HBO and our partner Elastic TV wowed a crowd of dedicated Game of Throne fans during one of the most popular panels of the week at SXSW.
How do you come up with campaign content that holds the attention of “the world’s most deeply immersed fans” for 30 seconds, much less the 5-month-long dark winter between seasons?
How about by taking away the one thing they want most: time to make sense out of the jumbled visions central to the show (#TheSight)?
HBO’s team was willing to risk it. Ominous visions appeared on fan’s phones without warning and disappeared at the end of a single play.
Marketing or Unmarketing?
People disagreed wildly on what they had seen. Would ephemeral visions designed to excite fans just anger them? Or would pushing (negative) buttons increase virality? The latter, in theory.
“People express a lot of hate for Game of Thrones, but it just means they love it that much more,” Jim Marsh, HBO’s Director of Digital & Social Media told the packed Four Seasons ballroom.
But this wasn’t marketing as usually defined. Jim was prepared for the worst. He knew it was important to measure and understand the impact, good or bad.
Melissa Eccles, Creative Director, Immersive Entertainment for Elastic, brought in Bottlenose to measure where the edge of edgy began, peaked, and, quite possibly, drove off a cliff.
The Goal: Authentic and Immersive
Seers on the show can’t pause and replay their jumbled visions. Neither could fans lured into the campaign.
As Melissa shared via our visualizations, Nerve Center® articulated the psychographics of the social bloom of discussion and sharing. At the early staggered releases, shock reigned. But soon audience uploads matched HBO’s haphazard style of distribution.
Fans were quick to figure out it was actually visions, plural, and then they were gone.
Did the Risk Pay Off?
To learn the outcome required new metrics.
“It’s not about how many tweets or volume,” Melissa told the crowd. “It’s about how well you did making the emotional connection that tips people into an immersive state.”
“As you innovate new things, the way you measure needs to evolve.” Jim agreed.
“We used tools from Bottlenose,” Melissa said. Nerve Center proved that the risk paid big dividends.
Adam Blumenfeld, the Bottlenose Director of Client Digital Strategies who ran the project for us, was modest about the achievement. “It’s easy,” he said, “when you can map real human behavior and emotion.”
On Tuesday afternoon at SXSW this week, Bottlenose CEO Nova Spivack will moderate a panel discussion on the State of the Union of A.I. He’s brought together some of the leading pioneers, thinkers and entrepreneurs in the Artificial Intelligence space to discuss where the technology currently stands, what challenges it still faces, and how it will continue to develop over the next few years.
Joining Nova on the panel are Fred Brown, founder and CEO of Next IT; Doug Lenat, President and CEO of Cycorp; and Monica Anderson, CTO of Sensai. We’re excited to have such a broad range of expertise and experience, and expect the discussion to be lively and far reaching.
If you are attending SXSW, we would love to have you join us. You have to RSVP for the panel, as SXSW is expecting a large crowd with limited space. With that in mind, we wanted to open up the discussion for your input. We have asked a number of additional experts working in various facets of A.I. development and theory for their thoughts on the biggest challenges and opportunities currently facing the technology. We’ll be sharing these over twitter throughout the weekend leading up to the panel, and encourage you to join in the discussion.
Follow us and join in the conversation with the hashtags #sxsw #stateunion, and be sure to RSVP to continue the discussion at SXSW this Tuesday.
Coming off a huge year in venture capital investing, the bar is high. But Bottlenose earns a spot on Network World’s running timeline of investments in cloud, security, mobile, big data and other startups of interest to enterprise IT pros.
TechCrunch reported on a Series B funding round and Bottlenose’s growing capabilities in enterprise stream data analytics:
“where data needs to be analyzed in real-time, because time is a key advantage … things like financial services, trading, real-time ad buying, or even fending off attacks.”
Read the full story on TechCrunch.