In honor of Jack Morton’s 75th anniversary, we’ve been challenged to participate in a Day to Do: a day for all Jack Morton employees to do an activity of their choosing to help out their community or grow as professionals.
Some of us in New York wanted to use this time to become the “agency for a day” for a budding, NYC-based start-up. We’ll apply our expertise to solving their brand’s problems, helping to inform actual solutions and make a difference in the business.
If you’re a start-up in NYC and want to be considered for this project, shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com, with the following:
Brand Name: Number of employees: 2 Sentences about why you want our help:
We’ll tailor our offering to the needs of the selected start-up, but here are some thought-starters:
We could provide…
An internal strategy to help you communicate your vision & values
People are already putting down money for self-driving flying cars. Are American motorists up to the challenge?
The age of the Jetsons is almost here. Terrafugia, a Massachusetts-based company, has made a car-plane hybrid called the Transition, which is set to launch in 2016 and retail at $279,000.
This futuristic vehicle is a street-legal car with wings that fold out to make an FAA-approved airplane. It fits into your average single-car garage and drives with controls familiar to anyone with a driver’s license. However, you won’t see people taking flight in the middle of the highway. Takeoff can only happen at a public airport, and to do so you need a pilot’s license. But because it’s classified as a “light sport aircraft” the requirements for a license aren’t that hefty—for example, you only have to be 16 years old and log a mere 15 hours of flight time with a qualified instructor.
While incredible, this miracle of technology also poses some inherent risks. Crashes by amateur pilots happen all the time, and the Transition is targeted specifically at part-time fliers. However, Terrafugia CEO says the plane’s ease of use and safety feature will protect against pilot error. Worst case scenario, the Transition also comes with a rocket-deployed parachute that can be released when you pull a handle and float you—and your vehicle—to safety.
First off, this isn’t a rant on wearables, more a explanation on why I don’t have one* You’d think I would, as every meeting with a tech agency requires at least someone to be smugly wearing a Jawbone (in much the way I cradled the first iPhone in 2007). They are nearly ubiquitously male, slim, media-types. Oh hang on. That’s me, isn’t it? You wouldn’t be wrong. As someone who’s been a Creative Technologist at a number of Digital agencies, you’d think I’d have been first in the wearables-line; only swapping my Nike Fuelband at the launch of the Jawbone, before dumping that for the latest FitBit or Garmin’s Vivofit, whilst salivating over the impending Razr Nabu (the API is already open to developers). You know, maybe it’s sour grapes and I’m still smarting about not scrimping the cash together to fund Pebble on KickStarter…
IKEA won't put up with any more of this brand fandom.
I’m all for innovation in marketing, but IKEA might be taking it a bit far: they seem to be running the world’s first customer disloyalty campaign. They’ve threatened legal action against their most active brand fans and customer champions, in the form of IKEAHackers.net and IKEAFANS.com, in large part for using the IKEA name and marque (in the course of celebrating and praising the brand).
It’s not like those sites have only just come to light. In fact, IKEA and IKEAFANS have been working together since 2007. In return for advance product info and exclusive access/interviews, IKEAFANS provided customer feedback and data. Oh, and created and managed a massive community of IKEA fans out of sheer passion and enthusiasm. IKEAHackers, in case you don’t know, is a wonderful, crowd-sourced compendium of ingenious hacks for IKEA furniture, giving entirely new uses and personality to the BILLYs, EXPEDITs and RIBBAs of this world.
Taking legal action against one of your biggest and most popular fan sites is an error. Going after two? That points to a deeper problem. And it’s that, as we’ve said before, IKEA need to learn that you can’t have complete control over how people act online. IKEA launched Share Space in 2011, which takes the walled garden approach: use our products to be creative, in the way that we want you to, in the manner we decide. And that’s not how the online world is. Which probably explains why, in June 2014, (according to Alexa) Share Space was getting 2,200 daily visits, compared to 44,000 for IKEAFANS and 110,000 for IKEAHackers. Of course, all of those are dwarfed by IKEA.com's staggering 5.2m visits per day, which makes you wonder why they're bothering. Not least because the traffic on the two fan sites represents the most ardent, vocal, connected fans they have…so the backlash was inevitable and the subsequent backtrack over IKEAHackers was not a big shock.
What this really shows is something we’ve said for a while now: your brand is what you do, not what you say. You can make as many lovely, emotional stories about customers using your products as you like, you can give away all the free pencils in existence…but it gets cancelled out when you attack your biggest fans for short-term gain. If your words, actions and touch-points aren’t aligned, you’re in trouble.
So the less-than-radical takeout from this episode is this: if someone is celebrating your brand, if they’re building your community, encouraging participation and enabling new ways of using your products…maybe don’t try to stop them. You heard it here first.
On Monday, Upworthy announced that they’re going to be embracing ‘time spent’ as a better metric of reader engagement instead of more traditional statistics like page views or clicks. While these other metrics capture traffic to a webpage, they don’t do a good job of showing whether or not the reader is actually engaged with the content once they get there.
Time spent isn’t the newest metric out there but its starting to be widely used. The Financial Times has said they can utilize time spent as a way to get more value for advertisers, and might even begin selling ads on a time-based model, letting digital advertisers purchase blocks of time.
Upworthy employs time spent by determining a consumer’s attention minutes (the minutes they spend engaging with content). Data on attention minutes comes from a variety of signals, such as a video player showing that someone is watching the video, or mouse movements or even which browser tab they have open.
It remains to be seen whether time spent will become the most accepted metric for determining digital advertising effectiveness, and even if it does, advertisers can game the system to make their work seem more effective than it is. But in an age where marketers are fighting for consumers’ attention, attention minutes and time spent seem pretty on point.
Let’s just hope we don’t reach a place where we no longer care about what we’re saying, just whether we can capture someone’s attention for several milliseconds longer than our competitor can.
Dish, ESPN, Hyundai and others are mainstreaming their Hispanic marketing campaigns instead of purely using Spanish language advertising on Spanish language TV networks, radio stations, etc. Why, you might ask? In part because of the World Cup, but that’s not the whole story.
Today, there is high crossover appeal for general market TV ads run in English and Spanish. Hispanic consumers aren’t just watching Spanish language television, and appreciate seeing bilingual ads on mainstream channels. Also, millennial consumers are multicultural and respond better to advertising when it reflects the world around them.
This shift toward mainstreaming Hispanic marketing also coincides with large population and spending growth among Hispanic Americans. Hispanics now make up 17% of the US population and spend around 1.3 trillion dollars every year. This new bilingual marketing effort allows advertisers to speak to them through multiple vehicles. For example, Dish Network blended English and Hispanic marketing by producing an ad that combined both languages into a single execution.
Tiny Rebellion, a Santa Monica-based agency, is setting out to prove that affecting positive change can be profitable. This agency only works with companies that do good, and they seek to help visionaries bring their brands to the public. Their client roster includes TrueCar, a brand trying to bring transparency to automotive retail, and BoltHouse Farms, a juice company dedicated to healthy living.
It’s great to see an agency trying to be a force for positive change, and while doing good and making a profit may seem to be incongruous goals, Tiny Rebellion proves otherwise. They identify the right for-profit companies to work with, and amplify their impact to further their clients’ world-changing missions.
FINALLY, us concertgoers won’t have to worry about losing our previous credit cards when we go to festivals. All we have to do is tap and pay!
Lollapalooza is rolling out a new initiative this week called Lolla Cashless that use radio frequency identification (or RFID)-enabled wristbands for payments. Let’s hope that this will make the lines for food and drinks a lot shorter…
The tech-enabled wristbands also work offline, a smart move considering Internet connections at these types of events tend to be less than stellar. The point-of-sale systems will store transactions until they can be processed later if the Internet goes down.
Lollapalooza’s effort that layers in e-commerce is interesting because it shows how music festivals testing new types of payments may give some additional insight into how millennials actually use their smartphones at events.
Next step would be to use the wristband as both a method for payment as well as identification and I would be able to leave my wallet at home!
Last week, a new Pantene ad became a conversation starter with a convicting call to action: women of the world, stop apologizing. The commercial was a follow-up of sorts to an ad Pantene Philippines ran last year about labels society gives successful men versus successful women. The message was simple…and infuriating.
They get their point across clearly once again in this new ad. It shows women in a variety of situations, apologizing where an apology is not needed- for example, before sharing an opposing idea in a meeting, or after being jostled by the person sitting next to her. Then, the ad replays the same encounters, only this time the women don’t apologize.
Through this ad, Pantene shines light on an unfortunate habit while encouraging women to shine strong. They’re proving to be an authentic brand and staying true to their promise of celebrating strong women and educating them to overcome societal expectations. It turns out Pantene is more than shampoo- its a gender bias revolution.
It was reported this week that BA are facing the threat of new strike action this summer. Having watched A Very British Airline, the BBC’s recent behind-the-scenes look at the company, I can’t say I’m surprised.
In a segment on the airline’s steward training programme, the voiceover cheerfully revealed that as labour supply far outstrips demand new starters are paid next to nothing. We then saw young hopefuls booted off the course for such trivial misdemeanours as being two minutes late or not wearing enough lipstick.
Officious trainers patronised and reprimanded wannabe cabin crew in scenes interwoven with clips of first class cabins being inspected for even the tiniest scratch. It goes without saying that in the airline industry a rigorous employee vetting process is essential, but everyone ought to be treated with respect whether they’re drinking the champagne or serving it.
As discussed in more detail in our ‘Your people, your brand’ white paper, successful experience brands don’t just focus on the customer, they create a consistent, compelling experience for every stakeholder – not least employees on the front line.
How can we foster creative thinking in our industry? It starts in the schoolroom.
There’s never been a more exciting time for creativity than right now, said Marc Pritchard, Global Brand Building officer for P&G. Media fragmentation may have killed the golden age of advertising but it has given birth to a golden age of ideas — where we can work with an ever-evolving and expanding creative canvas of marketing opportunity.
But how do we get those ideas? According to BBDO Guerrero you have to create a lot of crap ideas to get to a good one and they have created an online tool, the Crap Ideas Generator, to help you get there. While it may not be necessary to have a specific tool to manage idea-creation, the principle of idea volume is a sound one. Sturgeon’s law that 90% of all art forms are crap is commonly cited, but he wasn’t alone — as David Guerrero mentioned in his talk, former British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli concurred that 9/10 books are nonsense. So it stands to reason that if most ideas aren’t great, then we need to create lots of them in order to get a good one and even more to get a great one.
There’s a very healthy debate in the industry about how we go about creating these great ideas — as evidenced throughout the week at Cannes. Training yourself to find opportunity by thinking in the left-field is a common theme. Jason Silva spoke of ‘the adjacent possible’ where we can seize opportunities by asking ‘what if?’ and Sense Worldwide challenged us to ‘embrace the ugly’ because breakthrough ideas often don’t look aesthetically pleasing. As Guerrero said, we need to find ways to get our brains to jump out of their pre-set patterns.
If this is a concern for us in the industry, where at least we are having healthy discussions on the topic, how much of a concern should it be for our children? Tham Khai Meng of Ogilvy & Mather said this week, “We are all born creative. We just got it educated out of us.” This, the next generation of creative marketers, are more often than not in an education system structured to create workers for a 19th century industrial economy, not the ideas economy of now and the future. And it’s not just about effective marketing. Astrophysicist Neil Degrasse Tyson warned us that our culture will fade unless we value problem-solving creativity.
This is exactly the issue Sommer + Sommer addressed in their workshop ‘How to Foster Creativity in 21st Century Education?’ Along with the Berlin School of Creative Leadership, the German creative agency asked Cannes greatest minds (and more than 100 other creatives and futurists in 35 countries) to inspire an innovative framework for 21st century schooling which will be published as the Classroom Thinktank. I can’t wait to read it. Creative thinking starts in the schoolroom, and if we want our industry to thrive we need to actively participate in the future of education.
It was heartening to hear at the IPG breakfast – ‘Breakfast with Women Who Bring Home the Bacon’ of the increasing number of woman members on the Cannes juries. And of how mostly they didn’t experience a gender division on the juries in terms of attitudes towards creativity, aside from a very few entries that prompted a showing of latent machismo amongst some members.
Meanwhile Vasudha Narayanan, Creative Director at Lowe Lintas was interviewed regarding the ground-breaking campaign for Tanishq highlighting the stigma of second marriage for women in India. It served as a reminder that women around the world still face very real restrictions to the kind of life choices many of us take for granted and give us the freedom to focus our energies elsewhere, such as our careers.
Yet there is much to be achieved here, as Sheryl Sandberg pointed out in her seminar – only 3% of creative directors are women. And she credits this huge imbalance to a cultural problem – as a society we don’t expect women to be leaders. This was echoed by Leslie Sims, ECD McCann NY, who argued at the breakfast that since many women are not naturally great self-promoters, but rather great team builders, we need to do a better job of actively recognising and promoting those that are excellent in their jobs because they are far less likely to step forward than their male counterparts.
This may be so, but think also of Courtney Love who during her Cannes seminar put her success down to her sheer fearless ambition – perhaps as agency women we all need to channel our inner Courtneys a little also.
It was fascinating listening to futurologist Jason Silva at Cannes Lions - as he said, quoting Shakespeare: ‘We know what we are, but know not what we may be.’ The possibilities for the future of humankind are mind-blowing. Silva referred to the opportunity as being able to see the ‘adjacent possible’ –the myriad ways in which the present could reinvent itself if we can only seize the opportunities that our exponential rate of knowledge growth can present us and ask ‘what if?’. It made me think that, whilst on a slightly less monumental scale, we should apply the same principle to our work in marketing – we should be asking ‘what if’ and looking for the ‘adjacent possible’ in all that we do.
There were certainly many parallels to be drawn in other sessions. Sense Worldwide had some great comments about our need to go to the extreme in order to achieve real insight. Bearing in mind that the majority of people are broadly ambivalent about most brands – we need to think like the people at the extreme – the ones that passionately love or hate the brand to help us find new opportunities to add value to people’s lives. And Iris talked about looking at the outlying areas in data analysis, rather than the obvious – the need to be data curators juxtaposing and revealing new patterns that can inspire new ways of thinking. And whilst these represent just some aspects of our industry, it’s an inspiring thought - whatever field of marketing we work in couldn’t we all benefit from looking for the left-field, to find the adjacent possible.
Solving employee pain points doesn’t always have to be difficult. An Oakland-based start-up has designed an app called Comfy to improve employee satisfaction. How? By turning up the heat (or turning it down as the case may be).
Faulty and inefficient HVAC systems cause employees to freeze during the summer or overheat during the winter, so Comfy is stepping in to put temperature control in the hands of the employees. The app plugs into a building’s existing hardware. Then you can tell it if you’re too hot or too cold and it sends a blast of air directly to your part of the office. Over time, Comfy learns what temperature a group of coworkers likes at a certain time of day and adjusts accordingly.
The system can also figure out when people aren’t in a particular part of the building, minmizing waste and cutting HVAC bills by as much as 15-20%. The app creators plan to add more features to Comfy as Beacon technology improves. Down the road, you might be able to walk into the building and have your desk start to cool down for you, or have your light adjust to the level you want.
More and more lately, it seems that advertisers are trying to make us cry. This trend towards emotional advertising has been demonstrated by brands ranging from shampoo to cereal to beer, and its actually rooted in neurology. Researchers have found that human decision-making is driven by the subconscious rather than by logic, leading advertisers to try to appeal to the heart through emotional content.
Moreover, in today’s digitally connected world, brands are struggling to cut through the noise to reach consumers. People have a thirst for realistic, meaningful stories and marketers who create emotional content are able to make an impact. The likelihood that an ad will be shared increases if it creates a human connection or tells a story. A quick look at your Facebook newsfeed proves that sadvertising is shareable.
So next time an ad makes you tear up don’t feel bad. It’s not just you- and it’s totally on purpose.
Creative talent – and how to attract, secure and nurture it was today’s forum theme at Cannes. As Michael Lebowitz of Brooklyn agency Big Spaceship said - the idea and innovation economy in which we now operate means creativity is not a vocation, it’s an obligation. So creative thinking is the lifeblood of business and nurturing it is everyone’s concern.
Easy to say – but how do you do that? Theories abound. Deutsch has a highly aggressive ‘Darwinian culture’ where they consider the route to success to be to not just promote their client but to actively strangle the competition - their staff report satisfaction levels of 4.5 stars out of 5, so they must be doing something right. Then there’s Big Spaceship which takes collaborative working to the max – creating a culture where every specialism can be involved in the creative process – in fact, they consider creativity to be so much everyone’s responsibility that nobody has the word ‘creative’ in their job title.
Whatever the culture that works for each agency, the underlying trend that emerged today as critical for creative success (and therefore creative satisfaction) was in understanding the people you are trying to reach. Much can be gleaned from exploring the fascinating psychology of consumer behavior as discussed by Adam Ferrier of Cummins & Partners but in making a comparison between planners and stand-up comedians Holler and Leo Burnett put it beautifully. Great comedians are great observers of human behavior and rapidly capture and respond to these emotions in their acts. Great marketers must have these qualities too and in this way can help brands show their human side and create a bond with the people they want to connect with. It may not be the holy grail for complete creative satisfaction but it’s certainly a great leap towards it.
We all have that one friend that posts annoying stuff on Instagram. To combat these annoying gym selfies and #TBT overload, Allen & Gerritsen’s Labs team has built a new experimental device that might be able to gently quell your friends’ addiction to banal social sharing without blowing your cover over such a silly topic.
“Marketing to women in ways that are empowering isn’t just good for women—it makes economic sense … As industry influencers, we have the power to change these messages. Either we continue marketing in ways that perpetuate stereotypes or, instead, we can use messages that educate and empower.” - Sheryl Sandberg
It’s no secret that there is a dearth of women in leadership positions. Sheryl Sandberg is the first contributor in a series of columns about the importance of women’s representation in media. Published quarterly, the series will highlight the voices of women in media, marketing, advertising and communications.
Excitement is building for the re-opening of Heathrow’s Terminal 2 (The Queen’s Terminal) on 4th June.
It certainly looks set to be a step up from the usual airport experience. Last week the stylish and retro interior for Heston Blumenthal’s ‘The Perfectionists Café’ was revealed to the public. Other brands confirmed for the terminal also have a noticeably British premium flavour and include John Lewis, Cath Kidston, and Burberry.
Let’s hope it’s a successful launch and will become the first of many positive touchpoints for visitors to Britain. Just don’t mention Terminal 5…
In a previous post, we explored the launch Jack Morton’s process to report on our sustainability performance through a CDP reporting pilot with Measurabl. One of the biggest challenges any first-time or expert reporter faces is the ability to gather complete and accurate sustainability data – namely energy, carbon, water, and waste.
The majority of sustainability reporting standards, including CDP, are broken down into qualitative and quantitative dimensions. Qualitative questions cover the profile of a company, including who is in charge of sustainability and climate change issues, and how the company plans to strategically manage the relevant risks and opportunities. Quantitative questions cover the more obvious – how much carbon can be directly attributed to our operations, what are the specific targets we have for reducing our environmental impact, and how are these measured.
“Brand marketers and direct-response marketers have traditionally worked in different silos. I wouldn’t say we’re seeing a complete merging of the groups, but we’re starting to see interaction and engagement across the two groups among some of our biggest clients. They’re essentially trying to figure out how they can play in the same sandbox and work together to bring more value to each other’s campaigns.”—Jerry Canning, Director of Financial Services @ Google
I recently came across an article asking whether London helps or hinders creativity. An interesting question and one I’m sure most people living in a big city ask themselves from time to time.
There’s no doubt that, to put it mildly, London is a sweaty, stressful cesspit of despair. But there’s always a new inspiring experience around the corner, just waiting to make your heart re-burst with excitement at living in such a diverse, vibrant, unpredictable city.
I was blown away by its magic, humour and all round loveliness. We were given goody bags of nostalgic treats, flowers at the New Covent Garden flower market and one lucky person even received a scratch card in a beer can from a time traveller. And we learned some local history too.
With experiences like this it’s not difficult to conclude that London absolutely helps creativity. Although the city can be overwhelming, exhausting and sometimes downright unhinged, there’s always creative treasure to be found and in case of emergency the seaside isn’t that far away.
As we look towards maximising a Brands reach or just quantifying Justin Bieber’s latest snaffu through hashtags, there are agents among us seeking to make our lives better by the very same technologies.
Nerds for Nature, are 'bringing together technologists and environmental professionals to collaboratively build awesome tools to understand, protect, and revive the natural world'.