Monthly Archives: April 2015

Sequels Don´t Work in Advertising…Expect When They Work

I could not put the following ad to Anatomy of An Insight –section as it is a little bit too in a meta-level. I also have had too many Foot Locker ads featured in here in any case (although they are all pretty much awesome):

Brilliant ad nevertheless and based on equally great ad as well. Now the situation has naturally changed and the match will be happening. Or is it?

Sequels don´t work in advertising, when you just try to duplicate the success of previously successful ad. However if there is opportunity to continue the story and it is still based on strong insight and great idea, you should not change your focus too soon either. The most challenging part in advertising and life in general is to know when it is time to turn on a new leaf.

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Loalty is Laziness: Would You Change to Apple Music From Spotify

Apple will launch its streaming service Apple Music June 30th.

Although there was not anything mind-boggling with the launch, it will dramatically shake up the music streaming service landscape. Below I am answering all the questions that you are thinking about the launch, because I can:

Will Apple Music be bigger than Spotify?
Yes.

In terms of paying customers, Apple Music does not offer free version, which is probably a wise move. Currently paying customers create 26 more times the revenue compared to free customers in Spotify.

Spotify has 70 million users (of 20 million are paying). Apple has over 800 million iTunes accounts. Do the math. Just converting 2,5% of the current user base (of which not all are naturally downloading music) gets them even.

However it might not be as easy or as profitable it would seem at first glance.

Paying for streaming music is a niche activity. Only 5% of the people over 13 years old pay for streaming services. During the digital download heyday, 25% of the people were regularly paying to download music and astonishing 80% of people were regularly buying cd´s when that was popular. Those days will never come back.

Optimist would say that there is an opportunity to increase the amount of subscribers. Pessimist would say that we will never reach a level again where even 25% are paying for music. My thinking is somewhere in between: there is opportunity to increase the paying streaming category but it requires cheaper options than the current default 9.99$/month. In terms of people paying for music streaming services are the best bet for record labels, because ownership of music seems quite expired concept in 2015.

Because of its ecosystem and deeper pockets, Apple has better opportunity to grow the category if it is to grow. Free streaming services will remain in the mix, because too aggressive clampdown for free streaming would probably retort people back to pirating the music. Also those who pay for music are not necessarily the tastemakers of what is hip and cool. In 2015 the investment to music is not necessarily an indication of its popularity.

Is Apple music then a better service than Spotify?
No.

At least based on the current information.

In terms of library they are in parity (30 million songs both, no Beatles in either of them). The main features Apple was talking about were nice-to-haves, but nothing that would immediately make people to switch. Beats 1 is essentially just a tradtional radio. Curation from tastemakers is something that sounds nice in powerpoint, but masses don´t really care. Same thing with Connect, music fandom is way more niche activity than non-committal music consumption on background.

Will people flood from Spotify to use Apple music?
Well, it depends.

If you are invested in Apple ecosystem and have been buying from iTunes music before, that is likely to happen. Over half of the Spotify users are also using iTunes. If you do not have that legacy, you are not likely to switch from Spotify unless Apple manages to bully its way with labels to worsen the current Spotify.

Why?
We are lazy.

Brands often mistake the laziness of users for loyalty. It is natural for people to try to avoid stressful situations and change (even how big or small) is always stressful.

It is hard to unlearn your habits, whether they are good or bad (especially the bad ones). It is also hard to learn new habits even how beneficial they would be to you. Therefore just making things easy-to-use is not enough for people to make a switch. They need incentives and motivation: the right balance of stick & carrot. People keep using hard-to-use methods (like pirating) because that is the way they have accustomed themselves and cost of learning something new feels too hard.

In many ways both Spotify and Apple will benefit from the laziness of their users.

Current Spotify paying users will not flood to Apple. Those who are using the free ad-fueled version are different target audience altogether, so Spotify will also be growing in terms of overall users. If you are Spotify free user and have not turned to paid version with Spotify, it is quite unlikely that you will start paying with Apple. On the other hand, testing the Apple Music will be just a click away and it works seamlessly with your iTunes library. So those people who have been postponing moving to streaming services and have still been paying for digital music downloads, don´t have that many excuses anymore.

And to answer the question posed on the title of this: no, I will not switch to Apple Music. On the other hand, majority of my investment in music still goes to vinyl records. Like said before, old habits die hard.

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Fight for Your Balls

fightforyourballs

Regular readers of my blog know my appreciation of lowbrow humor and brands who take piss out of everything.

That is why I am a strong supporter for the Norwegian underwear brand Comfyballs. Lately they have been fighting US patent office, because they cannot register their name because it is considered “vulgar”. The reason for that being:

In the context of the applicant’s goods… Comfyballs means only one thing – that a man’s testicles, or ‘balls,’ will be comfortable in the applicant’s undergarments.
The mark does not create a double entendre or other idiomatic expression.
When used in this way, the word, ‘balls’ has an offensive meaning.

I wish more brand, would be as clear as Comfyballs.

Their main product benefit is in their brand name. Double entendre would actually be more offensive, because you try to hide something. Comfyballs is truly honest brand and not hiding behind marketing jargon. When you wear them your balls will be comfortable, because their patented design PackageFront™ reduces heat transfer and restricting movement. There is not anything offensive of having comfortable underwear, on the contrary. Using badly designed underwear when jogging is a truly offense to your crown jewels.

Comfyballs has not just been scratching their balls, but also actually risen to a challenge and they are trying to get their name registered officially in US. They launched the site “Fight for Your Balls” and also created video to celebrate comfortable balls:
Comfyballs has not just scratched their balls, but also actually risen to a challenge and they are trying to get their name registered officially in US. They launched the site “Fight for Your Balls” and also created video to celebrate comfortable balls:

Legalize Comfyballs from Fantefilm on Vimeo.

Naturally the ad was banned in YouTube (those US hypocrites), but again more buzz for the brand. At least the visitors in the site seem to be in their favor.

immoralballs

There are things in the life you should fight for, your balls are one of them.

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Anatomy of An Insight: Rexona Social Experiment

I love doing work that is simple but insightful.

Too often we, as marketers, end up complicating things by weird marketing talk and creating irrelevant associations with our products that are not true. We just should try to be as authentic as possible and honest on what we do. Therefore the recent content series we have been doing with Rexona has been refreshing to do. It is all based on insight about the product and its need on our markets and nothing else.

This is the social experiment from Indonesia (don´t worry if your bahasa is a little bit rusty, you will get the idea):

Insight: People will not say to your face if you smell, but they talk about it behind your back.

The campaign is currently live in Indonesia and Brazil and has gained already over 1,5 million views.

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Asia is Driving Innovation

Unfortunately there is still almost colonial attitude towards emerging markets in the western countries (especially US and Europe). When dealing with people who are not living and working this region, the knowledge of the development and innovation happening in here is still quite modest. Everyone recognizes the business potential, but they think that it is just some void, which can be filled with western products.

They could not be more wrong.

Micromax is biggest phone manufacturer in India.

Xiaomi is the world´s third biggest phone manufacturer and China´s biggest.

Alibaba is worth more than Amazon and Ebay combined.

There are two prevalent myths, which are just wrong. Other is that all the Asian brands are just copying western brands and doing it cheaper. Other is that their whole success is based on the big local markets. These myths are not the whole picture:

1. Asian brands are not just cheap copycats.

Micromax has cheap phones that is true. They also have a solar powered phone. I think that is quite cool. Xiaomi admittedly copies Apple with pride, but it has also totally disrupted the way to sell the phones. Innovation takes different forms in the Asia that is certain, but identifying all the brands as either copycats or cost cutters is dangerous simplification. Price is a big issue in all the markets and many Asian tech innovations have been able to do things more cheaply which is appreciated also by western consumers.

2. They are not popular because they are local, but because they understand local consumer.

One of the main push for Line & WeChat for their popularity, was the addition of stickers. As the script language is slower to type with your mobile, the emojis on steroids enable you to communicate faster and convey more emotion. Facebook messenger has definitely taken some cues from WeChat and Line in its position. Flipkart & Alibaba have understood the delivery dynamics on their respective countries better than Amazon and therefore are now kicking Amazon´s ass.

No matter where you are, you should have eye on Asia. Not only because the region is growing, but also because the next big innovation is coming from (around) here.

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