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Direct Response Marketing

Creating Community

1 Jul, 2012 By: Jackie Jones Response

Embracing interactive, customized digital tools, entertainment marketers like Nikon and Hulu are empowering consumers
to make more purchases and reaping the benefits of an engaged, customer-centric community.

Image of Nikon CameraThe advent and overwhelming use of social-networking sites, such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter — along with the advancing technology of on-the-go tablets and smartphones allowing consumers to only be a fingertip away from the Internet — has created ample amounts of opportunity for even the least tech-savvy to stay connected to friends and family with the click of a button.

Now, some of the biggest entertainment marketers and advertising platforms alike are taking advantage of the changing times to also connect brands with customers, creating a sense of community and control that empowers consumers to stay engaged with the company and invested in making purchases.

“Nikon fans are incredibly passionate about our brand and serve as critical evangelists,” says Alyson Joubert, communications supervisor at Nikon Inc. “We value them greatly and are constantly exploring ways to engage them in education and content sharing because imagery is an excellent tool for storytelling and demonstrating the quality and capabilities of our cameras and accessories. Keeping an open dialogue also allows us to learn more about our consumers so we can deliver products that better fit their growing needs.”

Making the Most of Moments

Nikon recently launched a new effort to connect consumers with celebrities — and, in effect, with the brand itself — through its “Small Moments are Huge” program, an online community photo gallery to encourage digital camera users to celebrate their “meaningful, everyday moments.” The gallery, which is hosted on the Nikon USA Facebook page, brings together customers, photographers and celebrity participants including Ashton Kutcher, Hilary Duff and Derek Hough.

“The ‘Small Moments are Huge’ program is creating a community centered around celebrating and sharing the small, everyday moments in life that inspire us, make us laugh and have personal meaning,” Joubert says. “When we introduced the Nikon 1 Advanced Camera with Interchangeable Lens System, it was designed to be highly portable while offering excellent image quality to help easily capture small moments like these. To encourage consumers to capture more of their world, Nikon teamed up with influential personalities in television, film, music and technology to help inspire and promote the sharing of these small, but memorable moments by outfitting them with a Nikon 1J1 to help them capture the images that populate their personal photo galleries.”

The “Small Moments are Huge” program will run through the end of 2012, according to Joubert.

“We hope to build a strong community of fans who are actively sharing images and telling meaningful stories about the ‘small moments’ in their lives, while continuing to raise awareness for the Nikon 1 as an easy-to-use tool for capturing important moments,” Joubert says. “Additionally, for every photo uploaded, we are donating $1 to The Ronald McDonald House of Long Island — up to $50,000 — so we hope to reach our goal and continue to raise awareness for this important cause.”

Incorporating emerging digital platforms into Nikon’s communications strategy is an effective way to reach the marketer’s target audience on a more personal level, while supporting existing advertising campaigns, Joubert notes.

“The ‘Small Moments are Huge’ program is a great example of this as it complements the existing Nikon 1 ‘Small is Huge’ advertising campaign through consumer engagement on Facebook,” Joubert says. “Nikon has an incredibly active fan community with more than 1.4 million Facebook fans that really enjoy sharing their images and learning from each other, and this program allows them to share meaningful content in an organized way, whether it’s by category or most popular.”

Nikon goes a step further in empowering consumers to increase engagement. There is a sharing capability for every image online users view to extend awareness even further and promote great original content from fans, Joubert adds.

“This creates great opportunity for dialogue with consumers and enables us to be a platform to celebrate what’s important to them,” Joubert says. “Because consumers on Facebook are so actively engaged in photo sharing, it was the ideal platform for this program, which we are promoting through traditional media relations and other social media channels, as well.”

Hulu Revolutionizing Online Video Ads

Giving consumers control of when and where they interact with brands is working for advertisers in other ways, as well. Hulu — which not only gives consumers a choice of which ad to watch, but also only charges advertisers when viewers completely watch a whole ad — now tops the ranks in attracting the bulk of video ad impressions.

Hulu leads the online advertising market, with Americans watching 2.5 billion total videos on Hulu in February — about 1,000 per second. Hulu is also ranked No. 1 in video ads delivered per month, according to the most recent data from comScore Inc., which also shows that Hulu now has around 38 million visitors per month and revenue of about $420 million in 2011, up 60 percent from $263 million in 2010.

“Americans viewed 7.5 billion video ads in February, with Hulu delivering a record-high number of video ad impressions at more than 1.5 billion,” comScore’s report read. “Video ads reached 50 percent of the total U.S. population, an average of 49 times during the month. Hulu delivered the highest frequency of video ads to its viewers, with an average of 48.”

Hulu’s Ad Swap — the next evolution of its Ad Selector, which allows consumers to choose which ad from three options they’d like to view — puts complete control in the hands of the online consumer by enabling them to instantly swap out of an ad they are watching for one that is more relevant, according to JP Colaco, senior vice president of advertising at Hulu. It is a win-win for all involved, Hulu says.

“We believe that by offering users a premium viewing environment and relevant, targeted ads, we will reduce budget waste for advertisers and drive higher engagement, brand and message recall, likeability, and purchase intent among consumers. These improvements facilitate higher ad prices, which gives us the ability to better monetize content on behalf of content owners,” Colaco writes on Hulu’s official blog. “In an online environment, advertisers have many more tools they can use to engage with key audiences, and in ways that are proven to improve brand recall, message recall, likeability and purchase intent. With Hulu Ad Swap, in particular, advertisers now have the ability to connect in meaningful ways with the consumers who are specifically interested in their brands.”

Digital seems to be the future for entertainment marketers, with much of brands’ success coming from these channels, according to many in the industry. While marketers now have the tools to expect greater relevance and higher engagement from video advertising to create more targeted conversations with their customers, consumers also have the ability to control what content they want to interact with and how. For brands keen to this consumer trend and emerging technology, the future is ripe with possibility.

“Nikon has seen a gradual increase in our community and fan base on our properties including Facebook, Vimeo, Flickr and Twitter, and we are engaging with photographers from across the globe like never before,” says Joubert, who adds that Nikon is looking forward to continuing to develop high-impact marketing initiatives that tell stories in innovative ways both offline and online in the coming year. “Creating integrated programs, strategic partnerships — such as our efforts at SXSW with Warner Music Group — and community engagement all help create positive awareness and interest in our brand and products.”

Embracing interactive, customized digital tools, entertainment marketers like Nikon and Hulu are empowering consumers
to make more purchases and reaping the benefits of an engaged, customer-centric community.


Nielsen Cable Network Rankings

View these rankings here in PDF format.

Top 10 Cable Networks

Women 18-49

  1. Adult Swim
  2. TNT
  3. USA
  4. Nick at Nite
  5. Nickelodeon
  6. TBS
  7. A&E
  8. Lifetime
  9. TLC
  10. Food Network

Top 10 Cable Networks

Men 18-49

  1. ESPN
  2. Adult Swim
  3. History
  4. FX
  5. TBS
  6. USA
  7. Comedy Central
  8. Discovery
  9. A&E

Nielsen operates as an information and measurement company worldwide. It offers critical media and marketing information, analytics and industry expertise about what consumers buy and what consumers watch on a global and local basis. TV audience data above is from Nielsen NPM Sample and is based on live+same day viewing during the time period April 30, 2012 through May 27, 2012. Ranking is based on the projected audience in 000s and the reportable day interval for each cable network. For inquiries on the above, please E-mail:

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