Thursday, June 30, 2011

I love what you can do with outdoors campaigns :)

Publicis Mojo has created a clever outdoors campaign for AirAsia, providing freezing Melbournians heated shelters while waiting for the buss :)

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Ads are like a first date - Branding is about LIFE

After a week at Cannes Lion it´s easy to be drawn in to the feeling that the way to sell a product is to use an AS. Perhaps a digital ad, a TV ad or an iphone ad - but still... an AD. The adworld love ads. Of course.

But branding is broader; it´s about the product, the consumer experience, the way you interact with the product a year on, the design, the LIFE you have with the brand. It´s not about the first date; it´s about the LIFE.

I believe every good relationship should have a beautiful or interesting story; it´s healthy to have a mysterious or crazy "first moment" that you can look back at years later, when the fireworks have stopped and the boredom becomes a part of LIFE. When you look back at the first weeks, the first glance or the shine around your first date, your heart will remember, and you will look at your partner with a smile - suddenly in love again...

A great ad campaign gives you the story, the fantastic first date that is like a base for your stable partnership for LIFE. But branding is about more than that. It´s about the small gestures, the micro moments, the care, concern and vulnerability of the day-after-day LIFE you create together.

Great branding does not focus on an expensive dinner at your anniversary; it does not forget about the other 364 days of the year - instead those days are the centre of attention. That´s where love grows. Or dies.

Last night I had dinner at a new hot place in Stockholm (Gården Grill och Bar) and was stunned by how we got treated by the staff. Apparently the kitchen was so busy you could not order food, but the boys in the bar came out and told us when we could, did it with a smile and happy energy, and tried their best to feed us. The food was simple but presented in a lovely way, and it tasted as a burger should. THAT is good branding.

This morning I was waiting for the bus - together with a growing number of people getting more and more stressed. A man from Buslink stood there, but he kind of forgot to tell us all that the bus would not show up, due to some traffic drama. He told you if you came up to him, and when I suggested that he should put up a sign since this had been an issue for days, he said "there will probably be one soon, if this continues". Uh. 40 people waiting for the bus (probably thousands since the problem began) and he is not informing us, and can´t even write a sign as a courtesy for us? That is BAD branding. No ad campaign can save Buslink Stockholm from people´s dislike.

Marketing managers need to think about all those tiny meetings us consumers have with the brand. When you spend millions on ad campaigns, but forget to clean the bathroom or let people stand in horrendous queues, your money might be wasted.

A first date can be a profound story to tell your grand children - or simply a first date that you forget, since the next one sucked.

Focus on LIFE, not on the first glance.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

ROM: The Titanium Cannes Lion Winner case study

One of the big Winners of Cannes Lion was a Romanian chocolate campaign, flirting with nationalism and nostalgica. The old, boring chocolate got a new layer of emotional value and was suddenly cool again.

Case study:
"Rom, a popular Romanian chocolate bar that prominently features the Romanian flag on its packaging, evoked patriotism and national pride to fuel sales and build brand awareness for the product.
In an elaborate hoax, Rom changed its packaging to feature the American flag, launched advertising centered on American ideals and imagery, and created videos that justified the decision to distance Rom chocolate from its Romanian heritage. (Explanations included a struggling Romanian economy and disheartened youth culture). In one fell swoop, Rom erased all connection to its homeland, and doubled down by betting on Americana.

As with most hoaxes, this one created quite a stir, particularly online. Thousands of Romanians expressed their dissatisfaction on Facebook, YouTube and various blogs, and the wave of patriotism culminated in a flashmob to bring back the old Rom. After only a week of letting Romanians believe that the American flag campaign was real, the chocolate bar company revealed the hoax.

According to the YouTube video that profiles the campaign, Rom achieved a great deal of short-term success after the hoax:
  • In the first two weeks, the campaign reached 67% of Romanians
  • Generated 300,000 Euros worth of free media
  • In the first six days alone, Rom increased its Facebook page fan total by 300%
  • Rom ousted the previous chocolate bar leader to become Romania’s most popular chocolate bar (a 79% increase)
  • Outperformed the market by 20% in the most relevant channels
  • The “American” version of Rom completely sold out
The campaign won two Grand Prix Cannes Lions in the “Promo/Activation” category, which rewards advertising geared toward triggering an immediate engagement, and the “Direct” category for direct marketing.

This is how the winning agency BV McCann Erickson, Bucharest, described the case:

Describe the brief from the client:
Romania’s ROM chocolate bar is the traditional Romanian chocolate that we all grew up with. Launched in 1964 with the Romanian flag on its wrapper, it enjoys 95% brand awareness, yet its share and volume were plummeting with only 14.5% of people listing it as their favourite brand. ROM had an ageing, nostalgic consumer base and was losing ground with the young generation. In a category in which success means continuously attracting younger fans, ROM’s nationalistic values were a disadvantage. How could ROM, a chocolate bar bearing the Romanian flag, gain appeal to youngsters with few national values?

Describe how the promotion developed from concept to implementation:
Youngsters prefer ‘cool’ American confectionery brands (Snickers and Mars) to ROM. Our solution was not to fight against, but to join them and thus challenge the young Romanians' national ego. We triggered a public debate about national values by launching a limited edition of an ‘American’ ROM – same product, same price, but branded with the US flag. We put the product in stores, encouraged sampling, announced the change in media, and stirred the debates. After one week, we made the reveal: the old ROM was back as Romanian as ever, while the American ROM became a collector’s item.

Describe the success of the promotion with both client and consumer including some quantifiable results:
The campaign reached 67% of Romanians and generated €300,000 of free publicity. The online response was phenomenal: in six days, ROM’s website had 75,000 unique visitors; Facebook fans rose by 300%; supporters launched petitions and organised a flash-mob in Bucharest. All brand image indicators exploded, especially 'ROM is a brand for me', which more than doubled - a 124% increase. ROM outperformed the market, with 20% growth (compared to 8.2% category growth) in the most relevant channel, hypermarkets, while the American ROM was sold out. Most importantly, ROM ousted Snickers to become Romanians’ favourite chocolate bar (79% increase of the indicator).

Explain why the method of promotion was most relevant to the product:
This campaign made ROM the first brand that had the courage to test and play with people’s national ego on a national scale. We took away something people were taking for granted: the national flag from the most traditional chocolate bar, Rom. We knew that although young Romanians tend to be negative about themselves and their country, their patriotism returns when challenged. This ‘reactive patriotism’ underpinned our ground-breaking campaign that challenged young people’s national ego in order to re-establish ROM as a cherished Romanian symbol.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Why ad people sound stupid and Edward de Bono can´t do the Dirt Devil film

It turns out the best, most appreciated seminars here at Cannes Lion 2011 have been those when non-industry people present. Malcolm Gladwell, Sir Ken Robinson and Edward De Bono got standing ovations; we listened carefully to Patti Smith and Robert Redford; we curiously tapped into the world of a wedding planner and an erotic film maker. But when agencies tried to analyse their own work environment it fell flat.
I don´t think that is a bad thing. Perhaps creatives should put their energy on being creative and do brilliant ad campaigns, and let the authors and philosophers do the talking. Each to their own. I don´t think Edward de Bono would have been able to come up with the Old Spice films or the Dirt Devil ad, just as the ad people from Crispin Porter + Bogusky can´t wow us with their thinking as de Bono can. As Gladwell spoke about in his lovely speech, great outcomes have several causes.
Gladwell´s point was that the inventor very rarely is the one who makes the invention used. To go to market, you need the clever entrepreneurish “tweaker” who realise the potential of the innovation and can improve it to user friendliness. Then you need another person who can take actions and make sure the bright idea becomes reality.
One optimist, one pessimist, one who just goes for it.
One soul, one heart, one brain.
One inspirer, one creative, one account director.
At first I was disappointed by the poor agency presentations; they were often unprepared, naive and without a plain. But then I realised Gladwell was right. The mistake was to put people who create on stage to inspire. Their clever work should inspire us – since it is inspired by the great thinkers – but their words are useless.
Each to their own.
The learning is perhaps that the creative industry needs philosophers, artists and wedding planners to raise their thinking on a regular basis – not just during a week a year, far away from the office. Adland should not come up with their strategy models and methods within their own group, but open the doors for those who inspire to collaborate and bring spice and integrity.
There are of course people in the industry who do this, but the more of us who read psychology books, editorials about world politics and who goes to theatre and travel overseas, the better. I know the advertising industry is constantly stressed by pitches and briefs and work, and it is easy to avoid those extras and to employ those moulded in the same pot, who can be up and running in the traditional models in a sec. But it will save you time in the long run to do differently.
Just as every plant needs sun, water and nutrition for healthy growth, so does creative work. Do you have green fingers? 

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Brands are replacing politicians as leaders of the world

Another gorgeous morning here in Cannes. I´ve had my two espressos (or café expresso as they are called here), mingled with the locals (well, more secretly perving at their French energy), bought fruit at the market to avoid eating more pan (sandwiches are cheap and I´m on a budget...). I love the mornings in Cannes, before those who partied to 4 am at Gutter bar wake up. Peaceful. Pure.
On day 5 of Cannes Lion I see how the main theme is “brands can make a difference”. What´s in the centre is not social media, online platforms or any methods on how to trick consumers into buying. A returning thought is instead how brands can change the world.
I know it sounds pretentious, and that it may be wishful thinking, but just listen.
I was a political writer for 20 years, producing several books, hundreds of articles, speeches, editorials and provocative thoughts. Of course I did this because I believed that I could make an impact, improve people´s lives and influence. But in hindsight I see how limited the political words are.  People don´t read opinion pieces, and most of us have lost trust in politicians. They can create laws, increase taxes and force us to do stuff, but true influence lies in culture – not in political structures.
When thinking “change the world”, consider what “the world” is. When it comes to the everyday world, where we live, breathe and find our values, norms, habits and behaviours, politicians are useless.
But brands can be king. Brands are becoming more and more important to us. We talk about them, signal our identity through them, find comfort in them. Brands define us like no political ideology can today. By choosing a brand you say what you stand for.
This is not true for all of them of course. The other day I wrote about deodorants and how silly it is to pretend a sweat-fighter can have deep values, and to say that every brand can create world peace would be slightly naive J.
But when listening to Leo Burnett´s seminar yesterday, where they pointed out how brands need to “speak human” and influence people instead of consumers, I notice a brevity in the industry that will shift the way brands impact us. When brands come closer to the market and meet people as people, there can be love. The fearful rational relationship when a camera is sold because it´s got x many megapixels is replaced by a softer, warmer and more powerful relationship where Canon speaks about inspiration and the emotional meaning of a camera.  
Many other seminars here in Cannes have touched the subject. Brands need to have a purpose, brands can do good work, brands need to step down from their high horses and listen to their audience through social media. People can play along with brands, but refuse to be steered. Patriarchs, politicians, arrogance – all dead. It´s a feminine, collaborative energy taking its place.
(Reservation: Asia is highly competitive – I learned in Wundermann´s seminar that Farmville in China is replaced by “Happy Farm” where they steal pigs from each other instead of sharing and being nice – but the structure of the industry is flattening.)
This is what social media is about. It´s not a “tool” – it´s a revolution. It´s a difference-maker. All other powerful institutions are losing their grip, by holding on to old school hierarchies with leaders on the top and people on the bottom, and the creative industry are now guiding brands to take their place. Brands need to make money, hence they evolve with time in another way than tax money led men in suits can. Brands are now taking stands, starting movements and spreading good values. They are the new source of change. If they want to.
I wish to change the world. And I believe I can do this through advertising and branding. one of the agency CEO´s in Sydney once told me I perhaps should find another industry if this was my goal, but I believe he is wrong. My love coaching or my political engagement might be purer, since I can say exactly what I want, but when guiding brands to connect with people´s hearts I can detox a larger world that used to be impure, and I can bring some light and purity into it – as well as some ROI. Win-win.

Cannes Lions - such impressive work - Win for Burma project

Tonight I sat through the awards for press, design and cyber at Cannes Lion and got tears in my eyes. How amazing people there are in Cannes right now!!! The work is impressive, touching, ground breaking, and it makes me feel envy for not being that good. Well, as a planner you are more of a nerd than an impressive artist but anyway... lovely, lovely, lovely.

I will try to find some of the work presented tomorrow. Right now it´s time to go to bed - an early night for a change - and all I share is this stunning work from JWT New York. Enjoy!

"In 2010, Burma held its first elections in 20 years. As part of its campaign to help free Burma's 2,100 political prisoners, Human Rights Watch created a giant installation at New York's Grand Central Station. Consisting of hundreds of prison cells, a closer look reveals that the cells bars are actually pens. Visitors could remove the pens to symbolically free the prisoners and then use the pen to sign a petition calling for the release of these innocent prisoners."

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

A shockingly awful gender discussion at Cannes Lion

Today, the first ever gender discussion was held at Cannes Lion, and I must say I watched it in rage. If this industry wishes to evolve and create great work, it needs to shape up its attitudes. 97% of all top jobs in advertising are occupied by men, and this should be seen as embarrassing.
There is a culture protecting a certain type of people, inviting and accepting only those who fit the box, and putting up a barrier towards those who are different.
It´s a room that stinks, and we need to open the windows to get some fresh air in.
I have a three main reflections:
1.   The gender issue is not a problem for women. There were five women on stage discussing what to do about this “issue”. But it is an industry problem when the work is created by clones, a boys club with tight values and ways, and when smart, interesting people are cut out. I would have preferred a mixed panel; I wished for the “issue” to be taken so serious that there were men there trying to solve it.
2.  Stop blaming the women. The women on the panel all claimed that THEY had never had a problem... They even insinuated that women don´t get the same chances because they don´t put in the hours, are not as good as men or are not articulating what they want. The ladies had not even reflected on why men are dominating, but came to the panel unprepared and ignorant. The advice from Martha Stewart was “just go after it”. Yeah right...
3.   It´s not about adapting to fit in. The other type of advice we got from the successful ladies was to get a mentor to learn to become like you are supposed to... But the solution can´t be to turn women into men to make them fit the boys club. The solution must be to close the boys club down and create a new creative environment where ideas can grow. By inviting people with different attitudes, perspectives and mindsets you improve the industry, you get closer to the consumer and to the true insight. Not because you wish to reach women – you don´t hire seniors to create a campaign for baby boomers do you? – it´s about tapping into the lost intelligence, skills and knowledge that women have. The man can´t be the norm if you wish for change.
This is not about rights; it is not an issue raised out of pity. It´s not about us getting jobs because we deserve it or because it´s more fair. It is about the survival of the creative industry. When the windows are closed you will run out of air and suffocate. We need to breathe.

Global brands who just speak Westish won´t connect - Wundermann at Cannes Lion

The highlight from Cannes Lion Monday must have been the Wunderman workshop presenting how the world is no longer Western dominated, but that the emerging markets are now where the focus should be. Simon Silvester pointed out that global brands who wish to connect with Indians, Chinese or Brazilians need to re-think marketing, packaging and attitudes. You can´t simply translate your campaign for the Uk market and think it will resonate with a different culture.

He explains: "As the West slows, the fortunes of five billion people from Brazil, Russia, India, Indonesia, China and Africa are rising rapidly. They’re a decade younger than Westerners. Most of them have mobile phones. Those mobile phones are rapidly becoming smartphones. People are using them to access the internet, share their experiences, make decisions at point of purchase and directly transact."

"Whilst they are successful, these big global brands all share something in common. Nearly all were invented by Westerners for Westerners during the boom in brand creation from the 1950s to the 1980s. They were designed for people today earning typically $40,000 a year. But they are now being sold to customers on $3,000 a year. It’s quite a leap. The consumer they were designed for looks nothing like the global consumer of today."

Read and watch, and download the report:

Monday, June 20, 2011

Can brands have values? No way. But they can do good!

Yesterday in Cannes, Ian Wolfman from imc talked about how the agency had developed a strategy to make a deodorant brand sponsor and encourage a new female sport in the Olympics - in order to give the brand "values". Not value in economic terms; he actually talked about a brand as having a personality.
Very interesting case.
Can a brand have values? I´m a big fan of seeing brands as buddies, as having a relationship with its consumers and fans. But values are different – they come from a deeper source. They are a base for your actions and your Being, they shape a person. They can´t be added on afterwards like accessories.  It´s the seed for life, the soul.
Is a deodorant brand created because it really feels for the female athletes? Hardly. The product came first, not the values. Hence, they are not really “values”.
Deodorants are no feminists. They will forever be products, brands. As brands they can support movements and take stands – because brand today are important to us. We include them in conversations, we see them as family and they fill a function beyond the functional. Brands can have more power than prime ministers. Just as single blogger can out rule a million dollar TVC campaign. A brand can do what politicians, lobbyists and unions can´t. Make a difference.
Brands can´t have values, but hooking up with values is another thing. If the product or service in born out of a value, then it can have values, but when the values are "extras" the brand is in trouble for being fake.
In their role as influences with resources - cash and creative minds - brands can step away from selling their boring selves to align with interesting phenomena like “girl power”; they can suddenly make good and improve their image at the same time.
Is this good or bad? Evil, manipulating and greedy – who cares? If a brand helps people with the purpose of attaining fame, glory and long term relationships with the market, can´t we simply accept that? Deep down we are all selfish, and this selfishness drives both people and brand to help each other (since win-win is most times the only way to help yourself).
I think the way a brand need to go about this is to see the sponsorship of a movement for what it is. When a brand starts saying it has values and is in the game to do good, it can easily sound pretentious and people will find the brand dishonest. But saying that you use your brand power to create change is honest; it will be bullet proof.
During the seminar a girl stood up and asked about the intention of a deodorant getting involved in female sports, and I can swear at least half of the people there were thinking the same thing. But stop embracing the guilt. Love instead the fact that capitalism makes people rich, healthy and happy no matter how egoistic the capitalists are. Love the fact that brands spend millions on charity because they desperately want our love. If they do good, celebrate! Raise your glass and say “bless you”.
One fabulous example is Times of India that created a campaign that would never have seen sunlight in a purely political world. With campaigns like “Love Pakistan” It made people aware of their rights, encouraged loads of Indians to participate in the political game, and added new brave perspectives. They became a peace movement. To sell more newspapers? Most likely... To earn money? Sure... But if you judge they will stop. Just raise your glass. Cheers.

First day at Cannes Lion - NOT impressed

So... my very first Cannes Lion day completed. What to say...? Actually, I am disappointed. I must admit I expected more – more brilliance, more insights, more wow. At the moment I´m in this crowded room, feeling a little empty. The theme of the day is void.
I listened to Lindstrom, who is so interesting in his books, but who didn´t get enough time to dig deep into anything. I would have liked the facts to be analysed, questioned, made sense of – to be useful and complex for the people here. Now, we were fed some statistics, some facts, some random thoughts. Leaving at least me with a sense of “what happened? Now what?”
I listened to a trend seminar and got to hear about all the new macro trends – of course presented in fancy language to appear cooler than they are... Hyper culture, radical neutrality, eco hedonism... Just words. Nothing really about “why”, the dynamics behind, the tension between old and new, back and forth, up and down that drives strong trends and gives evidence. Just: This is how it will be!
I listened to a bunch of people who were supposed to talk about the value of peer-to-peer influence, but who lacked focus, lost track and bounced some thoughts about campaigns and technology and being famous (Well Nick Jonas was there...) Nick said he and his band was successful on Facebook because “it is important to really know your customer”. The audience nodded. Aha... Ahaaaaaaa? OK, not really an eureka moment, but the kid is 18 for god sake, and was there to attract attendants. 5 men in stage – I wished one of them have had gotten time to explain, develop, bring intelligence to the table.
Should I also be a feminist bitch and point out that this panel as well as many were populated by men (and boys)? Sure, I saw a couple of women on stage during the day, but the male dominance was a bit disturbing. They use loads of fancy words, but the content of the day was airy.
I am aware of that “stupid critique, smart create” and that I should do something better myself instead of complaining about others work. And I am humble; I would probably frown at my own talks as well, but I was hoping for much more here in Cannes. Perhaps someone who arranges the next years´ event can invite me for next year; that may shut me up J
Actually listening to Naked seminar now and it´s giving me something... Yes!! The Lego film and the Nokia snowboard cases are Awesome.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Checked in at Cannes Lion

Mega excited about the first seminar with Martin Lindstrom. I am one of his biggest fans. And now officially a groupie, giving him my book... lol. I´m so embarrassing...

Well, if you read this and is around, say hello. I´m in orange t-shirt and maxi skirt.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Why Cadbury can get away with the Gorilla ad - but not every brand can

Cadbury is one of the most trusted and liked brands in Australia, according to Reader´s Digest. Shops like Aldi and Reject Shop are also brands that we like and are satisfied with, according to Roy Morgan.

But does this mean that these brands are excellent brands, or do we simply like chocolate and bargains? Even if we buy a lot of insect spray; could Mortein ever be the most liked brand? Can Marlboro? Even if we consume dish clothes or other boring products, are they even in the competition? Is “brand liking” about the content and not the branding/marketing?

Cadbury is an interesting case, considering its controversial and often talked about Gorilla ad. Hmm. A gorilla that plays the drums! Can that really symbolise milk chocolate and drive sales? How is that promoting the rational and emotional benefits of a bar of joy?

Well, the emotional benefit that drives consumers to a brand is not necessarily about the product itself. Just as eating lollies is not always about getting a sugar kick, but many times (too many) about filling a void in life, advertising something that is more about healing hearts than satisfying taste buds can´t be rationalised in the way other products can. We eat to be happy. So if the ad makes us happy, it matches the deep emotional need. Easy.  

The creative idea was "founded upon the notion that all communications should be as effortlessly enjoyable as eating the bar itself."[13]

The gorilla was introduced in 2007, created by Fallon London. Gorilla formed a major part of the pitch by Fallon London to secure the contract with Cadbury Schweppes in 2006. Their proposal was to step away from pushing the product through traditional advertising means, and instead produce "entertainment pieces" which would appeal to a broader range of consumers and spread through viral marketing – that is, through word of mouth.[3] To this end, Cadbury ended its ten-year sponsorship of the popular soap Coronation Street.[4]

According to Wikipedia, it was well received by the public – a version uploaded to video sharing website YouTube received 500,000 page views in the first week after the launch.[2] Polling company YouGov reported that public perception of the brand had noticeably improved in the period following the launch, reversing the decline experienced in the first half of 2007.

Despite reservations that the campaign might prove too abstract and have little effect, Cadbury reported that sales of Dairy Milk had increased 9% from the same period in 2006. Measurements of public perception of the brand carried out by market research firm YouGov showed that 20% more people looked favourably on the brand in the period after the advert's general release than in the previous period.[29] Spokesmen for the company have expressed amazement at the success of the campaign.[2][22]

The advertisement has won numerous awards, including the Epica d’Or for Film 2007, the Grand Cristal at Festival de la Publicité de Méribel, Gold at the British Television Advertising Awards 2008, Gold at the Advertising Creative Circle Awards 2008, Gold at the International ANDY Awards, Black and Yellow Pencils at the D&AD Awards 2008, Gold at the Clio Awards 2008, Bronze at the One Show 2008, the FAB Award 2008, Gold at the Fair Go Ad Awards 2008, and the Film Grand Prix Lion at Cannes Lions 2008, widely considered the most prestigious prize within the advertising community.

An unknown brand can´t do this. I believe you first need to build some kind of base recognition and liking before you experiment in the way Cadbury has done. Just like in dating, if you act too cheeky or out of the box on the first date, you will be seen as weird. Simply weird. Brands that are unknown can´t use “love” and love hearts in their advertisement before people are actually attached. If you push and stress, you will be seen as desperate...

Friday, June 10, 2011

If the picture is vivid our brain thinks we are experience what is pictured

Some sharing from one of my favourite blogs Neuromarketing by Roger Dooley!

One of his latest posts is about new research that shows that some print ads can be impactful enough to create a false memory of having tried a product that doesn’t even exist!

"Researchers Priyali Rajagopal (Southern Methodist University) and Nicole Montgomery (College of William and Mary) showed subjects either high imagery or low imagery versions of print ads for a fictitious popcorn product, Orville Redenbacher Gourmet Fresh. Other subjects were allowed to consume “samples” of the invented product which were actually a different Redenbacher popcorn.

A week later, all of the participants were surveyed to determine their attitudes toward the product and how confident they were about their opinions. Amazingly, members of the group that viewed the more vivid ad were as likely to report that they had tried the product as the group that actually consumed the samples. The group that saw the low imagery ads were less likely to report they had tried the product, and had weaker, less favorable opinions about it.

Changing the brand to an unknown name, the fictitious “Pop Joy Gourmet Fresh,” reduced the false memory effect. I presume that the more ubiquitous the product and brand, the more likely these false recollections are to occur. I’m sure I could look at any number of vivid ads from Lamborghini and still never think I had taken an Aventador for a spin.

See also Paper Beats Digital For Emotion.)

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Innovation Extravaganza: Another awesome trend brief, don´t forget to read

Yay, the new trend briefing from is out. One of my favourites, always filled with great examples backing up the conclusions, instead of simply fluffy predictions. Useful and powerful.
 The June issue says: "Innovation is the only way to survive in an ever more global, competitive business arena. By innovation we mean anything that will get consumers spending, and preferably the kind of spending that involves your products, services and experiences."

Read the whole briefing here: 

I love the part of thecash-less trend. For example, in March 2011, the Denmark Post launched digital stamps that can be purchased via text message. A code is sent to the user which can be written on the envelope instead of a traditional stamp. And in time for the London 2012 Olympic Games, Samsung (in alliance with Lloyds TSB bank and Visa) is set to start selling smartphones which can administer contactless payments in over 60,00 locations around the city.

Source: One of the world's leading trend firms, sends out its free, monthly Trend Briefings to more than 160,000 subscribers worldwide.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Why does brands say they are something they are not - Michel´s cafés does NOT have mega hot barristas

When a girl buy a pair of "jeggings" at Supré she deep down know that she probably won´t look like the skinny chick in the ad, and when we shop a cheap schampoo we could be sure that our hair is not going to shine like in the ads. Advertising is a lot of unkept promises. Ads lie to us all the time. Most times we accept this - we know it´s a game.

But some ads are just too fake. Like Michel´s cafés who have marketed their venues with a promise of having super hot male barristas making the coffee. In TVC´s women have swoooned over goodlooking models. In the ad to the left we see an Italian looking hottie with eyes insinuating...

But when you get up to the counter at a Michel´s café you are most likely being met by a young girl or an old lady. No hot men. I´ve been observing the Michel´s cafés for a long time now, since I think it´s such an odd brand promise. Why say your brand is sexy if it´s not?

Is Awareness really a marketing goal? How to make them see the gorilla

Quite often marketers talk about the value of creating "awareness", as the first step towards consideration, purchase and loyalty. In Love Branding I use the language of loooove and talk about attraction, flirting, dating and building a relationship. I separate brands who are "flings" from brands who are "marriage material" - those you use once and forget, and those you return to. Most times the difference lies in whether you have been able to capture an emotional win of using a product, or if you are simply babbling about the practical, rational wins.

When it comes to "awareness" there is a huge difference between getting positive or negative attention - if people smile or frown when they see the brand. Sure, they can be aware of the nasty taste, the ugly carry bag or the rude staff - but that´s not the awareness we want, right? We want the customer eye brow to rise out of curiousity and interest, not because they are disgusted or simply surprised.

I know you know this :) I know you are not suggesting that the client should be an asshole just to be acknowledged, but be careful about the language you use.

Capturing a person´s eye can be tough. Just look at this video!

Make sure you have their focus. The brain process 400 billion bits of information per second, but we are only aware of 2,000 bits. Lots of things can happen, lots of ads can pass by - but which of them do we SEE. There is no perfect key to make them focus on YOUR brand, but asking questions always works. Sure, you can be different, but wasn´t the gorilla different from the people in white t-shirts? Ask your audience to look for you. Make them aware of their problems.

What do you think? Any ideas?

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

A Lipton tea TVC from the 80´s still stuck in the customer´s head

While fixing up tea for some customers, my barrista this morning started singing a jingle from an old Lipton ad, which I found fascinating. How powerful they are, these short music tunes...! The one he suddenly remembered, and got the whole café to sing (yeah, Skinny Dip in Bondi Beach is very similar to Glee club sometimes, lol), was from early 80´s:

Monday, June 6, 2011

YouTube 6 years old - and growing fast! This is why it´s powerful

YouTube is such a powerful media. 3 billion views per day (up 50% in the past 12 months). 48 hours of video are uploaded every single minute (100% increase year over year). 142.7 million unique viewers per month. The second largest search engine in the world. Not bad...

For me personally, in my role as The Love Coach, YouTube has been amazing. I´ve published eight books, been on TV, been interviewed in magazines and written columns. But nowhere have I been able to connect with people as on YouTube.The comments I get are heartbreaking and overwhelming; young girls and boys share their deep fears and dramas; it is like YouTube digs deeper under their skin than TV does. It´s something you watch in solitude, without your flatmates and family, and you can create sort of a personal chat between two souls. I know when I´m on TV there are so many assistants, makeup girls, camera men, producers and hosts running around I easily lose momentum and get all stressed out and a little bit excited about the bubbly environment, meeting celebrities in the hallways (!). But when it´s me and the webcam I can be in spirit and have a dialogue with YOU. I believe this is the power of YouTube.

YouTube just turned six years old (end of May) and it´s now such a big and natural part of our lives. I can´t wait to get to Europe for Summer where there actually is a broadband that makes it possible to watch videos properly. Australia is sort of behind...

Today everyone want to do "digital" and "social media" and brands are stressing themselves out and over paying under skilled people to blog and tweet and facebook for them. But the social media revolution started somehow with Burger King´s Subservient Chicken in 2005, and Office Max "elf yourself" campaign in 2006. It doesn´t have to be too clever to succeed; angry birds is hardly rocket science. But we love it.

The ten best campaigns of the digital decade:

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Our brain thinks that brands like Heinz and Coke are family members - marketing is match making!

BBC has for their series "The Secrets of Superbrands" made some intresting studies and observations, proving that brand building is a fascinating art expanding our world, interacting with us on a deep level. Marketing is not about telling us about new products; it´s about building relationships.
From the producers of the BBC show:  
"We showed an ordinary person a series of pictures of a Heinz beans can, a Coke can, Red Bull, McDonald's and a host of well-known branded packaging, followed by photos of their close friends and family members.
The results confirmed Prof Calvert's research. We use the same part of our brain to recognise well-known brands as we use to recognise friends and family.
The brands even provoke a similar feeling of warmth and well-being to the one we get when a loved one walks into the room.
Heinz's labelling has changed little over the years
This is the part of the brain marketers dream of reaching. Once your brand is embedded this deeply in someone's mind they will keep buying your product (unless you do something really stupid).
These brands represent far more to us than just food.
We've grown up with them. We have such deep memories of them stored away they become part of who we are.
We also went out on the streets of Kingston and gave passers-by two samples of beans to compare - one from a Heinz tin and one from a Tesco Value beans tin.
Virtually everyone expressed strong opinions on which one was better - the one from the Heinz tin.
What they did not know, however, was that both samples were in fact the same, only the label was different.
Prof Calvert explained that the samples genuinely tasted different - the branding affects our taste buds.
Coca-Cola put its brand on everything, including Christmas
I was amazed to discover that Coca-Cola had understood this way back in the 1880s. Within the first 10 years of its existence, the company had given away free samples to 10% of the US population.
It had also printed its logo on anything it could get hold of: trays, mirrors, key-rings, shops, billboards, neon signs.
Coke's hard work has meant that "Coca-Cola" is the second most widely understood phrase in the English language next to "OK"."
Relate this to the study about slogans from Millward Brown that I wrote about the other day, where the repetition of a brand message will lead to recognition and liking. The slogan and logo get inprinted step by step... Which is why we like people wo look like ourselves - because we have seen ourselves in the mirror so many times!!
I found this article at
"According to researchers reporting in the July 28, 2010 issue of Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, we are attracted to people who resemble our parents or ourselves. In one study subjects were shown pictures of strangers which were preceded by a short glimpse of either their opposite-sex parent or a stranger. Subjects exposed to a short glimpse of their parent before being exposed to the target picture were more likely to assign higher ratings of attractiveness to the person in the target picture.
In a second study, a picture of the stranger was morphed together with a picture of themselves or a picture of another stranger. When subjects were asked to rate the portrayed people for attractiveness, they usually picked the people who were an amalgamation of a stranger and themselves.

The findings in these studies go against the common saying that opposites attract. As it turns out, we are much more likely to fall for someone who looks like us or our opposite-sex parent.

This may indicate that incest taboos are social constructs instituted to prevent people from following their instincts. However, there are other explanations of why we are attracted to people who look like us.
Researchers at the deCODE Genetics company in Reykjavik reporting in a 2008 issue of Science found that marriages between third or fourth cousins in Iceland tended to produce more children and grandchildren than those between completely unrelated individuals. The researchers suggest marrying third and fourth cousins is so optimal for reproduction because this degree of genetic similarity yields the best gene pool. Sibling and first-cousin couples could have inbreeding problems, whereas couples far-removed from each other could have genetic incompatibilities. Third and fourth-cousin couples are genetically compatible while having no serious inbreeding problems.

At first glance, these findings may seem to go against the so-called Westermarck effect. In a series of studies Edvard Westermarck, a Finnish Anthropologist, found that people who grow up together are disposed not to fall in love with each other after they reach sexual maturity.

The Westermarck effect, however, is completely consistent with the findings cited above. Living in close proximity is no doubt the decisive factor for desensitization in terms of sexual attraction, not degree of resemblance.

In fact, the Westermarck effect has been confirmed in the Israeli kibbutz system where people who grow up together often are not directly related to each other.

Sim Pua marriages in Taiwan also confirm Westermarck’s theory. “Sim pua” means “little daughter in-law”. A female infant is given to a family to be reared as a daughter by the family. When she grows up, she is to marry a son in the family. Sim Pua marriages have a low fertility rate, a high divorce rate, frequent adultery and lack of sexual attraction. In some cases, the son or daughter-in-law refuses to marry their destined spouse.

Friday, June 3, 2011

What makes us tick? What makes us buy? McKay knows!

I´ve finally started reading social researcher Hugh Mackay´s book “What makes us tick?” and I "Like".

McKay presents ten desires that all people have, and that drives us and makes us like, dislike, buy or avoid. So far, I feel the book is about observations, not really backed up by stats or structured research, but it´s an interesting read, full of insights on human behaviour. If you don´t have time to read lots of books on psychology, have a look at this one!

Most strategists need to have a feel for these things to make brands connect with customers. People are not rational in the way we usually look at rationality; we are not seeking what is "best" for us according to the economists or to demographic data, but what is best for us, according to our complex minds. For example, in the world of romance, women get drawn to the bad boys they can´t have and in the consumer psyche a product is much more attractive if it´s expensive...
McKay say we all have the desire:
-          To be taken seriously
-          For my place
-          For something to believe in
-          To connect
-          To be useful
-          To belong
-          For more
-          For control
-          For something to happen
-          For love

Also read Paco Underhill, Why we buy

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Slogans make people remember your brand - if you repeat and spread them

L'OREAL  Because you're worth itMillward Brown has released a fresh, interesting report on slogans. It shows that ads that has a slogan are more effective (remembered and considered interesting), especially if connected to a jingle, repeated over and over again, or meaningful and relevant to people. Also, it seems like the slogan need to be closely related to the product - don´t make it too fluffy or general.  

The researchers found that about two-thirds of all the ads in the Millward Brown global Link database include slogans. Overall, among all TV ads that include slogans, 44 percent include the brand name, 36 percent include slogans that have been used before, and 7 percent include slogans set to music.

"Most of the effective slogans quoted in this Knowledge Point were used across most, if not all, of a brand’s touchpoints. Repetition across different media seems to help establish slogans in consumers’ minds. Slogans can also support a brand by being used on packaging or at the point of purchase. When used on the pack or the store shelf, a slogan can bring key communication to the shopper’s mind during the decision process."

The study has measured whether people remember an ad or not, but does this really mean we will buy and like and be loyal? Other research from Millward Brown suggests this, so make sure you work on the slogan of the brand, make it interesting but not too airy-fairy and stick with it for a long time. Don´t change all the time, and don´t do constant rebranding projects. Lots of brands need to be reshaped, since the brand is created by people who are good at what they do, but not as good at marketing, but once you have had professionals look at it, form it and make the brand attractive, dare to stay there.

What do you think of mine? "Love Branding - How to make people fall in love with your brand"... Maybe if I sing it? :)

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Don´t trust your intuition too much when building marketing strategies

Today I´m sharing my Libra horoscope with you... I have a habit of reading Jonathan Cainer´s ones in Daily Telegraph - not because I believe he can exactly predict my future, but because he is wise, and express himself with such grace. Just read this:

"Surfers don't stand out in the ocean, telling the waves what to do. They wait until they see a wave coming towards them, and then they do what seems to be most appropriate under those circumstances. They are spontaneous, adaptable and ingenious. Sometimes, this results in a spectacular triumph and sometimes, it just gets them very wet."

Is your brand spontaneous, adaptable and ingenious? Is your work like a surfer in the waves? The Irish backpackers in Bondi (and ehum, the Swedish chicks) get wet all the time, while Kelly Slater dances through wave after wave. It´s a skill, to be spontaneous, adaptable and ingenious. You can train yourself to change with the winds, sense them and successfully follow. Feel the flow.

I have met colleagues (especially younger ones) who have made up their mind about a project in the first seconds after reading the brief, purely based on their personal opinions and feelings. When research on the target gives another picture, they still can´t let go of their ego, but keep on fighting for their views and "insights". But sometimes we have to say "I was wrong" and be open for the miracles, the unexpected facts and contradictions.

Instincts and intuition can take you a long way, but never over estimate yourself. A "gut feel" is often based on past experiences. In my job as a Love Coach I meet people who are drawn to violent men because they had violent parents, and I meet those who sabotage relationships because they are afraid of getting hurt. Our instincts are too often soiled and foggy.

What if your theory is in fact based on who you are, what you have experienced and who you have met in life? I think the most common reason brands fail to connect with the audience is that a lot of cocky high achievers turned marketers think they are the norm. Let go, dear friend. Keep your childish curiousity for life!

I have not failed.  I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work.  ~Thomas Edison