Better and Faster

Jeremy Gutsche, CEO of Trend Hunter, has an inspiring new book called Better and Faster. To quote Guy Kawasaki, Former Chief Evangelist of Apple, the book will “teach you neurological habits that can accelerate your success and make you into a fire-breathing, game-changing innovator of epic proportions”.  You can download the first chapter for free by sharing a tweet. Details on this page.

In this first chapter we learn how many people fall into the same old patterns of behavior that are instinctive to the farmer mentality. This is how the human race evolved after first being hunters. Yet in todays rapidly changing business world we need to reignite the hunter instinct to stay ahead. Jeremy Gutsche talks about the three hunter instincts being insatiability, curiosity and the willingness to destroy.

Meanwhile, enjoy the top 20 trends predicted by Trend Hunter at the start of this year. Probably some of them are already yesterday’s news!

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AME AWARD WINNERS

It’s hard work judging awards but very inspiring too. Was lucky enough to be judging the AME AWARDS this year and saw a lot of cool work. Of course there was also a lot I’d already seen in previous festivals. Like a bad smell, the more successful projects hang around for a long time.

Here are some of my favorites from AME

AID COUTURE – Platinum award
“An average of 20 typhoons hit the Philippines every year, leaving thousands of casualties. Each year, the Philippine National Red Cross receives 18 tons of donated clothes. A good number of these are fashionable pieces that are not appropriate for everyday wear of calamity victims. In the aftermath of a typhoon, when the hot sun is up again, leather jackets and long gowns are of no practical use to the intended recipients of this donation. What they need are food and daily essentials that will help with their survival needs. Check out the video and see how Leo Burnett Manila convert fashion to food, water and medicine”

Jaguar British Villains – Platinum award
“How does an iconic yet misunderstood luxury car company reignite its mojo and win back the hearts and minds of US drivers? By casting its newest sports car as a Villain, of course. Jaguar’s “British Villains” campaign played off the insight that the best Hollywood Villains are played by Brits, and introduced Jaguar as the newest British Villain. An integrated campaign touted the idea that it’s #GoodToBeBad and encouraged audiences to embrace their dark sides”

Coca Cola Mini kiosk – Gold award
“To launch the new Coca-Cola mini can in Germany, we created the Coca-Cola mini kiosk. A fully functional, normal looking kiosk with vendor – just in mini version. Combined with a small Coke vending machine, it appeared spontaneously around different cities. The mini kiosk sold a series of miniature products, but first and foremost the 0.15L mini can”.

Art of OLDTOWN – Gold award
“THE ART OF OLDTOWN As proprietors of the original white coffee recipe, OLDTOWN White Coffee took ownership of the one place no other white coffee brand could – Old Town in Ipoh, the birthplace of white coffee. A collaboration with street artist Ernest Zacharevic and the Ipoh tourism board saw OLDTOWN transform Ipoh Old Town with 7 unique murals. We turned art tourism into a medium, and spread our brand story with every piece of PR coverage and social media sharing. Best of all, we created permanent fixtures associated with OLDTOWN White Coffee that will live long beyond the campaign period”.

Suntory 3D on the Rocks – Silver award
“Whisky is one of the most popular alcoholic drinks in the world. However, whisky fans are getting older as time passes, while younger generations see it as an out-of-date, boring drink. Our challenge was to attract younger drinkers and once again to create the golden age of whisky. We designed a service at the bar which users can enjoy whisky with ice cubes created in their desired shape with use of the state-of-the-art 3D technology. In addition, we designed a system that uploads ice cubes selected by users to the web gallery”.

Google Maps Urban Escape Plan – Silver award
“Google Maps is known by the majority of Germans. Most people use the product to get from A to B, but they are not really aware of the fact that Google Maps can also help you explore new places near and far away. In order to make people re-discover Google Maps, we decided to focus on a unique proposition: inspiration as part of navigation. In Summer 2014, after a long winter, we set out to help German urbanites find what they really needed the most: a bit of green. But not any bit of green. A new bit of green. We wanted people to explore their environment and visit places, where they have never been before – nearby green treasures accessible within a short walk or bike-ride. That is why we created the „urban escape plan“: The world’s first hyper-localized, nationwide exploration campaign”.

Congratulations to all the winners (which you can view here). This may not be Cannes but since this festival is about effectiveness it means that you are faced with a load of scam work that boosts the agency’s ego but does nothing for their clients’ sales. Looking through all the entries there are definitely some major trends. We are in an era of brand experiences now. I hear a lot of talk about “storytelling” but that seems like a bit simplistic and patronizing. People want meaningful experiences that change their attitudes towards a brand. Better still, engaging experiences that lead to purchase. After all, if our clients don’t sell they won’t pay us and we can’t enter awards any more. That’s the circle of life. Hakuna matata.

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Air rage

Interesting idea from Air France to get people to battle it out for a free business class upgrade. Adding a little more stress to your boarding experience. Via Digitalbuzzblog

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Stalker advertising?

This interactive billboard created by M&C Saatchi Australia updates itself automatically to deliver personalized messages to drivers.

M&C Saatchi Executive Creative Director Ben Welsh called the smart billboards “direct messaging on steroids”.

“It’s quite epic to have a 42 square metre billboard having a chat to you as you drive past. It was an ambitious idea that Lexus really went for, brilliantly brought to life by APN Outdoor and TMS.”

Very clever use of image recognition technology to capture the attention of people used to the same old billboards.

Read the full story here >

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Cardboard driving

With Oculus Rift being still expensive and better suited for events we will be seeing a lot more uses of Google Cardboard to deliver engaging virtual reality experiences. R/GA and auto brand Volvo recently created a virtual reality experience using this low-cost VR head-set to maximise excitement and interest in the new XC90 before it hit the dealerships. The experience takes users on a virtual test drive through scenic countryside, with different episodes featuring different locations and weather conditions. A limited number of branded Cardboard headsets were given away via the campaign website. Fans also had the option of buying and building their own Google headset. Once assembled, users slide their smartphone into the viewer of the headset before starting the app, which works on both iOS and Android. (via Contagious)

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I spy cash

I’ve seen a few amazing gigapixel photos over the past couple of years but thought this was an interesting way to turn it into a marketing game. As reported by Contagious, “Australian financial institution CommBank has created a multi-platform game challenging customers to find wallets hidden in a giant interactive photograph of Sydney in exchange for real cash. Where’s My Wallet?, developed with M&C Saatchi Sydney, used a 125 gigapixel photo of the city, the largest panoramic photo ever to be taken in Australia. Players had to navigate around the 360 degree shot to find the wallets, each worth AU$200 (US$165) cash”. All of this was to promote a new service that allows people to withdraw cash from ATMs even when they forgot their wallets.

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Tomorrow’s (retail) World

While eCommerce continues to rule the world there is still a desire for a physical shopping experience. A lot of innovation is going on in this space too and we can expect to see more physical retail spaces merging with the digital to make everything feel much more personal.

As reported in Wired Magazine, eBay is expanding its reach into the physical world with an experiment at the Rebecca Minkoff flagship store. In the report about the new Rebecca Minkoff store in San Francisco, the article says how “The mirrors come alive. Walk into the fitting room with, say, a blouse and a jacket, and the dark glass lights up with a suggested handbag to match. You can browse the racks at the upscale fashion boutique or swipe through “looks” on massive touchscreens. If you see something you like, you tap in your phone number, and you’ll get a text when it’s ready to try on”. Check out the demo below and read the full article here.

Over at PSFK we can see how Starbucks has been re-imagined by creative agency Bulldog Drummond. They explore how technology can help enable a faster, more efficient and more personalized coffee experience. Also, how to make Starbucks feel more local and be part of the community. We see how they are redefining the “third place” that is not work and not home but somewhere that blends the two. Read the article here.

Meanwhile, Down Under you can now order gourmet burgers at McDonald’s thanks to a unique touchscreen experience. As reported on Digital Buzz Blog, “he Kiosk is extremely easy to use, and focuses on up-selling by tapping into a growing customisation trend that sees increase basket sizes by allowing customers to add seemingly unlimited extras to their burgers. But these also aren’t just any McDonald’s burger, they come served on a wooden plate, with the chips in a mini deep fryer basket too… All delivered to the seat that you select”.

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TVCs get social

Was interested to read in Adweek how HP has turned a series of 6-second Vines into a 30 second TVC. This is taking integration somewhere new and in many ways in reverse from the way many agencies work. Luckily it wasn’t created with user-generated Vine videos or the results could have been much worse. For this campaign, HP hired about a dozen artists and commissioned around 30 clips.

Many brands are looking how to crossover between different screens. Often it is done in a very simplistic way with the TVC being used on social channels, sometimes with extended or interactive versions. Almost every TVC now uses hashtags to lead people into social engagement. But how can integration be more surprising or innovative? With people often on their phones or tablets while watching TV could we see some interesting social platform + TVC synchronized experiences? There was the Honda Jazz app from a few years ago where people could catch characters on a TVC. Or Shazam integrations which was popular for a while. I’m sure we’ll be seeing some interesting developments in the coming years bringing all our screens together for more seamless brand experiences.

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GO CLIO!

No, this isn’t about the popular French compact car that was available as a crazy V6 version. It’s the CLIO awards that were recently announced along with a special speech from Jerry Seineld who basically said that what we do is meaningless. Yes Jerry, we already knew that.

Rather than focus on the big winners we’ve already seen soaking up the glory at Cannes and elsewhere, I want to look at some of the lesser known projects.

Red Urban in Toronto won bronze for this inspiring website that tells the story of a VW Beetle that went around the world several times. Everyone talks about storytelling these days. But if you find a compelling story and tell it beautifully it can be really touching.

OK, this next one won gold but not enough noise has been made about this. The Beats Music app from R/GA shows how human technology can be. With curated suggestions and questions to gauge your mood they are able to give you playlists that match who you are. Let’s see what Apple will do with this now they’ve made Dre the richest gangsta on earth.

Having a terrible president (again) and being the sick man of Europe seems to be sparking a lot of creativity in France. We’ve seen a lot of award winning work this year from les Francais. Here is a lesser known project for SNCF from TBWA that picked up a bronze CLIO. To recruit new engineers they challenged potential candidates with an impossible game. OK, so they only ended up hiring 10 people. But they were geniuses!!

Here is one last one from the Innovative Media category. While adamandeveDDB earned lots of buzz for their Harvey Nichols work this year they’ve done some other great projects too. This one for Google brought passionate soccer fans from around the world to a live football match thanks to the power of Google +

So don’t just check out the grand prix and gold winners. There are some interesting nuggets to be found in the lesser metals and shortlists.

Check out all the 2014 CLIO winners here

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Simple stupid

Every day I see super complicated campaigns that require people to jump through loops to participate. That’s why this one is so stupidly simple and brilliant.

To quote Creative Review, “Forsman & Bodenfors created a series of Instagram films for Swedish homecare brand Åhléns, which all featured Åhléns products zipping past at high speed. Viewers were then challenged to take screenshots from the films, and snap one of the products. If they achieved this, and posted it on Instagram, they could then purchase the product for half price”.

Enough said.

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