It’s a wrap! What was your favourite Christmas campaign?

29 Dec

A little bit of luck

It was a hard choice this year don’t you think? Let me know your favourite.

2018 has been another tough year for retailers. In Australia, Myer has had it’s woes, while globally we saw Toy ‘R’ Us go into liquidation. In a trading period during the Christmas months which can be the busiest for retailers, getting your Christmas advertising right is paramount to seeing great returns, but also high customer experiences around the brand, brand love and engagement. If your brand can connect on an emotional level during this time, it can last into the following year, but also have high brand conviction and loyalty moving forward in what will be another tough year.

John Lewis

Elton John stars in this blockbuster and it doesn’t disappoint. A beautifully crafted story about thoughtful gifts and not just giving for the sake of giving. It is about how an inspired gift can…

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It’s a wrap! What was your favourite Christmas campaign?

29 Dec

It was a hard choice this year don’t you think? Let me know your favourite.

2018 has been another tough year for retailers. In Australia, Myer has had it’s woes, while globally we saw Toy ‘R’ Us go into liquidation. In a trading period during the Christmas months which can be the busiest for retailers, getting your Christmas advertising right is paramount to seeing great returns, but also high customer experiences around the brand, brand love and engagement. If your brand can connect on an emotional level during this time, it can last into the following year, but also have high brand conviction and loyalty moving forward in what will be another tough year.

John Lewis

Elton John stars in this blockbuster and it doesn’t disappoint. A beautifully crafted story about thoughtful gifts and not just giving for the sake of giving. It is about how an inspired gift can change your life.

With the tagline of ‘some gifts are more than just a gift’, the John Lewis campaign called ‘The Boy and the piano’ takes you on a two-minute historical voyage through different stages of Elton’s life, with glimpses of early days of concerts, memories and parties.

Each scene features Elton at his piano, with the conclusion of the ad at his first school concert, before eventually showing the first note four-year-old Elton John played on his newly-regifted grandmother’s piano for Christmas. Heart stopper ‘Your Song’ plays in the background and agency adam&eveDDB have really hit success with this.

This campaign is totally integrated and John Lewis sold iconic Elton T-shirts. If you happen to be in London, the flagship Oxford Street London store was renamed ‘John’, but even more impressive was that the 3rd floor has been dedicated to an experiential space where customers can explore many aspects of the ad including the recording studio, living room sets, listen to recordings and immerse themselves while shopping.

Not a John Lewis fan? But still love Christmas lights and store windows? Well every 30 minutes from 4pm, you can see an amazing one minute light show featuring another Elton classic, ‘Step into Christmas’. Watch some footage here (32 min:46 is where you will see John Lewis, but there is cool footage of London lights 2018 and it’s worth skipping through if you have time over your Xmas break)

But do not fear dear readers if you can’t get to Oxford Street. There is  a very long video here of the Christmas lights around London. Watch it here.

Elton John T shirts

AirNZ

Always a winner, and this year, Santa and the elves are back and it’s a winner. This year Santa messes up and sends out his naughty list to one of the boys on the actual ‘naughty’ list – as Santa is not very good with email! This would have to be my favourite, even though I loved the John Lewis campaign. But I do love Elton John. But I did also enjoy ALDI Australia’s effort.

 

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Get the tissues out. This ad is delightfully shot and like John Lewis’s theme, it is about a gift for life, and has many life themes. You can watch & read about it here.

ALDI Australia

BMF Australia’s second attempt for ALDI Christmas campaign is heartfelt and totally Aussie. Its images are funny as well as beautifully shot. All against the backdrop of the Australian outback. The narratives are easy to follow: friendship, pitch in just like Aussies do to help a friend, and if someone pops in, you’ll have enough food.

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ALDI UK – Kevin the Carrot is back and this time in a three part series! Part 1 is a Spoof of the CocaCola truck of happiness. In this case, our hero Kevin is driving the truck.

Read about it and watch it here. More links at the end of this post.

CocaCola saw the funny side to this campaign (and would have appreciated the parody and free advertising), after all isn’t the best form of flattery copying? CocaCola got in to the Christmas spirit and tweeted this clever response:

Coke ALDI

Part 2 & 3 – Kevin the Carrot fights to save his family from Pascal, a wicked Parsnip living in a dark castle. And Kevin saves Little Red (carrot) Riding hood in a spoof of the fairytale. Both fun productions with fabulous imagery of amazing food.

 

Let me know what your favourites were for 2018?

 

Extra viewing & reading:

ALDI Facebook page – https://www.facebook.com/AldiUK

ALDI – http://www.bandt.com.au/advertising/aussie-christmas-ad-ever-aldi-goes-outback-years-spot-via-bmf

John Lewis – https://www.johnlewis.com/content/christmas-advert

House Beautiful – https://www.housebeautiful.com/uk/christmas-adverts-round-up/

Air New Zealand, your 18th safety video is another fine example with ‘It’s Kiwi Time’!

6 Nov

New Zealand have always pushed the boundaries with interesting and out-there advertising. I can think of  a couple of examples. Last year’s police recruiting ad, or this golden oldie from L&P from 2006 that you really have to watch to believe! Yes you won’t be disappointed by watching both.

And now, Air New Zealand have done it again. They are always trying to outdo themselves and this is their 18th take on safety videos. They usually use OS talent, but this time it’s all local. Their creative Ad agency must have so much fun pitching crazy ideas. Every year AirNZ’s safety and Christmas ads are always worth looking forward to. And this year is no different. My next blog post will be on the Xmas ads!

In a 600 strong cast, ‘It’s Kiwi Time’ takes the classic song, Tricky as it’s base for their safety video, which really is a music video disguised as a safety video. This song dates back to the late 80’s which means that many people may hear the song and be enticed to watch the video out of interest. A new target market I hear you say?

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And while some people are saying, ‘what happened in the 80’s should have been left in the 80s’, most viewers are hailing it as another success story for AirNZ. You can watch it on YouTube by clicking here. What do you think? Yes, it is long, but it is entertaining, and just as you would expect from this creative company. Air New Zealand really put their key stakeholders at the centre of their campaigns. Mostly it’s their staff (cabin crew, engineers etc), but this ad sees a lot of thought go into it by using various destinations from around the country, and using singers, dancers and talent from 30 community groups.

Air NZ have been proud of who they are and their country and locally grown talent, and it shows. You would be proud to be a staff member, or a shareholder. Or a passenger. It’s another aspect of marketing that often gets lost. AirNZ are all about relationships. They want one with you, and once they get your attention, you want to find out more. Just like I do every year when I write my Xmas blog post, as I look forward to their ads! You can read my AirNZ 2017 Xmas ad review here and watch the campaign. And if you head over to @FlyAirNZ twitter account, you can read the love coming in for the new ad. Also it’s great to see that AirNZ have a great social media team who actually respond to posts.

In previous years, The All Blacks have always been a feature of the airline’s TVCs and YouTube ads, this one is a take off of Men In Black back in 2015, and if you have a spare 5 minutes (yes it reads long, but it is worth your time) click here to watch it.

With the runaway success of The Lord of The Rings, AirNZ played on New Zealand being the home of Middle Earth. This meant a lot of safety videos featured cameos of many of the actors, AirNZ staff and the famous Director himself, Peter Jackson. Humour was always central to these videos. But also awesome scenery!

More recently, they have used talking and loveable animals, Dave the Goose (voice by Aussie actor Bryan Brown) and Pete the Kiwi. Pete’s voice is from another loveable Kiwi, Sam Neill (pictured below). Enjoy!

Sam Niell will be the voice of the campaign's mascot, a CGI kiwi named Pete.

Source: https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/96138062/sam-neill-the-voice-of-air-new-zealands-global-campaign

Other reading:

600-strong cast front Air New Zealand’s largest scale safety video ‘It’s Kiwi Safety’ via True NZ, Campaign Brief, 2018

Air New Zealand Safety video Divides a Nation, Stuff, 2018

#weareAMPR #AirNZSafetyVideo

Siem Reap galleries

21 Mar

If you have a bit of time during your Siem Reap stay to do a day or two of galleries, you’ll be in for a treat.

Angkor Artwork is owned by a French couple Thierry & Eric Stocker who specialize in lacquer. Hailing from France, they’ve also lived and worked in Japan and have gained skills to educate the local Khmer people of a craft of lacquer, that died during the Pol Pot regime. Both gentlemen were up for a chat and the gallery and gardens are a lovely space.

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While you’re in this neighborhood, depending on time, either walk or get your tuk-tuk driver to go around the corner to Sombai Cambodian liqueur workshop. While not a gallery, you have to pop in to sample amazing liqueurs, jams and see artists painting the gorgeous bottles. Lovely Sok Ny took me through the very small distillery space then we went downstairs to tasting. I could have tasted every product, but if you’re short on time, they have a tasting stand at the Angkor Night Markets Gate B.

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On the way out to Angkor Wat, there are large tourist galleries galore along Charles du Galle Rd… but I wanted a little more authentic, so I went to the small ones, mostly with workshops that you were guided through.

Theam’s House is a lovely story. And one of my favourite galleries. Originally a refugee during the recent Pol Pot horrible years, Theam’s family were relocated to France. Once things settled back in his homeland, he moved back to restore the art culture.

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His home and gardens (he’s been back 20 years) are beautiful and he travelled throughout Cambodia collecting amazing pieces that had not been destroyed by the Khmer Rouge. I didn’t take photos of everything, but you’ll get the full picture when you visit. I was also super impressed with his musical instruments collection (the picture above). You will be met at the entrance by a lovely staff member who will share with you the art, stories then take you through the workshop.

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He specializes in lacquer and his approach is different to the Angkor Art gentlemen. He has a large workshop that you walk through. He also has some wonderful paintings. You can see them below through the bells, and above in the picture with the beautiful carvings. All prices are in US$.

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My next stop was Javar and this was incredible. You would have no idea that the art is paper mache! Then you pick it up, and it’s light! But take cash, as they don’t have credit card facilities. You can see below how they look like stone, brass or pottery. It was my second last day, so my cash was gone!

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Then take yourself down a kilometer or so to a group of galleries right near Raffles Hotel. There was about 6 and I’d only read about one! Mixed galleries from amazing photographs from McDermott Gallery, to silk scarves, but also the wonderful Artisans d’Angkor larger shop (they have one near the main markets in town).

I also popped in to Mirage, 1 Eleven, The Village Cafe & Little Eating Street!

Of course if you are cruising around town, Kandal Village is a must. It is an oasis. Here is the link to their Facebook page. It is a few funky streets with amazing shops, incredible food and coffee and a bit less crazy than the central markets. You can even ask your took-tuk driver to wait for you, but I loved just wandering aimlessly around and finding little surprises. This photo is courtesy of Baby Elephant Boutique Hotel, which is also an oasis.

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Long live Smith’s chips: Short lived product line extensions, long term gains

13 Mar

Smith’s chips do it again, bringing out three brilliant product line extensions including new flavours of American pulled pork, Chinese Peking duck and Mexican burrito, with the tag line ‘take your tastebuds on a holiday.’

The flavours of the world range introduction came at perfect time to coincide with Chinese New Year of the Dog. And as it’s Easter in two weeks time, another perfect way to get the mind dreaming of better things to do! And eat! While chip traditionalists might call this crazy, the marketers of Smith’s are right on track with their long term strategy.

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The chip market in Australia was worth around A$872m in 2017 (IbisWorld, 2017). And it is dominated by two players: Smith’s and Snack Brands. Smith’s own brands including Red Rock Deli, Grain Waves, Doritos, Cheetos and Twisties to name a few. On the other side of the chip corner stands brands like good old Samboy, Thins, Cheezels, Natural and Kettle. Snack Brands Australia was bought by Philippines food company Universal Robina, delivering a big pay-out for a cleaver group of investors who bought the business from Arnott’s a few years before.

There is a large war in the chip isle, as the fight for your snacks is large. Back in 2011, Smith’s started with their 75% less saturated fat chip, and the healthy rollercoaster hasn’t stopped. We’ve seen introductions in different vegetables including beetroot, and the amazingly popular (and very scrumptious), sweet potato ranges due to changing consumer tastes. As well we’ve seen the growth and the demand for the premium chip. There are also gluten free and vegan ranges. Smaller players Tyrell’s is distinctively English and have differentiated themselves with old style packaging

Smith’s have been bringing out new and short lived product lines since 2003, when they teamed with big and well known brands to create Aussie flavours such as Bega Cheese, Heinz Big Red Tomato Sauce & Meat Pie, and Ham & Keen’s Mustard.

Smiths

Product line extensions are a perfect strategy for products such as chips where the growth of the category is very slow. It is predicted that the sector will only grow at 0.7% per year, and when you take into account Australia’s GDP being 2.5%, then this sector is underperforming.

So how do Smith’s and Snack Brands for that matter, maximize profits? By doing the un-natural thing and cannibalizing their own products by introducing product line extensions. Why would a brand do this you ask?

Bringing out short lived ranges of incredibly delicious and creative chip flavours is a great strategy to keep customers interested. It creates buzz and allows for perfect use of a seasonal chip introduction. And top that off with asking your consumers to create a flavour is even more engaging.

For example, to celebrate the footy finals, Smith’s launched Hot Wings that are buffalo wing flavoured. Doritos also now has their Blaze range, introduced during Super Bowl 2018. If you haven’t seen this TVC, watch it here. The rap battle between Peter Dinklage and Morgan Freeman is incredible.

The beginning of the Australian Summer at the end of 2017 saw the introduction of lamb and mint and Summer BBQ flavours. What a perfect way to sit back by the pool, or get out the cricket set and team that with chips!

Smith’s think tank and researchers obviously have THE best job in the world, and must have a great time designing new flavours, but they have also been smart and put them out to the public in competitions to allow their audiences to be involved and create new flavours. The top flavours have been voted on within social media, again creating hype and excitement. This has allowed for community building and connecting with consumers, as well as creating brand loyalty.

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Let’s go back in time and see some other fabulous things Smith’s have done (we can’t mention them all but share with us your favourite memories). In 2006, Flavours of the Commonwealth were launched to celebrate the Commonwealth Games being held in Melbourne.

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In 2008, comedians Hamish & Andy came out with the People’s chip.

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Smith’s have gone into this as a long term strategy, and while they may be cannibalizing their other chip varieties, it creates engagement and excitement, and bottom line profits. I don’t know about you, but I’m hungry for some chips. Long live the chip!

 

Christmas (advertising #3) just keeps getting better – but you will need tissues for both crying and laughing

10 Dec

Yes I may be a little bit obsessed with Christmas advertising, but after you’ve read my 1st post and 2nd one about Christmas, how can you not be?

Just to refresh your memory: amazing ALDI brings back spunk Kevin the carrot and he slays it promoting the movie Murder on The Orient Express. And my other favourite, Debenham’s clever modern day take on Cinderella.

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Bring out the tissues as these two latest campaigns are gold. 

BBC One – The Supporting Act (click to watch)

Another fantastic UK offering (aren’t they all?), this time by BBC One’s in-house creative team. This works for me because I remember that song lyrics to Cats in The Cradle,

“When you coming home Dad? I don’t know when, but we’ll get together then, you know we’ll have a good time then?” by Harry Chapin, or more recently Ugly Kid Joe.

We’ve all had a parent, sibling or carer that was too busy to play with us, to read with us, jut to sit with us and chat. Life is busy! This is a simple and gorgeous story as we see a single Dad trying his best, and the daughter just keeps dancing and being happy and thinks that Dad doesn’t notice her. You’ll be toe tapping and up dancing before you know it. Love it BBCs in-house team BBC Creative.

ALERT: More tissues

RSPCA Christmas 2017 (click to watch)

Sniff, tissues, heartstrings, RSPCAs tearjerking film highlights the kindness of RSPCA staff as they all contribute to saving animals’ lives. Woody the puppy, represents all the animals that the RSPCA cares for, from exotic pets, horses and small animals to dogs, cats, rabbits and everything in between. Also great message about a pet is for a lifetime, not just for Xmas.

Now to finish with a really good ROFL

AirNZ have done it again, with a(nother) rollicking and brilliant ad that plays on the Kiwi accent. Remember the brilliant safety videos when they played on The Hobbit ? Or the videos that saw real (and nude) employees covered in body paint uniforms with the Nothing to Hide campaign? First class (pun intended).

Remember last year 2016, with Ronan Keating’s hilarious effort with child actor Julian Dennison? Mixing up vowels and confusing the entire world with their crazy words!

If you were confused with 2016 lines such as ‘a brown bird instead of a blue bird’, and jandals, this year you’ll be even more confused! We love the Kiwis (aka New Zealanders)!

2017s offering is just as good. What starts off as fun phone calls from Chinese children talking to Santa about what they’d like for a present, we then see the faces of Santa and chief elf turn to horror, the music changes, bells toll and we know the story is about to start. You will need the tissues, but this time for crying with laughter.

We will have two weeks until Christmas, so I am assuming I have at least one more Christmas advertising post! Until then…..  have a look at this hilarious recruitment video for NZ Police (stay for the bloopers at the end, plus dancing to rival Miley Cyrus 47 seconds in, the actual Police Commissioner at 1.47 and so much more).

 

Further reading:

https://www.campaignlive.co.uk/article/bbc-one-the-supporting-act-bbc-creative/1451862, published December 5, 2017.

Another successful year for Entertainment Marketing students undertaking real projects for real clients at QUTs Business School

5 Dec

For over 15 years, my QUT teaching teams have been enabling student’s real world learning for 2nd year subjects Integrated Marketing Communication and more recently Entertainment Marketing. This subject is part of the larger Entertainment Industries degree where Creative Industries students study law and business subjects. Our students engage with real businesses, startups, artists, not for profits: you name it. QUT students work in ‘agencies’ to problem solve marketing communication objectives set by their clients.

In 2017, our Entertainment Marketing students engaged with long-standing and very historical Brisbane Eisteddfod, Brisbane Writer’s Festival (or #UpLIT), Cystic Fibrosis Qld and Travello: a Brisbane based startup travel App that connects you with fellow travellers, solo backpacking enthusiasts, digital nomads and even groups of friends & families to make your travel experience memorable. We pride ourselves on the range of entertainment and marketing businesses that want to be involved in our student’s real world learning. In 2016, we had a different travel startup Tour Amigo, who is a QUT Marketing Honours alumni, who has set upa travel site where you can search, compare and book the best value package tours throughout 160+ destinations worldwide. The Tour Amigo team have cherry picked the best guided tours from international operators such as Contiki, Trafalgar, Intrepid and put them in one place. We love to welcome back QUT ex-students into our classroom.

The student agencies pitch their ideas to their clients at the end of semester. Face to face where you can’t hide. This experience helps sets up our students to be (a little bit) industry-ready. Their pitches are very professional, and clients are always impressed with the high calibre standards shown by our up and coming QUT graduates. Most groups undertake primary research, produce video content that would cost thousands of dollars.

Students conducted work experience and work integrated learning with Cystic Fibrosis then gained paid employment organising events such as the 65 Roses Art Prize, where schools across QLD were asked to donate their artwork and a silent auction for each one at the 65 Gala Roses Ball. The project that was run by one incredible QUT student who raised awareness for the plight of those living with CF in Queensland, as well as introducing budding artists to the power of philanthropy. She not only ran the promotion, but the call to action involved a huge amount of logistics.

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As I publish this article, 30 out of the 50 paintings (shown above) have been sold and the others are on display at the CFQ bookshop. Another amazing student helped with fundraising, social media and event profiling. It isn’t easy taking on an intern, but our QUT students learnt so much from their experience with CFQ, many staying on for months.

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Another client this year were Brisbane Eisteddfod. They came to us wanting an audit and some ways of how to stay relevant with their many audiences and stakeholders. Over 150 students pitched their ideas. Our client (also QUT alumni) was super happy and plan to have students working on implementing some of their strategies and tactics in 2018. Below is just one of the amazing student agencies, Ben Hardgrave their tutor and the Eisteddfod team.

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