This post is part 1 of The Interactive Media Mix Series. In the series we plan to go over the basics on each of the tools that marketers can use in interactive campaigns, such as microsites, banner ads, streaming audio, online video, mobile marketing, podcasts, email marketing, search engine marketing and social media.
If you want to launch a specialized campaign for a company or brand or a new product, centered on an idea that is set apart from the overall brand, a microsite is one of the most interesting and compelling ways to do so.
One way to use microsites is to do what Coke has done. In addition to its regular site, Coca-Cola also has specialized microsites for specific products, such as the new Coke Zero. Since Coke Zero has its own concept and campaign that is separate from the broader Coca-Cola brand concept, its microsite allows audiences to further connect with the campaign by maintaining the same look and feel, and featuring games and activities related to the campaign.
But microsites are also often used to support a new campaign for a brand. Burger King found a fresh way to communicate its traditional slogan, “Have it your way”, by creating a microsite called “Subservient Chicken”, (credited with launching the microsite concept), where visitors could type in commands for the person in the chicken outfit to perform on the screen.
Well-executed microsites such as the BK’s “Subservient Chicken”, OfficeMax’s “Elf Yourself” (only available during the holidays) or Dove’s “Campaign for Real Beauty” (with online videos such as Evolution) often also serve a double function, since they are excellent viral marketing assets. Entertaining, innovative or exciting microsites will be shared and forwarded millions of times.
Microsites are an excellent way to engage your audience with a new product or campaign online and does double duty with potential viral success.
And for more examples of microsites check out:
The Weather Channel – article and review
Land Rover – review
Toyota (autoshow) – article
Audi A3 – review
National Geographic – Inside the Mafia – review
Reebok – RBK Pump – review
Verizon Broadband – review
Cartoon Network – review
Warner Home Video – “Kiss Kiss, Bang Band” DVD release – review
Lexus 2007 ES – review
MINI Canada – review
Twentieth Century Fox Corp. “24” – review
Mountain Dew – review
Reebok – G xt II – review
Sony Electronics – Mobile DVD Dream System – article
Integrated Interactive Campaigns with Microsites:
Arctic Cat – Mediums: TV spot, microsite
KFC – Mediums: TV spot, microsite
Old Spice – Mediums: TV spot, microsite
Range Rover – Mediums: TV spot, microsite
Fox Atomic – “Turistas” – Mediums: MySpace, YouTube, blogs and microsite – Review
The Simpsons Movie – Mediums: MySpace, Flickr, Xbox contest, JetBlue Contest, merchandise, be in an animated episode promotion, 7-11 to Kwik-E-Mart makeovers, Vans custom shoes – Review (blog post)
UPDATE: Check out this presentation for an overview on microsites and some great case studies!
(knife image: ©iStockphoto.com/s_white)