Aldo Agostinelli

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Drones, the ultimate tech toys of the 21st century, have proven as exciting at work as they are at play: I challenge you to find a brand that hasn’t called a drone brainstorm and tried (someway, any way!) to incorporate them into their marketing strategy. And, when used well, whether in content production, direct sales or wider marketing, they’ve proven they can add value and enhance creativity in almost any business.

Their value can be a simple as reducing costs for your next ad campaign: drone aerial video and photography is a great alternative to renting a helicopter, which can run anywhere from several hundred to thousands of dollars per day. If you face poor weather, it’s much easier to re-schedule a shoot for a couple of hours rather than cancelling a helicopter and facing a penalty which might burn a hole in your budget. Thanks to this, there are plenty of freelance videographers and creative agencies out there finding that owning a drone is a huge advantage (and many marketers reaping the benefits).

In 2015, industrial giant GE tapped into drones’ potential for content creation by launching #DroneWeek, which it called “the first-ever drone show on Periscope”. The brand gave viewers a drone’s eye view of its scientific and industrial facilities, along with expert commentary from GE scientists, in a fun, relatable way by using a drone equipped to livestream on Periscope.

But what about direct sales? Back in 2013, Amazon used drones for a stunt which had ultimately sparked some serious conversation on how they could be utilised to deliver goods weighing up to five pounds to customers in a faster and an efficient way. Amazon’s revolutionary Prime Air service unveiled how it will one day allow Amazon to deliver packages “in 30 minutes or less using unmanned aerial vehicles”. Whilst it’s still in development (Amazon says that it will take ‘some time’) drone delivery will undoubtedly one day become mainstream.

In terms of marketing stunts, drone delivery has certainly already arrived: Domino’s brought us the world’s first pizza delivery drone, whilst in February 2015 let romantics in Romeo and Juliet’s hometown of Verona send their Valentine drone-delivered roses. One luxury Californian hotel – The Mansion at Casa Madrona – even offers its guests a champagne delivery service via drone. These stunts made headlines worldwide, showing that as well as being invaluable in creating content, drones star in it.

Finally, drones may also help your business do good for the world. Take Coke’s outstanding #CokeDrones campaign (created by OgilvyMather Singapore).  The flying vehicles were delivered Coke cans and love messages to Singapore migrant workers forced to live away from their families for long periods of time. Again – a great example which showcases how you can capitalise on using drones and create fresh content, delight your customers and make people smile.

What do you think of drones? Could they add value to your marketing strategy? I’d love to hear your thoughts. Tweet me @AgostinelliAldo

Image by Andrew Turner.

Aldo Agostinelli