February 14 isn’t just a day for couples
to express their love for each other – the festival day for love is also a day
when brands vie for consumer love and attention! On the occasion of Valentine’s
Day, we pick out Cream Global’s hot five case studies where love is the
X-factor that helps a brand find the sweet spot with its consumers. Here they
This is going to be a bit of a rant, so in the immortal words of the IT Crowd, you better put seatbelts on your ears (or should that be your eyes? Never mind). In all the whirlwind excitement about the explosion of video content, a worrying truth has emerged. At the risk of sounding like a bit of a content snob, 'more' does not necessarily translate into 'better', and just because everyone talks about brands as the new content producers, it doesn't necessarily mean that they're all going to be any good at it.
The statistics for video consumption are dizzying. According to ComScore, by the end of 2011 the human race was watching 2 billion pieces of video a month. YouTube clocked up more than 1 trillion views across the whole of last year -which should be cause for celebration, except for the fact that a significant proportion of those 1 trillion views will be for total dross.
I'm not talking about the endless supply of cat videos, amateur pop promos, box opening videos, make-up tutorials, advert parodies or illegal film posts here. But aside from the low-quality pap produced by dillusional or fame-hungry members of the great filming public, brands also have to share some of the responsibility for clogging up the servers of the World with recurring examples of rubbish film making. 'More' often means 'more rubbish' and anyone with a camera phone thinks it's okay to call themselves a content producer, when they're not.
Isaiah Mustafa, the Old Spice man who inspired a generation of brand marketers
A man with a camera phone is just a man, and there's no such thing as a 'citizen cameraman'. Just because you have the ability to upload clips that you've tarted up on Windows Movie Maker for the rest of the world to see, doesn't turn you into Ridley Scott. By the same token, just because you're a brand marketer with a clever idea for a video, it doesn't mean you're going to reproduce the success of the Old Spice guy. Isaiah Mustafa, the man your man could smell like, has a lot to answer for.
So what am I complaining about? Poorly conceived work like this rubbish from Skoda, featuring none the World's most famous pop star that nobody remembers, Anastacia.
The joke connections that could be made between a Skoda and Anastacia are too obvious to be made here, but there partnership feels forced for the sake of the gag. How far did Skoda have to get down their list before they got to Anastacia? (Gap, for instance, was always better at this style of celeb-cameo TV ad).
Alternatively, take this example from Samsung. Now the motion controlled smart TV is an astonishing piece of kit – and it doesn't need to be introduced to the world by a modern day Carry On film, complete with comic sound effects and over-the-top soundtrack. Things take further nosedive when the clip features none other than the Old Spice man himself, complete with trademark white towel.
Advertising just got self-referential, but was it really necessary to rely on another brand's jokes?
But it isn't all bad. Fortunately, a video pops up every now and again that restores your faith in the video medium. Luxury brands have always been pretty good with video – although its arguable that this is only because they have the money to throw at big name directors and top drawer talent. This recent work from Prada is a typical example. It's polished, professional and to all intents and purposes, a short feature film.
But the truth is that the real innovation in brand video production takes place in the smaller brand space, where risk is more acceptable and the creative journey is shorter and more direct. ONLY, is a fashion brand in Denmark which managed to unite the idea of video, online shopping and user experience into an astonishing piece of work.
My gripe about sub-standard video content still stands, which is why it's important to jump and shout about the good bits. As an industry, advertising owes it to itself to raise its video game. It doesn't take much, just more creativity, more innovation and a greater propensity to be adventurous. I guess we'll just have to wait and see.
Public service films often fall into one of two types: the patronisingly inane, or the downright gruesome. (Apart from this work safety video from the 90s which is both ridiculous, hilarious and disgusting).
This latest video from Impact Teen Drivers aims to promote the idea that concentrating when driving is probably a good idea. To help get this point across to a modern teenage audience raised on the Saw movie franchise, ITD has opted for a 45-second horror scene featuring a distracted dentist and his lipstick-wearing male assistant.
The shock value is undeniable, nervous patients should probably look away. This would probably be a strong contender in the Content BRAVES awards...
As Charlie Brooker’s C4 mini-series ‘Black Mirror’ recently dramatised - we are a nation increasingly addicted to mobile devices. Just look up on any bus or train journey to see how many people are eyes down for mobile content.
Tv the second screen
Recent research from the annual Childwise survey suggests this is only going to increase as digital natives grow up. Its survey of 2,770 5-16 year olds shows that not only are there now fewer TV sets in children’s bedrooms, but also amongst gadget use, the biggest growth area is mobile internet. This increasingly reflects an ‘on-demand’ culture that wants immediate access to information as a running commentary to what they are doing / watching / interested in buying.
This suggests that traditional 2 screen strategy – which typically sees the TV as primary and mobile devices as secondary – may become outdated. Mobile devices are becoming increasingly primary, with TV as initial stimuli, or as a backdrop for mobile-led interactive experiences.
1. Linking broadcast media to opportunity to purchase in a couple of clicks 2. Consolidating and adding value to social feeds around sponsored video content 3. Using broadcast to deliver inspiring promotional marketing – e.g. take Olympics tickets from the TV 4. Delivering updated content in real time, as a reaction to live events 5. Gamifying broadcast content - with home viewers competing/voting in real time
The online apparel retailer in Russia, OTTO, have launched an interactive online campaign that creatively tackles the familiar crisis of having “Nothing to wear!” in an attempt to draw a younger audience.
The protagonist of the campaign is the problem itself, in the shape of a terrible, albeit charming and cute, monster called NOTHINGTOWEAR (МНЕНЕЧЕГОНАДЕТЬ in Russian).
The interactive mock-horror video, starring Anna Kornilova, gives the viewer a choice between two options, such as (OPEN CLOSET) (DO NOT OPEN) and later (CALL BOYFRIEND) (CALL GIRLFRIENDS), allowing the viewer to dictate the plot of the story. Finally, it leads to OTTO's competition website encouraging the audience to participate with their own videos and photos of handling the monster.
A couple of months ago, a guy called Andrew Missingham got in touch with Bigballs (we’re a London based production company) - he was in the process of pulling together a new festival on London’s Southbank called Vision Sound Music that celebrates the new ways that music, advertising and games are coming together.
Whoever is behind this campaign clearly does not have the wrong job...!
I recently stumbled upon a blog post showcasing this amazingly creative OOH campaign for the German job site: Jobsintown.de. This is undoubtedly one of the most imaginative campaigns I've come across. I'll definitely be thinking twice next time I go through airport security!
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.