5 things that will be obsolete by 2020

12 Mar

#1 Saying “I’m going on the Internet”

As the lines continue to blur, it will be increasingly difficult to distinguish between online and offline activities.


#2 Multiple passwords and logins

Say goodbye to the constant need to remember your passwords. Hurray!


#3 Losing data

You can access all the data you want, anywhere you want, via the cloud.


#4 Your privacy

Your privacy went out the window when social media arrived.


#5 Digital titles in traditional agencies

There will be no more excuses to not ‘get’ digital.



How to do real-time advertising

4 Feb

Last night saw a blackout out the Superbowl. But what may have been Superbowl’s loss, was evidently Twitter’s gain.

According to Twitter HQ, chatter about the power outage peaked at 231,500 tweets per minute. Shish.

So forget the $4Million price tag per 30 second spot. Oreo tweeted this real-time ad, for free. Which has since been re-tweeted over 14,000 times (not to mention the reach far they would have achieved far beyond those who re-tweeted). Not bad for free advertising. Oh, well maybe it was Twitter’s loss after all.


So what made it all possible? Brave and committed clients. Who willingly attended a “mission control” at their agency’s office. Making speedy approvals a piece of cake (or biscuit in this case). Clients with balls. Magic.


Brand partnerships. So what?

15 Mar

Who pays any attention to brand partnerships these days? Me, apparently. I’ve spent the last year working on various brand partnerships. In all honesty, the concept of brand partnerships had rarely entered my thoughts before Cake. But the last year has opened my mind to the perks (and pitfalls) of brand partnerships.

If I’ve learnt anything, it’s that the best brand partnerships are just that –  a partnership (stating the bleeding obvious I know). The best partnerships are those that are genuinely and truly mutually beneficial. Both parties benefit (in some way) from the partnership. Often, with no exchange of money between the two.

Brand partnerships come in all shapes and sizes. Here are just some

There are of course more uses of brand partnerships than this, but I think that’ll do for now (yes I was possibly distracted by Beckham in those pants).

Any who, I’ve been asking myself – why bother? And I’ve boiled it down to four key reasons. There are definitely more (and I’d love to hear them). Obviously it largely depends on what’s you’re trying to achieve (see above).

#1 to reduce costs 

Or make money, depending on which way you look at it… Any who, O2 reward 1.8 million Priority Moment customers with everyday rewards – retail / eating out / travel / indulge / days out – but without exchanging money with their 100 + partners (at least as far as I know). So what’s in for the partners? Well apparently, retail and entertainment brands are seeing 30 – 40% conversion, while restaurant brands are seeing 60% conversion in-store (Source:  O2 Media). A smart way for O2 and their brand partners to reduce costs and boost business don’t you think?

#2 Access new customers

Audience fragmentation means it’s increasingly difficult to reach large groups of consumers. Well integrated brand partnerships have the power to reach new audiences. The once cool Polaroid partnered with Lady Gaga to serve as Creative Director. Polaroid accessed millions of Gaga fans around the world, and momentarily pulled back from the brink of extinction. Shame it didn’t last…

#3 Increase customer loyalty

The Starbucks Digital Network serves up fresh premium content – including free access to The Economist, and Marvel Comics. Starbucks profit jumped 29% in the fourth-quarter 2011 primarily owing to continued loyalty among U.S customers.

#4 Build equity 

Stella Artois have directed their brand image in a new direction using class, cool, and the Cannes Film Festival. Their ongoing association with film has allowed Stella to shake off their so-called “wife-beater” brand image.

Well, that seems to me like four bloody great reasons. Of course, some brand partnerships fail. Most critically, delivering the desired ROI requires a good deal to be well executed.

If you have an opinion on brand partnerships, I’d love to hear it. It would mean talking about something other than social media for a change wouldn’t it?! Heaven forbid…

Apple-y Ever After

13 Mar

Today hippy ice-cream brand Ben & Jerry’s announced that it is renaming one of its flavours, from Oh! My! Apple Pie! to Apple-y Ever After, to support the UK proposal to legislate same sex marriage (hear, hear). This isn’t the first time Ben & Jerry’s have voiced their support for the gay community. Back in 2009, they renamed an ice-cream Hubby Bubbyformerly Chubby Hubby in celebration of the legalisation of gay marriage in its home state of Vermont.

Aside from the social merits of this bold move, you also have to applaud the use of their own assets (i.e. the name of their ice-cream) to reaffirm the brands free-thinking reputation. In a world of shrinking advertising budgets and media fragmentation, smart brands are exploiting their greatest assets to drive business. Food for thought.

Via Stylist

Multi-sensory advertising (at its best)

12 Mar

The world’s greatest restaurant (not that I’ve been – hint hint) just got better. Heston’s “Fat Duck” culinary experience now begins long before the physical dining experience itself.

Once lucky diners have made a reservation, they are emailed an exclusive link to an animated journey that is designed to wet their appetites (created by The Neighbourhood).

“Our animated journey takes the diners through a series of evocative landscapes and visual cues that they will discover during their visit, encountering a series of reward mechanisms through imagined worlds, to arrive at the door of a sweetshop.

Once inside, the visual stimulus is removed leaving a curious world of sound guided by John Hurt’s narration as the shopkeeper.  The narration and rich binaural audio soundscape allows guests to recall their own childhood sweetshop, imagining the sights, sounds and  smells through a combination of stimuli and memory.”

“Taste” is just one of eight steps in Heston’s multi-sensory journey. The journey is designed to touch all the senses. This is in stark contrast to typical advertising which, for the most part, works by appealing to people’s eyes and ears only.

The notion of multi-sensory advertising (especially when it comes to food) has long fascinated me. Food is an incredibly emotional and sensory experience (for me anyway), and the opportunity for brands and advertisers to tap into this is huge (and under exploited). Rarely does advertising touch all the senses – but when used (correctly), has the power to be more meaningful, more memorable, more emotional.

Who better to bring this to life than Heston Blumenthal. His multi-sensory reservation experience is a smart way to deepen the emotional engagement with diners, and extend the relationship beyond the physical dining experience.

Hats off to Heston.


Experiential. So what?

8 Mar

So after almost a year of working in a new discipline (experiential if you hadn’t guessed it from the title), have a learnt anything new? I bloody well hope so.

I have personally come to define experiential as this…

“Live marketing that connects people with brands in the real world”. 

Yep that’s it. Simple, broad, but true.

One of the biggest mistakes when it comes to experiential marketing is thinking of it as a channel. It’s not. It’s a mindset. It’s all about experiencing the brand for real. When viewed as a mindset and not a channel, the opportunities really open up. There are no boundaries when it comes to experiential marketing, it can be or do anything – from product trial to brand building. Or with the likes of “experience brands” such as Nike and Red Bull, an essential part of your Brand DNA.

So is it expensive? I’m afraid so. Is it worth your while? Yes (done well). Even though experiential marketing can be a more expensive form of marketing per head, the real value (when you get it right) lies in the longer, deeper, real-life engagement with people. No other form of marketing can match.

Experiential is multi-sensory, which makes it more engaging, more emotional, more memorable. What better way for Thorntons to market chocolate than to touch all the senses – no other form of marketing would achieve the same sensory effect.

Experiential (often) requires active participation, and therefore there is a higher level of involvement with the brand. Nike Grid used experiential to shift perceptions of running among young people who felt running is lonely and boring – rather than just telling them, they created a real world game to prove it.

Experiential is personal. Consumers’ today are increasingly demanding a much more personal relationship with the brands they choose – experiential delivers a very personalised two-way dialogue with your target audience.  “Swap for swag” allowed Coca-Cola to engage in a genuine dialogue with 0.5M festival goers to to educate them as to benefits of recycling and incentivising them with rewards – made out of recycled products. Rather than preaching to them…

Experiential marketing is authentic. In a world dominated by virtual and hypothetical situations, authentic real live experiences count for so much more (whereas other forms of advertising can lack realness and credibility). T-Mobile’s Life’s For Sharing campaign driven by real world events-based  true experiences has sparked talkability and sharing, time and time again.


As awesome as experiential can be, it works best when it underpins other marketing efforts and vice versa (rather than in isolation), and when it adds value (rather than interrupt) to people’s lives, e.g. to entertain, to educate, to be of use.

A year on, I’m a little clearer. I hope you are too.

Effing great ads

6 Mar

After two weeks of sun, sea, and sand, I’m back at work and ready to be inspired. Fortunately today, I am just that. Here are some effing great ads you’ve probably already seen as I’m two weeks out of touch. A long time in the world of advertising. I hear Pinterest is the new Facebook or sumink (the usual nonsense). Anywho…

Invisible Mercedes. 

Not only is it invisible to the environment, it’s actually bloody invisible. Nuff said.


The Guardian “Three Little Pigs”. 

A well known story re-told in the digital age. Inspired.


IKEA Berora. 

A touch-screen friendly glove and awesome IKEA invention. Where do I buy??

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