Monthly Archives: March 2014

Marketing at the Speed of Culture

If you are reading this, you are most likely one of the 16M+ people who have seen this:

The video was uploaded on Monday and started spreading rapidly yesterday. During that same day, the first brand version of the first kiss was produced by Snog Frozen yoghurt:

Not judging the quality of the film, but only applauding the speed of the execution.

The big challenge with many brands right now is that they want to tap into different trends, memes and other popular events. That is nice, but the traditional briefing process does not enable it. If you want to be real-time, reactive and in-tune with the culture, you have to market at the speed of the popular culture. Other option is just to stay true what your brand is all about and be consistent in your communications. You either change constantly or keep it real to your brand core consistently.

Many brands try to dabble little bit with both and fail miserably. That is why every brand is now doing something around selfies. Unfortunately when something is mainstream, you cannot be trendsetter by reacting to that.

Reactive advertising needs different kind of thinking and especially acting:

1)   Different kind of process
Instead of the traditional brief-debrief-creative brief- presentation 1,2, 3, n-production brief the process is streamlined. It consists of one question and one sentence:
Are we doing it?
If yes: Let´s do it.
And then everyone has to be producer.

2)   Different kind of urgency
When your colleagues share it, it is already too late. You have to act immediately when you are feeling something is getting big.

3)   Different kind of production
Do it quick, dirty and preferably yourself.

4)   Different kind of tolerance for risk
You have to accept the fact that when you are acting fast you might fail. Reactive advertising is risky, but so is everything where you can win big. Brand building should not be for the faint-hearted, but unfortunately marketing departments and agencies are filled with wussies afraid of losing their jobs.

If you do not act like this, you will be doing Harlem shake versions in 2015.

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Why Digital Detox is Bullsh*t?

Recently there has been lots of hype about people going on digital detox. Digital detox means that you stay away from your mobile, computer and social media channels for a pre-determined time and then brag about it afterwards in digital channels.

Talk about contradiction in terms.

Generally people can do whatever they want with their life and time. I am also all for people living without digital devices for real. It is everyone´s individual choice and I celebrate that. Digital detox however is just lame attempt to have the cake and eat it too. The problem is that all this hoopla around people going back to the Stone Age blurs the real story around digital:

Digital devices and Internet has made our life better.

This is true to technological advancement in general. Life is better now than it was hundred years ago. Period. Every year people are becoming healthier, happier and more productive.

Thanks to the technology.

As technology develops people develop as well. Before some Luddite turns up the example of atom bomb, I would like to quote Kevin Kelly from his brilliant book “What Technology Wants”:

“The world does not need to be perfectly utopian to see progress. Some portions of our actions, such as war, are destructive. A bunch of what we produce is crap. Maybe nearly half of what we do. But if we create only 1 percent or 2 percent (or even one-tenth of 1 percent) more positive stuff than we destroy, then we have progress”

This the reason why ads like these make me sick:

Yes, it is annoying if your friend is meddling with his phone during your lunch. Or maybe you are just boring? Or whatever happened to the plain old firm saying: “Stop checking your phone”.

Digital detox and ad like this Coke example spread the message that we are digital slaves not capable of control it. This message is wrong and also destructive.

We are the masters of digital devices and social networks.
We can control them and we can control ourselves as well.
That is why I urge everyone to digital retox.

The more we use new digital devices, connect with each other and are open to the future, the more we will develop as a human beings.

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Anatomy of An Insight: Edeka Supergeil

I was having a holiday last week and almost missed the best advertisement thus far this year. Great example that retail advertising does not need to be boring:

Insight #1: When in doubt, steal.
If you are not interesting brand, you should tap into other interesting content. The band called Der Tourist originally did the song in the ad and Friedrich Liechtenstein sang it as well. It was ok viral hit, with over million views. Not overplayed like Gangnam style, but well known enough to build the momentum around.

Insight #2: Interesting is controversial.
Geil meant originally horny in German, but has recently in slang started to mean cool. The whole video and lyrics are filled with sexual innuendo and double entendre (read here the full translation). When you are competing with all the content circulating in Internet, you have to spark the interest immediately. Ad version is actually weirder than the original video. Usually brands start diluting interesting memes and doing politically correct versions of them. That is the recipe for disaster. If you want to be random, you have to be truly random.

Insight #3: Show the product.
I love ads, which put product blatantly to the center but in relevant way. The amount of Edeka products is mind-boggling in the ad. Friedrich is smoking Edeka sausages and bathing in milk and pouring muesli on himself, for god´s sake. If the main premise is right, you can add the product layer easily to your content. Even testing that the house brand toilet paper is plush enough:

Insight #4: Context is the king.
Weird is normal in Internet. That is why the original song was a minor hit. Weird in context of supermarket advertising is abnormal in Internet. That is the reason why Edeka ad has become viral hit. People have the assumption about how retail advertising is. When something like this comes and fights totally the assumption, it is refreshing, surprising and works like hell.

Awesome job from Jung v. Matt.

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