EY’s innovative content approach is undoubtedly eye-catching
The idea that what we term ‘audiences’ are just groups of individual people has been discussed here, as has the fact that these people have interests beyond those detailed in their marketing persona.
EY have clearly born both these concepts in mind when promoting its Art and Science campaign. The idea is to associate great masters of the art world with their business. Paintings need detailed examination to be understood but you also need to step back to appreciate the big picture (literally). And the same is true of audits.
The execution is compelling. The campaign is based on a website that automatically takes the viewer on an impressive up-close journey of works by artists such as Vermeer, Raphael and Botticelli. Graphics are overlaid over the paintings to show the secrets of their structure.
The slick website is engaging, the zoomed views are literally eye-opening and the additional information is valuable to anyone with even a passing interest in the arts. The experience takes about 10 seconds. Then comes the marketing message that EY is good at accountancy services. Additional links and text appear to tell you more.
I came across this campaign as a promoted link in my LinkedIn feed. I could see it was from EY and although I knew I had no need of their services, I clicked. Why? Because it looked like I could learn something of interest to me.
The experience on arrival on the site was classy and compelling. It made me see the company as expert and innovative.
So what we can learn from EY’s artistic endeavours? The budget to create the site and the complex graphics will have been considerable. EY were wise to maximise their spend with paid promotion. Few potential customers would search for ‘Vermeer audit services’ so organic search was never going to deliver the goods.
The content (video, graphics, text) brought me to that site and kept me there for long enough to start reading. EY understood that their audience was likely to be interested in something other than audit. They chose a subject (art) that fitted with their values. They invested in a site that added to the perception of excellence and innovation. And they promoted it through appropriate channels. All good stuff.
One could perhaps criticise the unsubtle parallels between art and audit:
For centuries, artists have used scientific constructs to create a sense of perfect proportion and beauty in their art. Similarly, our auditors use advanced and innovative tools to produce the highest quality audit.
And should there have been more content about the art to satisfy those whose interest was piqued? I’d have appreciated that. But I’m not the target audience. Market testing and analytics would be able to deliver a definitive answer. As always, the devil’s in the detail.
In a crowded market place it is up to content marketers to use innovation and imagination to reach their audiences. EY have done exactly that with this campaign, proving that successful content marketing really is both an art and a science.