Archive for the ‘Ads and other executions’ Category

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Make it “Viral”

In Ads and other executions,Campaigns,Views and Reviews on February 26, 2014 by Jox Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

There is a Content bubble happening across brands. Stories have become the currency of engagement. It is quite surprising how Brands (and Brand Managers for that matter) have decided to take a back seat, patiently waiting for functional messaging to come out in the end or subtly along story lines.

VIRAL & MOVEMENT are words circling around in brainstorming sessions and client briefs. “Viral”, is a function of highly entertaining or moving stories that people “organically” circulate online.  Honestly speaking, I am way past “Viral” that if we keep on saying it, the marketing gods might just release the Kraken. My proposals have been consciously turned to, “Let’s make a viral video” to “Let’s make a good story that can potentially go viral”. No asset or campaign is inherently viral. If people like it (or hate it), it will be picked up. And now here’s hoping that the brand won’t be overshadowed by the story. DEBATABLE.

“Movement”, is when having triggered an idea, what then do you want consumers to do? To many movements out there that we’ve run out of words to call them. And consumers have become exhausted that we’ve been asking them so many things to do just to support our brands and tactical campaigns. “Isn’t a Facebook like enough?” No because now that you are our advocate, we need you to convert others. And then they just don’t like us anymore thus, the drop off. Then we resort to incentives just to move the needle conversion just a little bit. I am no expert and I have yet to figure out a new way to get out of the Movement mindset.

Brands have embraced Advocacy and assumed identities that ride on the signs of the times whether on diversity, animal rights, human rights, or what have you. For instance, campaigns with Feminist undertones (I, myself, have yet to fully grasp what Feminism really is) have invaded newsfeeds encouraging women to be “themselves”, stand up for what’s right and stand up for themselves. These are not exactly new it’s just that because of brands and commercial attempts, these topics have moved mainstream. After all, if you support a woman of character, a credible bra brand support her. I digress.

Here are some examples:

Pantene Whip It (Philippines): The first thing that I did as soon as I saw it was post on Lean In’s wall. This one was picked up by the right people who believe in the cause but was questioned by Brand advocates. “Where’s my brand?”, they asked. My honest take, at least that’s new news for shampoo vs. trying to convince women what Keratin is.

 

Wacoal My Beautiful Woman (Thailand): The Thais have done it again. They always manage to get reactions from me. Again, no new news for bras but this one just made me question what kind of support have I been getting from Victoria.

 

Budweiser Puppy Commercial (USA): Just pure love. And it doesn’t just apply on animals.

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Women, Causes, and Ads: International Women’s Day

In Ads and other executions,Campaigns,Marketing Ethics on March 9, 2013 by Jox Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Talking to women, selling products, services, ideas, and any commodity imaginable have been proven to be profitable. Billion-dollar businesses thrive on women’s buying power. Advertising has come a long way when it comes to women empowerment. Ads have evolved with women as their roles changed, shifted, and escalated to new heights.

Yet International (Working) Women’s Day serves as a reminder that whilst it is worth celebrating gender equality, there are still issues that can be considered backward as culture, religion, or even ignorance can be a factor that hinders rights from being acknowledged and implemented. It’s always a step forward and two steps back in the feminist realm.

TIME Magazine hit the stands yesterday with a bold statement, “Don’t Hate Her Because She’s Successful” with a seemingly ubiquitous presence of Sheryl Sandberg that implied that we’re not going to get rid of her and her supposed cause easily. The statement pertains to one of Sandberg’s points on female’s rise to power that is inversely proportional to her likability. Now whether this is a publicity stunt for mercenary causes or a real cause about “rebooting Feminism”, I personally believe the latter but I shall not dwell on this.

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Image courtesy of TIME magazine

Timing is everything and the riveting cover opened up International Women’s Day on a positive note. It also happened to be a grand launch of Sandberg’s new book, Lean In and her new organization that has already gathered women of power. Given all these contact points that strategically hit the right buttons at the right time, the campaign seems to be moving full speed ahead.

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International Women’s Day is also a perfect platform for make up brands. L’Oreal has been truly effective with its “Because I’m/you’re worth it” tagline. One way to keep track of women’s progress is through their ads. Back in the day, make up ads would be even dubbed with male voice talents because beauty and image were defined from a man’s perspective. The Feminist Revolution has shifted the focus and spoke to women by women.

L’Oreal also has reinforced its Women of Worth campaign to reinforce the brand’s association with women empowerment.

The brand partnered with Marie Claire and kickstarted the #womenwishes campaign on twitter.

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At the end of the day, campaigns that capitalize on words are not enough. When a brand or company hinges on a cause and venture in Corporate Social Responsibility, there must a follow through. The agenda must be real. Companies must excavate their hearts that have been piled on by corporate blur. It’s time to go back to humanity.

And ads are just waiting to be conceived to once again stir the status quo and document history.#

(C) Brand and Pitches 2013

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Why Brands Should Be Patient

In Ads and other executions,Views and Reviews on March 3, 2013 by Jox Tagged: , , , , , , ,

I would like to share a powerful and poignant ad without every bit of hard sell advertising. I like it when brands are patient and trust that consumer truths will drive the message. Execution-wise, the story kept me intrigued until the end.

These days, brand managers tend to be anxious about exposure. There is an apprehension that expensive ads that don’t carry much of the brand will be money wasted. All elements must be according to the brand aesthetics for somehow, that will induce recall among the target.

The excess of this obsession leads to hard sell advertising. The type that turns people off, even the very people in the industry. It’s a cry of desperation, an aloof move in the hopes of winning consumers. Just because there has been an influx of media platforms, it doesn’t mean that brands should bombard people with “you need this, buy us” pop ups.

I believe in consumer truths and that brands/products that have intrinsic qualities of being great, can genuinely cater to a need. Sure there’s business and everyone up to the events agency can be overwhelmed with KPIs but if brand teams extend their myopic views of hitting targets to answering real needs, it may more or less follow.

 

Lifebuoy soap by Unilever is an undisputed leader in India. For a category leader, its mission is not only to keep the momentum but to also grow the category. It has promoted the Global Handwashing Day creating awareness about the dangers of diseases caused by not washing the hands and also creating relevance worldwide.

Yet in its ads, it doesn’t zoom into a direct approach of saying “Wash your hands before eating or you’ll die”. It appeals to heightened emotions and enlightens everyone about facts embodied by one story. The brand has embraced the mission of reaching out to people, teaching them, and ultimately saving lives or helping millions of Indian kids reach the age of five.

In this ad, you would get the feel of an ad but it’s and ad worth traveling every second with. And the “reveal” is not even about Lifebuoy but about this fact that not all children receive the miracle of surviving until five. The brand took a back seat yet its significance has encapsulated the story so strongly that you want to know what it does next, what story is going to be told, and what problem it’s going to solve.

And indeed, to keep the conversation happening, Lifebuoy has engraved its story into the largest religious gathering in the world…

 

(C) Copyright Brands and Pitches 2013

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Consumer Involvement in New Age Brand Communications

In Ads and other executions,Campaigns,Strategy on May 6, 2012 by Jox Tagged: , , , , , , , , , ,

By now we cannot deny that consumers have become wiser when it comes to digesting information. When they don’t like a commercial, they can just skip through it. In fact, they are moving towards activities and channels that enable them to be free from commercial pursuits. They know when you’re selling something and when they think you are such a phony, they can shut you off.

Nevertheless, it is a given that this is an enterprising world. How should we know? Despite the resistance of the most of us towards timeline, the transition has been inevitable. For what? For brands to better showcase themselves, know more about their consumers as easy reference for backyard research, and yes, to gather and convert brand loyalists.

Social networks and personal media sites have enabled consumers to consent their participation. They can join, discuss, praise, criticize, complain, and most importantly, share. Word of mouth has never been more empowered than today. Anyone can become popular and become an opinion leader. Bloggers are neo-journalists who chronicle their brand interactions for the rest to consume.

Marketers are aware of this phenomenon. In fact, they are ambassadors themselves of brands they believe in by pushing the subscribe button. Everyone’s equal in these new age communication platforms. Consumers are becoming more involved in brand decisions. The use of polls in product design and variant launches has become a staple. Consulting consumers has become convenient that it has served as buffer for possible losses for wrong business decisions.

Consumers want to be involved. They don’t just want to share information you pass to them. They want to be IN it. The viral component of a campaign becomes massive when it involves the consumer. The effect of push marketing has become diluted and collaborative communication has gained significance recently. Hotcow’s article on consumer creativity extensively discusses the need to bank on consumers when it comes to creating materials for brands.

By simply involving consumers, a brand is saying that “This is OUR brand. We should enrich it”.

Below are just some examples of remarkable campaigns:

Nike iD Generator Concept Store (Japan): Experiential and Digital Campaign

Nike has a cult following of its own. The brand has always banked on collective individuality of its loyalists but they brought the concept to life by capturing the vibrant fashion of Harajuku City, the ultimate melting pot of unique styles. There’s another campaign in London where opinion leaders get a one-on-one VIP consultation in creating sneaker designs. Nike is one of the strong advents of co-creation in product innovation.

Kotex Inspiration Day: Direct Marketing and Digital Campaign

Pinterest has become an advent of popularizing uniqueness and interest intersections. Banking on its increasing popularity, Kotex sent direct packages to targeted inspirational women based on their pinboards. In involving a consumer, marketers should speak to her personally and authentically. The campaign had massive viral online results.

Maybelline 8-in-1 BB Cream Commercial (Philippines): Be Gerald’s Girl Digital campaign

In this campaign, a mini-movie was shot with popular local heartthrob that every young woman desires to be with and also become the face of Maybelline! Users were directed to a site where they could upload their photo and generate a movie featuring the user and the celebrity. Delighted users spread their videos in their social networks. The word spread virally about the new product. The campaign won a Spikes Asia Award.

 (C) Copyright Brands and Pitches 2012

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The Rational, the Emotional, and the Controversial

In Ads and other executions on May 3, 2012 by Jox Tagged: , , , , ,

Ads have various approaches in showcasing a product/brand. When it comes to getting attention and imparting information, certain approaches fit the brand well. However, there are some ads that choose to disrupt consumer thoughts for its very sake.

THE RATIONAL

When introducing a new product whether under a known brand or also a completely new one, the ad should be rational. The basics must be covered: What is it? What does it do? Why should I buy it? The last question can play a bit on emotions such as celebrity associations or consumer reflections/realizations.

Just because an ad is rational it doesn’t meant it should be literal. That is an insult to the consumer especially when the product is a common consumer good. Even ads on technology and gadgets don’t go for the literal approach rather on educating and exciting the consumer via product showcase.

Colgate Sensitive Pro-relief directly approaches the problem of having sensitive teeth. Skeptical passers-by are challenged and they prove to themselves that the product works right then and there. The approach is direct: present the problem, attack it by presenting the product as the solution, solve the problem. Yet the ad does not just show a slide of the product’s function but incorporates consumer views to add to the authenticity which further convinces minds.

THE EMOTIONAL

When a brand has achieved a strong equity, meaning across all indicators from awareness to loyalty the brand is healthy, an emotional approach can be used. Emotional ads can reveal a truth about the brand, banking on the affinities of the consumers towards it. Although sometimes the product calls for an emotional approach such as Insurance companies. It would be weird if their ads sounded like their agents presenting a 15-year platform on returns on investments.

This Thai insurance ad has been known for its heavily dramatic ads. It does not underestimate the human power to love. And with love comes security and sacrifice. The ad highlights a riveting story that can happen to anyone.

THE CONTROVERSIAL

Ads that evoke adverse reactions for the sake of attention. There are a plethora of these featuring topics on religion, sex, and politics. They can be satirical or downright brutal. They work but may not necessarily be in a good way. Controversial ads are usually used by advocates that bring a marginalized issue mainstream. Controversial ads vary per country and culture.

Controversial ads like this one are done intentionally. They grab attention and gather different reactions. Any reaction is good. United Colors of Benetton has always touched on diversity and unity. The idea is simple yet the execution has exaggerated it to gain publicity.

WARNING: Example ad may be offensive.