Shortly after the release of the new Facebook profile design a number of creative types figured out that you could play around with the layout to make the avatar photo and 5 adjacent thumbnails next to it into one image. The only problem was that you needed to have some Photoshop skills to be able to create it but it didn’t take long for a major brand to jump in and create a Facebook app that would do all the heavy lifting for you. The app is really easy to use as it lets you upload an image, adjust it in real time and then saves out all of the images for you.
BUT just as when I used the Tweet Wrap site to cerate Twitter wrapping paper I am left wondering what the hell does this app have to do with Schweppes? There is no brand tie in. No up sell. No link to their Web site!!! There has been a lot of buzz around creating these photos so you know it will be popular but with the way this app is done you could swap out the Schweppes logo for any other brand and it wouldn’t make the slightest difference. Schweppes should have found a way to have the app tie back to their core brand attributes so that the user experience supports what their brand stands for. A great example of this is when FedEx created their ‘launch a package‘ application. You can’t send files through Facebook so just like with the new profile photos there was a need by Facebook users for this functionality. But unlike Schweppes, the FedEx app tied back to their brand reenforcing the concepts of fast reliable delivery, anywhere, anytime. Even if Schweppes wasn’t going to create something that tied into their brand then why get some brand association by at least putting a small version of their logo in one of the photos so they could get some wide spread, free brand impressions out this?
If I’ve said it once I have said it a thousand times and it seems like I need to say it once more. Technology is not an idea. Production techniques are not an idea. We continue to fall into the trap where we are more caught up in the latest tools and technologies we use instead of the stories we are trying to tell. Successful and breakthrough work comes from connecting a brands core truths to their consumers. If that does not happen then this project like so many others will only remember it as a slightly interesting use of technology that is quickly forgotten while our perception of the brand goes unrecognized and unchanged.