Right Brain, Left Brain Blog

67 posts categorized "product launch"

19 January 2012

Campaign of the week: Newsletter out now

Catch up with the best of Cream by subscribing to our weekly newsletter. This week's 'Campaign of the week' is the digital graphic novel from Axe, promoting its new fragrance 'Anarchy'. 

Axe anarchy 2

Wether or not Axe is onto a good thing by launching a fragrance line for both men and women remains to be seen. Spurred on by the number of female Facebook fans on its brand page, Unilever have apparently decided that the world is ready for the scent of 'Anarchy'.

See the full case study here with details of how Axe has turned to its fanbase to inspire this online graphic novel project.

Get full, instant access to Cream's pool of case study studies with a free trial here. 


29 September 2011

The roots of Nordic creativity

Cream dissects the roots of creativity in the Nordics and showcases some of the cleverest media campaigns that have hit the right note with their target audience.

Playtype_01_pressThe Playtype concept store in Copenhagen, a pop-up shop selling fonts from brand consultancy e-Types

Modern Nordic aesthetics are an amalgamation of Danish neo-classicism, Finnish craftsmanship, Norwegian folk art and the Swedish social approach to design. The result is a cool, blonde, refined look. Compared to other cultural centres in modern Europe, urbanisation and industrialisation came relatively late to the Nordics. This meant that values from a more agrarian culture were transferred directly into the new industrial setting, translating into an aesthetic movement rooted in a social setting.

Art and design had a responsibility to help create a world that was clean and functional. Influences of the British arts and craft movement found particular resonance in Sweden, and the style we today recognise as Nordic is easily identifiable. So much is design a part of the region's consciousness, that it is even possible to visit a font shop (pictured) in Copenhagen, run by a local brand consultancy. 

This design ethic is mirrored in the region’s media. A largely moderate political climate with social democratic leanings has created a culture of cooperation between individuals, which has enabled creative media industries to thrive. 

Sweden, in particular, has secured its place in the industry as a hub for digital excellence, with the work of Hyper Island, Prime and Perfect Fools winning plaudits and accolades at a global level. Sweden secured seven out of 80 Cyber Lions at this year’s Cannes festival, accounting for nearly 10% of the category. But digital excellence in one market hasn’t eclipsed the innovation and popularity of more traditional media channels. As recently as 2010, a newspaper-based campaign in Norway walked off with the ‘Award for Media Bravery’ at the Festival of Media Awards in Valencia. Print media enjoys a relatively healthy existence in the Nordics, particularly in Finland, which ranks third in the world for newspaper consumption with 31 seven-day dailies in circulation. At the first signs of contraction in the channel, Finnish print media has been quick to respond, launching campaigns to gently remind Finns that reading is a national pastime.

Karkimedia Finland

Subtle nuances make it difficult to generalise about the creative characteristics of a region, but there is a phrase on 358 Helsinki agency’s website that neatly sums up the creative pragmatism that is  present throughout Nordic media: “When Finnish old folks see something that’s good for someone they say, “that’s good advertising... Idea one: Anything that helps people like a company more is an ad”.


A quick tour of Nordic creativity

Norway: Heartbreaker (Starcom)

Norway Heartbreaker

Since the birth of services like Napster, the traditional business model of phased single and album releases has died a slow death. Kaizers Orchestra decided, therefore, to shun CD, mp3 and vinyl formats and release its new single, Hjerteknuser, on paper. Before the song was heard was anywhere on the radio, the band made the sheet music available on posters,  forums and torrent download sites. The only way to hear it was to play it yourself. Fans started posting their covers in different styles and genres. As word spread, the band became a popular topic for bloggers on twitter and in the press.

Sweden: Chocography (Prime)

Sweden Chocography

To learn where Marabou chocolates fitted the values and interests of Swedish consumers, the brand conducted a survey which identified a number of different ‘chocolate profiles’. The results revealed some chocolate truths; Fruit & Almond was the perfect gift for cultural city women, while a woman with a shoe fetish would love a Swiss Almond. The idea of ‘chocography’ was seeded among the blog community. TV, online and in-store advertising directed fans to the campaign site, which shared functionality with social networks.

Denmark: Extra summer (PHD)

Denmark Somersby

Danish summers are very short and the winter dark. The 2009/2010 was the longest in 14 years and by February the Danes were craving light.By changing to daylight saving time (summer time) on 21 March instead of 28 March, Somersby could deliver an extra week of summer time to Denmark.From a pop-up campaign office in Copenhagen, it led the national rally for an extra week of summer, kick-started by a TV commercial introducing the ‘mission’ and running across multiple platforms to spur group involvement.

Finland: Burn (Helsinki 358)

Finland Burn

When the Cancer Society of Finland wanted to communicate its non-smoking message to teenagers, it knew that talking to this audience required subtlety. So Cancer Society tapped into the teenage obsession with celebrity. The result was Burn, a magazine emulating popular lifestyle magazines, with celebrity gossip, showbiz news and light-hearted features. The difference in Burn was that all the content was related to smoking issues. Response has been positive. Initially intended as a one-off project, interest in the title has seen a steady increase and issue four is now due to be published. 

17 August 2011

Why fish fingers are made of fish


What do you do when the key attributes of your product are, shall we say, less than palatable but you still need to launch a marketing campaign? The answer, try out a bit of reverse-existentialist marketing!

Continue reading "Why fish fingers are made of fish" »

01 August 2011

Beer on ice

When Magners cider in the UK launched its 'over ice' marketing campaign a couple of years ago, a skeptical public scoffed at the idea of drinking cider out of a pint glass filled with ice. But the marketing won out, and before long it was considered strange if you didn't drink cider on ice. 

It's worth remembering this story before pasing judgement on this latest product innovation from Japan. Super-cold beer is a product category in itself. Rival brand Asahi opened a bar specialising in ice cold beer, chilled to within a few degrees of freezing. 

Kirin has taken this a stage further with the launch of a new beer designed to be served over ice. This affront to decent lager drinkers everywhere is called 'Ice + Beer'. (Not perhaps the strongest brand name in the world, but I suppose it gets the point across.)


29 March 2011

Cross-culture thinking


[Extract from "Cross-culture thinking", in which Brian Elliott, CEO of Amsterdam Worldwide discusses cultural intelligence, and how brands should go global, and fast!]

"Cultural Intelligence: About 10 years ago we gave advice to a small outsider in the mobile handset market about how to launch their product in Europe.  Its devices were supremely useful and did one thing exceptionally well: Secure e-mail access anywhere.  The device looked like a pager and was designed to clip on to your belt. Recognise it yet? The Blackberry by Research-in-Motion. And at that time no self-respecting European executive would be seen with it.  It turns out that in the home of the Savile Row bespoke suit or Italian fashion - the look of a mobile phone matters as much as a power suit or a watch. Even to investment bankers. So we took the team on a cultural journey through the design capitals of Europe, and played a modest role in influencing the future design journey of the Blackberry. Cultural intelligence matters. Awareness of global design trends matters."

Today brands can be as global as they choose to be. Fast.  Yet even a brand like Facebook has been slow to maximise its global footprint. Competing brands in markets as diverse as Russia, The Netherlands, and China, have stolen a march on the master of the social media universe, and they now hold the leadership positions. No mean feat considering the stakes. Fast followers have been present in fashion for ages, yet technology and social media fast followers can do great damage to the international hopes of innovators.

Read the rest of Brian Elliott's article here. 


16 March 2011

Could Murdoch's iPad Daily cut it in the UK?

Rupert Murdoch

In the light of news that Murdoch's iPad only newspaper - the Daily - is coming to Europe, guest Cream blogger Rebecca Ironside ponders the question: Will it work?

There’s a fundamental dichotomy at the heart of Murdoch’s new US iPad ‘newspaper’ launch, The Daily.

It’s being branded as a ‘unique’ media venture. Unique is right – it’s a once-daily (hence the name) updated iPad app that tries to feel like a newspaper, and it’s only available in the US at the moment. All content is paywalled, sharing isn’t easy, and only in ‘certain circumstances’ will any story be updated.

Not sharable, not readable by anyone without an iPad, and not updated. It’s like the iPad had been invented in 1995. ‘Unique’ is right – I can’t see why any other newspaper publisher, where fast, new online content is the main point of competition, would ever bring out something like this.

A newspaper is now a compendium of analyses, with some breaking news. It’s disposable and cheap – you can pick it up on a whim, and leave it behind for someone else, or give the sports section to your colleague. But an iPad? It’s expensive and cumbersome, however desirable. But the main point of an iPad is that it is always connected, always up to date. When you read a story on your iPad, you don’t expect it to be anything up to 23 hours and 59 minutes old, however you access it.

It’s not that the Daily doesn’t have strengths. By all accounts, the navigation is lovely – it is laid out in a way that will be familiar to newspaper readers. The images and graphs are also lovely. But the slickness and whizz-bangery shouldn’t obscure the news.

The Guardian iPhone app combines both the analyses from the paper with the up-to-the minute stories that news junkies love. It’s a format that works hugely well.

The type of person who might regularly read a news app on their iPad is just that – a news junkie. Once a day updates, however pretty the infographics (something the Daily claims is a particular strength) just won’t cut it.

So could the Daily ever work in the UK? The model relies on huge numbers of users, so it’s something that sounds like it will be at least trying to do so. But I just don’t see how it can compete on its fundamental purpose of delivering news. And as any journalist will tell you: if it isn’t new, it isn’t news.

Rebecca Ironside is director, qualitative, at market research agency SPA Future Thinking.

06 January 2011

Too many games, micro-herds and second incomes for agencies

Robin Jaffray, strategic planning director at Inferno, shares his thoughts and predictions for 2011.

So long, Google

The importance of recommendations from close friends and others with similar interests will increase as social networks grow and integrate with websites (think Facebook Connect), all fuelling the slow decline of Search that has already started in 2010. Despite the launch of GoogleMe (bringing together everything... Mobile, Internet, Search, Social Networking, Email, Pictures, Video, Calendars, Documents, Files, your OS) they won't stop Facebook. These slightly desperate throws of the dice are reminiscent of Wilkinson Sword adding more blades to razors. It's not about more stuff. It's simply social everything.


We might still follow our friends, peers and celebs making herd-like decisions but we need to feel different too. The Herd isn't dead. It's just getting smaller. And those micro-niches are going mainstream. When everyone's on Facebook and you're friends with everyone on there, where's the real connection? Where's the real you in it? Huge networks are reaching saturation and a tipping point, so they will start to fragment into smaller, more manageable units (still interconnected between themselves) eg. The Rules of Relationships - (normal) people can only have 7 'true' friends, 150 acquaintances, etc.  Don't buy an iPhone 4 just because everyone else has one (and because they don't work) - buy a John's Phone. Join Path (the anti-social network) not Facebook.

Must. Resist. The. Gameification. Of. Everything.

Points mean prizes. Promotional marketing campaigns turn into games. The curse and legacy of Foursquare is badges for bloody everything. Consumer behaviour becomes trivialised to the point where we feel happy for 'winning' Clubcard points rather than earning them. God help us. Just say no. Brands will need to choose between really getting to grips with game theory (some agencies are even creating positions for Chief Gaming Officers) and using this expertise to create genuinely amazing experiences or not at all. If not, they risk being ignored or worse, a backlash against this seeming trivialisation of consumer engagement and data.

Agencies make second income streams with in-house clients

From making apps to making new products, agencies get involved in the creation of new businesses and new IP. At last they put their money where their mouth is. They bring emergent concepts inside the agency and develop them as an internal client. Lower cost of distribution and easier access to the market makes it more appealing than going through existing client structures. Planners have to start engaging with objects and production rather than briefs and concepts.

For the full article and more or Robin's predictions click here


05 January 2011

Using your iPhone while driving your BMW

A common complaint of BMW Series 1 coupé drivers is the inability to operate their iPhone while bombing about town looking flash.

Fortunately this irksome problem has been solved (like most problems appear to be solved these days) by the creation of an app. This handy little device allows you to plug in your handset, stash it away in a discreet compartment in the arm rest, and operate it using controls and a computer screen on the car’s dashboard.

Quite what safety issues are raised by sports car drivers fiddling with their iPhones whilst driving are another matter of course...


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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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