As Warc’s Knowledge Officer I’ve observed some notable trends that stood out in the marcomms industry in 2014 and that will continue to play an important role in brand communications in 2015. I’ll be publishing a series of blogs covering these hot topics over the next few weeks. The first looks at powerful partnerships.
Partnerships are hot! The right collaboration can have a powerful effect on marketing strategy. Aligning with experts can enhance a brand's credibility; the right collaboration can expose a brand to new audiences; what's more, a clever partnership can support that all-important shopper-marketing strategy.
I've dug deep into the Warc archive to showcase a selection of case studies from 2014 that have implemented such strategies to great effect.
This post is part of the WFA's Project Reconnect, and is written by Simon Kemp, Regional Managing Partner for We Are Social in Asia
The more people are involved in something, the more they engage with it.
This is true in marketing too, and the organisations that succeed in actively involving their audiences and consumers in the creation and development of their brands are best placed to succeed in the long term.
It's perhaps little surprise, then, that 'participation' was one of the 'New 4Ps' that we discovered in our recent research for Project Reconnect (the other Ps were People, Purpose, and Principles).
So what does Participation mean for your brand?
James Hurman, Admap columnist and founder of Previously Unavailable, has just posted his annual 'Cases for Creativity' essay. And he draws some interesting conclusions about what is 'working' in marketing.
In 'Cases for Creativity', posted on the Gunn Report, James identifies campaigns in the previous year that have won both Cannes Gold and Effie Gold.
This year there are 12 – listed below. The case studies for eight of these are already on Warc (follow the links to read the full cases).
Based on these cases, James described 2014 as 'The year of share'. "Effectiveness continues to defy media categorisation – but the one thing this diverse group of ideas do have in common is that people saw fit to share them," he commented.
When I was a kid I remember being taken to Pizza Hut. It had the restaurant with the funny shaped roof and the red gingham tablecloths. It was a treat - a large pizza was about $30 and in the 1980s that was a lot of money. I remember loving it. You got spinning tops and little red pencils to play the games on the paper place mat. There were happy waitresses gliding around and a low light ambience that made it feel like stepping into another world. And the pizza was pretty much the most delicious thing I ever got to eat.
Now, when you google 'Pizza Hut' here in New Zealand, the first thing that comes up is an ad that says 'PizzaHut.co.nz - The Home of $5 Pizzas'. That's right, for just £2.50 you can buy a large Hawaiian Pizza Hut pizza. And not on special - that's the regular price, every night of the week.
Today there are no iconic roofs, no spinning tops, no happy waitresses and no gingham tablecloths. There aren't even tables. Every Pizza Hut in New Zealand is pickup or delivery only. They're tiny, cheaply fitted holes in the wall, sparsely staffed with bored-looking people making shitty $5 pizzas.
Recently, I attended the Future Foundation's Trending2015 Conference. One of the marketing trends they've identified for 2015 is 'Surprise Marketing'. They played a video from the North Face's 'Climb or Die' campaign in Korea to demonstrate. (The name says it all.)
Individual shoppers were in a side room off the store. Suddenly, the floor starts to disappear. The shopper is forced to climb a nearby climbing wall. While gripping on for dear life, a jacket descends from the ceiling. It hangs suspended in the middle of the room. A screen appears telling them they have 30 seconds to get the jacket. Cue teen skater music circa 1999 and high jinks. The video ends with slow-motion shots of shoppers leaping from the walls to grab their prize and land on the crash mat below.
There are two possible reactions to that video: 1) Cool! Wish I'd been there. And 2) If I'd been there, I would've kicked off. In fact, you immediately start wondering how many shoppers refused to play ball. The video shows one guy, with an annoyed look, opting out early on. That's assuming they weren't actors.
This post is by John Lawrence, Business Development Director at SGK Europe.
They say opposites attract. To 'them' I'd say 'Marketing' and 'Procurement'. Long pitted against each other as the Montagues and Capulets of the business world, both departments have merrily driven forward the ongoing war between art and commerce.
Historically, procurement has worked to the sole objective of driving down rate cards, paying little or no respect to the impact on overall performance. A department tasked with cutting the budget was rarely going to find favour with those tasked with spending it. But the idea that non-specialist teams could limit their activity and potential for success so potently was positively infuriating for marketers.
Every so often a capability brief comes along with challenges so high, it sets my senses tingling. I know it’s an opportunity to do something big.
When we’re asked questions like these we keep calm and think big: and not just big, but smart.
As the office winds down ready for Christmas – we're on a skeleton staff next week – here's the latest set of #WarcFavourites2014.
1. V/Line Guilt Trips
Jess said: " I think it was a clever strategy to use guilt and social media to publically shame people for not visiting home enough, something that everyone can relate to, in a light hearted way and get such a good result for the brand. And the two sheilas in the hairdressers always make me laugh – total pros at guilt trips."
This post introduces Warc's new article series 'New Perspectives on Indian Youth'.
India is a young country, both demographically and economically. More than half the population of 1.2 billion is under the age of 25 and if one stretches the definition of young to 35 that encompasses two thirds of the total population. The contrast with other Asian countries is stark: by 2020, the average age of an Indian will be 29 years, compared to 37 for China and 48 for Japan.
As several of our contributors to this series note, India in its current incarnation was born in 1991, when the then prime minister PV Narasimha Rao initiated reforms to liberalise the country's sclerotic economy, opening it up to trade and investment and dismantling state monopolies, a process that continues today.
For five years, every digital and marketing conference you went to had the same slide circulating. You know the one. The one with the crown image. And the text 'Content is King'. Well it's the slide that will not die. It's had a reboot. Now, everywhere I go it reads 'Context is King'.
It's a no-brainer that if you get the context right, your messaging will be better. More powerful. More engaging. It'll probably sell more stuff too. But most discussions on context focus on the promise of context. Instead of how you get there.
Marketers are already sold on the importance of context. The commuter who gets a coffee voucher as they walk past the coffee shop on their way in to work. Smart devices that will tell you when you're getting a cold so you can stock up on medicine.