Topical jokes are always a risky area of humour. Chances are you are always going to upset someone in your audience. There was a minor furore in France last week with the publication of an advertisement for Courrier International, which suggested that the 9/11 attacks on the Twin Towers in 2001 could have been avoided, had the towers been lower in height.
The punchline is the message: "Learn to anticipate".
Funny? Well technically yes, as a joke it works. As a subject matter, the event is probably too recent in the public consciousness. Had the same joke been applied to the Titanic or the Hindenberg, the poster would probably have passed without comment.
Brand heritage is very much a double edged sword. Some brands make succeed because they're able to leverage a rich and illustrious history, while others are quick to shed an outdated image in an attempt to remain relevant to the modern consumer.
The dilemma facing brands is that their customers age, while the brand doesn't. It remains fixed, not only in time but in the memories of its consumers. In the first of a series of articles in which Cream examines the life cycle of a brand, Robin Lauffer from The Bank offers her views on the value of providence.
Sometimes of course, brands need to move with the times, and while they don't necessarily need to act their age, they do need to age their act - or at least their marketing messages. Read Robin's full article here.
Someone drowning in a cesspool, reaching out to grab the palm fronds of safety? No. This is Brazil's attempt at showing how the 2014 Fifa World Cup will unite the country, and help the environment, apparently.
Whatever the case, it's pretty bad and Brazilians are in uproar.
“It’s poorly done, unfinished, the curves are not well drawn, the hands are distorted and it’s childish,” was the damning indictment of João de Souza Leite, a leading figure in the Brazilian Association of Graphic Designers.
But then, I guess, if someone had leaked this four years ago, it may have received the same reaction.
Social media brand management requires careful consideration, regardless of whether your brand is a product or a person. DJ and musician Ben Watt talks about his use of Twitter to engage with this fan base with Hamish Thompson, MD of Twelve Thirty Eight PR.
HT: How and when do you use it?
BW: I tend to use it for two things. One is cheap online marketing for the independent labels I run - I use it to try and draw attention to a few things we are up to, breaking news, highlighting new URLs to visit. The other use belongs to my belief that we all need to be able to say, 'I feel this, do you?' and find corroboration and support in the things that take up the hours of everyday life.
HT: What do you think of it – and do you think it will endure? BW: I like its apparent impermanence. It is like opening the pub door, hearing a conversation, joining in for a bit, then leaving. It is very fast-moving. I think that will be its one saving grace. Little is written in stone. Shooting from the hip is commonplace. It can be witty, instant, topical, but people also cherish the well-turned tweet. And when you least expect it something truthful and pithy gets said that can then stay with you for days. It can be both nimble and weighty. That will keep it going for a while yet I think.
Pepsi made a big statement this year when it pulled its $20 million Super Bowl ad and invested the money in a socially responsible community project.
These days brands are taking CSR off their corporate website and into their brand communications in a bid to chase the green/social pound.
Gone are the days of green-washing, these days green-blushing is the problem to overcome: companies that are doing loads of projects that help communities and the environment but are too afraid to shout about it.
Cream has examined the most innovative examples of how brands have incorporated CSR into their brand communications in a new in-depth Insight Report entitled 'Planet versus Profit: The CSR Dilemma'.
A four-million-dollar tourism campaign and that's it. A beach-side barbecue and a boy sitting up a tree with some Kookaburras. All singing along to the soundtrack of Carry On Up the Outback.
Writer for The Guardian Judith Ireland sums it up well, 'It successfully ignores our 40,000-year-old indigenous history, capital cities, culturally diverse people and cuisine, world-class wine, kick-ass art and music and natural beauty away from the coast and outback.'
0:26 of this film has probably destroyed any chance of anyone returning to Australia, ever.
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.