Drones—whether it’s to stage a robot takeover or deliver our pizza— they are here to stay. Once used exclusively in the military world, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are now one of the most talked-about pieces of commercial tech on the market and an exciting prospect for brands wanting to take their creative campaigns to the next level.
Since their rise to mainstream fame in 2013, when Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos announced his plan to launch PrimeAir on 60 Minutes, drones have been used for everything from outdoor advertising to publicity stunts. Some brands have found great success integrating drones into their marketing and content strategies and others, um, …not so much (see: TGI Friday drone clips off someone’s nose.)
As digital marketers, we can’t help but notice all the innovative content and creative campaigns being produced by brands willing to embrace the buzzworthy flying bots. At least, we definitely noticed (and kissed our clean eating resolutions goodbye) when Domino’s Pizza tested out drone delivery.
Aerial food delivery aside, here are a few companies with drone campaigns and content that we can’t get enough.
Last year, Uber swooped onto the UVA scene with a cheeky approach to drone marketing. As part of their push to dominate Latin America markets, the digital disrupter took to the streets of Mexico City with fleets of drones which they used to heckle drivers stuck in gridlocked traffic. Each drone carried a sign that scolded drivers for commuting alone—a stunt meant to guilt them into using Uber’s ridesharing feature UberPOOL. Annoying? Maybe. Effective? Absolutely.
If there’s one brand that proves drones are good for more than pizza delivery and cheeky publicity stunts, it’s Red Bull. The company has always been a mover and a shaker in the video content world, but drones have taken their action-packed visuals to a whole new level. They were one of the first sports brands to film with drones and have since captured some of the most stunning footage out there—transporting fans to the peaks of Patagonia, the French-Alps and more.
Intel + Pepsi
What this year’s Super Bowl halftime show lacked in surprise Destiny’s Child reunions, wardrobe malfunctions, and Left Sharks, it made up for with an army of drones—300 to be exact. The luminous flying bots acted as back up dancers for Lady Gaga, forming an American Flag as she belted This Land is Your Land in front of the millions gathered at NRG Stadium. When the song ended, Gaga leaped onto the stage, and the drones shifted to form the Pepsi then Intel logos. If you’re sponsoring the Super Bowl, go big or go home.
We are can’t wait to see how drones will continue to shape the world around us. Will they revolutionize virtual reality video? Replace couriers? Will the dronie be the new selfie?!
Only time can tell. For now, keep your eyes on the sky for more wacky, innovative drone campaigns to come.