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When we used to say the word “drone,” you probably envisioned a low humming sound or a male bee that does no work. But recently, drone is a common term for an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV), or a more specific type of UAV, quad-copter. As drone technology continues to develop at a fast pace, these small, durable and cheap model aircrafts are becoming one of the hottest tools for people to shoot videos and for companies to market their brands.

Drones – The Conversation Igniter

OREO’s Drone Cookie Dunk, Fantastic Four’s Human Torch drone, Lexus’s automotive ad campaign, Super Bowl LI drone show, and even Petco’s DooDooDrone are all eye-opening marketing applications of this new technology. Now, let’s see how exactly they used the drones.

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March 6th was National Oreo Cookie Day and to celebrate, the brand pulled a PR stunt. They launched five big Oreo-like drones from NYC and dropped cookies into milk cups on a barge in the Hudson.

Although it was an undeniably creative approach, the video ultimately backfired because the brand revealed how many resources were wasted to produce this video.

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Even in 2015, the drones were used in guerrilla marketing for the sci-fi movie, Fantastic Four. Producer of the film, Marvel studios, was so proud of its character “Human Torch” that they brought the superhero to life using a flaming drone.

To some fans, this was even better than the film itself.

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Lexus – the Japanese luxury branch of Toyota – rolled out an “amazing in motion” campaign to highlight the modern design of its cars. In this particular instance, cameras followed the drones as they explored the city at night.

While an interesting idea, the audience agreed that the brand muddled its message in the process.

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Drone marketing has also made its debut at large-scale entertainment events. During the Super Bowl 2017 Half Time Show, Pepsi and Intel shared their brands’ excitement using hundreds of drones:

Intel Shooting Star drones light up the sky in the Pepsi logo following the Pepsi Zero Sugar Super Bowl LI Halftime Show. (Credit: Intel Corporation)

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Based on twitter reactions, the future of drones is as bright as their shining lights.

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What’s more, for the past April Fools Day, Petco engaged its audience with a “new” app, which provides drone service for dog pooper-scooper.

With this short and simple video, the brand spurred some social discussion and triggered some laughter.

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The CBC Way

Last but not least, at CBC, we also try to follow up with the drone marketing trend. This January, we invited editors to Colorado for our Telluride Experience where we enjoyed fresh powder and delicious meals. To capture the experience, we shot video footage using drones of the quaint town and beautiful mountains. As an added plus, the drone perspective depicts our five-day program and destination experiences in a brand new way.

There are still many questions remaining in the area of drone marketing. Our advice: keep your eye on drone technology and prepare yourself for the impossible!