What the bloody L is going on ‘ere? Letters seem to be disappearing from signs and shop fronts across the UK this week but before we start dialling the “sign police”, it turns out it’s just the workings of a new campaign from NHS Blood and Transplant desperately urging people to donate blood.
Iconic locations, brands and shops – including the Prime Minister’s residence on D_wning Street, round the corner from that book store W_terst_nes where we like to go and sit and eat a bar of Green & _l_cks chocolate – are removing the letters ‘A’, ‘O’ and ‘B’ in support of National Blood Week.
People are also been urged to join in on the blood donation effort by removing any of those letters from their names and posts on social media – all driven by the hashtag #missingtype. Additional PR activity is taking place across TV, radio, print and digital media. The campaign was created in collaboration with Engine and Twenty Six Digital.
If you want to market successfully to the current crop of 18 to 34-year-old Generation Y-ers – those all-important millennials - then content is king, but not just any content. As digital natives, who know their way around the internet and social media blindfolded, millennials don’t need or want brands to point them in a particular direction, they go exactly where they please. But give them the content they want, where they want it and they’ll show their love.
A recent survey of 100 millennial New Yorkers found that 81% had iPhones (not really surprising), 80% preferred reading books in print (quite surprising), while their most popular clothes outlet was a thrift store [to us Brits - a charity shop]. Instagram (73%) and Snapchat (56%) topped the social network popularity chart, with Twitter (44%), LinkedIn (39%) and Tumblr (31%) making up the top five.
If brands want to reach millennials they need to stop worrying about ‘having a presence on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram’ and start thinking about the types of conversation they want their brand to be part of at any given time, and then think about which influencer could best anchor that conversation.
Millennials are undoubtedly seeking engaging content and added value from brands, as revealed by the first Cassandra Report. It found that millennials are omnicultural, and want brands to tell great stories that are consistent across borders. They want to be treated as individuals, with brands tapping into their passions – not as a homogenous age group or nationality.
Here’s a sobering thought: in the next few years, Generation Z – those born around the year 2000 – will be hitting their upper teens, entering their 20s and then embarking upon their careers. The challenge for businesses is finding a way to market to this new generation – a generation who interact with society very differently to their predecessors.
To give that some context, 81% of Generation Z use some kind of social media and have been broadly dubbed ‘Screenagers’ because they have grown up with the internet a constant presence in their lives. But the obvious routes may not necessarily be the most effective: 25% left Facebook in 2014; clearly, informed and lateral thinking is needed.
So, how can businesses reach out to individuals with an attention span of just eight seconds? The infographic below is packed with useful advice and tips…
"We crashed and broke Twitter. We have made history." - Ellen Degeneres, March 2014
Millennials are called the “selfie-generation.” It might seem like a dis, but smart publishers know that it’s actually a good thing. It means millennials are self-aware, selective and smart. When we take a selfie, it becomes part of our personal brand online—the brand image that defines who we are, what we like and what we stand for. While members of previous generations would rather floss than see themselves in a video, we post selfies to Instagram and Vine constantly. We’re not afraid to put ourselves out there—and you shouldn’t be either. If you look a bit closer at the selfie generation, and take some cues from our quirkiness and self-deprecating wit, you might just let a few of us off the hook.
Millennials are almost 75 million strong in the U.S. alone, and we spend $170 billion each year. But you’ve likely heard that we reject traditional advertising and instead prefer to create relationships with brands. Why? Because we’re wary of marketing, in general, but we’re not willing to give up the goods we need to make our lives run smoothly.
All of the brands we consume have to be “lifestyle” brands because consumption, for us, informs lifestyle. Part of our lifestyle is supporting and helping our communities. Part of our lifestyle is finding adventure and trying new things every day. And perhaps the largest part of our lifestyle is being connected to everything and everyone all the time. Those values have to be a big part of the brands we support, as well.
Millennials love to be loyal. We crave connections, relationships and mutual honesty. That’s why we love user reviews and online feedback loops. We love to tweet at a brand and have the brand tweet back, because we know that there’s someone writing that tweet, someone who cares and wants to keep us as a customer. When a brand seems to care about the needs and desires of its customers, we appreciate the concern.
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.
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.