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Yevsei Drozdov
Yevsei Drozdov

The L Word 1x08 Listen Up ITA DVDRip ((BETTER))

GEORGIE FROST: Take one vanilla soft-serve ice cream, a container, a spoon, and a smartphone. Mix it all together and you have the perfect recipe for organic content that generated a huge buzz for McDonald's. It's called shoppertainment, and the trillion dollar industry is sweeping across Asia Pacific. But what exactly is it, and will it become a global phenomenon? I'm Georgie Frost, and this is "The So What" from BCG.APARNA BHARADWAJ: It's not salesy. It seeks to entertain and intrigue, hopefully inspire, and then as a result, you get commerciality or you get shopping outcomes. But the intent is not straight away to get to a sales pitch.GEORGIE: Today I'm talking Aparna Bharadwaj, global leader of BCG's Center for Customer Insight.APARNA: There was such an amazing example of a brand connect that created so much buzz and yet it wasn't a campaign in the usual sense of the word. So what happened was that consumers in Indonesia started to show up at McDonald's carrying plates, steel plates. They would buy a bunch of soft-serves, they would put them upside down on those plates, they would smush them up with a spoon, and they would eat it with a spoon as a new way to eat a soft-serve. It suddenly went viral in Indonesia. It then went viral in Thailand where people were posting on TikTok about this new way to eat a soft-serve, et cetera, et cetera.Around that time, McDonald's took notice of all these millions of consumers filming themselves, eating soft-serve, buying six or seven soft-serves instead of just a couple and bringing these plates. And that morphed eventually into a McDonald's campaign that was called McDonald's Soft-Serve Challenge. And people started posting their own soft-serve challenges, their own videos doing exactly this, and it led to massive buzz for McDonald's all over Southeast Asia.This is something called shoppertainment. It's a phenomenon that has caught Asia. It's going to be a trillion dollar opportunity across Asia and it's growing 26% in this market and that's basically it. It's entertainment and shopping.GEORGIE: But to me, listening to you talk about this McDonald's example, I mean, what should we do, sack all our marketing departments and hope that some kids just randomly take our product and do something amazing with it? I mean, how are we valuing something called shoppertainment, which seems very hard to define at such a high figure?APARNA: Hmm, hmm, no, it's a question that not just, it bothers brands a lot. You know, a lot of brand managers are saying, how do I understand and how do I make sense of this opportunity? And you're right, Georgie, the challenge is that it, you know, I was a brand manager at Coca-Cola about 15 years ago and at that time, we used to control the majority of the messages that a brand would put out into the market.But today's brand managers feel a lot more vulnerable when they realize that whether you like it or not, consumers control a large share of the messages that brands are, that people are hearing about brands, that consumers are saying to each other about brands. So shoppertainment, coming to that particular example, is essentially a way to break the clutter in digital marketing out there. Brands have caught onto digital marketing.A huge share of media spends are now going through digital channels. It's growing every single year. But at the same time, there is a disillusionment amongst consumers about what digital marketing can do. We found from our research in Asia that 85%, that's a big number, of consumers swipe digital ads away. A large majority of them feel that it's not relevant to them, that it's overly polished and that it presents a picture-perfect version of what a brand has to say.Consumers, particularly in Asia, are trusting organic messages that come from their fellow customers, from their peers a lot more than messages coming from the brands downwards. And so, that's happening whether brands like it or not. And the more we learn to understand and be comfortable with that, the more impactful brand campaigns can be. And that's where shoppertainment comes. It cuts the clutter, it resonates. But let me stop here and before we discuss that any further.GEORGIE: Well, I'm just curious how much brands can really control what goes out and how you get the balance right. I mean, clearly consumers are getting a lot more savvy, particularly online. They don't want the typical digital advertising, as you said, the vast majority are just swiping across it. They're not interested. So how do you stand out from the crowd? How do brands use entertainment to sell and interact with a changing consumer?APARNA: One part of your question, how can you use entertainment as a way to drive commerciality, let me start with that and then I can talk about the message and control on the message. So the idea of shoppertainment is that it's not salesy. It seeks to entertain and intrigue, hopefully inspire first, and then as a result you get commerciality or you get shopping outcomes. But the intent is not straight away to get to a sales pitch. The intent is not to straight away get to selling.For example, the whole McDonald's challenge for example, was just watching cool ways to eat a soft-serve. If it makes you crave a soft-serve and try that new method of eating, absolutely that leads to commerce. But the message itself, the videos itself, if you see them are not commercial in and of themselves. They seek to entertain, they seek to give you a smile or whatever it may be. A lot of these videos are frankly funny and entertain, and comedy is serious business.You know, it is really creating an opportunity for consumers to connect. So what we found in our research was the reason that shoppertainment worked so well where far more curated campaigns did not was that it was seen as resonating very strongly with certain aspects in digital that consumers like. For example, 80% of consumers told us, "We like something that tells a story and is educational. I like it when the brand doesn't force decision making."And shoppertainment checked the boxes on many of those aspects. It's authentic, not airbrushed. It looks like a video that somebody made on a handy cam, not super, super produced, and it seeks to not push me to make a decision. It just seeks to inform. And it links nicely to emotional aspects of consumers' decisions. Right now, one of the demand spaces that we see really resonate with consumers and customers is emotional needs states that are around inspiration or indulgence.We live in a world where people are challenged from mental health perspective, they are pressured with the isolation of COVID, with the work from home, with all the different priorities. And so, they seek to be inspired, they seek to have an adventure, and they sometimes simply seek to indulge themselves and they may end up buying something because it hits the spot in that moment of truth without being salesy. So that's really the magic formula that seems to work for shoppertainment in Asia right now.GEORGIE: We are talking about Asia and Asia Pacific. Will it translate, in your view, and I know you're not an expert in these regions, you're an expert in Asia, but do you think it will translate to the US and Europe? I mean, are there distinct differences between the way that consumers consume here?APARNA: It's such a billion dollar question, I'd say. You know, we thought about this a lot. We haven't done the research yet, the exact research in US and Europe, so hard to say how it'll port, but there is some evidence that I've seen from my experience. So, and from a central origin perspective, e-commerce in Asia has evolved very differently from e-commerce in US and Europe. In US and Europe, the template is essentially the Amazon template, right? It started with the whole books to electronics to, you know, basically the Amazon model. In China and the rest of Asia, it is actually a distinct model. I wouldn't call it the Chinese model but it's the Alibaba, Tencent model of e-commerce.You can see it even when you look at the websites. When you look at the marketplaces, on Amazon, the marketplaces are about clean front pages, very browseable first pages, very curated to what are the data that I know resonates with you. The first page is relevant in terms of bringing the content that's going to seed a commercial opportunity for you individually as a consumer.If you look at the websites of Alibaba, et cetera, for a Western audience, you may find it very cluttered. You may find a huge amount of variety, you may find streaming videos paired up with photographs paired up with something else, and it can be very overwhelming at times. But it works for that model.To give you another example, not just about the look and feel, but even the way live commerce works or live streaming works, it's quite common in Asia to watch a seller, usually someone who's a trusted blogger or a trusted person who's fashion sense you trust, et cetera, modeling different outfits, hanging out and you know, trying different things. You're having a live chat with that person, and in that live interaction, you're also buying. That way of buying is actually very uncommon so far at least in the US, but it's started to trickle in.So the models are very different. The way consumers buy is very different. And even actually the back end, the supply chain, who owns the warehousing, who owns the logistics, I don't want to bore you with those technical details, but there are so many differences in the model. So the origin of the way e-commerce has evolved and almost organically and very differently in these markets is clear.Therefore, if shoppertainment, which has taken off so rapidly in Asia, we don't know if it'll port in the same format in US and Europe. But what I do know is that some of those underlying demand spaces do port well. The authenticity, the entertain first, not be too salesy, not be too pushy, those port well. And the underlying needs port well. The fact that consumers are stressed out and that they're looking for a small moment of indulgence, that they say I deserve it even if I'm buying a hot pink lipstick that I would never wear otherwise, the idea of getting an adventure and entering uncharted territory, that ports well.So some of the underlying needs states that we discovered, the demand spaces, they work across markets, but whether the e-commerce model will be the same, whether it'll resonate in the same way into commercial opportunities, much remains to be seen in that, frankly.GEORGIE: If we break it down, does the model of shoppertainment work for all goods and services or are there particular areas where it's really well adapted to or should some just stick to the tried and trusted way of doing things?APARNA: Such a good question. Now, these are early days for shoppertainment, even though it's already poised to be a trillion dollars in Asia alone within the next five years, but we do see that there are certain categories that just gel better with shoppertainment. Fashion, for example, we saw that fashion has a extra share of shoppertainment. We found that cosmetics, again, has a additional share of shoppertainment.So a lot of the categories where these ideas of indulgence, inspiration, you're changing a whole wardrobe, you're looking for inspiration. Your favorite blogger is trying a fashion accessory you've never tried before. You buy it on impulse. I think those categories are really ahead of the curve on shoppertainment. But other than those few categories, we do see the mix of shoppertainment map quite closely the mix of e-commerce in Asia.So I do think that over time, other categories will start to see this as well, but we don't yet, we do yet, at this moment we see more of fashion and beauty and those type of categories resonating really well in shoppertainment.GEORGIE: So how can brands then take advantage without falling foul of some of the, and I can think of a fair few, obvious pitfalls that may come from this?APARNA: Ah, no, absolutely. I think brands are still learning, including in Asia by the way, brands are still learning what to make of shoppertainment.GEORGIE: Which makes brands nervous, I imagine.APARNA: It makes brands very nervous, indeed. There are certain beauty brands, certain "masstige" cosmetics brands that have done really, really well with shoppertainment, that have really embraced it and found solutions around it. There are certain growth tech brands and digital first brands that have really embraced shoppertainment as well. But most of the mainstream brands are still figuring it out.I mean, there are some obvious pitfalls to watch out for, right? One is if you're giving millions of micro bloggers the opportunity to go ahead and do this, they may get it right, they may not get it right. The other aspect of it is that it can be nerve-wracking for a brand manager to say that I'm ceding control for my brand's message to the millions rather than to a few people who understand the brand deeply.My contention would be that, you know, being a brand manager when I was a brand manager way back when at Coke versus being a brand manager now is fundamentally different. Whether you participate in this or not, the message of your brand is not only going to be in control of the company. Think of any mainstream brand. There are so many messages that come to the brand, of course from the television advertising and the media advertising put out by the brand, but there are equally, if not more, of the messages that come from happy or unhappy customers who talk about it, who talk a lot about it in the digital space, it comes from reviews that organically come on marketplaces, Amazon, here and there, about the product offer, about peer reviews.You know, there are so many of those messages that are coming out about a brand organically from consumers whether you like it or not. To be able to learn how to work with that, I'd say to learn to be comfortable with being uncomfortable, to learn how to work with this and to do some lean experiments, some agile sprints almost and agile experiments in this space, just to understand how this happens.To take the McDonald's example, it had to go viral with nine million consumers in Thailand before McDonald's noticed. But once they noticed, they made something really great out of the campaign. Were there risks in the way they did that? Maybe yes, but they really managed to do a great job with this and take it to the next level. So I feel that brands will have to deal with it, whether they like it or not, and by learning to be comfortable with that discomfort, they learn how to use shoppertainment to their advantage. And if they get it right, it can be extremely powerful because it's potent, it comes organically and it's authentic from the consumers.GEORGIE: I guess being comfortable with being uncomfortable isn't a question of throwing your hands up and saying, well, there's absolutely nothing we can control. We may as well not bother trying. I guess shoppertainment would be part of a hybrid approach, where some traditional methods would still be used. Is that fair?APARNA: Absolutely fair. I mean, I was in conversation with a luxury brand that has a huge presence in China and Asia, doing extremely, extremely well, and one thing I heard from the leadership was that we are doing so well commercially, we are selling so well. But at the same time, we also realize that we have given away a lot of the message of our brand to many, many beauty bloggers, millions and millions, thousands and thousands of beauty bloggers all over Asia and particularly in China.And that makes us feel vulnerable at the same time, and we worry if we've given away too much. So you're absolutely right. I think letting it all be in the hands of your micro bloggers is also not the best idea or micro influencers is also not the best idea.And finding the right hybrid of that blend of the message that you put out, that is in a more controlled environment, that is nuanced to perfection, and combining it with the organic message, even educating the organic messengers about your nuanced messages and what your brand stands for, the combination is extremely important to get this right. Either extreme is not the best and leaves vulnerabilities for brands.GEORGIE: I guess in this current economic environment that we find ourselves in, high inflation, issues with supply chains and resources, et cetera, it's a very difficult time for businesses to make these sort of decisions to take risks. But I guess if you don't take a risk and stand out from the crowd, then you get left, equally, you get left behind.APARNA: Absolutely. Many of the clients we work with are very well established brands. These are brands that have been really leading edge in their space and have created campaigns, have created messages that have really endured. The same brands now need to embrace what comes next and find a way to bring that same quality, that same beauty of messaging into the digital space. I work a lot with digital influencers as well, right?As part of our work in this space. And many of those influencers also want to be educated about how great campaigns are created, how great messages are created, how long-lasting perceptions are built. And so, I think there's a win-win for brands to collaborate with many of those influencers. Leaving the influencers to figure it out on their own is also not an optimal solution. Otherwise, they'll put out something that won't be professional or on message as well.GEORGIE: Are there some examples that you've got that really did work with the micro bloggers and the influencers?APARNA: Ah, no, absolutely. There was in fact a pizza campaign that I saw in Asia, which was really great. It was done by a ASEAN-based micro influencer. He's in his 20s or thereabouts, and he talks about generational gaps. So he did a really cool campaign about ordering in pizza and he'd ordered pizza and takeout and things like that and his dad walks in, he's impersonating his own dad, so he's a double role playing and his dad keeps criticizing, you know, "Your generation doesn't like home food and always ordering in." And the whole time that he's doing that, he's also constantly snacking on the pizza and all the goodies that his son has ordered.And so, it was all about that generation gap, but at the same time how you could bond with your dad around that, it was done really well. It was a mainstream brand and the campaign resonated so well with people especially from immigrant families who had massive generational gaps and were trying to connect with their own parents and the message resonated so well. It was extremely entertaining.It's a very fun campaign to watch, but at the same time, it talks about how delicious the product is. It doesn't put the product unnecessarily too much front and center. It seeks to put the narrative of the consumer's life story front and center, but in the process, it puts the product in a great light. And I think th

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