Posts Tagged ‘advertising’

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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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#HashTag2020: What does 2020 look like in the eyes of Millennials

In Published Works,Views and Reviews on February 17, 2014 by Jox Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

As published on Digital Market Asia on 11th February 2014 and BLINK, an international publication by Mediacom

#2020opt1

Image developed by Muk Ho

For many young professionals, it’s easier to talk about how they imagine their 30s will be different than their 20s than it is to consider the Year 2020. It’ll be important soon enough: Millennials (Generation Y) will make up the majority of employees at 50 percent of US companies by 2020 and 75 percent of global organisations by 2030. So, what are these young people thinking about? Check out their answers to a simple question: ‘What do you think will happen to you and the world in 2020?’

#2020experience
It’s encouraging to note that most of the answers were generally optimistic. ‘Life 360’ was a term used more than once to describe a holistic future where family and career are balanced with the help of technology. Contrary to the selfish stereotype, Gen Y wants to contribute to collective efforts such as sustainable living, organic farming and promoting a better world. “I just want to be a better person than I am today,” said a digital media team lead in Jakarta. There are some, though, who foresee nothing short of an apocalypse. These Millennials seek alternative, or underground, news online. “The environment will be much worse than it is today. We will be close to broad scale armed conflict,” said a team leader from Japan. They may have faith in technology and humanity, but their hope does not extend to political systems. This group has gone beyond conventional preparations for the future, including learning how to open cans (of food) without a can opener. They’re not paranoid; they’re just preparing to survive.

#onelifeonedevice
Our panel expects seamless integration – not just of multiple devices, but of human cognitive and emotive functions. No more multiple transactions, SIM card swaps or currency exchange. A planner from Malaysia foresees a ‘universal card’, which she thinks will merge daunting application and validation transactions by the time she becomes a busy working mom. Surprisingly, Millennials hope technology will help them slow down, not go even faster. They expect devices to simplify life and make people more reflective, especially about privacy. A young manager from New York imagines that “the need for privacy will become a huge issue and will create almost a new industry for people who wish to protect themselves from privacy invasion”. “I imagine the world will have become so ‘noisy’ – with streams of unedited and uncontrolled information from all over the place – that there will be opportunity to create platforms that help individuals counteract that clamour, speed and invasion of privacy,” notes a media planner executive from Indonesia.

#YOLO (You Only Live Once)
Generation Y consumes content to find inspiration and help them figure out what they want to do with their lives… or just where to live next. Online search (particularly Google) helps them make savvier choices. And they’re not settling. Millennials have become career slashers, working at multiple professions that may not necessarily relate to each other. One Filipino expat in Singapore has continued booking casting calls while working as a planner. More people refuse to be referred to by one designation, with the Internet enabling the constant search for the next gig. Content curation and image management via LinkedIn, Tumblr and other sites are just some of the proactive steps taken by young professionals, especially when they have one foot out the door. It’s just a matter of being aware of what will appear in Google’s search results.

What if you could organise the FUTURE?
Millennials are organised, but depend on automation to pay bills, budget and manage their day-to-day activities. Most Millennials, particularly the youngest of the generation, can theoretically imagine 2020 but are vague on the details (even though it’s only six years away). Most talk about wanting to settle down and have a genuine and happy family life.

Imagine a life app that could run for a year before it served up possible mates, based on every transaction, interaction and connection made (or missed) in the prior twelve months? Or one that encourages you to start eating healthier (or invest in insurance for a probable bypass surgery)? Millennials assume that technology will lead to better decision making… and more free time to think about global issues. Gen Y’s heightened interest in politics, the environment and humanity may be an opportunity for brands to reshape their identities. Social causes could become brand definers or fuel product innovation.

Bottom line: Millennials have expectations of themselves and of the world, and plan to be active participants in that future.

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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.

sandberg

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.

Screen Shot 2013-03-09 at 10.15.02 PM

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.

Womenswishes1

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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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.

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The “Lent” Ads Go To: A Holy Week Special

In Campaigns,Marketing Ethics,Views and Reviews on April 5, 2012 by Jox Tagged: , , , , , , ,

The basic functions of an ad is to catch attention and elicit a response. Commercially, that response must ideally be transformed into purchase. Nevertheless, there are ads that settle on evoking any response.

Religion or more specifically, the Catholic Church, is often a subject of satire ads that evoke fragmented responses. Some brush on the gradual loss of faith. Others wittingly invite people back to church. The rest just offend heads on with blasphemous portrayals of the Church and bank on ecclesiastical controversies.

I stumbled upon a series of religious advertisements on buzz feed.com and each one, I had different responses for. I will not discuss my opinions of them for they are personally driven and based on my faith. Rather, I will just present the plethora of ambient ads that will either entertain or offend. You may view the full list on their website.

Today is Maundy Thursday and if you were Catholic you would know that Lent is about to culminate on Sunday celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ. I am not about to go proselytizing readers but to explain how brands are getting attention during the supposed time of resisting worldly temptations. Some ads opt to be of service, facilitating religious practices or providing convenience when the line between fanaticism and genuine devotion cannot be drawn.

Fast food chains remain at the forefront during Lent offering guilt-free meals to the devout and the struggling. Telecommunications companies also provide information assistance. Indeed, respect for culture of the area of operation should be observed while maintaining commercial relevance.

Below are some ads, current or outdated, that exemplify the practice. I graciously borrowed them from other blogs which you may kindly visit for more insight.

McDonald's Lent meal|image from thesweethostage.blogspot.com

Jollibee's tuna pie is back for the season. Image from fudash.wordpress.com

KFC's twist on their twister. Image from www.dencio.com.

Get bible verses from you phone. Image from page1budjette.blogspot.com

SMS a prayer. Image from page1budjette.blogspot.com

Find a church for confession. Image from page1budjette.blogspot.com

(C) Copyright protected| BRANDS AND PITCHES 2012

 

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Odd Pitch: Invade New Zealand

In Pitches on March 22, 2012 by Jox Tagged: , , , , ,

The Gruen Transfer is an entertaining show I managed to unearth on Youtube. The core segment: The Pitch, is a subject of anticipation. In this particular episode, two ad agencies pitched against each other. The challenge: Invade New Zealand.

Watch to be entertained.