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Brief Published: 24 May 2013

Digital Shoreditch: Future Brands


The annual Digital Shoreditch festival, held in London’s own Silicon Roundabout, hosted a day dedicated to global brands and their innovations in digital campaigns, services and products. Off the back of our new industry trend Thinking Digitally, we highlight the biggest themes driving digital trends.

Storytelling: Although an influx in digital data is offering brands more succinct information about their consumers and their habits, classic storytelling is still key to communicating successfully with audiences.

For brands, shifting into storytelling mode allows their messages to really penetrate and resonate. As Carla Faria, solutions director at Say Media noted: “Stories are 22 times more memorable than straight fact.” Faria also explored how online retailer eBay successfully sells low price-point products for increased profit by hiring storytellers to give products a backstory.

Take a look at our Contemporary Storytelling and Transmedia reports for more insight.

Virality: A digital festival would not be complete without the presence of lolcats and other viral memes (see Meme Culture for more), and at #KittenCamp, experts broke down the viral potential of the internet for brands. Tactics such as newsjacking allow brands to be relevant and, more importantly, witty – earning them kudos with digitally savvy consumers.

Be clever and get your consumers to do the marketing for you with fun, snack-sized, shareable content. The recent gif debate sparked by its American creator Steve Wilhite over its true pronunciation as ‘jif’, was the perfect opportunity for American peanut butter brand Jif to make a witty comment, drawing attention to its product.

See our Newsjacking report for more.

Play: Playful brands are often the most discussed on social media, and digital technology can be used in incredibly fun and engaging ways to play with consumers. Matt Lodder, managing director at digital advertising agency R/GA, discussed how brands such as  US sportswear giant Nike, which strive to create fun, playful and memorable experiences for consumers with their products, will thrive. “We are shifting from a product to a service-driven economy and creating experiences allows brands to create their own competitive edge.”

Nike’s FuelFest experience at London’s Battersea Power Station in 2012 was a good example of this. To market its new fitness tracking Fuelband, Nike launched a large-scale music event that encouraged fans to dance and record their spent energy with the band. Girls were pitted against the boys and as Fuel points were massed, Nike lit up the sides of the station in competition. 

High-end shoe store Meat Pack in Guatemala was also commended for its Hijack campaign – which steered consumers away from competitor stores using gamification. After downloading the Meat Pack app, users were sent a timed discount every time they entered a competitor store. The discount would count down from 100, giving them precious seconds to run to their nearest Meat Pack store and claim their discount.

See more on this in our Power of Play retail industry trend.