Every day people are surrounded by claims that convey what makes one wireless carrier better than the next; "The newest network", "the largest network", "the most reliable network." But with many carriers saying similar things, it's easy to see why people think that all wireless networks are the same.
When AT&T was deemed "the nation's strongest 4G LTE signal," they needed to make sure people understood what it meant to have a network with the strongest signal and why having a strong network mattered.
A New Campaign
With this in mind, AT&T launched a new campaign, #StrongCan, to introduce "the nation's strongest 4G LTE signal" claim. In social, AT&T developed a video docu-series showcasing real, everyday AT&T customers who use the network in unique ways. Each story featured customers using the AT&T network and mobile technology to defy limitations like distance or time.
As the campaign evolved, AT&T wanted to create an innovative social experience that demonstrated to consumers why a strong network matters. To accomplish this, AT&T set out to:
The Current Situation
Within #StrongCan, one of the real people highlighted was an aspiring race car driver, Ben Albano. In his docu-series, we showed how he uses the AT&T network in a unique way to train with his coach remotely and take advantage of all the tools the network provides in order to win his next race. Overall, we developed :60 and :30 videos, cinemagraphs, and photographic portraits that were published across Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube to tell Ben's story. But telling Ben's story to audiences wasn't enough.
AT&T needed to prove that having a network with a strong signal matters by letting audiences experience what the strongest network could do in a socially innovative way as seen through Ben's eyes.
With the recent launch of 360° technology, AT&T explored 360° video as a way to let audiences experience Ben's story first-hand. This innovative technology lets audiences jump in the car with Ben, hear him interact with his coach over the AT&T network and control what they saw throughout the video from every angle – just like Ben would see. Designed for a mobile-first viewing experience, viewers could control their view by simply moving their mobile device. If viewers were on a desktop, they could control the scene from within a web browser using navigation dials or the mouse.
How Audiences Saw the Video
The content strategy for Ben's series was to rollout the videos, cinemagraphs and portraits first then reveal the 360° video as the culmination. The earlier content was intended to introduce audiences to Ben and how he was creating a custom, interactive experience just for his fans. This strategic approach allowed us to periodically reveal Ben's story while maintaining a cohesive ecosystem.
During the development of the 360° video, we worked closely with Facebook and YouTube to established best practices for this new type of technology, to get it just right. At last, AT&T launched the 360° video on Facebook and YouTube in September 2015.
AT&T was among an extremely limited group of brands that participated in the Facebook Alpha to launch the 360° video organically the first day Facebook supported this new type of video. Within the Alpha, the 360 video° was only viewable on Android devices and desktop, so AT&T developed promoted Facebook and Twitter posts. Those additional posts, with images or GIFs from the video, enticed fans to click-through to view the 360° video on YouTube.
AT&T continued to partner with Facebook and participated in the Beta program to launch the promoted 360° video functionality in November 2015. Once again, AT&T was first-to-market on Facebook, this time reaching a larger audience available on all devices.
Ben's compelling story was a perfect fit for this emerging type of virtual reality. Even the smallest elements like a speedometer, race track navigation, coach voice-over and Ben's narration added to the full effect that viewers were in the car with Ben.
Objective #1: Leverage emerging technology to create an immersive social experience.
Objective #2: Inspire people to engage with memorable, innovative social content.