If you follow my blog, I mentioned I was going to write about how a good viral campaign can backfire. That post is coming… but just the other day I saw a video where one person shared their lemonade over the internet to their friend.
Wow sounds fake right?
Well Yes, and No.
You can’t really send your lemonade over the internet (at least not yet) but you can trick your brain into thinking you downloaded a lemonade over the internet. I’m not that great at science but for people who didn’t watch the video, basically person A has a machine that measures the pH level and other aspects of the lemonade to send it over the net and the machine on the other side to manipulates the pH levels of and electrodes the water Person B has on the other side, add a little LED lights to make it look fancy and bam you’ve just downloaded a lemonade over the internet. Well you still have water, but it tastes like lemonade and that’s close enough right?
So why is this important?
As the scientist behind the project said the intention for this piece of technology is for people to share their experiences on social media, similar to how we share our experiences through photos and videos. The level of engagement and interaction social influencers can gain with their followers or for people to share with their friends and family is immense. Instead of just showing pictures of what they ate and drank people can potentially try for themselves what the influencer is trying. This will completely change the way we use the internet and yet will still in line with how it was intended to be used, the sharing of user generated content.
What Does this mean for Marketers?
This piece of experimental technology is huge, especially for drink companies. It can completely change the way we sell and market drinks, especially since the use of sensory marketing greatly increases the likely of remembrance in people. If this technology becomes mass produced and spread, when a drink company develops a new flavour they can send and share it over the internet to have consumers try the product and subsequently share with their friends. Greatly increasing the potential of wide spread word-of-mouth of product and brand awareness through social media. Additionally, leading to a new exciting and engaging avenues of digital marketing for drink companies to try, how else can they use this piece of tech to market their drinks towards the wider community?
This also solves one of the main issues for digital marketing of food and drinks is the inability to fully recreate taste and smells in print and digital media. Marketers can only rely on imagery and words to evoke the feeling of taste, smell and desire within consumers, but nothing quite matches the sensation of walking past a bakery and getting a waft of freshly baked bread. Imagine a future where you’re scrolling through the internet when suddenly you see an ad for the most thirst quenching drink you’ve ever seen. You want to try it, but you can’t. Until you see the try now button, you press it and suddenly the drink is in your hands so instead of just seeing the product you can now taste it. This would greatly increase the type of sensory marketing marketers can use in their online advertising opposed to relying solely on words and imagery.
This also serves as a word of warning to soft drink companies, food and beverage industry believe they’re safe from the de-materialisation of their products in the digital world. However, this is a mistake on their part, as consumers now live in a digital world and the advent of advancing technology is now. Marketers should be embracing the digitisation of our world and use it to their advantage before the food and beverage industry they’re in becomes myopic. Here’s an interesting article by Marketing Mag that talks about how digitisation of products is creeping into our real world and how we as marketers need to use it to our advantage to sell our products.
Ultimately, the technology for sharing for or drinks over the internet is both very new and very expensive and the potential for these products have yet to be realised or utilised. So naturally, I’ve only scratched the surface of what this technology can do. So what do you think is the potential for this machine in the way we engage with others? And what other ways can marketers use this technology to increase sensory marketing of food and beverages?
Finally, when a good viral campaign backfires…
Image Source: https://michiganross.umich.edu/rtia-articles/evolution-sensory-marketing