There is an episode of Mad Men where the creative team is brainstorming about ideas for a Popsicle campaign. The group has warm feelings for the cold treats. Sentiments such as, “I love popsicles!” and “My mom would always break them in half, so my sister and I could share.” float around the room. A couple of scenes later, we witness Peggy Olson, the ad agency’s rising star copywriter, do what she does best. She reaches the audience on an emotional level by unveiling a picture that perfectly captures the brand’s story. Facebook introduced an enhanced photo app this week, providing a refined tool for brands who want to strengthen their stories using images.
According to the Facebook Blog, the photo sharing tool has been upgraded with an accelerated uploading capability and larger images (720 pixels to 960 pixels), giving users quicker access to more refined pictures. The viewer has also been redesigned to make images pop. This is wonderful news for users and marketers alike. To say photo sharing has skyrocketed in the past few years would be an understatement. The chart below gives us a visual of just how big Facebook’s photo library is.
Sites such as Flickr, Snapfish and Shutterfly have emerged, as well as photo sharing apps, like Instagram. Smart phone usage continues to spread like wildfire; the devices have been instrumental for Instagram’s rise to fame. Mobile photo sharing apps have increased the popularity of sharing images in real time.
The possibilities for taking classic storytelling to the next level become abundant with photo sharing. For brands, it's the difference between telling a story and being part of a story as its written. It’s an interactive experience. Social Media allows us to listen and create conversations with consumers, getting to know them on a more intimate level than has ever been possible. Photo sharing is an opportunity for your customers to pass your story on to their friends through tagging and sharing, expanding your convertible audience.
A prime example of integrating photo sharing into a campaign is the return of the Pepsi vs. Coke cola wars. Pepsi recently launched an integrated campaign with The X Factor. Part of the campaign was a packaging promotion that tied Pepsi packaging with the show The X Factor through a digital photo contest promoted on Pepsi’s packaging. Consumers were challenged to take a digital snapshot of the Pepsi and X Factor logos together, and send it in for a chance to win a trip to Los Angeles to watch a taping of the show. The contest was in real time and provided an interactive experience for the consumer. It was also an attempt to gain traction ahead of their rival, Coca-cola, who sponsor Americal Idol.
There are many clever ways to use photo sharing in your storytelling and integrated communications plans. Facebook is ahead of the game in realizing the importance as we move forward in the digital era.