Brand engagement is a term that falls into the ‘weather bucket,’ as far as I’m concerned: Everyone talks about it, but nobody does anything about it. That it, until now. Here’s a shout-out to the wildest (and honestly most engaging) advertising ever. PC Matic. No kidding. Really.
For those of us Morning-Joe-at-the Gym junkies (and I suspect cable news stations of other persuasions) PC Matic is something of an occupational hazard. It pretty much shadows our mornings. I first noticed it a couple of years ago when the fellow who seems to be the founder showed up with his wife, father-in-law and two kids extolling the benefits of his malware-detonating approach to online safety. Pretty soon, there they were in the family kitchen, chopping salad ingredients together and, yes, extolling the benefits of his malware-detonating approach to online safety and explaining the company is hiring. Then, there was a weird kind of homespun country band, yes, extolling….and hiring. Then a very professionally produced Star Wars-inspired version with a professional voice over, extolling. Then, a different cut with the founders’ voice as announcer. Then, there he was back again, talking right to the camera as a cut-away from the threats embodied by a nasty hooded figure at a computer. Then, the band was back. Then, a guy eating meatloaf with his mother, discussing the IT threat at his office while she recommends PC Matic, which she used at her church. Now, the band is back.
I am engaged with the brand and its rough-cut approach to advertising. Seemingly every week a new version of the same message. They must have a direct response threshold and when one 15-second spot doesn’t deliver, off they go into the editing studio (or someone’s basement). There’s a page-turning quality to it that I’ve come to quite look forward to, even though I’m every bit as unlikely to order PC Matic for our computers than I am to ‘ask my doctor’ about any of the gorgeously produced and mind-numbingly repetitive, irritating and ultimately ignorable pharmaceutical advertising that comes to me via my recumbent biking habit.
I wonder that more brands don’t use this ‘catch and release’ form of advertising-as-episode. Certainly, the technology is here. To me it's become the daily equivalent of a Dickensian tale spooled out in daily paper installments 160 years ago. A mystery plus recognizable characters. What will happen next?