The consensus at Disturb Media is that we LOVE Marmite and, on a visit to check out the West End’s Christmas lights, we appreciated the simplicity and effectiveness of what Marmite have done on Oxford Street this year.
From within the digital industry it’s nothing too ground-breaking, but it’s perfect for the target audience and it simply works well! Over-complicating these things can often be tempting yet detrimental.
Aside of the supporting animated displays overhead (seemingly LOVED by children), the centrepiece is an empty Santa head with a space displaying an endless selection of faces. It doesn’t need any instructional messaging - you get it. If interested, most people would assume that, if they want to get their face above Oxford Street, they need to go online. It’s no surprise that the destination they’ll end up at is an App on the brand’s Facebook page.
The process itself is easy enough to follow. The design and controls are a bit clunky - but that’s maybe more of a taste thing - just like the product ;)
Once through moderation, users are emailed to tell them what time their image will be shown in situ - which is amazing, until you realise that you’ve been given a one hour window for your 5 seconds of fame. We love Marmite - but maybe not enough to stand there or stare at a webcam for an hour ;)
Nonetheless, it’s exciting to be told that you’re going to ‘star’ in the display. And they either capture it or comp it for you to see anyway - so it won’t get missed.
One minor criticism would be that they’re not handling the link on mobile at all, which is a bit of a fail for any brand, really - especially when any interested user exposed to the end result is going to be, yes, mobile!
If the budget’s not there the create an App that’s going to function well on mobile (and this is a Flash solution, so the decision was understandably made against going a slightly lengthier, costlier responsive HTML route) it’s still a simple thing to implement an alternate, static, page advising users that they need to go to a desktop / Flash enabled device for the full experience - and taking the opportunity to further sell that experience, rather than potentially damage it.
All in all though, the effort that was put in seems to be getting appreciated and, hopefully, working wonders for brand exposure. Well, they’ve made us talk about them anyway! Job done, we’d say :)