Friday, 12 October 2012

One minute case study: The Plane Crash

The Plane Crash - ticket

Last night I was lucky enough, along with my girlfriend Ana, to survive a plane crash, thanks to an engenious piece of social media/digital marketing.

Channel 4 screened their eagerly-anticipated documentary experience 'The Plane Crash' last night, and as somebody with a naturally morbid curiousity, I was keen to watch it and be a part of it. Luckily, Channel 4 had it covered.

The masterstroke of the whole programme was, in my opinion, how they made an effort to keep the programme as simple as possible, whilst not driving everybody towards social media channels every five seconds like we're ADHD-riddled morons. I didn't see one hash tag attached to the show - which is nice. It's the sort of programme that due to it's scale and serious content matter that didn't really need to be oversold via social.

The cleverest part of the experience was the online check-in process, giving people the opportunity to feel like they were involved in the programme. Kind of like a death lottery - but one you had the option to tune into, and didn't involve any loss of life.

It tapped into people's fears, and people's familiarity of checking in online to create a great piece of content that spread virally through Facebook and Twitter.

The Plane Crash - Facebook checkin

The reason it went viral, however, wasn't BECAUSE of social media, it was just a great idea that utilised social media. No annoying hashtags, no dribbling muppets on TV reading out Twitter comments about the show beginning with the word 'LOL! I fink...'

Simple, effective, fun. I liked it a lot.

And what did I do first thing this morning when I got into work? I logged in to check my seating position - revisiting the website, and sharing the result. Good news! Ana and I would both have survived! Some people I work with, however, weren't so lucky.

The Plane Crash - survival notification

It even had some nifty data to play with, showing the seats that people were most likely to pick. Funnily enough, seats next to the exit were the most popular.

The Plane Crash -  online checkin
A smart use of the data available, presented in a smart and engaging style.

This is the sort of engaging, smart multi-platform experience that Channel 4 should be investing more in post Big Brother. More please.

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