Pandora kicked off the iMedia Video Summit with one of the most impressive opening reception speeches I've ever heard.
The attendees enjoyed a delectable culinary experience consisting of a wide variety of cultural dinner selections. Everything from Chinese wontons to Italian gnocchi was on the menu for a crowd of hundreds in the beautiful seaside Terranea Resort. This Los Angeles based summit is focused on "TV Everywhere: The New Video Era." In a casual, yet incredibly articulate speech, a rep from Pandora was able to summarize the company's video advertising success model in an impressively succinct manner, eliciting full applause from the attendees by the end of the presentation. It's a reaction I've rarely witnessed from a crowd at an opening summit reception.
The tables at the opening reception were peppered with flyers branded with QR codes, all linking to a special Pandora channel that the company created for the iMedia Video Summit. I was surprised to find that the company chose not to link to its marketing site. Instead, Pandora chose to do something far more impactful -- have attendees experience its service in context to the event. Pandora eliminated the common sales pressure I usually see at sponsored receptions and encouraged us to simply enjoy its service. It made me like Pandora all that much more.
Pandora's sales technique, much like the service itself, is all about integration in a low pressure environment. The company doesn't step on any toes, and its promotion strategy at the summit further proves why the brand is so masterful at mixing into our everyday life experiences. Dick Clark once said, "Music is the soundtrack of our lives". If he were alive and at this summit, he would call Pandora the enablers of that soundtrack.
The rep from Pandora laid out the aspects of the company which make it an extremely attractive prospect for digital marketers to consider investing their advertising spend. Pandora primarily displays advertising when a listener changes a channel or rates a song. Ads are not displayed when the listener has minimized the window or has activated activities on the service which indicate they're enjoying a causal listening experience. This strategy has resulted in incredibly high engagement rates, because impressions are not lost on listeners who are not paying attention.
It's an approach to advertising that can't help but remind us of the Crackle approach to advertising. By delivering ads seamlessly into their services and to users who are active participants, both companies have shown that engagement rates are directly affected by the honesty and transparency you give the consumer.
I wouldn't be surprised if Pandora emerges from this event with extremely strong relationships, business prospects, and advertising opportunities. The company set a bar for what you can communicate about your brand based simply off Pandora's excellently executed opening reception sponsorship.