Today's consumer has a T-shaped attention span.
This means scanning broadly and quickly over the content available and diving deep when they find something of particular interest to them. Implication: brands can no longer dictate the way in which consumers interact with their content. The notion of a linear customer journey is simply irrelevant in a world of fragmenting touchpoints and proliferating content.
To respond to this new mode of consumption, brands must rethink their approach to channel.
Creating content that is modular, without beginning or end, and open to be joined or left at any point. The challenge is to deliver this real-time relevance without losing the brand's cohesion and its ability to tell authentically great stories.
Brands need to evolve from producing few, linear stories to publishing content with multiple, live storylines told across a multitude of touchpoints.
The launch campaign for TV series Game of Thrones had a dual goal: to excite the highly committed existing fanbase of the books and to promote the show to a wider audience.
These contrasting objectives were managed with a multichannel, multisensory campaign
The campaign could be experienced as a whole or on a modular basis -- 'The Maester's Path'. A five-week long sensory exploration of the fantasy world of the series was created. Smell was the first sense, with scent boxes sent to journalists, bloggers and other influencers. The content invited those who received them to play an online game, in which they had to share key information with each other and visit multiple sites in order to cobble together all the information needed to solve the game.
The reward was a preview clip from the show. Having garnered publicity, the exploration of the other senses was open to wider audiences using online, mobile and experiential such as an iPhone app, online flash game, and traveling food trucks serving free food inspired by Game of Thrones.
The campaign spoke to different audiences on different levels and catered to the audience's 'T-shaped attention span' with each level containing a deeper degree of engagement in the form of puzzles and challenges prompting fans to work together to unlock preview content and rewards.
While fans celebrated 'Maester's Path Mondays' on Twitter, less engaged fans were able to dip in and experience just one sensory experience.
By the series premiere, an organized and established fan network was in place.