Yesterday, I took to Twitter to revisit a classic marketing concept of mine, Banana To Unlock, because I wanted to see if I could rebuild it using TensorFlow. Banana To Unlock allows a user to listen to music if and only if they show a banana to their desktop or mobile camera. I’ve been trying to sell it to Chiquita since 2014. This is where yesterdays experimentation ended up:
If you’re curious about how it was built, check out the thread on Twitter. Now I will do my best to justify the importance of this concept…
Getting someone’s attention online is tough work so the absurd generally stands out but there’s a bigger lesson to be learned here. Accessibility of concept is something I bring up constantly with my clients. That is a marketing concept simple enough for anyone to understand and allows the client’s content to reach beyond their core user base. I would say, “Banana To Unlock isn’t just for your fans, it’s for anyone who has a banana.” (Sure, not everyone has a banana but I own two at the moment) For users, the story then becomes “Have you been to that website which plays a song if you show it a banana?” and the content (in this case “Banana Ripple” by Junior Boys) takes a subliminal role in the concept. Like a commercial on TV or YouTube, if the user ends up enjoying the song they’re hearing, they generally know what steps to take to act on it but we can also provide context.
In practice, this is a decision the client and I make during the proposal process. We’ll ask ourselves, are we trying to build something to super serve our own fanbase or are we seeking to reach beyond? I certainly build projects which fit in both categories but feel like the accessible ones take on a life of their own. Whether that’s the website where you call into the music video, the app which allows you to generate playlists for any flight, or the player only accessible if you recite a satanic prayer. You can see how users beyond the core base might get some form of value out of these concepts and they all make for fun headlines. I take pride when work is featured on space.com rather than a music publication.
So, if the goal of your campaign is to attract users beyond the reach of your client’s user base and create accessible headlines for your inevitable news features, ask yourself, which fruit of vegetable is most applicable for our campaign?
I call 🍌.