Our approach to creating compelling content for our clients is to establish a continued dialogue with the consumers, thereby making them part of the content,” says Pablo Trench, President of Miami-based creative ad-agency, The Lab Ideas (TLI).
“Our specialty is really creating custom branded content,” says Mr. Trench. He cites the project that they worked on for Spanish -language newspaper Tiempos del Mundo: “It was a two part editorial supplement promoting the 2006 Fifa World Cup. The first part had a historical focus, covering the history of the event, and some of the highlights. The second part covered everything having to do with the current World Cup, with an emphasis on Latin American teams.” Trench notes that unlike traditional agencies running ads, TLI is capable of producing editorial content, promotions, and event marketing solutions.
For the launch of HBO’s big-ticket series, “Rome,” TLI was enlisted to create a website that would stir-up interest for the series in Latino markets. “’It needs to be an experience,’ they said to us. So we started thinking up ways to engage the people in a way that would keep them interested and involved in the series.” What they came up with was a Romethemed interactive website and a series of newsletters, produced in Spanish and Portuguese.
On the “Rome” website, the user must give his name before entering. Upon doing so, his name is “Romanized,” by tagging on an “ilius” to the end of it, and the user is swept into the content, with mysterious ancient music playing in the background. The mouse-pointer becomes a dagger, and the visitor may choose between viewing the series’ trailer, seeing behind-the-scenes production photos, background research materials and other options, like signing up for the newsletter.
They also devised a contest titled, “Inspírate en Roma,” or “Get inspired with Rome,” whereby participants could send in pictures of anything Rome-related that was interesting or inspiring. The items were then displayed on the website’s gallery, and other visitors voted for the best item.
“The key is to get out of traditional advertising approaches and come up with something compelling and exciting— something that the user will think about in his free-time and want to come back to,” says Trench.
The interactive component of TLI’s marketing philosophy is demonstrated in their website’s presentation (http://www.thelabideas.com). When one visits, he is confronted with the company’s logo with the slogan “Creativity at the Intersection” below.
Then a suspended orb transforms into a revolving molecule, and when one drags the mouse over each end of the molecule there are different options to choose from, such as a background of the company, the team, their philosophy, etc. In their Philosophy section, they state, “Our mission is to make consumers fans of your brand. Our promise is to make your brand fun to consumers.” The website is sleekly produced, and reflects the company’s creative focus.
TLI’s slogan, “Creativity at the intersection,” is reflective of their creative philosophy, and is broken-down as follows:
> Intersection of pop culture (new trends in media, music, sports, fashion, entertainment, etc.)
> Intersection of technologies (internet, mobile, blogs, etc.)
> Intersection of new media (bringing non-traditional ideas to traditional media or creating new vehicles for the brands to express themselves)
> Intersection of disciplines (They surround themselves with a multi-disiplinary team of employees and strategic partners from many differents walk of life –game developers, journalists, theater script writers, fashion designers, musicians, etc.)
For TLI and its clients, though, the ultimate intersection is that which takes place between the consumer and the brand. In this arena, Trench cites consumer participation as paramount: “At the heart of our creative messaging approach is the interactive factor. So often, advertising messages are a one-way street. One is confronted with an ad and sees it, and turns the page. When your approach is interactive then the consumer is engaged and brought in. This is the type of communications we specialize in and for which we are seeing more demand from our clients,” says Trench.