Experiments in Branding – Of Buskers and Bud

CDZA is a NYC based band that creates musical video experiments.

Short for “Collective Cadenza”, the group is composed of 3 key members – a ‘video guy’, an ‘audio guy’ and a ‘music guy’ who get together and weave concepts that intertwine musical genius with slapstick comedy. Result: kick ass viral marketing savvy! Every other Tuesday, the band uploads a unique musical – ‘An Opus’, that almost instantly goes super viral, gets shared phenomenally and gets talked about in blogs and pop media alike.

What keeps CDZA interesting is that no two videos have been of the same kind to date. Each performance has been a unique experiment in creativity and musical craftsmanship infused with a liberal dash of humor. (eg: NYC Phoneharmonic – A wondrous orchestral medley of the iconic ringtones belonging to cell phone companies, History of Lyrics that aren’t lyrics – that takes us through 46 years of musical history through 20 songs with no lyrics!, Zuckerberg – the Musical etc)

Their latest performance – The Human Jukebox, Opus No. 9 –  was an experiment that stood out to me for a very interesting reason: the idea of giving ‘power’ to the consumer and watch them bask in sheer delight. See their performance here:

While I salute the sheer musical genius of the artists, what appeals to me in this experiment is what it successfully brings to life –  an enterprise that enables customers to have a degree of influence over the outcome. Result: consumers themselves become the owners of the experience!

The story can only go oneway in such circumstance – consumer delight and advocacy – every marketer’s wet dream. Let’s see another example.

Every Beer brand loves to own the Happy Hour. But how do you do it? Especially when you are a new entrant in a market with the incumbent being present for over a 100 years? Recently, Budweiser saw itself in this position in Ecuador. So what did it do? It installed a Budclock: 

This ‘ambient execution’ brilliantly brought to life the idea of “Happy hours never end with a Bud”, while empowering its consumers to stretch the Happy Hours by over 6000 minutes and thereby touched more than 50,000 people (and counting) with a phenomenal increase in sales. (source)

What again stood out for me here was the sheer delight – that ‘aha’ moment – a consumer is gifted with, each time they realize that they are able to add another minute to the Happy Hour. Result: The consumer owns the Happy Hour (not the pub). Thanks to Bud!

In each of these examples, what stands out is the magic that unfolds when the consumer realizes that she has a degree of influence over the outcome. As a result, she almost begins to own the (branded) experience and once that happens the story can only have one ending – Consumer Delight and Brand Advocacy.  

Do you know of any other examples that brings this to life?

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