Posts Tagged 'communications proposition'



150 not out

Innocent Drinks – those masters of simple marketing – have just released a lovely new piece of activity:

“Hello… My name is Alex Horne and I’m trying to set a World Record to one day be the oldest man in the world. I have been attempting this death-defying feat non-stop for the last 31 years and 7 months and although I’m now getting tired, I am still confident that I can keep going.

So please get behind me, wish me luck and warn me of any imminent dangers. Keep checking this site for regular blog, video and twitter updates and watch me avoid the reaper for another century at least.”

Alex’s video tells more of the story:

Equally mad are his 10 reasons why he believes he’ll succeed in living to be the world’s oldest man:

The whole thing is totally daft, but (I think) that’s pretty much the point.

Overall, it’s a great fit with Innocent’s brand personality, but it doesn’t feel like they’re trying to sell me anything.

Obviously the concept of living to be the world’s oldest person fits well with a brand that promotes a healthy lifestyle, but there’s no overt mention of any Innocent products (at least for now).

Other great elements of this initiative include Alex’s blog:

His twitter page:

And the selection of random bits on the website:

Including this great little competition:

They’re supporting it on their wonderful Facebook page too:

Overall, a lovely bit of fun that successfully deepens my relationship with the brand.

I look forward to seeing how this one evolves.

See for yourselves at Long Live Alex.

the fifth dimension

Various forms of technology that once existed solely on the desktop are becoming increasingly interwoven into the broader spectrum of everyday activities.

They bring extra layers of detail, interaction, or entertainment to analogue experiences, allowing technology to come to us, instead of the other way round.

For example, Google Maps mashups and Layar add a richness of detail to physical locations.

Meanwhile, apps like foursquare and Gowalla are taking social network into real-world interactions.

But the possibilities of augmented reality (AR) are the ones I find most exciting.

If we look beyond the novelty that characterised much early AR, and explore instead the ways in which normal, everyday objects can become interfaces that trigger a ‘fifth dimension’ of reality, things get very interesting.

Suddenly, everything can become so much more than it already is.

This has massive potential for every brand in every category around the world – from the simplest to the most complex.

Ever the pioneer, Adidas has been exploring what that might mean for its shoes.

Not content to limit itself to producing hugely popular fashion items, the brand has recognised that its products can deliver even more value through this fifth dimension:

Watch out for an explosion of activity like this from other brands in the coming months.

Many thanks again to Alexander and the whole Cultural Fuel team for sharing yet another gem.

shared happiness

Tiago has been sharing so much great stuff recently, I’m in danger of duplicating his Cultural Fuel stream here, but this clip was too good to miss.

It’s such a simple concept: take the brand benefit, exaggerate it, and bring that exaggeration to life.

The reach of the activity itself probably wasn’t huge, but the video has achieved over 400,000 views on YouTube in its first week.

Perhaps it’s true: reality is more engaging.

I wonder if the same concept would have achieved as many views if it had been produced as a traditional TVC.

Lovely stuff from the guys at W+K.

ahead of the game

The ‘life’s a game’ concept is nothing new, but it seems to be particularly resonant at the moment.

Russell describes what I’m feeling beautifully in this great excerpt from his epic playful post*:

“Just like when I walk through the crowds on Oxford Street a tiny part of me is pretending I’m an assassin slipping steely-eyed through the crowds in order to shake the agents on my tail. And I bet it’s not just me. I’m not saying I’m massively deluded, just that, very often, some bit of us is always trying to play those games, to make mundane things more exciting.”

It’s one of those lovely insights that could translate really well into brand activity.

And this Nike spot hits that sweet spot beautifully:

It works because it’s engaging – even if it’s only in your own imagination.

* Yes, I know I’ve linked to it about 10 times already. But there’s a reason for that: it’s wonderful. If you haven’t read it already, I thoroughly recommend taking a look now. Thanks to Neil at Welcome to Optimism for sharing the Nike clip.

cut out and keep

Hypebeast and Today and Tomorrow have already featured this fantastic partnership between Lego and Muji, but it deserves more than a quick twitter link.

The concept is so simple that I’m sure children all over the world already have their own version.

However, there’s nothing wrong with brands celebrating existing behaviour.

The reason this partnership works so well is that it builds on the essences of both brands: Lego’s boundless creativity, and Muji’s delightful simplicity.

Here are some more images borrowed from the original Yoshikage Kajiwara post (in Japanese):

On a related note, take a look at this glorious anthropological study of Lego ‘nomenclature’, and this inspiring post from Russell Davies on the importance of imagination in play, communications, and the world in general.

Many thanks to PSFK for alerting me to the Muji partnership and nomenclature posts.
UPDATE: John seems to like this too… what is it about planners and Lego?

soap operettes

This is a fantastic Nescafé campaign from the late 1980s.

It’s an interesting variation on the leitmotiv approach: evolve a creative concept over time to deliver increased depth and duration of audience engagement:

The same technique was harnessed in the equally wonderful Nicole, Papa work for Renault Clio a few years later.

Such storytelling is a powerful communications proposition that brands can deliver through conventional media like TV.

However, the proliferation of storytelling media like the Web means we now have many more opportunities to engage people than we did in the 1980s; which brand will be the first to refresh this approach and deliver the first epic  transmedia story?

I’d love to see more examples of these brand ‘soap operettes’ – please share any links via the comments section below.

planning for the future (3): add CSR to everything you do

add csr to everything

Monday’s introduction to planning for the future highlighted an exciting shift in advertising’s role:

“Rather than simply interrupting [people's] escapism, we now have greater scope to make [their] lives better.”

Today’s suggestion – to incorporate an element of CSR into everything you do – continues this logic:

If brands are to become a meaningful part of people’s lives, they need to enrich those people’s lives too.

Rationale

Give, and you shall receive

This applies equally well to brands as it does to people; indeed, many of the world’s great brands were born on the principle of cooperation.

Lever Brothers built the foundations of today’s Unilever on the principle of ‘doing well by doing good’.

Similarly, Cadbury created an entire social eco-system for its workforce around the company’s factory in Bournville – an approach rooted in the Quaker ideal of mutual benefit.

For some reason, this ‘considerate’ approach to business went out of fashion for many years, reaching a low point in the corporate greed of the 1980s.

However, a renewed focus on ‘Corporate Social Responsibility‘ (CSR) became popular in the 90s, and brands today cannot justify a lack of broader conscientiousness.

But CSR isn’t just a ploy to enrich the company’s annual report.

Indeed, simply throwing money at a charity can often seem more like an acknowledgment of guilt than genuine concern.

For CSR to be effective, brands must demonstrate a real commitment to driving change and helping people.

This is most effective when the area of CSR focus relates to the brand’s core purpose and expertise, and integrates with the brand’s overall marketing.

For example, while I’d applaud a petroleum brand that donated 10% of its profits to feeding the poor, I’d admire and celebrate that brand much more if they invested the same amount of money in developing ecologically balanced sources of energy that ensured a brighter future for everyone, not just their shareholders.

However, it’s often difficult to justify that kind of longer-term CSR to shareholders, who invariably demand results today (and not 30 years down the line).

The good news is that CSR is a powerful and effective way to build a successful brand – a financial benefit that even myopic shareholders can relate to.

This is because CSR has the ability to create much deeper connection and engagement than broadcast advertising ever could; by helping communities and society at large, brands can demonstrate that they’re on the side of the people, and that helps to establish a more powerful bond.

So how can brands make best use of CSR opportunities?

Let’s return to the Run London example from yesterday’s post.

Nike incorporates a significant ‘community’ element in each iteration of this event (and indeed in much of its broader marketing).

For starters, all participants are encouraged to raise money for charity through sponsorship.

Other initiatives, such as Nike’s ReUse-A-Shoe Program, take the concept of CSR even further:

Benefit

Feeling good about a brand makes it much easier for people to justify choosing it over alternatives.

Furthermore, genuine CSR inspires people to talk about the brand, driving word of mouth and amplifying ROI.

Action

Identify as many relevant opportunities as you can for your brand to give something back to its communities, and assign a meaningful portion of your brand’s resource – money and effort – to delivering these contributions.

Previous posts in the ‘planning for the futureseries

Introduction: a new planning manifesto

Use communications to deliver value: moving from advertising to adding value

It’s all about the benefits: a simple example of how to deliver a brand’s core benefit with a TV ad



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