OMD has completed a hugely successful launch for HTC Vive, the first complete virtual reality system. Engineered by OMD’s specialist service unit Fuse Sport + Entertainment, a collaboration between Noma Labs and HTC which, alongside production partner Bearded Kitten, resulted in the fully immersive theatre production, “Virtually Dead”. Live in London and Paris, both events were completely sold out, as enthusiasts flocked to see the very latest in VR technology and experience immersive theatre at its finest.
Combining previously unseen VR technology with interactive performance, “Virtually Dead” blurred the lines between what’s real and what’s not, giving the audience a completely new, thrilling and scary interactive experience. During the hour-long activity, ticketholders were guided by actors into designated VR areas containing 13 minutes of playable VR content. Instead of a static experience, Vive’s much anticipated “360° room-scale” technology allowed guests to move around and explore their new virtual world.
Following a sinister virus outbreak, which has wiped out millions of people in Arizona, ticketholders were invited to join the fight against the plague of Zombies that has taken over. The US Military swing into action and the entire state is quarantined. A special army is trained to deal with the potential overseas spread of the virus and recruits are put through their paces to be able to tackle the virus on the front line.
Olivia Rose, Account Director at Fuse said, “It was a thrill to be involved in creating something which is literally breaking new ground in terms of audience experience and engagement. Many entertainment events become fairly standard in terms of format and delivery, but this was something very original and special. Merging immersive theatre with virtual reality presented incredible opportunities and we were absolutely delighted with the success of the events in both London and Paris.”
Jon Goddard, Head of VR Marketing, EMEA at HTC commented, “Introducing our revolutionary 360° room–scale VR technology into an immersive theatre environment is an entirely new venture, and one we couldn’t wait for people to experience. We’re incredibly excited to have worked with Fuse and subsequently the creative teams at Noma Labs and believe Vive, the first complete virtual reality system, is the perfect VR partnership to deliver a truly spectacular production.”
Tickets sound out in two weeks!
45+ press features
Conversations around Virtually Dead reached 100+ million people worldwide
15m+ Virtually Dead video views
20 million data points used to target millennials in London and Paris
In 2013, John Lewis fully supported John Lewis Insurance for the first time. As a part of the John Lewis brand it carried a weight of expectation – to deliver leading trust, quality and service in a category famously lacking all three. It has gone on to become a huge success and create an entirely new category of insurance, putting quality above price but still being accessible to the many. And it has even brought new dimensions to its parent brand, not just benefited from the association.
In 2013, the strength of the John Lewis brand was at an all time high. On the back of this strength, there was increased appetite to explore where the brand could usefully serve its customers in new ways. For a department store with a stronghold in homewares and furniture, amplifying its home insurance offering seemed like a natural next step. The John Lewis Partnership had set-up Greenbee insurance in 2006, but it had only enjoyed limited success. Sitting outside of the John Lewis brand, it was mostly unknown to consumers and the John Lewis Partners had been left similarly confused about how to present it to customers. After a name change to John Lewis Insurance and accompanying soft launch in 2010, in 2013 a decision was made to finally fully launch this brand extension. This could not just be a cosmetic branding exercise. To carry the name it had to meet the high expectations that name creates: expectations of quality product design, outstanding service and fair prices. A new underwriter would be brought in; a completely new product range designed; new branding developed and an entirely new marketing campaign created.
During the previous decade, aggregator websites had commoditised insurance, making price the key variable. Brands had to cut their quality and service offerings to compete. The result was that the consumer had been left without an insurance brand they could trust. In fact, insurance companies lagged behind even banks in the trust stakes. John Lewis, on the other hand, was the most trusted retailer in the UK, famous for its quality products and service. There was a clear opportunity to stand for something unique. And we knew this was something that John Lewis customers, in particular, would respond well to. A piece of bespoke research showed a clear difference in their mindset. In the regular insurance path to purchase, price concerns directly followed brand familiarity and then, finally, the level of cover was checked. The John Lewis customer’s journey again started with brand name familiarity, but then moved on to an analysis of the level of cover before, finally, ending with a price check. In other words, John Lewis customers were seeking quality before anything else.
We would give the John Lewis homeland audience what they wanted from an insurance brand. To achieve this, we knew we would have to make John Lewis Insurance a uniquely trusted brand in its category by:
Being a mass-market quality insurance brand. We would design our offering around the core John Lewis values that loyalists already loved – quality, outstanding service and fair prices – and tier these products to make them accessible to the entire John Lewis audience.
Behaving like a true John Lewis brand. Instead of short-term price-fighting, this meant long-term brand building, leveraging a brand idea and executional approach befitting of the John Lewis brand.
The brand idea
We needed a differentiated brand idea that would allow us to go beyond cynical short-term sales spiking, to instead build long-term brand trust. To identify this, we used a combination of qualitative and key opinion former research. We found 2 powerful insights:
The difference between “house” and “home”. John Lewis customers saw their homes, not as 4 walls and a roof, but as a collection of the things that meant the most to their family lives. This was what they wanted to protect.
The threat of catastrophe wasn’t the primary driver. Most John Lewis customers were buying insurance simply to mitigate against the little mishaps that peppered everyday family life. This was what they wanted to protect their things from. Approaching this thinking from the point of view of a true John Lewis brand lead us to conclude that: John Lewis Insurance should be the brand that cares as much as you do about protecting your family’s most cherished items from the joyous but ultimately unpredictable nature of family life.
Finally, this was summed up with the line: “If it matters to you, it matters to us”
Behaving like a true John Lewis brand
Over the next 3 years, we implemented a completely integrated communications campaign that consistently helped us walk-the-walk of a mass-market quality insurance brand. The key to this was bringing to life our new John-Lewis-appropriate idea, within the classic John Lewis executional world. In this way, every single piece of our communications imbued John Lewis Insurance with an inherited sense of quality and trust.
Introducing our credentials (2013-2015). These TTL communications lead on the Home insurance product and clearly set-out the new end-line and the 1st half of our brand idea, depicting how John Lewis Insurance cares as much as you do about protecting the special items that sit at the heart of your family life.
Exploding our brand (2015). This set of work refreshed the campaign with a more explicit focus on the 2nd half of our brand idea:the joyous little slip-ups and blunders of family life that you want to protect your special items from.
The products generated immediate sales increases
The campaigns became a headline-making cultural phenomenon
This resulted in fantastic R.O.I – in the first phase alone, every £1 spent generated an extra £1.89.
This seems to have continued into the 2nd phase (2015), with sales up 61% and commission up 41%.
And not only did we build a distinctive category position, but we did so in a way that also created an effect for the parent brand – generating a further £2.9m of extra sales for John Lewis overall.
This has been the story of how the John Lewis brand extended beyond retail, to deliver its famous brand of trust, quality and service in a market that badly needed it. It has also been the story of how John Lewis Insurance stole the nation’s hearts and built an insurance brand consumers could actually feel good about. But most of all, this has been the story of how John Lewis Insurance invented it’s very own category, became a huge commercial success and, finally, a powerful new income stream for the John Lewis Partnership.
Cisco were receiving poor quality sales leads from their lead generation campaigns, which were failing to convert. Although we were targeting the right people with the right products and solutions, and receiving high volumes of data at a low cost per lead from a number of publishers, the campaigns weren’t delivering actual sales results.
The problem was that the prospects themselves weren’t engaged or informed, and consequently weren’t ready to be turned into customers when Cisco came around to contacting them. Quite simply, despite being identified as viable leads, these prospects were unaware of what specific solutions Cisco could offer them, or the potential benefits. As a result, conversion rates (and sales) were very low.
So when Cisco’s new mobility offering was ready to launch, we saw it as a perfect opportunity to supercharge the approach through a new strategic partnership, generating high quality, sales qualified leads from our prospect data.
Rather than working with multiple publishers to generate volume, we decided to focus our efforts on developing a single strategic partnership where we could work together to increase the quality of the leads, both by better targeting and better engaging our prospects.
IDG’s market reach, audience profile and potential to deliver made them the ideal partner for Cisco. We approached them and proposed a fully transparent collaborative partnership that would see the two organisations completely sharing and aligning resources in a way rarely seen in this industry. We started by discarding the traditional divisions of ‘client’ and ‘publisher’, and set up a special cross-discipline task force, with a set of high KPIs to meet. This partnership would offer a unique opportunity to break down the usual constraints and barriers, and come together as a fully integrated team, focused on delivering great results.
The idea behind this bespoke solution was to make sure we were driving engagement, as well as qualifying leads. To do this we needed full transparency across the team, enabling seamless sharing of our collective knowledge and expertise. Our new collaborative approach enabled us to invent and implement innovative ways to deliver quality leads, by fully engaging and informing our target audience.
Making it a reality
Sharing regular insights, conversion data, feedback on quality and internal process concerns were essential to the partnership and allowed us to identify areas where each party could improve processes and methodology.
Previously we focussed on delivering BANT leads via telemarketing which qualified the user with the below criteria:
We needed to find a solution which delivered qualified leads whilst increasing content to maximise engagement with the target audience. Tying in with the mobility theme, we created a new interactive layer to IDG’s existing ‘i-zone’ mobile app, to host relevant mobility content within a Cisco-branded online zone, while collecting prospect data. Once a user had engaged with this content they were then contacted by IDG’s call centre for further qualification. Only those which met the BANT qualification were classified as accepted and payable, and prioritised for follow-up by Cisco.
After this initial stage of qualification, IDG continued their engagement with more Cisco-related content. A second asset, relevant to their buying stage, was delivered to keep the user engaged while Cisco followed up the lead. This dual approach not only increased the volume of prospect data, but also helped to support the brand KPIs of consideration, by engaging and informing the prospects whilst preparing them for sale.
Throughout the campaign, we continued to collaborate with input from all parties. We regularly shared internal sales information, empowering IDG to fine tune their market focus, and prioritise the targeting, keeping our approach fluid and agile throughout the campaign period.
The campaign achieved impressive results and significant return on investment. Our new partnership and content rich approach delivered, via the branded i-zone, a 133% increase in market-qualified leads (MQLs) delivered to Cisco for follow up.
We saw the biggest increase in the conversion of these leads to the pipeline revenue, with a 3800% increase in sales-qualified lead (SQL) revenue in comparison to standard and TM BANT qualified campaigns.
This approach was such a success that it has now been adopted globally and being rolled out across regions as Cisco’s best practise approach to an “always present” campaign.