Right here, right now

Real-time marketing is the new buzz word and reflects the way people consume media today. In this article Oreo’s digital agency we learn that success requires “a well-laid strategy and plan” and that the formula for success can be distilled down the “three Ps”: planning, process and practice.

In the earlier article on Fast Company we hear how “nimble activation generates immediate social recognition and praise from consumers” and that brands everywhere have to “evolve from simply publishing content towards a much more sophisticated construct that looks more like a traditional “newsroom”–an editorial team model that supports agile content development”.

Agencies and brands need to change how they work to keep in step with this new, always-on world.

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Save the boy

Here is another great campaign for St. John Ambulance by BBH London. After winning a silver Film Lion for last year’s excruciating “Helpless” spot they return with a new film and interactive experience. The film hinges on an element of surprise. You know something’s going to happen to this kid—but what? In the end, though, it’s not really about the child at all. It’s about the woman and the man, and only one of them has a chance to save the boy’s life.

The 60-second spot is supported by an interactive experience that immerses you in the story and demonstrates simple first aid, which can be the difference between life and death. via Adweek

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AMCHAM Advertising After Party

Last night Nils Anderson, Y&R China’s Chief Creative Officer, and I jointly presented at a special event hosted by the American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai. We wanted to share the winning campaigns from global advertising festivals like Cannes Lions to business leaders in China. I thought it would be interesting to share my own part of the presentation here.

While Nils focused on the Film category and spoke in depth about the craft that goes into winning work, I covered many of the other categories. I began by talking about the dramatic changes the advertising business has gone through since the Mad Men era. Just look at the picture below to see how quickly mobile devices have become the main way to create and consume media. Both show the announcement of a new Pope just 8 years apart.

Yet even with such amazing developments in technology, it is ideas that win not techniques or (dare I say it) gimmicks. In my presentation I began with a look at the category of DIRECT which is all about targeted communication with a clearly identifiable call-to-action or response mechanism. It’s all about having a measurable response.

This multi award-winning campaign from McCann Melbourne was based on real human insight. Take a serious message then make it fun and engaging. Make something that people want to share. Allow people to participate and own the campaign so the message gets magnified. The results speak for themselves. It didn’t just connect with people but changed behavior and demonstrates where our industry is going – harnessing the power of digital & social to seed the message.

The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals teamed up with MINI Cooper to teach dogs how to operate a car, in the hopes that it will draw attention to the talented and adorable dogs that were up for adoption. It shows the power of talk value in a campaign in order to capture attention.

When the laughs died down I then went on to talk about winners in the Cannes Cyber Lions. Very few people use the term “cyber” these days. It’s a throwback to the late 90s when the internet was still science fiction to many people. Now people talk about “digital” which is already sounding narrow and old fashioned. Maybe, after 5 years, I need to retire this blog if that’s the case.

The internet and social media as radically changed the advertising industry as much as other industries like music. But rather than being its death it breathed new life into what we do. Look at any great campaign now and see how it harnesses the power of digital to connect with consumers in ways not possible only 15 years ago.

Oreo’s 100th birthday mission was to help everyone around the world celebrate the child inside.  Draft FCB’s “Daily Twist” aimed to filter the world through the “playful imagination of Oreo.” It went way beyond a simple print campaign as it was designed to spark conversation and sharing on social platforms. On Facebook alone the population of fans grew to 27.7 million!

When an Adidas store is closed can you still allow people passing by to buy your clothes? That was the questions answered by agency TBWA Helsinki. It really shows how broad the category is.

It has been a long time coming but mobile marketing is now a force to be reckoned with. Today almost everyone carries smartphones and in many countries they are the primary access point to the internet. Mobile opens up lots of amazing opportunities to connect with consumers to deliver timely and relevant messages or to provide utility.

People love free wifi so Ogilvy Paris came up with an award-winning idea for their client Mattel by offering win free Wi-Fi minutes in places where there isn’t any. All you had to do was play Scrabble and your words became passwords to access the free Wi-Fi connection. You could stay connected as long as you are good at spelling words on Scrabble!

When everyone thinks of mobile they immediately think of high-end smartphones and sophisticated apps. But Philippines agency DM9 used a simple and low-tech solution to make a profound sustainable impact using the simplest phones. It shows how creative you can be with technology when it comes to solving problems

In the PROMO category it’s all about targeted online communication with a clearly identifiable call-to-action or response mechanism.

Sometimes the product becomes the campaign especially when you do something innovative. Coca Cola in with Ogilvy Paris and Singapore developed a can with a difference. One you could share without sharing germs.

How do you get more people to become organ donors? Ogilvy and Mather Brazil took real patients on organ-transplant waiting lists and created films directed at fans of the Sport Club Recife soccer team—telling them their hearts will keep beating for the team, even after they are gone, if they sign up to be an organ donor.

Like award ceremonies themselves I kept the best until last with the Titanium category from Cannes. Sometimes ideas are too big and multi-dimensional to fit into a single category. That’s why festivals like Cannes Lions created Titanium awards. The idea is everything, whether it’s for a car or toothpaste, telecommunications or charity, big budget or low budget.

“The Beauty Inside” by Pereira & O’Dell, which won major awards in digital, film and branded content categories, was born out of a powerful brand truth—just like an Intel processor, it’s what inside that counts. The campaign involved episodic films that followed the story of Alex, a man who wakes up looking like a different person every day. Apart from being “really social at its core” and “really beautiful” the smartest part was the integral role the brands played in the film. At Cannes it won grand prix in Cyber, Branded Content as well as Titanium.

Another Titanium winner came from Nike. When you are not sponsoring the Olympics how can your brand be heard? Nike tested the limits of the Olympic rules on ambush marketing with a global campaign by Wieden & Kennedy featuring everyday athletes and ordinary people enjoying sport in places around the world named London. Anybody could be their own champion no matter how great their achievement.

In fact, if there is one big trend recently in awards festivals it is the number of campaigns where brands are on a mission to do good. It’s not just about changing the world but helping people have a better outlook on life, to treat others and themselves with respect. Brands that are seen to do good are more attractive to consumers. Many of the cases I shared at the event reflect this. One of the Titanium Gold winners epitomized this trend.

Real Beauty Sketches is beautifully simple idea from Ogilvy Brazil centered on the insight that women often see themselves as being unattractive when in fact they are prettier than they think. The result is emotionally powerful and helped spark meaningful online conversations.

A saw a few tearful people in the audience so decided that I couldn’t leave them feeling down. I ended by demonstration that when a campaign is so successful you have to be prepared for one thing – to be parodied…

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Instagram to win

How do you promote a US$30,000 car like the new Mercedes-Benz CLA to fashionable and image conscious Millennials? Instagram features at the heart of the latest US campaign for the brand. Called Take the Wheel the campaign has enlisted five power-house Instagrammers who are competing with one another for their chance to keep a new CLA if they can secure the most likes from their content. via Adverblog

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Talking Window

To promote Sky TV’s new TV streaming app, Sky Go, BBDO Dusseldorf affixed transmitters to train windows, which sent out high frequency vibrations. These were translated into a verbal message, which passengers could only hear when they pressed their heads to the glass by using bone conduction technology.

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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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