Madalina Marica (Brand Communication Director Leo Burnett Romania) on “Tadaaam” campaign

Madalina Marica, Brand Communication Director Leo Burnett Romania, explained, in the editorial below, the mechanisms and strategies used by her agency in making “Tadaaam” campaign for Telekom Romania.

Returning to the brand essence 

The challenge of marketing people in 2016 is to return towards their brand essence.

They have to rediscover the pleasure of starting a conversation with their consumers, to exceed their expectations, give them something more than a shallow brand speech.

They need something even more than an emotional story: consistence, relevance, utility, context and value.

We need to switch from promises to action. We need to stop saying and start doing. We need to stop showing, but invite them to experiment and participate.

The rhetoric of Brand Acting, not talking is no news.

Starting with the digital revolution and until now, we struggled to understand, adapt and insinuate our presence in any interaction point we had with our customers.

We started timidly, by sending them text messages, we approached them by their personal email addresses, then we started following them through the whole World Wide Web and tried to deliver to them what we had to offer in the right context.

Afterwards, we turned our attention towards social media, we drew on our side digital influencers and, recently, we started to flirt with the idea of generating content.

All this time, we also tried to be acrobats, juggling with all kind of mixes and combining ingredients, hoping the success recipes will follow.

Customers, as part of our stakeholders

But while dreaming of ourselves as publishers and content generators, clarifying on who we really are and what we stand for, participating in our consumers’ lives still remains a challenge.

The evolution from brand storytelling to brand participation is vital. The adaptability and flexibility we need today are the ones transforming our consumers in stakeholders. 

Putting theory into practice

Alongside Telekom Romania, one of our agency clients, we had the opportunity of putting theory into practice for the communication of the prepaid segment.

And this is how we developed the most successful branded content platform in Romania.

In the context of the challenge brought by the Age of the Customer, we had to deal with a very difficult target group: youngsters. More reluctant to traditional advertising than any other, they belong to a generation on the go, with an attention span lower than a snake’s belly.

We had to ask them to pay attention, when they most probably wouldn’t have.

Our way of doing it: “Tadaaam” show

We’ve created experiences that will attract their participation and in order to leverage them to a youngster’s communication platform, we’ve mixed these two main directions: original content and a vlogging channel, both under the umbrella of Telekom’s main brand attribute: experiences, on top of which we added a secret ingredient: participation. 

This is how “Tadaaam” was born, an interactive online show of cool experiences, a format that needed a host identified by us as “The master of viral” and “The viral character”.

Our opening was filled by Mikey H, the number one vlogger in Romania, a guy who knows how to make something go viral, how to attract our youngsters, who already love him.

As for the viral character, it needed to be memorable, one that quickly everyone loves and remembers: intriguing, funny, speaking volumes without the need of using any words. And this is Pandalie, the notorious panda bear character that is present in all our shows and experiments and marks the peak of any action.

From notoriety to engagement

Any influencer matched with your target group will obviously bring a series of advantages: credibility, “wanna-be-like” kind of behavior, louder messages, as for the notoriety chapter, you are kind of cheating the starting line.

The challenge consists in what our next will be, right after this start, so that we won’t rapidly lose this starting advantage. What makes the difference in the success of a project is THE WAY OF DOING it and the way you are transforming the easily gained notoriety into engagement.

We are not reacting to some love messages delivered from a UFO that overflies our lives anymore. We now, more than ever, need interaction, conversation and relevance. This is how love starts. Love letters are not convincing enough. We need ACTS of love.

Instead of a unidirectional communication, we created an interactive online show, during which each episode presents one of the extraordinary experiences Telekom creates in real life, starring real people from our core target.

25 episodes & 12 experiences later

Today, after almost 6 months since the platform’s launch, we are happy to acknowledge that through “Tadaaam” we’ve managed to build a campaign integrator, starting from online and all the way towards ATL, BTL, Product and PR. And this is only the beginning.

“Tadaaam” is not just a content platform, it’s not just about Mikey and Pandalie, but it is a way to generate social engagement, an interaction space between the brand and our target, a flexible advertising platform, an experiential platform, a Telekom prepaid trademark.

Thereby, “Tadaaam” is today an ecosystem, tailored for youngsters, an open door towards natural conversations with them, offering Telekom Prepaid business a unique competitive advantage on the Romanian market.

Only two secret ingredients, hand in hand

The marketer’s challenge today is about a clearer and more authentic relationship between their brands and their consumers.

Advertisers should be able to fulfill the promise of delivering real benefits instead of noise.

These two go hand in hand. There cannot be one without the other.

We all need to keep an open mind, but more important, a prick-ear, not to be afraid to experiment, perceive technological progress as a playground, not as an enemy camp and during this process, not forgetting to have some fun.

And engagement will follow.

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