The sweet spot: Where digital and traditional media collide

February 10, 2016Uncategorized
Jessica Gibson, Senior Strategic Content Planner

Jessica Gibson, Senior Strategic Content Planner

Are you ‘team digital’ or ‘team traditional’? Does that even matter? Jessica Amy Gibson looks at how the two teams can work together to produce great things.

In a world where we can consume anything anywhere, brands need to be wherever their audience is.

Once upon a time, not so long ago, this was at 7.30pm on a Thursday night, or on the back cover of a women’s lifestyle magazine. Mass. Audience. Reached. We all know the algorithm is not that simple anymore. The traditional means of reach are not enough on their own.

Instead of getting bogged down in an examination of why team X is better than team Y, let’s check out a few examples of brands who have used the collision point of digital and traditional media – or sweet spot – to their advantage.


The sweet spot is the ‘optimum point or combination of factors or qualities’, and when this can be crafted, the result can be beautiful:

– Cronuts: Part croissant, part doughnut.
– Nike Dunks: Sports trainers with height.
– Salted caramel: A genius combination.
– AFL: A cricket oval and off-season rugby players.

Here are three examples of brands who have created an excellent blend of old and new media.

Long live the glossy: Net-a-Porter’s PORTER Magazine

The brainchild of Natalie Massenet, Net-a-Porter has grown from an e-tailer to a £350 million empire. The brand now produces magazines (print and digital) and nine apps, and interacts with over six million women each month.

A standalone magazine, PORTER Magazine was launched in 2014 as a place to showcase pieces (all available on the site, obviously) editorially with a high-fashion treatment. The UK Professional Publishers Association named PORTER Magazine GameChanger of the Year in 2015 and the British Media Awards named it Print Product of the Year.

Massenet said starting a magazine was always part of her plan. Her digital start-up strategy included the production of a tangible, glossy magazine.

“People always say to me ‘You’ve strived to redefine retail’ but the reality is I wanted to redefine magazines,” she told the Evening Standard in 2013. “From the start we were always trying to blend the two, to buy [clothes and labels] in the same way a fashion editor would choose them.”


In-pocket beauty: L’Oreal’s Makeup Genius app

Historically one of the biggest spenders in traditional media, L’Oreal drastically reduced their mainstream media advertising budget in 2015 with an aim to spend more in the digital space. The Australian reports the company doubled its digital marketing budget in 12 months. With an increased focus on new media, the international beauty powerhouse has produced some significant activations, the #WorthSaying campaign at the 2016 Golden Globes, the new wearable UV skin patch to monitor exposure to the sun, and the Makeup Genius app.

Makeup Genius gives users the opportunity to virtually ‘try on’ L’Oreal products. (Block out time in your diary to play around with the app. It’s a lot of fun.) Encouraging consumers to trial makeup via samples or discount coupons has been the staple diet of women’s lifestyle products. By combining a digital experience – an app – with a traditional outcome – product trial – L’Oreal continues its quest to provide “beauty for all” and shorten the path to purchase.

Loreal-Makeup Genius

Hashtag your physical product: #mycalvins

Calvin Klein has always been ahead of the marketing game (see: #ckforme, and ck one lifestyle rebranding). Taking things a step further, their ongoing #mycalvins campaign brings together advertising in print, digital and outdoor plus features on point-of-sale and swing tags in store. Their recent ‘I ________ in #mycalvins’ tagline has built on this campaign, inviting us to see what celebrities, including Kendall Jenner, ‘do’ in their Calvins (for the record she ‘Kendall’s’ in hers).

While not all brands will be able to utilise the reach of Kendall, they can all take note of CK’s execution methods. A simple hashtag promoted across as many customer interactions as possible, inspired more than 275,000 UGC #mycalvins posts on Instagram. A great win for the brand and for anyone wanting to see Justin Bieber in his smalls.


Here are three ways to trial the sweet spot for your brand:

1. Investigate how you can use interactive content: Impress your audience and increase brand awareness by producing quality content integrated with digital elements. Snow Fall from the NY Times is the touchstone of interactive content, it worked quality, traditional journalism into a stunning interactive digital piece and won a Pulitzer Prize for its efforts.

2. Create downloadable and printer friendly ebooks or infographics. Just because digital is your bread and butter, doesn’t mean it is your customers’. Providing content that is accessible offline is one way of marrying the traditional and digital worlds.

3. Ensure your social strategy captures how users are interacting with your brand and reaches further than just social channels. How can you collate and use UGC in your other traditional media outlets?

Finding the sweet spot could help your brand reach new levels of engagement with your audience.

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