Thursday, September 29, 2011

Ads are shown in a clutter - is your message disturbed by the wrong emotional setting?

If you want your customers to remember your ads in an adequate way, make sure they have the right facial expression and get into the right mood.
The psychologist James Laird at Clark University let people read short texts - an article about dolphins getting killed and a funny story by Woody Allen.
While reading, one group got to hold a pen between their teeth – something that forces you to smile. The other group got to hold a pen between their lips – something that makes a smile impossible.
Afterwards they were asked to write down everything they could remember from the texts, and now the researchers discovered a stunning difference between the groups.
The ones who were smiling remembered a lot from the funny novel, but not as much from the sad story about dolphins. Those who had been forced to look a bit sad didn´t remember much from the Woody Allen story but a lot from the dolphin story. It turned out their mood (that was not natural, but created by a physical restriction of movement) had a direct affect on their memory, on what their conscious brain had chose to pick up.

This means you should get your consumer in the mood before presenting your message. If you want them to engage in a charity message, make sure they are crying before you grab their attention. If you want to sell light hearted products and make the consumers believe they will be happier owning them, make them smile. It´s all about the emotion you create, the way you make them feel. Watch out for the quick changes between 30 sec ads, where the viewers go on an emotional roller coaster - annoyed by one ad, aspiring for glamour in another, playfulness in the third... Up down sad happy angry concerned ambitious. Phew. Remember that your ad is shown in an environment, in a clutter, and that they might listen to your message after watching ads evoking the "wrong" type of feelings seconds before.
I guess this is why media placement can be so important. Media outlets are experts in bringing out feelings. Movies make us laugh our heads off or weep. The news turn us into serious responsible citizens, and when watching reality tv we feel deeply involved and self conscious. (Reality tv is like therapy...) By placing ads in the spots where the bullseye is touched, and not just the places the target is watching in terms of numbers, you can create magic. But by placing your message in the jungle of other ads you may fail badly, no matter how great the ad is.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Love Branding strategy model - what model do you work with?

I have decided to share my strategic planning model with you! This is how I organise my thiking when coming up with strategies and ideas for brands, and perhaps it can be useful for you as well. This is probably similar to how you work today, but some parts may be different. I needed to create my own ways, because the models I´ve worked with in the past have missed some aspects.

1. They are often written from above, with brand glasses, but I rather focus on the consumer and write "I think", "I dream about", and most of all I focus on what brings the two together. The product can be awesome, but not for everyone, and the consumer might need and wish for loads of stuff, but what do they need from the product? When you find a truly meaningful meeting between the two, you have built a long term relationship. To get there you need to observe, read and ask. Not guess.

2. They spend energy on the functional benefits. My focus is always on emotions, and the insight is an emotional revelation, not a piece of statistics. The product in itself and its many benefits is a hygien factor, not the true reason people will buy. I dig deeper and ask "why?" is this functional benefit good for you, until I find a core feeling. That´s where you find the key.

3.  They forget the blockages. Too many brands are dreamers and believe people when they say that they fancy the products. But what is stopping them from buying? Who is our enemy in the shape of believes, competitors, flaws? Trends may help us, but which trends are in our way? I´ve seen many strategies that are like fairy tales without the evil witch, but they just become naive and when meeting that bitch with toads and a black hat they are smashed - and they don´t know why (what!!! people said they really liked our product in our market research!!!)

And here is my way of seeing the funnel.

This work is in progress, feel free to discuss, improve and develop. What model do you use?

And if you want to have a look at my book "Love Branding - how to make people fall in love with your brand", it´s 10 dollar + shipping. Just email and we can sort it out.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Why are so many ads SO stupid? Or... are they?

I DO really love the strategist role, to spend all day revealing people´s dark secrets and develop the insights into strategies and ideas. To dig around in the human psyche, discovering what "the target" thinks and feels about all sorts of things, and then guiding them to meet the brand of their dreams... It´s a fantastic, super interesting job, but some days when watching ads on TV I get a little embarrassed and frustrated. What on earth am I devoting my time and energy to?

There are sooooo many crap ads out there! Perhaps they work, and the ROI goes through the roof but it´s just stupid, simplistic, deepening shitty values and driving people to buy for the wrong reasons. I´m ashamed sometimes of the rubbish. I wish to change things, but is it possible? Will The Good Guys keep on singing? Will K Mart still have fake people fighting about bargains as if they were retards? Will beer brands keep on offering guys hats and key rings? Who dares to break the traditions? Maybe it´s not even a good thing? Perhaps my ad ideas aren´t efficient, maybe I´m the one on the wrong track.


In Cannes I saw so much fabulous work I´m still a believer, but after a night with Australian TVC´s I´m numb and want to stay under the doona.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Facebook is addictive - withdrawal leads to mental and physical distress

I just love Facebook.

Yesterday was spent in bed since it was raining and we had a massive Swedish crayfish party on Saturday, so I did not really check my FB, and this morning I´m just SO happy browsing around on the site again. Back to normal. In control. Visiting my own private gossip site, having a little chat with friends from all over the world, spying on their lives. Ah, Love it.

It´s weird how attached we become to our social media places in such short time (4 years!). I´m a dopamine driven person, so I love the sound of a new text message and anything new, any change, anything exciting, but most people get something out of Facebook. Right now, even some 70 year old ladies at my local café are talking about social media and checking Facebook... We can learn a lot about humans by understanding how attached we can be to the cyber company.

Actually, Facebook is highly addictive. This news came out in April this year:
Student 'addiction' to technology 'similar to drug cravings', study finds
Withdrawal symptoms experienced by young people deprived of gadgets and technology is compared to those felt by drug addicts or smokers going “cold turkey”, a study has concluded.

Researchers found nearly four in five students had significant mental and physical distress, panic, confusion and extreme isolation when forced to unplug from technology for an entire day.  
They found college students at campuses across the globe admitted being “addicted” to modern technology such as mobile phones, laptops and television as well as social networking such as Facebook and Twitter.

A “clear majority" of almost 1,000 university students, interviewed at 12 campuses in 10 countries, including Britain, America and China, were unable to voluntarily avoid their gadgets for one full day, they concluded.

The University of Maryland research described students’ thoughts in vivid detail, in which they admit to cravings, anxiety attacks and depression when forced to abstain from using media.

One unnamed American college student told of their overwhelming cravings, which they confessed was similar to “itching like a crackhead (crack cocaine addict)”.

The study, published by the university’s International Centre for Media & the Public Agenda (ICMPA) and the Salzburg Academy on Media & Global Change, concluded that “most students… failed to go the full 24 hours without media”.

The research, titled The world Unplugged, also found students’ used “virtually the same words to describe their reactions”.

These included emotions such as fretful, confused, anxious, irritable, insecure, nervous, restless, crazy, addicted, panicked, jealous, angry, lonely, dependent, depressed, jittery and paranoid.

Prof Susan Moeller, who led the research, said technology had changed the students’ relationships: "Students talked about how scary it was, how addicted they were,” she said.

"They expected the frustration. But they didn't expect to have the psychological effects, to be lonely, to be panicked, the anxiety, literally heart palpitations.

“Technology provides the social network for young people today and they have spent their entire lives being ‘plugged in’.”

The study interviewed young people, aged between 17 and 23, including about 150 students from Bournemouth University, who were asked to keep a diary of their thoughts.

They were told to give up their mobile phones, the internet, social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter, and they were not allowed to watch television.

They were, however, permitted to use landline telephones and read books.

The study found that one in five reported feelings of withdrawal akin to addiction while more than one in 10 admitted being left confused and feeling like a failure.

Just 21 per cent said they could feel the benefits of being unplugged.

One British participant reported: “I am an addict. I don’t need alcohol, cocaine or any other derailing form of social depravity... Media is my drug; without it I was lost.

Another wrote: ‘I literally didn’t know what to do with myself. Going down to the kitchen to pointlessly look in the cupboards became regular routine, as did getting a drink.’

A third said: ‘I became bulimic with my media; I starved myself for a full 15 hours and then had a full-on binge.’

While a fourth student added: "I felt like a helpless man on a lonely deserted island in the big ocean”.

Prof Moeller added: “Some said they wanted to go without technology for a while but they could not as they could be ostracised by their friends.’

“When the students did not have their mobile phones and other gadgets, they did report that they did get into more in-depth conversations.
If you want to know your personality type based on what hormones that drives you, take the test here: 

Friday, September 23, 2011

Love advice for brands - does your brand suffer from a broken heart? Is it single and unhappy?

Hey, it´s the weekend and time to think of love and life instead of branding and advertising (which is of course about love and life too; it´s all entwined...but that´s another story).

A few years ago I left the corporate world and my communication career to work as a love coach, guiding people to happier love lives. It is a rewarding job, seeing sadness shift into joy and hopelessness into faith.

Today I do both. I´ve merged my insights from marketing and research with my insights on romantic relationship in the concept of Love Branding (see above) and I am doing my best to bring deeper understandings of human nature into agencies, but I still help lovesick men and women all over the globe to inner peace. Some see it as flippant, but it makes me happy :) Today it´s more like a charity than a business, but my way to contribute.

I run a YouTube channel and here are some of the latest videos. Enjoy :)

More of them at and info on my services at

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Ads for charities are too stylish and pretty to make anyone care

At Bestads this week I´m watching a couple of print ads for charities. They are all very clever and beautiful, thoughtful and stylish. I find myself thinking of interior design, about hanging something like this on my walls back home. Hmm... Perhaps that´s the wrong reaction. I´m supposed to be touched and apalled, right? I´m supposed to get tears in my eyes and open my wallet, right? I´m supposed to care for trees, oceans and people with skin diseases. But the fact is I don´t. At least not as a result of these pretty pictures. To me they are pretty pictures. Horror and disaster dressed up in a gown. Pain and tragedy all botoxed and covered in Mac lipgloss. Serious issues put on display by a Photoshop master.

I´m not opening my wallet. It´s not that I´m an ice cold selfish bitch; I simply have to make a choice whether to open my wallet for this or that; I need to make priorities among everything that matters.

We can care for a lot of things, but if you really want people to act on an opinion, you need to do better than a fancy art exhibition. All research on charity shows us that we get generous when we feel empathy, when we can sense the cause, as if it was a part of us. By watching others suffer we won´t feel involved; we need to imagine being the person in pain to wake up and give. Our selfishness and ego-centrism is what drives us to really be altruistic. Funny huh?

When I see the girl covered in bugs I don´t feel them crawling on me. I feel sorry for her - and I get in the mood for a trip to the art gallery.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Customers with heart ache do not have emotional space for your message

This morning I got a comment on my YouTube video on "how to cure heart ache" that made me laugh and think.

My video is very sensible and I talk about that you can feel better by going back to your core, remind yourself of what you wish for and deserve; people who are happy within themselves will be magnets for love, but if you run around worrying you tend to make things worse.

Most people like the message and calm down, but this morning someone had commented: "Orrr just break some shit"

Lol... Yes, we are human and sometimes wisdom and sensibilitiy and the message "love yourself first" just sounds stupid and we can´t accept it because we are just SO mad, SO sad and we don´t feel like calming down. We just want to break some shit! We want a hug. We don´t want the responsibility.

It reminds me of a blogpost from Seth Godin the other day "Can´t watch your parade if the house is on fire" where Godin wrote:

"People are in pain. Often of their own making, they tell themselves a story that obsesses/distracts and compels them. "I'll never get a movie gig again," "I can't believe they didn't like what I offered," "My job is in jeopardy," "Money's too tight to buy all the things I want..." "Does my butt look fat in these shorts?"

You can jump up and down and sing and dance and launch fireworks, but if the consumer's story of pain is vivid enough, you will be ignored. When the house is on fire, all your audience wants is a hose."

In coaching, I often meet people who self sabotage. They say they want to find love, be in love, and love forever, but all they do is finding faults with everyone they date or push new lovers away by asking them for too much too soon. Deep down they might be scared of love, don´t believe they deserve it, or think a relationship will change life so much they will get seasick. Staying in status quo is simpler, you know what you have. So...

We say one thing. We do another.

We want one thing. We do everything we can to avoid it.


Your branding must cut through all this. It must love people beyond their role as "consumers". Marketing is about creating illusions and offer us all something that we believe we need. But don´t listen to what we say in the quant research (yes, I wish to eat heathly and exercise every day blah-blah-blah), but listen to what is underneath. The depth of it all, the subconscious, the hidden, the embarrassing truth. The smallness, the fears, the self doubts. That´s where you will find the real insight.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Telstra´s new look - energy, youth, colour


Ah, I actually like Telstra´s new look, and especially the use of the word "amazing". I love that word and I haven´t seen it being used in ads before. It feels right, young, as most Aussies speak - which is why the rebranding may lead to the wanted "emotional connection" with the audience. It´s just like Australia - intense, full of energy and light. So so so so different from the old Telstra.

Monday, September 19, 2011

The brain loves stimuli - Use more words, tell stories rather than spead some stats and sloans

If we sell stories rather than facts, people will be more engaged, according to the Neuromarketing blog (who´s author is releasing his new book Brainfluence in November!).

The research presented shows how important it is to touch the viewers hearts and not just tickle their brain. Based on the insight (and fact) that we are all the centre of our own world, marketers can use people´s self centrism to make them involved in a message by pretending to be there.

"A vivid story can put us in a more altruistic mode, a study shows. UK researchers looked at the two ways people think about death – abstractly or specifically. They used a detailed story which placed the reader in a burning apartment to activate specific death thoughts. A second group of subjects answered more general questions about death, while a control group was exposed to non-death-related material. They then gave subjects a second item to read, an article about blood donations which came in two versions, suggesting that blood donations were either at record highs or record lows. Finally, all subjects were given the opportunity to express an interest in donating blood.

The results of the experiment were interesting. The subjects primed with general thoughts of death were the most altruistic, but only when the need was high. The subjects who were primed with more specific thoughts about death (the vivid apartment fire) saw an increase in altruism compared to the control group even if the need was low. 

We also know that our brains find stories to be particularly engaging (see Why Stories Sell, Your Brain on Stories), and you are much more likely to hold a reader’s attention with a descriptive story than an abstract discussion.

When our senses get involved, we are drawn in like flyes to honey. Another study showed that people who had seen an ad printed in high resolution on fancy paper actually believed they had eaten the product in the ad.

A Millward Brown study suggested that "material shown on cards generated more activity within the area of the brain associated with the integration of visual and spatial information (the left and right parietal). This suggests that physical material is more “real” to the brain. It has a meaning, and a place. It is better connected to memory because it engages with its spatial memory networks. [From Millward Brown Case Study - Using Neuroscience to Understand the Role of Direct Mail.]

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Only 1 in 5 Aussies can boil eggs - Why strategy has a bright future

Most interesting facts of today comes from Westfield:

- One in three Australians can´t bake a cake without relying on a packet mix.
- More than 80% don´t know how long it takes to boil an egg.
- Only 38% could recognise coriander.
Hmm, not sure Masterchef has had that much impact on us after all... :)
Isn´t it interesting how diverse we are - that some can cook the most amazing creations in a few seconds, while others don´t know how to turn the stove on. That some get anxious if their hair is out of place, while others crawl straight out of bed and smile towards the world. That some are devoted to Greenpeace and others to The Roosters.
People are so fascinating.
The more I read and absorb, the more respect I get for strategy and insight, and the less tolerant I become towards those who say "strategy is good, but for THIS brief it´s not necessary...", and the more I cringe when I hear marketers say "I feel like this about the product" as if it was a general truth.
Brands out there, unite! If your agency presents an idea without telling you "why" (on a level beyond "because it´s a great idea") cut them out of the roster. Most of them will have had a look at the bunch of mates or colleagues, asked them what they think about the product and then come up with some crazy idea that will win awards or perks from the promo agency.... 
I´m not saying that a piece of statistics about how Australians can´t boil eggs is much better as a base for a solid strategy, haha, but I´m saying it matters. It´s a piece of the puzzle, and unless you do a bit of digging you won´t find the nuances, the pieces of information that completes the picture, makes it 3D instead of just flat.
The strategic departments are growing all around the world. The last decade has been a good one, bringing more thinking into the mix. I believe there were amazing admen operating before (Leo Burnett, David Ogilvy and such) and they were intuitive people with a feel for strategy and a mature curiosity for people, but how many of those do we have in the industry today? It´s bigger, more crowded, more driven by the search for ego and free booze, more structured and stressful... who has time to think? who has space? Fortunately planning departments are growing, and strategy is bettering work, creating stronger bonds between brands and consumers.
Ah well, perhaps I´m just the strategy nazi... :) What do you think?
If you want to learn how to boil an egg:

Other posts on strategy:
There are 4 types of strategic planners
Why strategic planners should use Sören Kierkegaard...
Should strategists read the horoscope?

Friday, September 16, 2011

Cool stats on QR codes

QR (Quick Response) codes... Are they any good? I remember reading about a recent study saying 11 percent of people use them, which I think sound pretty good actually. When we learn how it works and get over the "fear barrier" that is always present with new methods and technology I guess they will boom. 

The infographic to the left is from Lab42, published a couple of months ago. The research was conducted from July 28, 2011 to August 1, 2011 amongst social network users in the United States.

An example from on how QR codes can be used:

Tesco’s Subway Virtual Store: Grocery store shoppers, particularly in cities, face two fundamental problems: making time to get to the store, and transporting groceries home from there. Though delivery services are gaining momentum, many shoppers still prefer browsing the shelves to find what they need. To address this conundrum, the owners of Tesco grocery stores in South Korea turned convention on its head: instead of bringing customers into the store, they decided to bring the store to their customers. They created virtual grocery shelves in high-trafficked subway stations, stocked with QR-coded virtual goods. Smartphone-holding commuters can peruse the “shelves” and scan the items they wish to purchase to trigger direct home delivery.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Brand relationships start early - what does your brand mean to kids? Cartoon´s Newtwork research

Last night I had my Swedish girlfriends over to watch a Swedish TV show and we spoke about Ikea´s new strategy to not sell the traditional Swedish brands at their international shops, but instead re-create the iconic products as home brands. None of us liked the idea. We love buying the special chips and lollies (or Kalles kaviar as in the pic below) at Ikea, but not specifically because we like the taste, but because they remind us of our childhood. When living abroad it´s comforting to go shopping for all those brands you remember. Buying a similar product is not the same... Ikea is trying to save some bucks, but will bite the hand that feeds them and be left wounded.

What we experience as children is important. A fresh study from Cartoons Network´s called "New Generations" has revealed that brands like Lego, Milo and Vegemite have the highest recall among kids - something that will make those brands winners through the consumer´s life.

Children are very aware brands! When asked ‘What is your favorite ad?’ 66% of the kids used brands to identify commercials. Lego was the highest recognised brand in the toy category, with Milo and Vegemite coming top in food (91% and 89%) respectively. Coles´ "Prices are down" ad was one of their favourites.

When asked why kids liked ads, one in three (32%) said humour, with 27% saying they liked the product and 14% liking the music.

The study found that kids between 4 and 14 have seen an increase in their income, a nation-wide an average of $12.38 per week, money they spend on food and drinks, clothing and going out with friends and family.

Other findings:
- When asked about the future, more kids than in past research said they wished to travel, owning a fast car and having a university degree, while marriage, having kids and having a high-paying job are all falling priorities.

- Time spent doing sporting and outdoor activities was declining by 15% while playing with toys, reading and doing homework are on the rise.

- 68% of them using the internet every two to three days, and the interest in apps and tablets growing, screen time for children has never been higher.

- Facebook remains the most popular website, with one in five kids claiming to have more than 200 friends.

Is this important to for exampel a bank, a beer brand or a chicken producer? Should a car brand bother about a study of tweens? Is it relevant to those who target grown ups? Oh yeah... You may not be on their radar now, and perhaps your bulls eye is a couple of decades older, but what if brand relationships start really early, and you miss out if you get in too late? Our values and beliefs are created early on, and we are subconsciously influenced by messages sent to us early on. If you can create a feel around your brand early in a person´s life you will be able to reap when they are older. It might sound cynical, but it works. And if they learn to love your brand, they will love it, right - and you will give them a positive feeling which is purely a gift. It´s a win-win situation.

Spend a couple of minutes thinking of how you can be a part of the children´s lives.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Is my mobile killing me? People increasingly worried about mobile health risks

New research from Roy Morgan shows that our obsession with smartphones might cool down, not because we are sick of them, but because we think they make us sick...  

"With mobile phone penetration (87%) now higher than fixed line penetration (82%), concerns are increasing about health risks associated with mobile phones, according to the latest Roy Morgan Research Mobile Phone Monitor.

In the year ending March 2011, 37% of mobile phone users agreed with the statement “I am worried about health risks of mobile phones”, this is the third year in a row there has been an increase in this attitude and is up from 29% 5 years ago.
Andrew Braun, Industry Director - Mobile, Internet and Technology, Roy Morgan Research, says:

“It is interesting to observe that more women are concerned than men about the health risks of mobile phones, with 40% of female mobile phone users agreeing with the statement “I am worried about the health risks of mobile phones, compared with only 33% of males.

“The Roy Morgan Research Mobile Phone Monitor also shows that those aged 35 to 49 years have the greatest concerns, with 42% of mobile phone users in this age group being concerned. Women in this age group are even more concerned with 46% of them agreeing with this statement.
“With this rising trend, and the World Health Organisation’s recent announcement that the electromagnetic fields produced by mobile phones are possibly carcinogenic to humans, it will be interesting to see how mobile phone manufactures react to this issue.”

The marketing world moves in such fast pace and react pretty quickly to changes we don´t really need to stop our latest augmented reality mobile game campaign... but when tareting for example mums, this information can be useful as an indicator of general fear and need of real tangible experiences and natural values. What does it mean for the brand you are working with at the moment?

Monday, September 12, 2011

Why do So many people LIKE Bubble O´Bill icecream? Socialbakers report

Socialbakers has gone public with some of the information on the site, giving us some insights into what Facebook pages people use and like. It´s interesting hos Bubble O´Bill icecream RULES when it comes to Aussie fans. How did they do it? The site publishes some fun pictures and video clips, but nothing spectacular. HOW do these pages get so many fans?

It turns out the page is created by a true fan (so they say at least...) who had his tonsills removed and could only eat icecream... Not sure if this story attracted people, but perhaps a learning that we seek the genuine; pages created by fans, not the brands themselves. Guess nobody likes those who brag about themselves, which is why PR is sometimes more effective than ads in creating trust. If a journalist has recommended something it feels more trustworthy than if a brand shouts out about itself being fabulous...

I wish there were more qual studies on social media; at the moment all knowledge on how we engage with  Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare and so on is in the shape of numbers. Statistics won´t reveal WHAT makes us besotted about one brand´s page and not the other. How to replicate the success of Bubble O´Bill? How to be as engaging as BMW? Digital strategists out there - share your wisdom, please :)


Friday, September 9, 2011

Celebrities in ads give you attention, but not brand love - unless you use the fabulous Charlize Theron!!!

Oh, how BEAUTIFUL isn´t this ad for the perfume Jádore (Dior)....

Using celebs as a marketing strategy is tricky - research has shown that those ads actually often perform worse than others. (Check the post: ) It´s a lazy way of getting attention from the audience, and it´s not engaging or involving anyone, hence not doing anything for the brand than giving it attention for the moment. It´s an old fashioned and tired strategic platform, not going further down the marketing funnel.

This is btw my Love Branding funnel :)

Using Charlize Theron though... it´s another story. She is there as an actress, shining like the sun, sexier and more stylish than anyone. She´s there as an actress, not a celebrity. Huge difference!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Statistics are not consumer insights - bc people are like donkeys with too many carrots

The reason I´m cautious when clients or business partners say they "know a lot" about the target audience and have strong "insights" is that it is too often based on Roy Morgan searches and quantitative data, discovering what people SAY about a brand...

Problem is that people are funny - we say one thing and do another. We can tell a researcher that we have seen a brand and that we like it and even support it. But we will still buy something else. Why? One explanation is that there are too many other options around, and even if I like something, I might like other brands too - and they may be better, cheaper or more in my face. Another explanation is that we want to sound positive in the eyes of another person. We don´t want to hurt their feelings, so we say something we think they want to hear, and that will make us look like nicer people (nobody likes a grump). A third reason is that we might think we like something, even if we don´t. As a coach I constantly deal with that people say they want success, love or to win a race, but that their subconscious is sabotaging for them - they might think they don´t deserve it; their dream might be set by their parents and not themselves; they might think reaching a goal will leave them feeling empty.

People are funny, and true consumer insights goes beyond the numbers. I use quant data, but an insight is, as a friend planner at Akestam Holst in Sweden said "a fact based revelation". I like that expression. A fact based revelation. Or a "qualified guessing" as we said at my old agency in Stockholm (Prime PR). A consumer insight is always a "hunch", based on instincts. You can´t skip the research state, but the research is a base for the revelation, not the revelation in itself. 

I came to think of this, when reading an article in the Nielsen Wire this morning, revealing that while the majority of consumers around the world (83%) say that it is important that companies implement programs to improve the environment, only 22 percent say they will pay more for an eco-friendly product. Interesting read:


Many consumers reported a personal preference for eco-friendly goods, but large percentages of respondents report setting aside this preference and buying whichever product is cheapest, including 48 percent in North America, 36 percent in Middle East/Africa, 35 percent in Europe, 33 percent in Asia Pacific, and 27 percent in Latin America.

Global consumers have mixed feelings about the environmental impact and benefits of particular sustainable practices. While 64 percent of consumers, globally, indicated they believe organic products are good for environment, there is wide regional disparity of opinion. Eighty percent of Latin Americans and 72 percent of Asia Pacific respondents think organic products are environmentally-friendly, but fewer people are convinced in Europe (58%), Middle East/Africa (57%), and North America (49%).

Among other environmental and sustainability efforts manufacturers have taken, recycled packaging and energy efficient products are seen as the most broadly helpful. Fully 83 percent believe that manufacturers using recycled packaging and producing energy efficient products and appliances have a positive impact on the environment. Fewer consumers are convinced of the environmental impact of local products (59%), fair trade products (51%) and products not tested on animals (44%).

Belief in the impact of “local” products is highest in North America, where 65 percent of consumers believe these products have a positive impact on the environment.

For more detail and regional insights, download: 2011 Sustainable Efforts & Environmental Concerns.


Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Why the Aussie economy is different from the European

The Western world is in financial trouble – well, that´s no big news, right...  – but the funny thing is that Australia seems unaffected. Some say it´s because of the mining boom, but I prefer to explain it with the Aussie “no worries” spirit. Since few in this part of the world are following the news or bothering about those dramatic events overseas, the psychological amplification of the drama won´t appear. We just potter on as normal, so the stock market and house market won´t be as nervous as in Europe or the Us.
Back in Sweden I watched the news with a frown on my face, because all the people there were just so worried and stressed and concerned. Everyone saw disasters in each direction, watching out for trouble, searching for risks. A totally different vibe than what you get from the Aussie news where the hosts are joking and presenting news about fashion and sharks.
You can laugh at the Australian care free attitude and even call it stupid... but... When you dwell on things, you tend to feed them and they grow. But we put the tragedies on a diet by going surfing and throwing another shrimp on the barbie... Light always beat darkness.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics just released a report on household spending, showing household income has climbed 50 per cent since 2003-04, way ahead of prices which have climbed 19 per cent. And we have not spent all the extra income, we have tucked some away; spending grew 38 per cent.
This is good news, considering the earning to spending ratio has not been looking good in the West the last decade. In 1994, the savings rate was nearly 5 % in Us, but by 2006 it had fallen below zero – to negative 1 %. Americans were not only not saving; they were spending more than they earned. At the same time Europeans save an average of 20%. (compared with Japan 25% and China 50%)
I believe the economy is a result of our mindset. We get what we expect, and the placebo effect is just as relevant here as in medical research (showing for example that when researchers tested the effect of 6 leading antidepressants, they noted that 75% of the effect was duplicated in placebo controls.)
We keep on spending, we keep on living and breathing, and so is the economy, which means adworld does not need to worry just yet; the target audience won´t have saving on their mind – at least not in a frustrated way. (banks should worry though...)

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

The Keller model - does anyone use models anymore...?

Keller´s pyramid is a classic in marketing, and a simple way to present your ideas to the client. It answers four questions:

Who are you? First level is brand salience. In building a highly salient brand it is important that awareness campaigns not only build depth (ensuring that a brand will be remembered and the ease with which it is) but also breadth (the range of situations in which the brand comes to mind as something that should be purchased or used).

What are you? The second layer of the pyramid deals with giving meaning to the brand trough two building blocks: brand performance and brand imagery. Brand performance is the way the product or service attempts to meet the consumer’s functional needs. Brand imagery deals with the way in which the brand attempts to meet customers’ psychological and social needs.

What about you (responses)? In the third tier of the pyramid you develop a consumer response to the brand. Keller proposes two building blocks for this tier, namely brand judgments and brand feelings.

What about you and me? The final tier of is called brand resonance. Resonance is characterized by the intensity of the psychological bond that customers have with the brand and their level of engagement with the brand.

I believe this is an interesting model, however I believe that today´s way of branding is much more focused on the consumer. The target comes first, and even if it´s important to have a core and identity, most time should be spent on finding a "click" between brand and consumer, where they are truly useful and meaningful to each other.

What model do you like?

Stare Challenge captures the eye of gen y guys

Screen shot 2011-09-05 at 10.40.31 AM.jpgSydney digital creative agency, Pusher, has created a digital and social media campaign for client Snack Brands Australia and their product, CC's Corn Chips.

As a follow-up to the television spots produced by Workshop Australia that launched at the end of July, Pusher's campaign, running until the end of September, is designed to generate conversation on social channels and into the online space to engage with the young male skewed target demographic.
Pusher has developed an interactive game that has been built into the CC's brand destination website and featured on the CC's Facebook page.  The game, "CC's Stare Challenge" features a girl sitting on a train staring at you.
Contestants on Facebook or the website are asked to activate their webcam and 'line up their eyes' with the eye-detection and motion sensing webcam that then tracks each and every subtle eye movement throughout the game.
Screen shot 2011-09-05 at 10.40.47 AM.jpgOnce the stare video challenge begins, characters from the CC's TV commercials come into frame with CC's Corn Chips and try and distract players to get them to look away.

To make it harder to keep staring, Pusher has incorporated a host of 'diverts' in the form of video challenges.  One includes a 'CC's Fan' scenario that blows the girl's hair all over, like a shampoo commercial.

"The CC's Stare Challenge tells us when players of the game break their stare and look away.  When they do it's because they have looked away at the product while already engaging and playing the CC's game," said Mike Crebar, digital strategy director at Pusher.

"The technology behind the game emerged just a short time ago in the consumer electronics markets through cameras and security systems, so the CC's Stare Challenge game that includes eye-tracking and motion sensing technologies being controlled through a webcam, is a great eye opener - pun intended."
This is another way of grabbing the attention of the restless, joy searching Gen Y. Staring has very little to do with corn chips (I think) but is a way for the brand to attach its brand with a positive emotion. The brand will give the boys something fun to think about, and subconsciously this will make them link CC with the feeling of fun. Does it work? I´m curious to see the results.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Flying elephants attracting the frequent flyers - or their finance department?

We were watching TV last night and came across the new TVC from Optus and Quantas. I am a little puzzled about it - what the message really is - but I understand the point of aligning one high end brand with the other, attracting the "frequent flyer gamers" (collecting points is angry birds for business men, right...?). The strategists and business developers must have seen that the target are heavy users of both air travel and mobile telephoning, so CLICK, perfect match, a beautiful love affair...

Whether the same business men watch TV on Sunday nights and get intrigued by flying elephants is another thing, but the ad is interesting. Different. A little science fiction. A little odd. Pretty. I´m positive - even if I don´t really know why... lol.

I guess the real target is the finance department, who picks up the bill. It´s unlikely these business travellers are the ones actually purchasing the service, which makes it all a bit more complicated.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Winners of creative awards are effective too

Sometimes people (me too) talk about how adland inhabitants have big egos and wish to win awards rather than focus on business objectives and long term results.

This turns out to be wrong.

According to The Gunn Report there is a very strong link between creativity and effectiveness. When comparing campaigns that have won creative awards with winners of the IPA Effectiveness Awards, the report comes to these conclusions:

-         Creatively-awarded IPA campaigns are more effective than non-awarded ones despite lower levels of Excess Share of Voice or ESOV (share of voice minus share of market).
-         There is a very strong link between creativity and effectiveness when ESOV levels are taken into account.
-         Creatively-awarded campaigns are 11 times more efficient than non-awarded ones in terms of the level of market share growth they drive per point of ESOV.
-         If the creatively-awarded campaigns in the IPA Databank had enjoyed the same level of ESOV as the non-awarded campaigns, they would have resulted in two times more market share growth than the non-awarded campaigns achieved. The difference in terms of return on investment is likely to be much greater than this.
-         Creatively-awarded campaigns appear to achieve their greater effectiveness levels with much greater certainty than the non-awarded campaigns: they are more reliable investments.
-         For equivalent levels of investment, creatively-awarded campaigns achieve broader levels of success across greater numbers of business metrics beyond share growth.
-         The greater the level of creativity (i.e. the more major creative awards a campaign wins) the greater the level of effectiveness
-         The link between creativity and effectiveness appears to be driven to a significant degree by two important factors:
o   The preponderance of emotional communications models amongst creatively awarded campaigns (emotional campaigns have been shown elsewhere to be strongly linked to effectiveness).
o   The much greater ‘buzz’ effects of creatively-awarded campaigns (buzz has also been shown elsewhere to be strongly linked with effectiveness). It is an innate quality of highly creative advertising and cannot be bought through media expenditure.

So good work is simply good work. Like J

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Why giving free samples can give you slut status - and what happened to the Westfield shopper blogger?

Do you know who won the Westfield shopper blogger job? Yeah, I say "won" and not "got"... It wasn´t really a job search but rather a massive competition - and it got lots of media exposure, making the 100 000 dollar investment worth it before the blogger had even written a word.

But I just checked the website and there is no blogger to be found... Did they even appoint anyone or was it a scam?

There are sooooo many promotional, experiential, advertising and social media campaigns running at the same time. Millions are pumped out, we are all sprinkled in competitions, giveaways and happenings. But how many do we really notice? Win this and win that - I haven´t entered a contest like that since I was a teenager and wanted a bicycle. Have you?

Is it really effective? I get wowed by the cleverness of campaigns when reading about them in the industry publications, but I´ve never been exposed to one in real life. You can get free samples of all sorts of stuff when wandering Bondi Beach on a Summer Saturday - but I´m not sure I remember which brands I got. Freebies simply pass by un noticed - because they do not involve me. They touch my surface but never grabs my heart.

If you really wish to cut through the clutter that our life is I guess you need to have a smart strategy. Understand your consumers and their emotional needs. Know their footsteps through shopper marketing research. Get them engaged by asking them to participate, play, perform or work for the freebies.

By simply giving away stuff to anyone you act much like the lady in the short skirt, who is stumbeling around on the dance floor at 2.55 am...