Welcome to a global ethnographic research project that gives us a rare, firsthand look into the way people experience technology, video, and advertising across a rapidly evolving media landscape. Journey with us as we reveal these critical consumer insights.
The future of advertising is here. Let’s live it.
Take a quick, illuminating journey through VL13. Marriot Global Brand Officer Brian King, Sonic Rim CEO Uday Dandavate, MEC Managing Partner/Global Account Lead Rachel Israel, and Tremor Video Head of Market Strategy Doron Wesly walk you through the highlights, trends, and experience model of this unprecedented study. And, most importantly, find out firsthand what VL13’s families have to say.
Designing The 360° Experience
Marriott International Chief Brand Officer Brian King delivered a keynote to over 800 marketers, agencies, and brand representatives from around the world at the IAB MIXX Conference and Expo. He gave the standing-room-only crowd a first look at findings from the Tremor Video-commissioned global ethnographic study “Video Lives,” and his perspective on the implications for marketers. The video recreates the 30-minute presentation as the audience in the room experienced it (minus the five giant screens).
As we delved into the way people across the globe experience technology, video, and advertising, we uncovered three main trends: Co-Creation, Authentic Experiences, and Serendipitous Discoveries.
Families today make decisions as a collective. At the front end of the process, children help maximize relevant knowledge that enriches the final decision. At the back end, parents play a larger role in filtering information through the lens of life wisdom.In fact, we found that millennial kids are eager to help their parents plan and decide by doing online research, becoming the veritable CIOs of the family. This generation, especially the younger ones, gets information by building relations digitally, without ever meeting face-to-face. And their research tends to focus on video, which has supplanted text and pictures as the preferred mode of acquiring information. The decision-making process is thus more of a democracy than a dictatorship as each generation fulfills its role in co-creating the purchase decision.
These types of co-creative relationships suggest frameworks for advertising to become an integral part of families’ decision-making processes. In particular, 360-degree consumer experiences, which immerse viewers in the sight, sound, and motion of video, and invite interaction and sharing, are welcomed by millennials in their search for information. And given the dynamics of the next-gen family, effective marketing embraces people not only as consumers, but also as co-creators of the advertising itself.
People are seeking authenticity in marketing. And they trust video more than text because it’s the closest thing they can get to the experience without actually being there. Rather than telling consumers what to think with marketing language and photoshopped images, video walks them through it, allowing them to experience the product for themselves and draw their own conclusions.We also found that advertisements need to be emotional. The families we observed said that the best way to connect with them is through video, which captures the motions, sounds, and emotions. Video gives a sense of what the brand represents, or what the experience might be.
People welcome the authentic testimonials both from peers who have experienced the product or service firsthand and trusted brand ambassadors. Video enables these brand experts to tell a story, engaging consumers and giving them personal touch points with the brand. For brands with big global footprints, it’s even more important to be relatable, local, and intimate. What’s more, these expert videos complement paid advertisements, reinforcing the trustworthiness of their messages.
A pressing question facing advertisers is finding the balance between using technology that knows where consumers are and what they’re doing — and therefore what they may need — with serendipitous discovery and freedom of choice. The good news is our research revealed that marketers don’t have to choose.We found that people are amenable to being tracked if it improves their overall experience and delivers relevant and timely content. At the same time, they want freedom to discover new things. They expect to be educated — through ads — similar to a personal recommendation from a trusted friend. And just as a friend would offer what you asked for plus something else you might like based on their knowledge of you, people value both intentional searches and serendipity as ways of discovering new content and information.
Smart technology thus needs to create relevant marketing experiences — delivered with the right content and context — and balance those experiences with unexpected moments of pure delight and serendipity. In other words, effective advertising expands the boundaries of people’s current understanding of what they need and what is possible.
VL13’s insights shed immense light on how people relate to media with far-reaching implications for marketing that’s relatable, relevant, and even welcomed.
Join us on a deep dive into the remarkable findings:
• Decision-making dynamics
• Technology as a friend
• Video in life
• Intentional and serendipitous
• Video receptivity
In exploring how next-gen families make decisions, we found it useful to view the process through two rubrics: Knowledge vs. Wisdom and Expanding vs. Narrowing Options.
Knowledge vs. Wisdom: At the front end of the decision-making process, children help maximize relevant knowledge that enriches the final decision. At the back end, parents play a larger role in filtering information through the lens of life experience.
Expanding vs. Narrowing Options: The decision-making process begins with research and serendipitous discovery. Then options are either expanded by seeking out more relevant information or narrowed by filtering knowledge with wisdom.
Now that we’ve explored how families interact and co-create decisions via the Experience Model, we’ll examine different sources of information (Social, Expert, Wise, and Smart).
In June 2013, we observed 84 people across 24 families in six cities: London, Liverpool, Edinburgh, San Francisco, Austin, Chicago. The four families in each location were chosen for maximum diversity. The majority are middle class, with a few upper- and lower-income families to round out the study. Half of the families in each city contain business travelers and all are leisure travelers. In the U.S., we explored cultural sensitivities by ensuring that in each city there was one LGBT family and one bilingual-Hispanic or African–American family.
We had intimate, candid conversations in participants’ homes to deeply understand how they make decisions as a unit, and how video, technology, generation, and life-stage influence the process. Join us as we get to know the families.