I’ve been thinking about audience engagement a lot lately. Mainly due to that fact that it’s a key strategy I’m using in an advertising campaign for Copper River salmon. There are so many brands trying to reach desired target audiences today that it’s easy for brand messages to drown out each other. Because of all the companies trying to reach the same targets, audience engagement is becoming an increasingly important tactic used by advertising and public relations professionals.
A perfect example of a PR campaign that relied on audience engagement was the ALS association’s ice bucket challenge. If you don’t know what I’m talking about you’ve been living under a rock. But for those of you who don’t know about this, the ALS association created a PR campaign to raise awareness and donations for ALS research. The campaign utilized celebrities to challenge people through video PSAs on television. This campaign was awarded as one of the top ten PR stunts of 2014. It was through the use of audience engagement that led to this campaign’s success. By challenging the public to create challenge videos, there was so much user generated content that everyone was participating.
In 2014 Starbucks launched a white cup contest where people across the country were given the opportunity to draw their best design on Starbucks cups for a chance to be selected as a template for a special edition cup featured at all Starbucks across the nation. Customers were asked to draw a design on the white cup and submit a photo online. By engaging with Starbucks’ customers and letting them create the new design, this advertising campaign achieved a great amount of success. In the end, over 4,000 people submitted designs in just a three-week span. This campaign was designed to engage with the audience so that customers would know that Starbucks greatly values customer feedback.