Prankvertising: it’s basically Candid Camera with a packshot at the end, isn’t it? But - done right - it’s endlessly entertaining. And it’s not (just) schadenfreude. It’s because we never get tired of seeing genuine reactions and emotions. Real people, in real places, experiencing real things.
With that in mind, here’s ‘Fins-bury Shark’ - a brilliantly simple activation to promote Discovery Channel’s #SharkWeekUK.
March of 2015 marks the date for the next South By South West festival for Music, Film and Interactive and Jack would like to be there!
This year we’re excited to have three different panel submissions for the event, but 30% of the selection process is through public votes, so we need your help.
OK, I’m all for branding but this just feels wrong in so many ways. Imagine the possibilities - ad supported fire hydrants (Iams), fire hoses (Smart Water), axes (Lowe’s)… Then again, maybe I’m thinking about it the wrong way. For the right brand (Fenway Franks, say) it could be marv-e-lous.
Here’s a selling point from their pitch: “Code 3 lights and sirens command impressions like nothing else!”
The right message, to the right person, at the right time: it’s the ultimate goal of marketing and comms. And Cancerfonden (the Swedish Cancer Society) have hit the nail firmly on the head with this clever activation.
Melanoma cases have doubled since 2000, which they think is due to Swedes remembering to cover up on holiday but forgetting to do so at home. So they created a shaded area for people.
But there’s more: it’s also a soccer pitch…and the field of play is marked out by lines of sunlight that are only visible between 11am and 3pm. To put it another way: the moment the message is relevant, the activation comes to life. And by creating a place to play, they’ve given people a compelling reason to step out of the sun - an experiential pull, not an above-the-line push. ‘The medium is the message’, as Malcolm McLuhan would say.
The value of cu$tomer experience. Helping to build the case that creating an experience your customers value feeds the bottom line, a recent study by Medallia reports some impressive numbers. They ran their model against both subscription- and transaction-based businesses to show that higher customer experience scores correlated highly with greater spend and loyalty. And while the results focus on top line growth, they also found significant evidence supporting the idea that delivering better customer experiences actually result in LOWER costs due to savings on customer service, returns, churn, and other things associated with less-than-stellar experiences.
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 email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org, with the following:
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…
Hello, it’s nice to meat you. We often get compliments on our business cards because they have pics of us posing with different whimsical things that in some way define us (or not). But business cards made from beef jerky and lasered with your personal info - Brilliant! Perfect, memorable memento for your next, ahem, meat and greet.
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…
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.