The Hub

Where we talk about ideas, events, cases & more
18 November 2015

Are you dronevertising in 2016?

Drones are hot. For real.

Whoever got the chance to visit the Web Summit in Dublin or The Next Web Conference in Amsterdam should already be convinced of the message that technology is taking over  also in marketing. Dronevertising is the use of one or more unmanned, aerial drones for advertising & marketing communication purposes. My prediction? Dronevertising will come to Belgium in 2016. And it will make you stand out from the crowd.

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A first successful dronevertising campaign was carried out in Russia by the fast food brand “Wokker”. See the full campaign video here: https://vimeo.com/101601058. They wanted to remind the people working in a financial services business district nearby that “Wokker” is always there for them, also during lunch breaks. The start-up Dronecast, the world’s first drone-based advertising and promotional solution provider, took up this challenge. Wokker reported that sales skyrocketed by more than 40% during the campaign period, while the campaign itself registered a best-in-class ROI performance.

Can you see the potential for your industry? I’ve crafted a few ideas to get you on the roll with dronevertising in 2016:

  • For retailers: Choose the geographical area around your shop that you want to target. Send your light and sound-emitting drone towards that area. You can now drop coupons / flyers inviting people to come and have a look in your store. You will naturally be offering a discount on one of your high margin products. Imagine the possibilities when you’re in a shopping area of more than 100 stores! The ideal way to stand out from the crowd, no?
  • For event organizers: Create a unique story behind your event ‘exclusively’ through ‘drone invite’. Fly around in the hottest urban areas and start shining your laser on the people who fit best your event’s target audience. Like a police car asking you to pull over via LED communication, you can display a message that invites guest in an engaging way (e.g. Follow me to the best party ever!).
  • For brands that produce ‘light’ objects (e.g. condoms): Take a ‘top topical calendar’ (you can find one here: https://www.daysoftheyear.com/), choose a relevant occasion in your consumer’s life to be present (e.g. Valentine’s day), choose an impactful location where you have the maximum spill-over effect in terms of reach and… drop your product (e.g. drop condoms between kissing couples) displaying a compelling message. In this way you will be tapping into the most recent trend of contextual marketing.

So, in short, some of the most obvious benefits of using dronevertising for marketers:

  • You’re building uniqueness into your brand because very few competitors are exploiting this opportunity for the moment.
  • Add a touch of creativity and earned media will come knocking at the front door. Journalists, bloggers and influencers are crazy about an advertising scoop that is off the hook.
  • You’re a best-in-class example of launching a mobile-first campaign because you’re inherently reaching people who can benefit from your message or promotional service using their mobile.
  • It makes it possible to install a best practice in hypertargeting as you are engaging a hyper-local audience.
  • For now it’s cheap! Renting a drone for advertising purposes starts at €500 day including the operator, excluding your promotional costs. Start calculating your CPMs and prepare to be stunned by how effective a reach medium this new trend can be.

We’re only at the beginning. Future opportunities will be even more impactful. Drones will become more sophisticated in terms of weight, stability, autonomy, etc. In 2016 they will be your perfect partners in crime for guerrilla marketing warfare and for conquering your spot in the earned media space. Those who experiment now will reap the benefits of innovative brand building when dronevertising becomes really big in the years to come.

See opportunities for your brand but don’t know whether it fits your strategy? Contact The House of Marketing or send an e-mail to dennis.de.cat@thom.eu.

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