Rappler dominates the Boomerang awards
MANILA, PHILIPPINES – “People find our branded content interesting. It is completely transparent and answers their questions in an engaging, multi-media format. Traditional PR is dead.”
It was a foreshadowing.
Rappler CEO and Executive Editor Maria Ressa opened the second day of the Internet and Mobile Marketing (IMMAP) summit by talking about crowdsourcing.
Entitled “Digital Transformation,” the IMMAP summit gathered industry leaders from tech, mobile and digital, along with experts from media, advertising, brand management and marketing to talk about the trends that will soon change, if they are not already changing, the media and consumer landscape.
The ubiquity of digital and mobile use has already rewritten all of the rules in marketing. However, the reality is that there are still reluctant businesses and managers who are not getting on this train. The summit then aimed to break down those existing sacred cows of marketing to expose the power and irrepressibility of digital.
The communication cycle has completely changed, from a one-way stream of advertiser-to-consumer to a loop where consumers want to have a stake in the brands and companies they support.
“If before you would spend 6 months building a 30-second TVC, now you should spend 6 months to build your community,” was Ressa’s call to action to the audience. “The crowd is amazing. But it is something you build every day. Don't just turn to them in a crisis.”
Power of the crowd
A company that is only little less than 3 years old, one of Rappler’s core beliefs lies in the wisdom of the crowd. This pillar was apparent during the opening talk of Ressa.
Citing success stories like Uber and AirBnb to illustrate the new, non-linear production model, Ressa talked about how the previous model of producer and consumer has been debunked. Now, regular citizens can be producers, can offer their homes and apartments for rent.
"If before you would spend 6 months building a 30-second TVC, now you should spend 6 months to build your community."
Another clear example of the wisdom of the crowd is Amazon. They realized that the crowd was better than professional critics, and today, Amazon does not employ the latter. The crowd has shown better accuracy as well in forecasting stocks, a market that was previously dominated by experts.
Other than information, the crowd has also been effective in providing funds. Oculus Rift, a company building a next-generation virtual reality headset, was funded through the crowd. Using Kickstarter, it was able to raise US$2 million as start-up in 2012. This same company was recently bought by Facebook for $2 billion.
Digital for good
Ressa also talked about how crowdsourcing is vital to disaster response and management. With an average of 20 typhoons hitting the Philippines yearly, and the recent havoc caused by Super Typhoon Haiyan, the top-down government response model is clearly not enough. Citizen action has become indispensable.
Project Agos, a Rappler innovation, was then created to crowdsource information and map disaster occurrences to allow for immediate response. “Project Agos is disaster response that allows people to help and that transparency pressures government to help faster,” describes Ressa.
Aside from being able to rescue people in need, it also became a way for people to connect. In the aftermath of Haiyan, Agos and the Rappler team worked with Google and Facebook. The latter’s facial recognition software allowed people to track down loved ones.
But how do you make money?
Recently, during Tropical Storm Mario, the Agos team monitored #RescuePH and saw a Facebook post from Gabriela. A woman in labor was rescued from a rooftop on Barangay Tatalon, Quezon City. The Philippine Red Cross sent an ambulance and she was able to safely deliver a 6.16-pound baby girl in East Avenue Medical Center.
One of the recurring questions during the summit was how businesses can maximize digital and mobile for ROI. Addressing the thought on many of the audience member’s heads, Ressa replied, “I know people often ask how Rappler makes money. Well, we have a very creative sales team. And they use the same cycle we use for journalism and civic engagement: content creation, social media, crowdsourcing, and big data.”
During the keynote speech of Paul Srivorakul, co-Founder of Ensogo and Admax Network, he described how in 2020, 65% of people’s transactions will be influenced by digital.
This leads back to the role of content in influencing demand.“People find it interesting. It's not PR in the traditional sense,” is how Ressa described the #BrandRap section of Rappler. This is where advertisers come in not as intrusive ads but as real content for the audience.
Speaking to advertisers and brand managers in the audience, Ressa said, “Consumers will go to the brands that they are part of. To managers, you don't own your brands.”
Ressa cited the Spark-award-winning campaign of Pantene #WHIPIT and illustrated how the Rappler crowdsourced-campaign and forum jumpstarted global awareness for the advocacy. Ressa quipped, “Pantene #WHIPIT rippled globally. They're a great brand to work with because they allow us to do what we do.”
Widely cited as the most prestigious local digital marketing award-giving body, the Boomerang awards was held September 26 in the Samsung Hall of SM Aura, culminating the 8th IMMAP Summit.
In the end, Rappler-hosted campaigns went home with a total of 3 awards. A silver Boomerang for Rexona Do More Awards, an end-to-end, crowdsourced campaign that lauded the achievers who were changing their communities. In partnership with 1DMG and Bridges PR, the campaign was done with Rappler because social media was core from call-outs for nominations to execution.
And finally, twin golds were added to the already award-winning Pantene #WHIPIT campaign–one for Effectivity and Awareness and another for Best Strategy. These two awards were received by BBDO, Mediacom and Rappler.
“I feel like I’ve grown up with IMMAP,” shared Ressa, by way of introducing herself. With three awards for marketing campaigns in Rappler, IMMAP seems to have the same regard. – Rappler.com