Tag Archives: collaboration

Marriage of Finland´s Finest: Finlayson & Tom of Finland

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Tom of Finland is one of the most internationally well-known Finnish (hence the name) artists. He has not necessarily been that celebrated in Finland despite his international influence. Maybe it is because he specialized on quite niche art form. Tom of Finland was the most influential creator of gay pornographic images. I think it awesome that traditional Finnish textile manufacturer Finlayson has collaborated with Tom of Finland Foundation to bring some manly towels and other textile products to the people:

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Some bigots might oppose this collaboration. Let them. The main challenge for brands is not that they upset people, but that no one cares about them. Brands get shaky when there is backlash, but seldom the people protesting are even using the products. Great brands do not try to appeal to everyone, but have tightly defined target audience. Great marketing strategy is not about expanding too broad, but about excluding to those, who matter. In addition to the upcoming “Tom of Finland” product range, Finlayson has another strong partner with their Moomin products: another crown jewel from Finland.

Gay audien ce is a lucrative target group, so it makes perfect sense for small Finnish player like Finlayson to focus on it. Also it would be quite narrow to think that Tom of Finland appeals only to gay audience. His macho men are part of popular culture and something every Finn should be proud of. The reaction from my peer group was overtly positive for the collaboration (both straight & gay). There will be also upcoming movie about him, so there is definitely momentum for Finlayson to build on.

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Unfortunately in conjunction of release of “Tom of Finland”-products, the legal committee of Finnish parliament voted against same-sex marriage. That is a disgrace to Finland and keeps the country still firmly in Stone Age when it comes to equality. Finland is the only Nordic country without gender-neutral marriage. Shame on you, my beloved home country. Hopefully Finnish parliament will come to senses this autumn when they vote about it. Judging by the idiots voted there, I would not get my hopes too high.

To support international efforts of classic Finnish company, I definitely want to buy some of these new Finlayson products. I wonder does Finlayson ship to Singapore as well? And if it does, will the bed sheets able go through the customs in here?

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Anatomy of An Insight: Horse With Harden

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NBA season is starting soon and it will be super interesting.
Kobe and Derek Rose are back and Lebron is back in Cleveland.
From advertising perspective I have really enjoyed the James Harden & Foot Locker collaboration, which has resulted in many entertaining ads like “Short Memory”-series:

Charles Barkley is the greatest player ever and the most funniest commentator as well:

Pt.2 shows that sequels don´t ever work in Internet:

However, one of the more innovative campaigns was James Harden playing HORSE with Interwebs:

Insight: It is the age of YouTube celebrities. With enough time, you are able to do a trick shot that even the best NBA players cannot nail in one go. Opportunity to flex your special shot against James Harden is just too tempting.

It is always tricky for a brand to get people to engage to their competitions. When you can provide exposure and fame to the participant, the devoted fans will deliver. When you have people investing their time and putting their best effort to the campaign it will become interesting content for those who just want to consume the entertainment.

I have to say I like James Harden more as an advertising person than player, because this Beard Guru ad for NBA 2K15 is hilarious as well:

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Anatomy of An Insight: Oreo Separator Machine Series

I do not eat cookies.

But if I would eat them, they would definitely be Oreos. The 101 year old brand has been so on fire lately with their marketing activities. And their latest effort “Oreo Separator Machine” does not disappoint:

Product Insight: Oreo ads are great example of really simple but effective product insight. The product has two parts: crème & cookie. Those parts are so distinct frome each other that you are almost forced to select which part you like more. That difference can be polarizing as well and has been cause for endless arguments. Also the eating of the Oreo has own ritual for its users. The right one is of course this: Taking the top cookie off, eating it, licking the crème and finishing with the bottom cookie (mastered with Finnish Oreo knock-off Domino when I was child).
Majority of Oreo advertising has been about dramatizing either the interplay of its different parts or the ritual (typical example being this year´s super bowl ad for Oreo).

Creative leap: The great creatives in W+K combine couple of existing trends in these spots: D-I-Y tinkering (popularized by Mythbusters or Top Gear for autophiles) and Rube Goldberg Machine (Machines doing simple tasks in complicated ways. Lately popularized by Honda Cog, OK Go-This Too Shall Pass & Red Bull Athlete Machine).
These trends are combined with product insight and end-results are highly entertaining videos of how far people are going to separate the crème and the cookie:


Collaboration: These spots would not be so great, if the people doing separator machines would not be so entertaining. Nowadays doing great work is more and more about finding the new and surprising collaboration partners and giving them the brief and tools to do their own thing:


Continuum: In principle this series could last for quite long, as long as there are innovative collaborations and interest from the audience. Currently we are in fourth installment which ups the ante by involving robot butler Herb to the mix:


These ads are also refreshing, because they go against the old rule that you should not play with your brand if it is food. I think that if you get almost 4M views in YouTube for single product-centered video, the playing with food is not only allowed, but also highly recommended.

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