Drones—they’re here to stay. These flying machines have picked up in sales, both among casual and tech-savvy users looking to film everything they can get a lens on. However, they’re also finding more use in the marketing world, taking certain brands to new heights—literally.
In the past, Amazon had mentioned how it was looking to introduce a local delivery service that would utilize drones to drop off packages to consumers. On Friday, however, 7-Eleven introduced a fully autonomous delivery service, approved by the FAA, that would enable consumers to order a number of food goodies for delivery. This ranges from chicken sandwiches to donuts to the company’s signature Slurpee drinks.
7-Eleven partnered with drone delivery service Flirtey to make it a reality. “This deliver is the first time a US customer has received a package to their home via drone, representing a historic milestone in both US and global commerce,” the company said.
So, how else have drones played a part in marketing campaigns? Here are a few examples:
No stranger to using its camera technology for more extreme adventures, GoPro announced today that it would be a presenting sponsor for the 2016 U.S. National Drone Racing Championships, which will take place beginning August 5. The event will be the first of its kind to be televised, as the championships will be shown on ESPN. It joins AIG (the official insurance partner for the event) and others to help spread word about it. “This is a big step forward for DSA and drone racing as a sport,” says Dr. Scot Refsland, chairman of the Drone Sport Association (DSA). “To have major brands like GoPro, AIG, EMC and EY follow ESPN and become our partners is an incredible testament to the immense growth of drone racing.”
‘Call of Duty’
In 2012, Activision released a limited edition Care Package to tie in with its Call of Duty: Black Ops II game release, featuring a fully functioning remote controlled Quadrotor Drone and Stand, similar to the ones featured in the game. It was the first time that a video game company offered a drone as part of a limited edition package. It caught on quite well with the Call of Duty community, and helped drive sales of the game to new heights, well over 7.5 million copies.
Last summer, the leading tech company introduced a #DroneWeek event on Periscope, allowing viewers to get a bird’s eye view of a drone in action as it flew through a number of GE facilities, including a jet engine testing site in the Appalachian Mountains and a locomotive manufacturing plant in Texas. The promotion was well received, and generated more interest in utilizing drones for filmmaking purposes—one of its biggest technical draws.
While some drones are used for military purposes, Coca-Cola opted to utilize the flying tech for a happier purpose. In 2014, it partnered with Singapore Kindness Movement to create a new program called Happiness From the Skies. With it, it would award migrant workers in Singapore working on the city’s high-rises with Coke cans and thank you-notes delivered by drones. As you can see from the video above, the campaign had a very positive effect.
A company well known for its involvement in extreme sports activities wasted little time putting drones to good use. It paired with Cut Media to produce a short film called The Ridge, one that focuses on pro mountain biker Danny Macaskill’s trip to the top of the Cuillin Ridgeline. Although his feat was done through his sheer willpower, the film was made with the assistance of drones, showcasing his journey across the beautiful terrain.