Now I’ve always defined a stunt as a creation that can’t justify its cost on the basis of its direct connections with a consumer (the number of people who will see an event/object, the number of people who will view a film or ad, the number of people who will interact with a game, app, piece of content).
Stunts rely on the word-of-mouth and the editorial coverage they generate to justify their cost.
However, what some smart brands have realised is that, if they really think about it hard, they can create digital experiences that not only get people writing about them and talking about them digitally, they are also so slick and well thought through that they will also justify their cost in the number of people who engage with them (rather than just hear about them).
Uniqlo as a brand is a past master of just this sort of thing.
Its latest piece of work is an alarm clock app … Doesn’t sound promising? Well watch this and I’ll be back in a minute to explain …
Right. You’ve watched that. I’ve made a cup of tea. I shall continue …
Uniqlo has created a more peaceful, not to mention social, way to wake up.
The Japanese retailer unleashed the iOS and Android alarm clock that generates a selection of music based on the weather, time, and day of the week.
What’s more, you can link the app to your Facebook and Twitter accounts to alert your social groups to the exact time, weather conditions, and temperature under which you finally mustered the energy to roll over and shut off the alarm.
The whole thing has gone gangbusters online.
Because it’s a brilliant little idea that takes something that we’re all used to and makes it … better. Which is the Uniqlo proposition made manifest in marketing, I guess.
But more than that, they’ve nailed their media. The fashion guys write about it because it’s media. The culture writers because it’s hip and and-so-Japanese. The trends writers because it’s new and different. The tech writers because it’s an iOS and Android app and that’s what they do. The design folk cover it because it’s rather beautiful. The music hacks because it’s got a belting sound track.
The genius of this then is that it’s an idea that has had every media opportunity “baked in” to its very creation.
And that is the definition of a great “stunt” product. It manages to cross the line and become something so good that it doesn’t justify its own existence in terms of its buzz, but is actually a creation so good that people want to own it, share it and keep it – rather than just talk about it.
Work. Of. Genius.