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Don’t market to consumers, entertain them

Ralph’s Chris Hassell on why marketing a brand to consumers isn’t what it used to be.

We’re delighted to have just completed the second Living Loud online game for Nickelodeon.

An extension of the hugely popular The Loud House series, the game is the follow-up to the game we created for Nickelodeon last summer, Living Loud, Lincoln’s List – which continues to be one of the biggest games on nicktoons.co.uk, since the site launched.

We also created the Tinkershrimp & Dutch animated series for Nickelodeon – you can check it out below.

As well as being a whole lot of fun, the Living Loud games allow Nickelodeon to connect with its audience on a different level – multiplayer games are a great way to engage players’ friends and make the experience a social one.

Kids love discovering, so we work hard to make the games we create rich with ‘Easter eggs’ and additional activities that, while not core to the experience, extend engagement time and give the kids currency to use as social kudos among their friends.

Ultimately, for Nickelodeon, the games help to bring their viewers’ favourite characters to life and extend their experience of the broadcaster’s brands.

And creating great experiences for brands is something we’re proud of here at Ralph. One of our biggest projects over the past year has been working to get 18-35 year olds re-engaged with the Sony brand.

The company’s Lost In Music campaign uniquely brought together multiple Sony divisions – Music, Pro Audio and PlayStation – for a series of live events that embraced music, sound experiences and Virtual Reality. Influencers, Facebook Live and a series of Amazon Video music sessions rounded out Lost In Music, which ultimately engaged millennials better than any TV or print campaign could.

Similarly, through our social division, we work with the likes of Netflix to create brand extensions through social media that can engage with consumers in new ways, via the channels their customers are using (clue: it’s not traditional media).

So we created an E-coin experience for Mr. Robot (and won a Shorty for it); designed Stranger Things versions of classic movie posters (and had them featured in the Louis Vuitton collection during Paris Fashion Week); got everyone talking about how ‘hot’ the robot is in Lost In Space; and more.

Marketing a brand to consumers isn’t what it used to be. People don’t want to be marketed to. They want to be entertained. They want to feel an engagement with a brand. And none more so than the digital generation – from millennials through to teens and tweens.

Chris Hassell is the founder of Ralph. The agency has offices in London, New York and Los Angeles. It was founded as a creative and experiential agency, but now considers itself to be an entertainment agency for brands.

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