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The Australia Post Video Stamp – Creating a High-tech Extension to an Age-old Service #AdTechANZ

19 March 2014 BY

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The Australia Post Video Stamp was launched just before Christmas last year.  It was the biggest campaign by Australia Post since early 2000.  Australia Post is a large and complex organisation and this campaign brought digital and offline together by working with the Clemenger BBDO Melbourne office.

The video stamp allowed customers to make their own videos to send with their parcel.   There were 7 million unique video stamps distributed before Christmas 2013, in 41 countries.  Video stamp is a good use of QR codes.  It also made people from all around the world feel closer to one another which is especially important at Christmas.

There was a lot of bravery and trust placed with  Clemenger BBDO  agency to allow them to execute this video stamp, which had never been done with Australia Post before.

There were some challenges with the business the agency had to overcome.  One of them was that Australia Post had to hit the volume and revenue at Christmas ( its peak period).  Their hero product, which is express post had seen a decline in recent years.

A few reasons for this decline:

  • There was a lot of migration happening (a move from express post to parcel post), still great reliable service
  • With a growth of e commerce, people are buying presents online and sending them free of charge (without going to the post office).

Objectives of the Video Stamp Campaign:

1. At least maintain the volume of Express Post

2. Inject some engagement and excitement into the brand.  Eg how can we put some new attributes into the brand (caring and being part of the community)

3. Open up the social channels, want to be more than proactive instead of reactive all the time.  Create positive word of mouth.

How did Australia Post Achieve This?

Started with looking at Insights.  Australia Post has been connecting people for over 200 years so they first looked at Human Insights:

1. Human insight – its always nice to give someone a present in person than to send it remotely.

Human Insight ad:tech

2. Product Insight

Initial work Australia Post did, was very product focused.  It was connecting people at a key time of year.  Didn’t’  feel it was going to drive people to talk about the brand.

3. Social insight

Australia Post know people are communicating in bite size bits.

There was a lot of pressure on the video stamp for businesses to use.  But they agreed was more important to have that personal connection first before they evolved it for organisations.

 

Learnings

1. Start with consumer insight. Great insight will lead to great work.

Trying to get an idea like this around the organisation is very hard.   Marketing had a lot of weight on its shoulders to do this well.

Queues are big at the Post Office especially during Christmas time.  Adding 10 secs to the queue was going to be important.   So a lot of design went into the wallets in the Post Office about the Video Stamp

There were 80 – 100 people were reviewing this project.  The people in the business need to go through and endorse a program because of reputation risk, logistics etc.

It was the collaboration that pushed this project through and had everyone on board behind the product.

Stakeholders ad:tech

2. Making tech feel tangible

Instead of saying this is a QR code, they produced a video that clearly showed how to use the Video Stamp. They demystified the technology.

Now they had the DESIGN Challenge

1. It had to be secure (no one could record over it)

2. Convenient (Christmas rush, could not have people asking questions at the counter, want people to record a personal message)

3. Branded – Want it to be instantly recognisable as Australia post.

The team  spent a lot of time on the video stamp  leaflet that was available in the post offices  QR codes were used for the Video Stamp as people are already knew about it and it also nicely fitted into the stamp area in the top right hand corner of the parcel.  Australia Post had to produce 7 million video stamps and QR was a cost effective way to do this.

3. Do , then say

It took 6 weeks to create the 14 million URLs for the 7 million QR codes.  There were 3 streams of work to make the project work.

1. QR codes and wallet

2. iOS and Android apps

3. Web application

Product Designs ad:tech

Everyone in the organisation was sold on the vision of the product so the agency was under the pump to deliver it.

How did the agency do this?

At the agency, 3 months before the brief started, they redesigned how  the agency worked.  They had to be agile and they brought cross functional people to work and sit together.

 

Results of the Campaign:

  • Connected people in 49 countries, 320 cities.
  • There was a lot of social engagement and PR coverage
  • A lot of business customers used express pos during this period and therefore Australia Post was able to stop the decline in express post they had been experiencing.
  • Nearly 3,300 social mentions, reached over 10 million people online. There was 94% positive sentiment on Twitter.

Campaign Results ad:tech

This was a great project which shows how a large organisation can launch a creative product using technology they had never used  before. They used their staff (over 30,000 employees) to be the advocate of this new product. The social media component of the project was about maintenance and answering questions via Facebook. For Australia Post, social was more about creating the right moment of time to reveal it and make sure everyone was ready to act on what happened very quickly.

AUTHORED BY:
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Jo Turnbull is the organiser of Search London and the founder of SEO Jo Blogs, which provides practical advice and tips for those in SEO.
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