Wednesday, February 29, 2012
Tuesday, February 28, 2012
"My young grandchildren have a favourite theme park ride. They each get to sit in a little car with a steering wheel to turn and a horn to honk. They feel as if they are in control of their vehicle. Only they aren't, of course. The whole thing is being pulled along a track. For them, ignorance is bliss."
From time to time you meet people who believe they are in control. They say they would never follow the norm; NO, they are their own boss and do what they choose.
Sigh. Living in a culture is living in chains. It´s having to adapt. It´s being influenced. It´s to follow.
You can most likely decide on the level, the degree, the amount of freedom you want and dare to have within the cultural prison - but only really brave and probably very nutty people do exactly what they please. Would we even be able to have a unique individual "want" after being brought up surrounded by others?
Some break out of the normality peak on the Bell curve and become punk rockers or hippies - but they too find their tribe, their own track with little cars and fake steering wheels. Others start companies instead of being employed. And there are people who by nature question everything (and I´m most likely one of them - which is a bit of a burden I must admit).
But most people like to sit in the little car with a steering wheel to turn and a horn to honk. A life with the others, honking along - because is bliss. Ignorant? Hell yeah. But bliss.
I envy them.
Sunday, February 26, 2012
Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.
In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.
Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.
It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll.
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.
William Ernest Henley
Saturday, February 25, 2012
You can build magnificent things out of Lego, but for kids it´s probably more fun to simply use their imagination and build the buildings of their dreams, whether they look like something real or not. I love this ad (someone says it is from 1981, when girls did not have to look like princesses...):
Talking of princesses, Sweden got a new one delivered the other day :) Her name is Estelle and she is the result of our crown princess Victoria marrying her personal trainer!
Friday, February 24, 2012
We were asked to put a sparkling thing on the table during the session, and this item would then be “blessed” by the angels entering the room during meditation. I have a glittery cover for my iphone so I put it there to be infused with good luck and energy from the sky (or something...). Whatever comes into my phone is now a “sign”.
You might laugh, but these things are used by many to make decisions in life; a lot of people are superstitious; a huge bunch of us don´t just rely on facts and data but on star signs and mystery.
I believe this is closely connected to the psychologist Daniel Kahneman´s theories on intuition, and that our mind by default is trying to take shortcuts to avoid spending energy finding out facts. When the brain knows too much it´s harder to make a confident decision; the less you need to consider, the more sure you can feel, which is comforting – so you prefer to be lazy and uninformed, and to base your opinions on random feelings instead of facts. Superstition is the easy way out. No information gathering needed – just throw a coin or consult your horoscope!
According to a study in New Woman from 2006, 6 out of 10 Australians can’t start their day without checking their star sign. 6 out of 10 Australians know the star sign of their pet, and 35 % of NSW readers check their horoscope before having sex with a new partner. Time magazine wrote around the same time that 1 in 5 British adults regularly throw coins into wishing wells and fountains.
Richard Wiseman, the British psychologist and author of Quirkology and Luck Factor, has studied superstition, and the results of his research is not uplifting for me and my blessed phone... These are his words:
“In 1996, the Gallup Organization asked 1,000 Americans whether they were superstitious. 53 percent of people said that they were at least a little superstitious, and 25 percent admitted to being somewhat or very superstitious. Another survey revealed that 72 percent of the public said that they possessed at least one good luck charm.
Superstitious beliefs and behaviors have been passed down from generation to generation. Our parents told us about them and we will pass them on to our children. But why do they persist? I believe that the answer lies in the power of luck. Throughout history, people have recognized that good and bad luck can transform lives. A few seconds of ill fortune can lay waste years of striving, and moments of good luck can save an enormous amount of hard work. Superstition represents people’s attempts to control and enhance this most elusive of factors. And the enduring nature of these superstitions beliefs and behaviors reflects the extent of people’s desire to find ways of increasing their good luck. In short, superstitions were created, and have survived, because they promise that most elusive of holy grails – a way of enhancing good fortune. There is just one problem. Superstition doesn’t work.
Several researchers have also tested the validity of these age-old beliefs and found them wanting. My favorite experiment into the topic was a rather strange study conducted by high school student (and member of the New York Skeptics) Mark Levin. In some countries, a black cat crossing your path is seen as lucky, in other countries it is seen as unlucky. Levin wanted to discover whether people’s luck really changed when a black cat crossed their path. To find out, he asked two people to try their luck at a simple coin tossing game. Next, a black cat was encouraged to walk across their path, and the participants then played the coin tossing game a second time. As a “control” condition,
Levin also repeated the experiment using a white, rather than a black, cat. After much coin tossing and cat crossing, Levin concluded that neither the black or white cat had any effect on participants’ luck. Also, skeptics have regularly staged events in which they have broken well-known superstitions, such as walking under ladders and smashing mirrors – all have survived the ordeals intact.
A few years ago I decided to put the power of lucky charms to the test by empirically evaluating the actual effect that they have on people’s luck, lives, and happiness. I asked a group of volunteers to complete various standardized questionnaires measuring their levels of life satisfaction, happiness, and luck. Next, they were asked to carry a lucky charm with them and to monitor the effect that it had on their lives. The charms had been purchased from a New Age center and promised to enhance good fortune, wealth, and happiness. After a few weeks everyone in the group was asked to indicate the effect that the charms had had on their lives. Overall, there was absolutely no effect in terms of how satisfied they were with their lives, how happy they were, or how lucky they felt. Interestingly, a few participants thought that they had been especially unlucky, and seemed somewhat relieved that they could now return the charms.”
What do you think? How can this change the way you work today? Is your brain lazy too? Can you adapt to your target audience´s superstitious minds?
I believe in healthy intuition, based on research. When you have stored a lot of data in your brain, your feelings (or psychic gift) can help you analyse this and draw conclusions beyond logic. If there are only a few random bits and pieces in your information bank, the conclusions will be incorrect, but if you have done your homework, a bit of mystery can help you trust your instincts.
I will curiously observe my phone today. What kind of "signs" will come...? Move to Sweden? London? Stay in Sydney? Write another book? Leave it all and get a job in a café? Dear phone, suprise me! lol
Thursday, February 23, 2012
The classic purchase funnel goes: awareness, opinion, consideration, purchase, loyalty (and then back again I guess...) My version is based on another area of life, close to our heart, to illustrate that the relationship between a successful brand and consumer is really like a Relationship. Not a brief encounter, not a fling, not a long-distance relationship.
Sometimes you come across brand managers whose ultimate goal is "awareness". Or, nowadays in the time of social media, marketing directors also ask you to increase the numbers of Facebook Likes, which they often call "involvement", but is mainly a way to measure awareness...
If you were looking for a boyfriend and all you wanted was to catch their eye you could simply wear a very short skirt or a deep cleavage - even if this would most likely be contra productive...
Hmm. It always upsets me when brands ask for so little, and I would never settle with giving them "awareness". In reality, anyone can easily make people aware. Just do really weird stuff:
If you saw these people, you would be aware of them, wouldn´t you? But would you fancy them? Would you go out with them? Would you marry them? I´m sure they are all awesome and very likeable, but I´m sure you get the point... To only ask the agency to create "awareness" is to ask for scrubs.
You want consumers to like you long term. You want them to have a clear image in their head of what you stand for and what you can offer them. You want the money spent on a campaign today to generate sales a year ahead. You want more!
I know it´s tough times and all companies want quick results, and sometimes the brand manager is only there temporarily and wish to shine with an awareness campaign that leads to a quick sales peak - and nobody is really there to see what happened in 6 month or 12. Too far away - let the next brand manager take that ball...
But I´m just saying... If all you want to be happily married, don´t aim for a one night stand.
Tuesday, February 21, 2012
Please adland, can we NOT make these kind of ads?? We have a responsibility. Ads are still making impact of the culture, even if everything is about consumers making the content and engaging with online ads and apps nowadays. Print ads are still all over the mags and consumed, watched and they are forming values.
Monday, February 20, 2012
"Ideas that have been evoked trigger many other ideas. Each element in the brain is connected, and they support and strengthen each other. A word can evoke memories, which evoke emotions, which in turn evoke facial expressions and other reactions like general tensing up or avoidance tendency. These reactions intensify the feelings to which they are linked, and the emotion in turn reinforces compatible ideas. All this happens quickly and at once, yielding a self-reinforcing pattern of cognitive, emotional and physical responses that is both diverse and integrated."
This explains why you can smile to be happy or “fake it til you make it”. If you when going into a meeting feel a little nervous, the worst you can do is to give in to that idea and think “I´m nervous, OMG my body is shaking”, because this will only make you more nervous! Instead you should tell your body and mind “I´m confident. I´m good at what I do and have prepared myself well. They will adore me.” You should also make sure you stand straight and balanced, walk with energy and shake hands with strength, looking into people´s eyes. Just by doing this, you will also become more confident, because your brain will believe your lies. It´s easily tricked, your brain... :)
This also explains the power of affirmations, visualisations, positive thinking, of spending more time on solutions than problems and why girls who think “All men are bastards” only meet bastards! We attract what is in our heads; the world is a mirror.
To a marketing strategist this phenomenon is interesting in terms of how you can make people more friendly towards your brands by evoking the right type of memories within. Ask a question that will make them think “yes” and nod their heads and this will open a channel to their brain for the second question: “Would you like to buy _________?” Show pictures in your ads that will awaken strong feelings evoking other positive memories and feelings, that will strengthen the emotional state the consumer is when watching.
Involve and engage through apps or experiential campaigns that puts their bodies in a wanted state, where people are receptive to you. Let them play silly games and feel like children if you sell something that is a “treat”. Let them do puzzles or learn new things if you want them to trust you and purchase bank services or insurance.
It is fascinating how easy it is to be happy. And how great we are at making ourselves worried or sad. So many waste time and energy fretting and calculating, stressing and thinking they are useless. Deep down it is a cry for help, but what happens is that the more you dwell on your flaws and the injustice of life, the worst it will get. You will be a problem magnet.
Or a happiness magnet...
Fake it til you make it, and help your target audience to do so as well. It will increase bottom lines and help you smile!
Saturday, February 18, 2012
I still wish to be "intuitive", but make sure I´m not simply lazy :)
Friday, February 17, 2012
Nine new faces were to tell their stories. All of them men. SIGH. What is wrong with this industry? Are only guys doing and thinking things worthy being spread?
I don´t think the decision to let another nine dudes step up in the spotlight is a plot against women; it is simply a consequence of people not considering how limited our thinking is, and how trained we are in seeing men as "better" and how we instinctively judge individuals based on what box we believe they belong in. Our culture supports men, and both men and women are to blame. We all base our opinions on silly things like tone of voice, how tall someone is or what a person is wearing. This is the root to racism and unfair treatments of humans all over the world, all through history. We put each other in boxes and make quick and lazy assumptions based on fluff.
The fact that all nine new speakers are male is not a conspiracy. But intelligent people with understanding of the power of influence and how subconscious feelings steer people into certain directions, without a piece of logic involved, should know better.
Ignorance is bliss. But it´s also ignorant. The Cannes Lion event management team should be smarter than that.
My blog about the gender discussion at last years Cannes Lion: http://howwemove.blogspot.com.au/2011/06/shockingly-awful-gender-discussion-at.html
Thursday, February 16, 2012
- Improve brand presence across social channels—The measurement goal here is an increase in the number of followers on Twitter, number of fans on Facebook, number of comments, number of times your brand is mentioned in blogs and forums and so on.
- Increase positive sentiment about your brand—The goal here is to convert the number of positive mentions while taking note of negative mentions. Has the ratio of positive to negative comments improved? With the good comes the bad in social media. Get used to it!
- Develop relationships for future partnership opportunities—This goal is to keep track of those with whom you’ve connected. For example, if you met a potential speaker for your webinar, include that person into your digital Rolodex. If a vendor contacts you through your blog, capture that lead and take note.
- Increase traffic to your website—Keep track of visitors to your website who come from each of your social media sites. If you’re promoting an event using social media, consider using a unique code to track the campaign.
Wednesday, February 15, 2012
When you stand on a stage and talk down to people, hoping they will see you, there is a distance between you... No relationship can last forever if it is not equal and built on respect. To be loved you need to know what the other person love and hate, and what would make him/her happy. You need to ask questions and listen to the answers.
Still so many agencies approach a brief with a little meeting with suits, planners and creatives almost having a little focus group, where everyone shares what they think and feel...
Pst. It´s not about you; you´re most likely a middle class white uni educated and trendy person living in the Eastern Suburbs... Building a campaign on your instincts is simply arrogant.
The best brand-consumer bonds are built on a heart meeting a heart. When the brand knows why it exists (beyond "I want to be rich by manipulating people to buy me") and what it offers people, what kind of problem it solves and how it can enhance the life of the consumer in a broader perspective, it can be successful, which lots of research has proven. And to know what problems you solve, you have to know what problems they have, and how they feel about it.
Many marketing directors know the buzzwords. They know they will create "involvement, engagement and sales success" by "emotionalizing" a brand. But few knows how... They want an emotionally powerful campaign - but even if that in theory is leading to people remembering the ad, it doesn´t work if the "emotion" is not defined. Do you want the target to be happy, sad, concerned, excited, calm, safe or shocked?
I believe the magic happens on a brand definition level, rather than on an advertisement creation level. A brand that has a vague personality, not really knowing what values it stands for, will be hard to market successfully through a TVC. If you don´t know what kind of emotions you wish to evoke in people and why, how can you create ads that are "emotional"?
According to Millward Brown´s paper "Should my advertising stimulate an emotional response?" the best ad combines messages for the heart with messages for the brain. They are both rational and emotional. But there is a difference between small and established brands. Smaller brands should not just sell on emotions - it needs to first build trust with facts and data. Larger, more established brands can on the other hand play with our subconscious feelings, which take the facts into consideration.
This is most likely because the established brands have built a strong base. People know what they stand for, because they have put time and effort into creating a clear brand image. If they hadn´t, they would not be established... Many brands fail before getting big.
In the report from Millward Brown there is lots of stats on how an emotional approach is more effective, and I do believe this. Your brand needs to be clever though. Just "being emotional" is not enough. Just using the buzz words won´t help.
Tuesday, February 14, 2012
Monday, February 13, 2012
"The naming of Sydney Mardi Gras and creation of its new identity was more than a simple rebranding exercise. It also signalled a new, farther reaching strategy. A more inclusive purpose that holds true to the past and looks the future, appealing to a younger generation that no longer feels pressured to identify themselves by their sexuality.
“By celebrating the power and beauty of diversity, Mardi Gras inspires the world to love one another.”
We helped articulate this bold statement with members of the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Organisation, and if any proof was needed of its truth, you only had to witness how we brought it life.
For three weeks the creative breakout area became MardiGrasVille. All were encouraged to contribute - gay and straight, male and female, old and new, creative and suit - everyone had a go. Images, sketches, scribbles, words, phrases, fonts and colours covered and recovered the walls and floor. Ideas mattered, opinions changed; freedom flourished, banal banished; styles clashed and complemented (as did our creatives). But in the end, the ridiculous gave way to the sublime, and the work of a very talented, young, straight boy from the Shire shone through - James Calpis.
So far, it has been proudly tattooed, colourfully graffitied, endlessly doodled, sculptured in the sands of Bondi, made into a massive mirror-ball, writ large across Centennial Park by huge human kissing-chain; and soon it will festoon the streets of Sydney as the excitement and fun of Mardi Gras once again consumes locals and visitors alike.
The Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras organisation will continue to run the show, and the parade, festival and parties will always celebrate the gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer and intersexual communities. But now everyone who has a message of love to the world is invited and welcome to play a part.
The GLBTQI communities are diverse and change always has its supporters and detractors. Many have fought long and hard to be recognised and are rightly protective of all that Mardi Gras has achieved. So we created this video to launch the new identity and help convey the reasoning behind this next step on the path towards unquestioned acceptance and equality for all.
How this epic love story will play out in the years to come – who knows? We pray it never ends. But for now, we’re hoping that boy gets boy, girl gets girl, boy gets girl, and they all live happily married ever after.
Saturday, February 11, 2012
Friday, February 10, 2012
I´ve summarized the headlines from the report, but recommend you to read the whole thing. It´s got lots of juicy stuff: vending machines for milk, insects as the new source of protein, coffee subscription services and restaurants fining people who don´t finish their food and then donates the money to Somalia. Very inspiring! :)
There is a link to download the 128 pages report (lots of great examples and thoughts, not just fluff :): http://www.jwtintelligence.com/trendletters2/
If you are interested in more trends in the food area, The Hartman Group arranges this web seminar:
Looking Ahead: Ingredient Trends
February 29, 2012, 1 PM Eastern, 10 AM Pacific
Duration: 20 minutes
Melissa Abbott, Director, Culinary Insights
Join us for a free 20-minute webinar as we present an in-depth look at how cultural shifts in health and wellness impact ingredients in many of today’s and tomorrow’s foods and beverages. Gain a better understanding on what shapes consumer perceptions of “healthy food” from organic and natural to functional foods. We’ll show you what’s trending in and what’s trending out. Gain critical insight in distinguishing between the flash-in-the-pan fads from trends with real staying power for the long haul. Going beyond organic, we’ll fast forward into the future of health and wellness to probe what the real problem with gluten is all about. From thought-provoking insights to what it means for business, Melissa helps you navigate Food Culture’s most meaningful and relevant trends.
Thursday, February 9, 2012
Wednesday, February 8, 2012
I hadn´t seen a man who also goes to my regular café in a while, so I asked the owner what happened to him, and found out he has retired. At 45! Apparently he was one of the lucky bankers who earned a few million dollars a year and now he is out to play. He has two lovely sons, probably 8-10 years old, and he looks so strong and confident, I just assumed he would be older.Sigh. It makes you think, doesn´t it? About how different people´s lives are.
I look at myself, 38 going on 39 this year, just a couple of years younger than him. I bum around like a teenager in Bondi Beach, freelancing in a tough industry, purely out of an enormous love of my work, but earning what I need, no millions a year. I have no kids, just a crazy cat :)
I look at the woman I interviewed during a pitch for an anti-smoking campaign a while back, the woman whose boyfriend left while she was pregnant and who now struggles with both money and self-esteem, who turn to the cigarettes as her sole pleasure. The smoke gives her a little bubble to hide in for a minute when times are tough. A shelter from the pain.
I look at the junior planner, born and bread in a upper-class family North Shore, whose reaction on the story on the smoking lady was "can´t she just go for a run. I go for a run when I´m stressed. Let´s make a campaign where we tell them to go to the gym instead". Sigh.
I look at those who are in love and celebrate 2 year anniversaries according to my Facebook wall, and I look at those who change their relationship status to "single". I look at the fat and the thin, those who are angry and those who smile all day.
And across the street I see the pastor of one of the churches I used to go to (was fascinated by churches for a while...) and he sits there, alone at the café; I know his wife has cancer and the beautiful sparkling woman I used to see next to him in the house of God is now a tiny figure, limited and vanishing. Him too. His faith? I don´t know if he still prays. I hope he does, but understand if he doesn´t.
Some are lucky, some are not. Some get a beer at a trendy pop up bar in the sun, others die in a European cold snap. Some whinge about having a bad hair day, others find out their kid has been thrown down a bridge in a custody battle. Some devote their lives to supporting a president campaign, others design skirts.
Today I´m working on a brief where the target is "all Australians between 25 and 55".
It makes me laugh. And cry. And cringe.
All that combines us is Love. Our never ending craving for Love.