2016 has been a funny old year for retail. Second only to house prices as the barometer of economic stability, the ups and downs of the high street have never been far from the headlines. As we all (or possibly only those that work in marketing) await the arrival of the Christmas ads, it’s never been as important to ensure that what is promised on screen, is delivered in store.
We have all become very used to the Christmas ads that that dial up our emotional response. In more recent years retailers have partnered with charities, in some part to salve the prickly collective conscience about mass consumption. It’s a strategy which so far has worked well. It delivers financially for the retailers (Rachel Swift of John Lewis, speaking at Effectiveness Week last week, said that the ROI delivered by their Christmas ad overshadows all other campaigns in terms of sales, let alone brand value); it helps remind us that Christmas above all else is a time for humanity and compassion. And a handful of charities get a much needed boost to their fundraising. But will emotional response be enough this year?
Read more of Jo's blog on The Drum, here
This week, hashtags got me thinking.
Whilst having a look through the entries from Cannes Lions 2016, I was delighted to see a campaign that used hashtags for good; a campaign that got people talking about something extremely important, but that also turned a hashtag into a solution to a huge problem.
I’m really not one for using hashtags on my personal social media accounts; usually the furthest I go is either using #nofilter when I clearly have (oh the irony) or when I genuinely haven’t. It just seems that hashtags are mainly used because a brand felt they needed one, or because people want more followers. Which, you know, is fine – but it’s all very egotistical.
McCann Lima’s campaign ‘Hashtags for Life’ for the Peruvian Red Cross aimed to solve one problem; in Peru there is a population of over 30,000,000, but there was only a database of 1,250 voluntary blood donors. So, they developed a dynamic platform for the Red Cross which categorised all volunteers by blood type. All people needed to do was hashtag their blood type followed by ‘Peru’, e.g. #OPOSITIVEPERU. The result? 22,983 new volunteers. Which is why it was shortlisted for the Grand Prix for Good award.
This is a great example of how social cause campaigns are achieving great success by using social platforms to elevate their messages, and turn talking into action. For further thoughts on social causes and platforms and how they come together to form outstanding results, see Jo’s article on The Drum, here:
I’m excited this week by discovering that I can eat delicious food at the Bombay café chain, Dishoom, and in return they feed a child in need through the NGO, Akshaya Patra Foundation. This is marvellous, it means that I can feed myself and my conscience – a combination that makes for very good digestion. This is not new, cause-related marketing (specifically the idea that part of what a customer pays, is gifted on to a charity), it is tried and tested. What is new, however, is the way in which an increasing number of consumers, are actively making choices based on whether a brand does this kind of thing.
It’s no longer niche for brands to have a purpose, and there are many ways in which they can share that purpose and invite others to join them. But whether it is donating money; expertise; product; innovating to reduce impact; emissions; campaigning or lobbying; or simply changing their product range to ensure it has a positive impact, the way in which it is communicated is vitally important.
Doing too little and saying too much and a brand will get found out – but conversely doing plenty and not talking about it has its pitfalls too. Consumers want to know what brands are doing, in this climate, keeping 'schtum' doesn’t come off as sincere, it comes off as secretive. Furthermore, it is only by brands talking about their higher order purpose and what they are doing to deliver on that purpose, that others will feel the pressure to up their game too.
Unilever are widely quoted on this topic, and rightly so, because they are making great strides, particularly in the area on sustainability. In my view, one of the things that makes them stand out is their desire to help others change too. They famously make their packaging innovations open source so that other manufacturers and the world can benefit too.
The power shift in which we are seeing consumers being more demanding about the brands they patronise is happening right now. There is an imperative for brands to make considered, but expedient choices. But what about the future, and the new range of ethical challenges we will have to face? Hamish Pringle looks at one of the most controversial in this month’s article for The Drum – The Fourth Industrial Revolution.
It’s that happy time of year again and what makes an agency like 23red even happier is coming up with a Christmas card which gets people to do something!
Colouring books have been one of the publishing sensations of 2015 and to create our Christmas card we’ve taken that idea, blended it with our love of the colour red, and stirred in our loyalty to the number 23. Colouring in gave us all a warm feeling about Christmas and a reminder of all the little things that add up to a wonderful time of year for family and friends. It’s a good example of Do.Feel.Think. in action.
The creation of our card was a collaborative effort, combining many different talents and thinking styles. To read more about ‘Diagonal Thinking’, click here to read Hamish Pringle’s latest article for The Drum.
We Made This
'Christmas is here. Make it magical' is the message 23red are bringing to life in this year's Christmas advertising campaign for Bluewater.
The creative idea encourages people to leave their world-weary adult selves behind, see Christmas once more through the eyes of a child and be excited and inspired as they experience the magic of Bluewater.
A wide-eyed 6-year-old girl is the star of the show, along with a CGI incarnation of one of Bluewater's iconic illuminated reindeer, which signify Christmas for thousands of visitors over the Christmas period.
The campaign breaks mid November and runs across TV, press, digital, out of home, point of sale and various in-mall media touch points.
To find out more about why retailers have to work harder for their customers this Christmas visit Hamish Pringle's latest article on The Drum.
To celebrate the start of Rugby World Cup 2015, 23red rose to The Drum’s challenge to create a ‘World Cup Ambush Marketing Stunt Idea’ for unofficial sponsors. Our chosen brand was Foster’s. Obviously it’s a good fit with the sport and the target audience. But more importantly we could see a way to create an engaging brand platform which would add value to fans’ enjoyment of the rugby tournament and create an opportunity to activate the ‘Good Call’ campaign.
Visitors to Twickenham have been able to access Reflink technology via a dedicated device bought from kiosks on match day. Reflink lets you to listen in to the referee’s microphone and hear the reasons for his decisions, thus putting you virtually on the pitch. In February O2 launched an app which opens the Reflink service to those watching at home.
So our idea is to hand out a Foster’s alternative called ROFLink. (Roll On the Floor Laughing) to rugby fans before they enter the stadium. This way Foster’s gets to talk to fans directly during the game on its very own pirate broadcast channel hosted by the hugely popular Brad and Dan, Foster’s agony uncles. Broadcast from a bedroom in a semi near the stadium, Brad and Dan would provide an alternative Reflink commentary. It would be irreverent, partisan and very funny. A suitable swansong to the celebrated ‘Good Call’ campaign.
Click here for Hamish Pringle’s latest article for The Drum on how to make the most of a sponsorship.
This Christmas, spare a thought for the retailers
Disability in advertising shouldn’t be something we only see once every four years
Can a hashtag save a life?
See the power of blood donation
How behavioural theory and social media influenced Public Health England’s ‘One You’
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