Right Brain, Left Brain Blog

25 June 2016

The hot topics dominating Cannes Lions 2016

The yearly arrival of Cannes Lions is hard to miss. La Croisette transforms into a Silicon Valley outpost with super-sized ad tech yachts lining the French Riviera – perfectly demonstrated by Terence Kawaja’s Cannes 2016 yacht LUMAscape – and rosé consumption skyrockets.

This week, when they weren’t battling with Wi-Fi issues or pausing to Snapchat, the world’s leading advertising and tech experts were discussing the trends tipped to transform the industry in the next 12 months.

So which topics stood out? Here are four key takeaways:

‘Bad’ advertising is dead

Ad blocking was everywhere — discussed by everyone from Piers Morgan to Iggy Pop. But this year we moved from simply talking about the problem to looking at solutions, and it seems the industry is determined to stop the technology arms race of blocking software and anti-blockers by eradicating bad ads.

Discussions cited one of the chief causes of consumer dissatisfaction as the growing volume of irrelevant and intrusive ads, and emphasised the importance of delivering quality. It was almost universally acknowledged that targeted ads can evoke positive responses, but only if the industry raises its game.

Attendees agreed that marketing must be focused on adding value to the user’s digital experience, with suggestions to improve relevance including the use of mobile location data to build a complete picture of individuals and ensure marketing messages can be adapted to them in real-time.

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20 June 2016

The brands went in two by two… hurrah! hurrah!

From Laurel and Hardy to Batman and Robin, Lennon and McCartney to Wallace and Gromit; sometimes two heads are just better than one. We’ve grown up in an era where collaboration has made for some of the world’s greatest art - be that through comedy, film, music and TV.

If you transfer that knowledge into a retail environment, strategic brand partnerships can be a highly effective way to create stand out and achieve key business and sales goals for both parties involved. The power of co-branding allows you to combine the best elements that two brands have to offer and presents a unique opportunity to expand customer bases. There’s also the obvious Coca cola opi cost-saving advantage.

The most successful cross-brand promotions must present clear synergies, be relevant and complementary. Brands that share the same potential audience or audience mindset can work really well together. Take Coca-Cola and O.P.I teaming up to create a line of nail lacquers inspired by a range of Coca-Cola’s most popular drinks (Diet Coke, Coke Zero, Sprite, Fanta etc). The overarching idea linked to both brands ‘delivering happiness in a bottle’. Both have a core teen target audience so working together gave them a fresh and exciting way
to engage with this demographic. A definite win win for both. 

With any cross-brand promotional activity, the trick is to offer a unique experience to customers, something they wouldn’t ordinarily be accustomed to. In a retail environment, supporting the activity with large visual POS materials and in-store merchandising can be an eye-catching way to draw people in with compelling promotional offers.

Mondelez is a great example of a confectionery brand leading the charge in this area, most recently bringing together two of its most powerful brands – Cadbury Dairy Milk and Daim pieces – following the success of its Milka Oreo bars. Why did it work so well? Existing awareness of both individual brands enhanced the likelihood of trial and combining the two flavours offered consumers the chance to experience something new and exciting.

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17 June 2016

Brands are becoming like people… but unfortunately the kind we hate

Sense

At some point in your life you’ve probably heard something along the lines of “if companies were people, they’d be psychopaths”. This always used to strike me as a touch unfair, as obviously this is a classic case of comparing apples with oranges. However, unfair or not, this perception has been confirmed by a recent piece of research* into opinions on brand behaviour held by 2,000 members of the British public.

What doesn’t help is that the apples have started to behave like the oranges, as in recent years brands have increasingly encroached into what might be seen as “human” space. An obvious example would be their prevalence on social channels, which were designed to bring people (not brands) together, and thus has seen many of them attempt to employ friendly and personal behaviour to fit in with their new surroundings. This “matey” approach has filtered through into wider advertising in the shape of “tone of voice” and “brand personality”, and when combined with a constant thirst for “engagement” (rather than simply awareness and comprehension) has left our relationships with brands far more “intimate” than in the old days of one-way ad spots.

The catch for brands in this new paradigm is that if you want to play by human rules, you’re going to be held up to human standards, and this is where things become tricky for them.

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14 June 2016

The dark side of content marketing

Blog 1I recently came across a post on Facebook that was generating a lot of traction. No wonder – it linked to a story revealing a way to beat online casinos.

The rich narrative explained how Rob Lawrence, 28, was spilling the beans about his money-making strategy “to piss off the online casinos who shut his accounts”. He’d been told about the lucrative system from an uncle, a former casino employee now serving time in prison.

The first thing that raised alarm bells was the use of links in the explanation of how the scheme worked. You won’t find this in the original ‘Evening Mail’ story above because the strategy page it linked to has been removed, but you will find it in this other version of the campaign posing as a blog – there are several across the web.

Under ‘Step1 – Where to play’ it says: “The casino that let me get away with the most was Bwin – you’ve probably seen them advertised on the footy.” The word ‘Bwin’ was hyperlinked, which struck me as odd, but I carried on reading – I was curious to discover how the casinos could be beaten.

The game was roulette, and the advice was to pick a “rare event”, such as five of the same colour coming up on consecutive spins – the probability of which is 2.78% (on a roulette table with a single ‘0’). Once this happens, the recommendation was to bet on the opposite colour. So after five blacks in a row, you should then bet on red – and vice versa.

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10 June 2016

Innovative Ad of the Week: Bombay Sapphire ‘Free the Spirit’ (Germany)

Bombay 1

BBDO Düsseldorf has put the spotlight on Bombay Sapphire with the world’s first holographic message in a bottle – a new innovation that lets the Spirit speak for itself.

With more and more gin brands entering the market, it’s getting harder for brands to stay visible and stay on top of barkeepers’ minds, said the agency. As such, it has cast the spotlight on the Bombay Sapphire to engage the gatekeepers to its consumers – the barkeepers – with a limited edition pack that carries a holographic message in a bottle.

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31 May 2016

Why brands should make participation the ultimate goal

If brands struggle with one thing in the audience engagement stakes, it’s getting people actively involved. They can develop highly creative and striking cross-channel ad campaigns, target consumers through social media and mobile, entice them with offers, boost customer experience both online and offline, and more, but arguably more valuable than all of this is driving a direct action – getting people to participate. To do this, brands need to push the boundaries of marketing a little further.

Lego is great at this. It’s Yoda Chronicles offers short tales from the legendary sci-fi story told through animated Lego figures via YouTube. It provides a safe way of presenting to kids what could otherwise be violent stories, is a wonderful soft sell for the Stars Wars Lego range, but more importantly it’s a very clever way to reinforce the world of Lego via social media using content, which is far more engaging and effective than simply advertising its toy range. What’s more, it has proved so engaging that some consumers have been creating their own Lego animations – and we all know that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Essentially, this provides a great way of participating in Lego outside of the traditional brick building, while reinforcing this core proposition.

Lego

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27 May 2016

OOH Ad of the Week: Naked Juice 'Pollution-eating giant poster' (UK)

Naked Juice and blowUP media have teamed up to install a ground-breaking  pollution-eating Giant Poster in the heart of London, promoting Naked’s healthy juices to millennials in an environmentally healthy way. 

The ad showcases not only one of its fruit smoothies but at the same time how it is doing good to clean-up the air pollution surrounding the poster. The ad was treated with PURETi, a photocatalyst that reacts with natural UV light to eat pollution, which not only enables the poster to clean the air around it but also keeps it cleaner. 

The campaign was planned and bought by OMD UK and specialist agency Talon.  

Check out the ad in situ below:

Naked

23 May 2016

Native advertising is dead, long live native content

In a consumer world that craves personalisation and hates the sell, native should have been brands’ golden ticket to engagement and loyalty, by delivering key branded insight to consumers of online media to complement editorial.

In a highly competitive online media world dominated by clutter and intrusive advertising that’s driving away readers, native should have been publishers’ route to readability and working with brands not simply to increase revenues, but also to add value to the consumer experience through co-creating relevant content.

So what went wrong?

The answer is content.

The most important part of the native equation was neglected by brands, agencies and publishers.

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  • Right Brain, Left Brain sums up the dichotomy of a media business that’s constantly battling with the challenge of delivering a profit and discovering new ways to communicate to consumers. The Cream editorial team combined with a dream team of industry pioneers from around the world share their expert opinions.

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