GB per second​.   

Netflix & YouTube

We are going to compete with the likes of Netflix and YouTube, social media; FaceBook, Twitter, Instagram. As things get faster we are going to live in a more connected world​.”  

Szewczyk said Leo Burnett works with Google, to build briefs to develop projects that ‘speak to people’. 

People’s viewing habits will change. You can’t expect people to watch an advert on YouTube because people tune out and if they are not interested they won’t watch it,​” he said. 

People themselves choose what they want to watch and when they like it they ‘go deep’, ie when you like a TV series you watch the entire series all weekend, or you watch a YouTube video and if you like it you follow the channel online​. 

This applies to packaging as well because if we don’t create easy ways for people to connect they won’t follow you. Our job is to provide the right channels to develop that brand​.” 

Szewczyk added give people a reason to engage with a pack and tell them how to do it. Ask yourself: ‘How do I get someone to take their phone out and interact with my brand?’ 

19 Crimes wine

A good example he said was 19 Crimes wine where each bottle tells a story from a prisoner online via a smartphone. 

“It’s a simple idea from Treasury Wine Estates focusing on the 18-34 year old male category. They took their cues from the craft beer industry experimenting with Augmented Reality packaging​,” he said.  

In launching this brand it targeted a consumer who has an interest in adventure, when in the 1800s England shipped prisoners to Australia. The story-telling part happens when the label comes to life telling the story about how the prisoner got arrested and their sentence​. 

Other examples of social media include Hyper-Reality​, a film about what the future will look like in terms of consumerism, which got over 1 million views, Amazon smile codes, Apple is currently making more upgrades to use NFC (Near Field Communication), and Snapchat Lens that responds to sound​. 

Influencing new trends will only work if you start putting the consumer first.​” 

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