Creative collaboration

From all of the recent Cannes winners one project stood out for me that showed what can happen when a client and its agency truly collaborates. The IBM Boy and his Atom movie came about because Ogilvy creatives took the time to dig through all the incredible research projects IBM were working on and found out how they could move atoms individually. The agency thought “could we create animated images using atoms as pixels?” and then worked with the researchers to bring this to life. The results speak for themselves. This is going beyond the brief and literally delving into the inner workings of a client’s business at an atomic level. That’s when magic can happen.

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D&AD Winners

Great sum up of the winning projects at D&AD. Check them all out on the Creative Review Blog.

My personal favorite has to be Help I Want To Save a Life by Droga5 (video above). Donor registration kits are included with packs of Help Remedies plasters. Blood is collected on the plasters and are then sent t0 the donor centre affiliated with the project who will then follow up if they find donor matches. It’s smart design that does good for society by thinking of new uses for an everyday object.

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A child’s point of view

In order to discreetly reach abused children, one aid organization designed a clever billboard that only displays a hotline number for people shorter than 4’5″. The secret is a precisely serrated surface, a Lenticular lens, that reflects light differently to those looking from above and below a specified height. Shorter people (children) see the following message on a street sign: “If somebody hurts you, phone us and we’ll help you,” along with a confidential number to call the Spanish organization, Aid to Children and Adolescents. via Techcrunch

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Art, Copy & Code for a new way of storytelling

For the full inspiring story and great examples of 21st century marketing go here http://www.artcopycode.com

Google “Art, Copy & Code: Dynamic Film Case Study” from Ben Hughes on Vimeo.

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Heineken Ignite

Welcome to the first “interactive beer bottle.” Revealed at Milan Design Week, the Heineken Ignite is a beer bottle replete with LEDs and motion sensors, which let it light up with various effects when you knock bottles to say cheers with someone or take a drink. The LEDs can even apparently be remotely activated by a light source and synchronized with music. via www.engadget.com

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Secret Place

With more people spending time online we are seeing production values increase to deliver incredible branded experiences. Perrier has created a lavish, immersive game experience that allows the visitor to explore from the point of view of various characters of a story. With the chance to win a trip to one of the biggest party cities in the world, from Ibiza to Rio.

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Wide Web World

We’ve seen load of examples of people creating amazing things with Google Maps. But what about Nokia Maps? “Wide Web World” is a new video created entirely by using the satellite images from Nokia Maps 3D. Directed by Vimeo user Paul Wex, it features graphically immersive, sweeping views from around the world, as glimpsed through the all-seeing eye of the app. via www.fastcocreate.com

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Microsoft Envisions a Surface-Filled, Voice-Activated Future

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Cross-culture creativity

Thanks to the internet we now live in a global culture. Anyone can see the same thing at the same time. Even with the “great firewall” the Chinese have ways to access to the same content as someone in New York, London or Sydney. Because of this more and more brands are seeking to communicate with one global voice because it’s impossible to put up walls between countries.

So how can we create campaigns that cross cultures and are meaningful wherever you are in the world? First we need to be sensitive about cultural differences

It’s not just about translating text from one language to the next. We need to consider cultural values, etiquette humor and slang. A global agency needs local people to help develop a truly universal campaign. Otherwise this might happen…

When Pepsi entered the Chinese market, the translation of their slogan “Pepsi Brings you Back to Life” was a little more literal than they intended. In Chinese, the slogan meant, “Pepsi Brings Your Ancestors Back from the Grave.”

When Kentucky Fried Chicken first opened stores in China, it didn’t take long before they discovered their slogan, “finger lickin’ good” translated to “eat your fingers off.”

When Ford introduced the Pinto in Brazil, they were confused as to why sales were going nowhere. The company later learned “Pinto” is slang for “tiny male genitals” in Brazil. Ford ultimately changed the car’s name to Corcel, which means ‘horse’ in Portuguese.

Can a brand campaign be universally understood and loved? Look at this recent example from the world of music to see how something can cross cultural boundaries. Gangnam Style has become the most watched video on Youtube. How can a tubby man singing in Korean become a global hit? He stuck a universal chord by combining a simple tune with a dance move anyone can copy. Is it meaningless fun? Of course! But it went around the world like wildfire.

Coincidentally the recent launches of Microsoft Windows 8 and Surface were essentially marketing messages wrapped inside music videos. Easy to use across cultures but can the message be more meaningful?

Global campaigns need to touch the hearts and minds of everyone no matter what their culture of language is. We could learn a lot from Pepsi who recently launched a new global campaign. Their new theme of “Live for Now” is a rallying cry as well as a clear brand spirit that is embodied by a pop-culture-focused campaign. It’s centered around a social and content curation platform called Pepsi Pulse.

“Live for Now” came out of “the desire to build a global positioning for our flagship brand Pepsi,” says president, global enjoyment, brands, and chief creative officer of PepsiCo, Brad Jakeman. “It’s the culmination of 9 months of work around the world to understand the unique place that Pepsi already owns in people’s hearts and minds.” Jakeman says the research revolved around finding out how Pepsi “loyalists” defined themselves, and he says that what emerged as a theme was “the notion of making the most of every moment.”

The Nike campaign “Find your greatness” is a great example of a message that resonated with people anywhere in the world – especially during the London Olympics when ordinary people could only admire the superhuman athletes performing. Running across 25 countries the campaign sought to inspire everyone to find their own moment of greatness and push themselves a little further. The underlying message is simple – if you have a body you are an athlete.

Cross-culture creativity relies on universal human insights to develop a message that connects with people. It can be on a deep or superficial level. But it comes down to understanding the humanity that unites us beyond language, culture or traditions.

Finally, a brand can’t just say something, it has to live it too. So find your truth and then make it real. In every message, connection and action – be true to who you are.

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Digital Media Awards 2012

This month’s Digital Media Awards ceremony in Beijing as part of the Digital Asia Festival highlighted some world-class creative thinking from across the region. I love this gold winner in the social media category from DDB DM9JaymeSyfu in the Philippines. It’s an integrated digital campaign by Gabriela, one of the world’s foremost advocates for women’s rights, that used Facebook in a simple but impactful new way that turned every participating profile into an ad for the campaign.

Another gold went to Clemenger BBDO Sydney for their TEDx project in the media innovation category. They answered the question ”What Twitter Would Look Like, Without A Laptop Or Smartphone”. They produced a one-off installation that visualised the flow of ideas around the room in real time.

Wunderman (in partnership with Ogilvy, IKON, and Naked) took gold in the FMCG category with this innovative integrated campaign for Coke. They took the world’s most iconic brand and handed it over to the public using personalization on a mass scale. After 125 years of putting the same name on every bottle of ‘Coke’, whey tried something new and printed 150 of Australia’s most popular names on ‘Coke’ bottles and cans then invited Australians to ‘Share a Coke’. I really like the way they connected digital with physical experiences to make the brand even more social.

In the automotive category the BMW Crop Circle campaign by Interone China took silver. Their task was to create awareness for the compact BMW 1 Series family and to incite the target audience to register for a driving event. They leveraged a simple truth: Chinese people are very superstitious. Anything mysterious triggers immediate strong attention and passionate discussions. They used the fact that there had never been a crop circle in the country. See the case below.

For all the winners click here.

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