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Brandon LaChanceDirector, AdvertisingCKE Brands
Known in recent years for occasionally provocative, sexualized ads, the Carl’s Jr. fast-food restaurant chain has joined with media company Vice for the launch of Vice’s new gaming website, Waypoint. Since the two companies appeal to the same millennial male audience, the move made sense, according to Brandon LaChance, director of advertising for CKE restaurants. Waypoint debuted at the end of October during a 72-hour stream of live content, including live skit-like ads that ran every 60 or 90 minutes and featured the Carl’s Jr. mascot in amusing circumstances. LaChance spoke to eMarketer about the website rollout.
eMarketer: Carl’s Jr. recently ran a series of live ads during Vice’s launch of its new gaming website, Waypoint. How did the partnership come to fruition?
Brandon LaChance: Vice is a property we’ve had our eyes on for a while now. We’ve been looking for ways to partner with them because it became very apparent that they are the media channel of choice for the millennial audience. When we learned that they were launching their gaming channel, it felt like a natural fit because gaming resonates with our young male audience.
eMarketer: Live streaming is picking up steam on Facebook. Do you see the technology playing an eventual role in marketing and advertising both on and off social platforms?
LaChance: It’s all about finding the right time for a live content execution. Brands that are smart and can capitalize on new opportunities are going to see a lot of success, because when it comes to social and digital media, the beauty of it is transforming interactions from push to pull engagements, [where consumers come to brands.] Live streaming humanizes brands, enabling them to be more authentic, raw and less polished.
eMarketer: If live streaming is going to work outside of the social media realm, are brands going to have to develop deeper relationships with publishers to ensure a level of trust and audience alignment?
LaChance: Absolutely. The old way of thinking for brands is to run a banner below content that says “brought to you by” or “presented by” and then run an ad.
The new way of thinking is authenticity. The brand has to become part of the content itself. We want to continue moving in this direction because placing a pre-roll message is not nearly as impactful or engaging as actually becoming part of the content that audiences want to consume.
eMarketer: What were the technology challenges associated with developing and running the live ads?
LaChance: This was the first time that we handed over the keys to our brand on the technology side because these were live skits [that were filmed by Vice]. There was a level of trust and we let them run with it.
eMarketer: Were you able to get any metrics or other feedback on how the content was performing? How does social listening translate to live advertising content?
LaChance: We were getting live feedback from everyone watching. We saw the comments in real time. After the live broadcast, we were able to go in and comb the keywords to get a deeper understanding of the feedback. We will also go back and do a larger sentiment analysis as well, but based on our real-time analysis the feedback was overwhelming positive.
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