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5 FIGHTING TECHNIQUES FOR TRADE SHOW EXHIBIT WITH A "PUNCH"

Designing an exhibit is piece of cake, right? Not if the exhibit is at the dmexco, one of the most prestig-ious trade shows for digital marketing. And certainly not if it belongs to the industry leader, T-Online.de. And definitely not when the trade show exhibit is meant to be the centerpiece of a complete B2B campaign.

We created the T-Online exhibit at the dmexco trade show using the slogan "More Punch!" In keeping with the campaign slogan, we’re presenting our approach in the form of five fighting techniques:

FIGHTING TECHNIQUE 1: GETTING TO KNOW PRODUCTS, TARGET GROUPS AND CHALLENGES

"Knowledge is power." This bit of wisdom from the English scientist and philosopher Francis Bacon also applies when preparing a trade show. Those who know their products and target groups can design their methods to fit them perfectly.

The product: high coverage, low bookings

250 million visits a month, 32 million on mobile devices, 30 million video views a month and more unique users than Spiegel Online and Bild.de combined. T-Online.de offers great potential for online advertisers. Many are aware of T-Online.de. However, few knew the full extent of its advertising opportunities. For a long time, T-Online.de was seen as an "all-rounder" and without much specification for target groups. Therefore, the number of bookings for banner advertising was much lower than desired.

The industry: young target group, dry topic

Media planners and deciders are a young, online-savvy target group. However, ad placement can make for pretty dry analysis. What’s most important are figures, analyzes and reference numbers. Good opportunities for modulation and directly addressing the target group are especially attractive for advertising methods. This international who’s-who of the digital economy meets every year at the dmexco in Cologne to maintain contacts and to learn about the latest trends in online marketing. In September 2013, more than 700 exhibitors and about 12,000 visitors met on about 57,000 square meters of exhibition space.

The task: new functionalities, comprehensive campaign

For T-Online.de, the trade show on September 18th and 19th also marked a renewed push for quality. T-Online.de improved advertising opportunities on its website in 2013 yet again. Among other things, the website has decided to emphasize news topics in future. The advertising formats and targeting methods have also been improved. These changes were presented to the professional audience as part of the dmexco. But the trade show exhibit was only meant to be the plug for a complete B2B campaign.

The challenge: long pause, loud comeback

A particular challenge for us as an agency was to present the rather dry topic of "online marketing" in a way that would excite a young target group and directly relate the key benefits of the development to them. After a seven year break in customer communication, T-Online.de also wanted to make a comeback. The goal was to reposition to be the largest online news portal in Germany for the target group of media decision makers.

FIGHTING TECHNIQUE 2: SEND YOUR MESSAGES IN A BOLD WAY

To draw attention to the new clout of T-Online.de, we've chosen "clout" for the central creative idea. We decided on an uncharacteristically bold approach for the B2B sector in general and specifically for the industry. The motto is "More Punch!"

We used a muscle-bound model in a magenta wrestling outfit as the key visual. The T-Online.de lucha libre wrestler takes on his advertising competitors with different designs, symbolizing individual product benefit. Headlines such as "Like vs. Want" or "Social vs. Editorial" indicate which opponents are facing off in the ring.

The campaign shows that T-Online.de can hold up to any comparison and can compete confidently with trends like social marketing.

FIGHTING TECHNIQUE 3: SET YOUR SIGHTS ON YOUR GOAL ON ALL CHANNELS

The campaign was conceived of as a multi-channel strategy accompanying the user-cycle of the target groups. That’s because addressing the target groups begins weeks before the trade show. Contact was maintained from when they planed their visits right up to the last day of the trade show.

We pulled out all the stops to support the design of the exhibit. A 3D email invitation to dmexco for regular customers, accompanied by print and banner ads in specialist media. We integrated all of this into the design of the trade show exhibit, as well as in the accompanying handouts, giveaways and events.

FIGHTING TECHNIQUE 4: ENABLED RECOGNITION ON ALL CHANNELS

Addressing target groups on several channels requires a certain amount of recognition. As such, we had to use the key visuals for every part. But, of course, we had to take into account the mix of methods and the particularities of each channel.

3D invitation mailing:

We invited all regular customers to visit the T-Online.de exhibit several weeks before the start of dmexco.

Print banner ads in specialized media:

In the relevant industry media, ads and banners were created for both online and offline. Display advertising reached an average click rate of 0.35% and 0.66% at peak times.

Information brochure:

The handout was designed as a sixteen page "exercise book" with tips and information about the portfolio and successful advertising on T-Online.de.

Responsive microsite sweepstakes:

Optimized for all devices, the campaign microsite (www.t-online.de/mehr-punch) offered detailed information on products, clusters and media both during and after the trade show. A raffle game provided traffic and leads at the dmexco: Nearly 1,000 unique visitors during the show created more than 4,000 page impressions.

Giveaways:

Items such as masks, iPad covers and suckers with the T-Online.de branding were given away as part of the raffle.

FIGHTING TECHNIQUE 5: DON'T LET YOURSELF BE FORGOTTEN

All activities were directed at the trade show event. The idea was for the audience to remember the client after they had gone. The T-Online.de exhibit at the Cologne exhibition center was already highly visible on posters both inside and outside the exhibition halls.

The exhibit itself was easily visible from a distance. Pillar animations on flat screens with information about the T-Online.de portfolio, posters with the campaign motifs, a DJ booth with the campaign look and table displays with a matching "more punch" cocktail.

The exhibition team was accompanied by "real" wrestlers ready for snapshots in T-Online.de-branded wrestling suits instead of the usual promoters. The photographed visitors could then admire their images on a large display wall or take a print home with them.

The "tough" souvenir photos with the muscle men surfaced around the trade show in various social networks, industry portals and expert blogs. These kept the punch of T-Online.de in fond memory and also drew the interest of experts on the web. And that's the most important thing. Because what’s a champion without his adoring fans?

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