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Tag Archives: Business

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.

 

Pedigree

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.

ALDI Santa.png

 

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/

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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?

Screen Shot 2018-11-06 at 7.37.32 am.jpg

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

Are textbooks still relevant?

16 Nov

Can you remember your favourite university textbook? Or rather, can you name one of your favourite books?

For me, To Kill A Mockingbird possibly, Harry Potter (not sure which one is my preferred though), but I still remember fondly my grade 1 books, (wrong of rightly so), the Dick and Dora series. It may be because I read them so many times, they were old, had been read a million times by many grade oners before me. I also had a love for the Peanuts series and collected them for years. I may still have them in an old trunk downstairs. University days it would have been a Kotler Marketing textbook, and possibly a Tourism book. This was when I fell in love with marketing, and also had a strong desire to travel!

My new Integrated Marketing Communications textbook has just been published with my amazing co-authors Bill Chitty, Nigel Barker and Anne-Marie Sassenberg. Needless to say I am pretty excited! A lot of hard work goes into a textbook, especially as it takes such a long time sitting in production after actually writing it. It is very important to stay current, relevant with student learning a key focus for all authors.

This is the 3rd edition that I have been involved and now lead Australian author and I think it is pretty cool. I have been teaching within advertising, marketing and promotions in undergraduate and postgraduate classes for over 16 years at QUT, and for ten years before that. What do you think of the cover? I think she looks pretty!

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So often I have heard students say, “Oh I don’t buy the textbook”, which I respond, well how do you pass? You’re missing out on so much ‘awesome’!

I have been reading on various blogs and news sites about books and textbooks not being relevant anymore. And many people don’t read any books. While we do live in a digital age, texts are reliable sources that provide credible information. Textbooks can support understanding as concepts discussed in class can be viewed over and over, and at any time – much like online resources. But don’t just take my word for it.

Professor Rebekah Russell-Bennett, from QUT’s Business School in the School of Advertising, Marketing and Public Relations and lead Australian author of Consumer Behaviour which is in it’s 3rd edition (Solomon, Russell-Bennett & Previte) tells us,

“Textbooks give structure to the learning experience, they are like a road map with interesting stops along the way to a destination. The reader can see where they are going, where they have been and the connection between the content. Without a textbook, students need to be able to figure this out for themselves by reading a collection of articles, watching videos and attending class. Textbooks do not have to just hard copy, they can also be in digital format which allows students to interact with content but still maintains the comfort of structure.”

Our minds are malleable and grow with the things we feed it.  I love when my ex students say to me that they still have their IMC textbook. It warms my heart. These books are not just sitting idle, collecting dust.

Students today still need scaffolding, support and guidance as they engage with textbooks as well as digital learning resources. It can be so easy to become absorbed in the fast-paced world we live in.

Books are a great platform where you can lose yourself for a few minutes or a few hours. They can be a sensory experience from the colour pictures and case studies that brings a subject to life. The pages are silky and the smell of a new textbook is something else. Even buying a second hand textbook means that there are pages that have highlighter and notes on them. You can almost picture the old owner sitting in a lecture hall, or studying late at night for an exam, hoping to glean a little inside information from those scrawls.

Professor Gayle Kerr, also from QUTs School of Advertising, Marketing and Public Relations and lead Australian author of her textbook Advertising: An Integrated Marketing Communication Perspective (Belch, Belch, Kerr & Powell). Gayle says, “Like everything these days, including IMC and advertising, I think textbooks are also in need of a definition. The inherent value is not in the text or the book, but as a repository for knowledge. A place where ideas are stored, compared, debated, updated and ultimately applied to our crazy, changing, digital world.”

Books have the potential to change your life. Textbooks have the potential for better grades, opening up a secret world and bringing colour to your study. Share with me your favourites.

Further reading:

Bard for Life, Shakespeare is still relevant to schools (2001), https://www.theguardian.com/books/2001/feb/09/classics.schools

Knight, Bruce (2015), Teachers’ use of textbook sin the digital age, Cogent Learning, https://www.cogentoa.com/article/10.1080/2331186X.2015.1015812

Paton, Graham (2014), Schools told: reintroduce traditional textbooks in lessons, http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/educationnews/11241014/Schools-told-reintroduce-traditional-textbooks-in-lessons.html

Leon, Barnaby (2015), Textbooks have a huge impact on eduction, http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/educationopinion/11739310/Textbooks-have-a-huge-impact-on-education.html

Christmas advertising take #2

13 Nov

Yes I know only a few days ago I posted a blog post about loving Christmas advertising (see it here). But over the weekend three amazing campaigns dropped…. all from the UK.

First I dove into Marks & Spencer’s brilliant campaign (much like the Murder on the Orient Express tie in by ALDI with Kevin the carrot), that sees the much-loved Paddington Bear save Christmas around his neighbourhood by confusing a burglar with Santa. The M&S ad has many messages, and hits the nail on the head with emotion, and of course ties in with the Paddington Bear 2 movie which was released in the UK today.

Second I watched the John Lewis ad. I connected with this ad as when I was little I was sure there was a monster underneath my bed! I watched Moz the monster and the young man Joe connect and play at night. That was a gorgeous time of bonding. I was wanting to cry, waiting to cry, but didn’t. (And I cry at the drop of a tissue)! I suppose you outgrow monsters, but Christmas isn’t a time for that. There have been mixed reviews about this ad. Read one from the BBC here. You can make up your own mind.

Moz the monster from John Lewis christmas advert

The final ad was my favourite from Debenhams. Based on the fairytale Cinderella, but with a modern twist (kind of like Rowse’s new three bears – see my post here), Debenhams take you on a wonderful magical love story, click here to watch the ad and tell me if you don’t cry! What girl doesn’t want to be Cinderella? The #YouShall Find Your Christmas is a great teaser campaign, which is really a love story. It captures the spirit of the season, and takes you on their journey.

Cleverly, Debenhams have allowed you to shop what Ellie and Josh are wearing at this site here, including personalised gifts.

personalised gifts

Which is your favourite ad and why?

Rowse honey sweetens with three bears campaign

9 Nov

While Britain may be going a little bit crazy for the new Rowse honey campaign, viewers and ad experts around the globe are tuning in to Rowse’s take on the Three Bears. Some are against it, but most are loving the cheeky way Rowse are making audience connections.

We all know the old story of Goldilocks and the three bears. We all know that the bears love porridge. Circa 2017, Goldilocks is nowhere to be seen, but rather three burly gay man-bears. Meet Matt, Joel and Phil.

Watch the trailer here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KSZJ8yH_u2Q

Our loveable three man-bears are cheeky hosts for a breakfast cooking show. And who would know who to cook porridge better than the three bears? Nobody! They are such an authority on porridge making them a credible source.

Rowse have nailed this campaign, playing on the global success of the many cooking shows and nostalgia. What could have gone terribly wrong, or misrepresented in a world where things get misconstrued, has been applauded by the LGBT community. Also to whom the campaign was targeted – Millennials are loving it, as well as any other three bear fairytale and honey lovers.

Why has it been a success? 

We all know of honey and most of us like it, or cook with it. We probably have a jar in our pantry cupboard. We may use it in when we’re baking muffins, or honeyed carrots (a bit more nostalgia from my childhood now), but it’s just always there. And always has been. Hence the problem. It isn’t exciting anymore! In Australia, the ants love it, so often we don’t buy it. But this campaign from Rowse draws on emotional, nostalgic and slice of life strategies, that sees us sit up at the breakfast table, and want to rediscover honey.

First,who knew of the many amazing benefits of honey? They’re not exactly page 1 news anymore! But the many studies conducted tells us that honey:

  • can counter pollen allergies
  • is full of antioxidant powerhouses so can help reduce blood pressure
  • is empty calories that aren’t refined sugar – less bad than sugar for diabetics
  • can improve cholesterol levels
  • promotes sleep
  • natural cough syrup
  • Heaps more – click on the links below.

But there’s much more than that!

Second, if honey isn’t sexy, then how do marketers, or specifically Rowse make it so? By using likable characters, creating excitement and adorable stories. By using bears, big burly gay man-bears to lure us in, like bees to a honey pot! The lads are funny, handsome, very genuine. If you want someone to like you, you must be transparent and authentic. These three bears are all this and more.

Third, if you want people to consume more of your product, and create loyalty, what can marketers do? You find a solution for non-honey eaters and give them reasons to notice you and to consume more honey. Simple? Not really.

Next, choose an audience who may not be ‘into’ honey. Give them reasons to use your product, and value add with ideas, recipes, information and drip feed content to them by funny and lovable man-bears. Content that is fun and delivered in media that the audience listen to, watch and read. Three, two minute Youtube clips have been released to coincide with new recipes, new cheekiness and insights into the bear’s lives and personalities. A great teaser campaign.

Watch episode 1 here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CG7dhp0AC78

The choice of millennials was the perfect audience for Rowse to target. And the secondary audience of already-using honey consumers would also catch on to the sweetness of the campaign. Further, by using social media platforms: Instagram and YouTube, out of home (OOH) and sponsoring of Stylist magazine have proven to be perfect mediums.

Timing: it’s cooling down in the UK, so what’s a perfect way to warm you up? Porridge of course, with Rowse honey drizzled over an array of nuts, fruits, but delivered by the 3 bears in a fun way. As shown in the recipes or on the Rowse Insta page. The Rowse honey Instagram page has also grown in numbers, but they aren’t bombarding you with too many photos, or too many posts. They are being very strategic to align with new cooking show spots and drip feed the story of the bears and intertwine the entertaining cooking show, as well as a little about the bears.

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Rowse and their advertising agency BMB have been very particular with choosing their bears. And obviously don’t mind Matt Lister being very popular on socials. He’s a great role model, athlete and ambassador.

Screen Shot 2017-11-08 at 2.44.23 pm.png

Rowse have injected life into their brand, and the beauty of this campaign is that it could last for years if Rowse and agency BMB can create great content that fits in with the brand. A very lucrative and sweet campaign.

Other links

Articles that don’t agree

a. https://www.campaignlive.co.uk/article/why-were-uncomfortable-rowse-three-bears-ad/1449166

Articles that love the campaign

a. Adweek

b. Huffington Post.au

Honey benefits

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/10-benefits-of-honey

https://draxe.com/the-many-health-benefits-of-raw-honey/

Break-Ups

14 Apr

In our personal life, breaking up with a loved one or a dear friend can be very difficult. And the same goes for brand breakups – or is it?

There are many brands that we have forged long relationships with. Some by osmosis – think Vegemite, Colgate toothpaste and other brands that we have used since childhood. Others have come from our parents/grandparents using that brand or it fits into our lifestyle. Two prime examples are what car you drive could be because you grew up with Ford or Holden (this may not be so prevalent to younger generations), and what bank you bank with. Both of these examples could be long-term loyalty that you hold towards these brands, without actually knowing why you bank with that bank. Let alone if you even like this brand.

Let’s take the example of your bank. You’ve been with them since you were at primary school and (insert bank name here) they gave you a money-box and you thought that they were pretty cool! Your first pay cheque went into that account. You’d watch the balance go up and down in the book (yes remember the book)! You bought your first car, got your first loan, you got some traveller’s cheques and travelled overseas (if you’re older and remember what traveller’s cheques were)! You may have bought your first home – all using that same bank.

When you think about it, this bank (or brand) has been with you for the majority of your life. You’ve been through a lot together. It knows a lot about you. Personal details like your birthday, and of course, how much you are worth to that bank. Did you ever get a birthday card from your bank? Nope. Just a monthly statement, a black and white relationship. Purely transactional.

And of course, as you’ve been friends for so long, wouldn’t you think that your bank would give you special treatment? A gift for being in such a committed relationship?

No it seems.

But what do you get? Interest hikes, no special attention, no paper statements, please don’t come into visit us in a branch – please do everything online, as we really don’t want to see you?

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Not until you have to ask for them to be nice to you. You ask them to give you a better rate, a better deal – as we’ve been together for over 20 years (please). It has come to begging! But of course, your bank has now moved on to their next victim and it appears they have become a pimp.

So the question must be asked. Did your bank break up with you in the first instance?

And you missed the whole thing?

Breaking up with a bank (or any other brand for that matter) can be quite hard as it’s personal. You’ve invested great amounts of time and money in this relationship. Your insurance, investments, share portfolio…. credit cards, the list goes on. To move often incurs fees. But more so, you have feelings for this brand.

I’ve slowly broken up with my bank but it has been coming for a while. Somehow I’ve put it in the too hard basket and I’ll do that when I have time! First it was my home & contents insurance, next it was my car insurance. At first I felt sad that our relationship had to end. Then I got angry as the other person in this relationship (my bank) was not even trying to save our relationship!

Next week it is my home loan. I now have no feelings for my bank. My bank has no feelings for me. It has become the clinical relationship that my bank made it years ago, but I was too (in love or complacent) to see. It wasn’t love, it was laziness on my behalf.

I did ask them to be nice to me, to save our relationship. “I’ve been loyal to you” I told them, but they didn’t want to know, listen or talk.

A brand needs to be so many things to its customers: honesty and relevancy are two that spring to mind. Hence we see The National Bank’s advertising campaign to ‘Break Up With Our Bank’ and one I saw this morning, ‘Would your bank tell you if another bank had better rates?’ Brands need to be wherever customers have needs. Find out what we really want and give it to us. It’s really not that hard!

Relationships make the world go round, whether personal or brands. Breaking up with brands isn’t that difficult, ‘cos if there ain’t no trust, there ain’t no relationship!

 

 

Marketing: the core to any (successful) brand

20 Mar

When times get tough or crisis enter into a company’s boardroom, usually the first thing to go is Marketing. Many CFOs and CEOs confuse marketing with selling, and, marketing with advertising. In fact, many people think that they’re all the same thing.

For us marketeers, we know they’re not.

Marketing is how brands connect with their stakeholders. It’s all about communication, not selling. Marketing has so many facets to it. 

Once you decide whom you’re marketing to (or communicating with), the rest should fall into place. What media does this audience consume? When do they consume and how do they want to consume this information?

How do we create solutions for this group, not just by making more products and services? We should be providing extra value than our competitors are providing. Prove to your customers that they’re not just a number, but surprise and delight them with out of the ordinary service and value adding by allowing them two way communication and access.

Don Schultz founded the 21st Century SIVA principle that far outweighs the old Four Ps scenario. It makes far more sense in our modern world with consumers demanding two way communication and being involved in co-creational marketing where the brand and customer find solutions together. Solutions, Information, Value and Access is where it’s atYes I know bottom line is imperative, but without the customer and marketing at the centre of a brand, you can’t connect with your customers. You can’t build relationships. This is how you maintain long term success.

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