Ironically, I have just seen the latest T-Mobile ad that was filmed in Kings Cross station on my London Underground journey this morning. The ad was playing silently on one of the new Digital display screens on the escalator at Victoria station.

I immediately picked up my iPhone, logged into Twitter and sent a Tweet from my mobile. This Tweet simultaneously updates my blog, LinkedIn page and my Facebook page as well as alerts all my Twitter contacts. That’s quite a few combined people!

For those of you who have no idea what I am talking about, well it’s the latest advert for the T-mobile G1 where phase one is video of a flash mob staging a dance at the train station at 11am on the morning of Thursday 15th January 2009. The campaign entitled “Life’s for Sharing” can be followed on the YouTube channel. It’s already had 1.2million viewers.

Last week I tweeted about this and then shared the video from the YouTube channel on Facebook, after seeing a non-industry friend discussing the ad on their Facebook page – she had commented on her status “Sam is loving the new T-Mobile commercial” and five of her friends then agreed. My brother then pointed me to a similar ad in New York from a while ago. I had comments on Twitter myself, as well as an email discussion about it amongst friends/colleagues.

So here we are on a blog thinking this through.

  • To date I still have not seen the ad that was aired on Channel 4 on the TV itself, yet here we are discussing it. (Remember, it was friend who saw the TV ad originally)
  • I have seen or discussed this commercial on three other different digital screens; a laptop, outdoor digital display and my mobile.
  • The way I have utilized digital media – from search to inStream video to social networks – and yes, Eyeblaster are running the video banner ads for this campaign.
  • Think of all the touch points, the “buzz” that is now following across the multiple social networks that I am partisan too.

This is a prime example of modern society engaging in firstly a physical social interaction followed by an equally important digital social interaction, this is a new twist on what we would have previously said was ‘viral’.

T-Mobile Kila Dance

So what does this mean for us as digital enablers and strategists?

  • Measuring digital effectiveness needs to move way beyond the effects and measurements of the humble banner ad – and fast!!
  • TV is an effective enabler for delivering reach, but there is now a percentage of the population who not primarily exposed to adverts on TV – but equally may become more open to its impact on TV as a result of it being highlighted elsewhere; significantly from a digital environment.
  • We can no longer see any media channel as an isolated event – different disciplines are going to need to find ways of sharing information and learning’s.
  • Digital can no longer be described in terms of a single screen interface (i.e. a PC) – we need to embrace the four-screen approach (i.e. TV, PC, Outdoor, Mobile).
  • Cross-channel measurements are definitely going to become mandatory and a necessity moving forward.
  • That the effects of brand activity can be to some degree measured across a plethora of digital touch-points, by these social interactions. Buzz metrics will become the new industry buzz word.

So many questions racing around my head:

  • So what is the agency actually tracking?
  • Are there even the tools they need to be able to do so?
  • Are the agency(s) teams all playing together?
  • How far are they embracing all these digital touch points?
  • Have they carefully strategized all these iterations or are they learning on the fly equally as much as we are observing?
  • I wonder what the ultimate digital metric will be when calculating the overall ROI? (I for one hope it will not be limited to CTR or a branding survey..!)
  • How would you begin to reveal to the client insights into all this activity?

I am sure you, the reader, are now equally intrigued by what this new digital concept means from an advertising viewpoint moving forward in 2009… and if you hadn’t seen the ad before, you have now.

You too have just become part of this new advertising phenomenon.