Jake

Junior Creative at Now Screen.

Oddspedia Mx » Resultados En Palpitante, Pronósticos, Momios Con Apuestas

Oddspedia Mx » Resultados En Palpitante, Pronósticos, Momios Con Apuestas

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Ставки На Спорт » Сравнение Коэффициентов Букмекерских Конто

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Theright.fit breakfast: talking collaboration, creativity & cut-through.

Theright.fit breakfast: talking collaboration, creativity & cut-through.

Now Screen attended theright.fit breakfast on November 14th.

Last Tuesday morning, The Butler played host to a fricassee (I’ve chosen my own collective noun) of trendy, mostly-millennial advertising and PR professionals, milling around a buffet of cacao nibs and goji berries to seek the wisdom of fellow colleagues. This gathering of sharp minds and undercut hairstyles was the second iteration of theright.fit breakfast, an industry who’s-who and what’s-what organised by agency founder Taryn Williams.

Invited to lead the 2018 panel were four speakers: Nathan Burman, head of PR and Communications for Twitter Australia; Chris Wirasinha, co-founder of Pedestrian.TV; Sam Berry, a partner at DVM Law; and Andi Lew, an author, influencer and content producer.

There was something for everyone in the lively discussion that took place, but the way I saw it, the whole day came down to three Cs: Collaboration, Creativity and Cut-through.

Left to Right: Chris Wirasinha (Pedestrian), Andi Lew (Author), Taryn Williams (theright.fit), Nathan Burman (Twitter) and Sam Berry (DVM Law).

Collaboration

This year’s main obsession was evident, as the conversation continually circled back upon collaboration — between advertisers, influencers, brands and organisations — and how we can use this powerful tool to achieve more for our agencies and our clients.

There was a strong perception among the speakers and attendees that the quid pro quo culture of American business has not quite reached our shores.

The shared belief was that a culture of abundance exists in the USA — a feeling that there are ‘enough’ consumers and enough markets, to go around. This notion facilitates a greater willingness to work together, in the pursuit of achieving more.

In contrast, Australians were the parochial ‘tall poppies’: stoic and humble to a fault, and as a consequence, rigidly unresourceful.

With Australia’s small population and limited geographically profitable markets, there’s an upside to putting up significant barriers to the types of camaraderie that lead to collaboration. But the time is ripe to reinvent our industry culture, in order to improve what our agencies can offer.

Nathan Burman brought forth a wonderful case study for collaboration in Australia from his team at Twitter. They were given the task of promoting the video sharing and streaming capabilities of their platform.

The challenge was to find a way to partner up with content producers and organisations in a way that made it cost effective for them to produce great content

They tracked down surfer/fox cameraman Mitch Oates, who was already regularly streaming his morning surfs on their platform Periscope. Combining with Telstra and Tourism & Events Queensland, they flew Mitch to the Great Barrier Reef. There he was given a mask that allowed him to talk underwater while streaming, sharing some of the most exciting parts of the reef in real time.

Mitch Oates promoting Twitter’s video platform, Periscope, underwater on the Great Barrier Reef.

As Twitter pushed the live content to the top of feeds, they generated the highest international search rate for the Great Barrier Reef for the whole year, turning heads in a serious way. Without collaboration, the amazing content that cost them just $6000 to make would have become a six-figure ordeal.

The essential element in ensuring such success was establishing mutually beneficial relationships, which allowed the brand truths of each partner to speak through the collaboration.

Telstra was able to showcase their dedication to connectivity and communications technology. Queensland Tourism got a hell of a promotion. Mitch got a free trip to Queensland (plus something on his CV) and Twitter got to show off their video streaming channel. Each member was able to engage in the collaboration for the right reasons, without sacrificing authenticity.

I see this as an innovative example that our industry as a whole can learn from. Together, we can do better.

Chris Wirasinha speaking on creativity at theright.fit breakfast on Tuesday 14th November.

Creativity

Collaboration is all well and good, so long as the idea is worth doing justice. The conversation turned regularly towards exactly this: how best to create worthwhile, interesting and effective content.

For Chris Wirasinha at Pedestrian, this was all about working out how to ingrain a brand or a creative idea in culture. While this works for them, taking this onto a broader stage than popular culture can be tricky. But embedding the perception of products and brands into consumer culture, or digital consumption cultures can be just as effective. So, wherever your agency comfort zone sits, this is a great exercise in creative idea generation that allows you to step outside your pocket of expertise.

And the ideas didn’t stop flowing there. An interesting process Pedestrian uses is a daily brainstorming exercise called divergent thinking sessions. Within their creative teams, each person does their own divergent thinking exercise before sharing and reworking ideas to help expand the realms of possibility for content.

The simple truth is, a lot of what we do as advertising creatives falls into the category of convergent thinking — we take a client brief, and find a solution that fits within their parameters. But it never hurts to come at things the other way around. By starting from a single point and working outwards, the possibility for creativity increases exponentially.

Click here for a more in-depth look at divergent thinking, why it’s useful and how to do it.

This is part of the brilliance of influencers. They can take a brand or product and make it distinctly their own, without compromising the brand authenticity or their own image. Although, as resident expert Andi Lew pointed out, influencing should be a by-product of something the ‘influencer’ already does for it to work.

Think of influencer as an effect rather than a title.

Everyone at theright.fit breakfast seemed to agree that companies are beginning to wise up to this shift in who has and who owns influence. Most notably, that below the line media influencers and figures are subsuming much of the third-party credibility traditionally held by above the line media.

Companies are getting the good word on influencer content marketing.

Cut-through

Companies are getting the good word on influencer content marketing.
Cut-Through

So how do you manage these changes to make sure you’re achieving cut-through in a saturated content market that’s all about entertainment and wow factor? Well the panel had a few great points to keep in mind.

Don’t try to be a master of everything in the constantly evolving digital landscape. There are simply too many channels to manage effectively, said Taryn from TheRightFit. So, pick 2 or 3 and be good at them, and your impossible task becomes much more manageable.

Chris spoke about the key to Pedestrian’s success being consistency: in production quality, perspective, topics and tone — as well as consistency in the regularity of such content being produced.

This is based on the principles of SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) and is key to audience cut-through in digital spaces. But these sorts of habits are also incredibly important to the way your brand occupies consumer mind-share. With consistent branding, the way people perceive products, brands and content is given a solid, unmoving foundation based on what you’ve chosen to put out into the world.

Finally, Nathan couldn’t stress enough the importance of brand tracking research, post-campaign, in order to prove that value is being delivered. This means conversion tracking, follow-up cognitive recall surveys, perceptual mapping, and optimising the way you create and distribute based on the results, to make sure what you’re doing has an effect.

None of this is news to our industry. There’s no ground-breaking revelations or hacks to get ahead in any media space. But the discussion around what makes great work and how we can do better is an important one to have, and theright.fit picked a great mix of personalities to get everyone thinking about what’s next for our industry.

Theright.fit breakfast: talking collaboration, creativity & cut-through.

Theright.fit breakfast: talking collaboration, creativity & cut-through.

Now Screen attended theright.fit breakfast on November 14th. Last Tuesday morning, The Butler played host to a fricassee (I’ve chosen...

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Believe in something. Anything.

Believe in something. Anything.

Making waves: Colin Kaepernick for Nike’s 30th anniversary of Just Do It.

As in life, art and protest, the world of sport has again become the focal point of political dissonance. Nike are celebrating the 30th anniversary of their iconic mantra, Just Do It. Featuring the divisive, bold and exceptionally talented Colin Kaepernick is not necessarily brave but it is a meaningful acknowledgement of the role that sports and athletes hold in our hearts.

Kaepernick, the infamous former Quarterback of the San Francisco 49ers was cast into the global limelight as a key stalwart of the #TakeAKnee movement. It is a form of public rebellion that involved NFL players kneeling during the national anthem. A protest on the mistreatment, violence and senseless killing of African Americans and people of colour.

Colin Kaepernick for Nike’s 30th anniversary of Just Do It.

Wherever you sit on the idea of kneeling during a national anthem it should be noted that African Americans and people of colour do experience significant disadvantage both in the US and Australia alike. Education, healthcare, life expectancy and incarceration rates are disproportionately weighted against them.

It is also worth noting that, until 2009, players in the NFL were not brought onto the field during the national anthem. This is not an age old tradition mired in custom and ritual. The ‘tradition’ began as part of a campaign lead by the US Department of Defense to increase “paid patriotism” when around $6.8 million USD was spent as part of the military’s recruitment strategy.

Nike has taken a stand, revealing Colin Kaepernick as the the face of their latest campaign. It will cause discussion, probably a tweet or two from Donald Trump, and may cause some people to stop purchasing their shoes from Nike. But it also speaks to the values and ethos of their brand. It shows how a brand can be true to its tone of voice and how that can be used to empower not only Colin Kaepernick but the rest of us too.

Colin Kaepernick and Eric Reid kneel during the national anthem before an NFL game.
Serena Williams in her Nike designed catsuit.

Nike and how it empowers people is a fraught topic. They celebrate the likes of Colin Kaepernick but what about their factory workers? To say there has been a history of mistreatment of factory workers is likely an understatement. Controversy follows Nike and it is often felt that until this issue is resolved they have no business talking about belief and sacrifice. As it stands you can read the official position here.

Rebellion and empowerment is not a new theme for Nike. They have consistently crossed the line between sports brand and cultural phenomenon. In 1995 they spoke of the difference participation in sports has on the lives of young women with their ad If You Let Me Play. This campaign highlighted benefits such as reduced rates of breast cancer and depression in women and young girls who take part in sport. Recently they released a series of executions celebrating the superpowers of Serena Williams and her ‘costume’ (which she was banned from wearing). Nike regularly makes space for protest, and a vision of a better world.

The vision to imagine a better future is something that the world needs more of. In a time where disrupters are shaping the future of finance, healthcare, technology and just about every other industry, it is clear that the role of organisations like Nike is forever changed.

The constant tug of war between wanting to stand for something and wanting to sell products seems for many inextricably complex. If we use Nike as an example we can say a conscious decision has been made to probably lose some customers (and sales) in the name of a cause they truly care about. Do you really want to keep customers you are so philosophically misaligned with?

The math of projecting this philosophy in such a divisive time probably suits Nike in the long run. They will likely gain more customers than they will lose, empower more positive voices than negative. And that is a pretty worthwhile ambition. A little loss for a big gain. A strong statement and a strong future.

And that is the lesson for all the brand managers and marketers out there. Champion your businesses, know your values and know where they sit in the world. The next time you’re faced with the prospect of losing a few customers to be true to your brand, be brave. Look to Nike’s example and stand for something.

Dream Crazy celebrates 30 years of 'Just Do It' for Nike

Believe in something. Anything.

Believe in something. Anything.

Making waves: Colin Kaepernick for Nike’s 30th anniversary of Just Do It. As in life, art and protest, the world...

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The era of spare change digital advertising is over.

The era of spare change digital advertising is over.

Why spend less on digital when it can do so much for your brand?

Information consumption today is a strange beast. Half the world sits conveniently in cyberspace, waiting to be spoon-fed content. Yet many companies still primarily cast their line into the arguably less reliable pond of television and wait for high tide to hit. Granted, television advertising still works — but you’ll be paying top dollar to get eyes on your ad and there’s every chance people aren’t thinking twice about it.

The truth is, your business could be reaping rewards by spending a whole lot more on advertising and marketing in the digital space.

Data-led, targeted advertising has been kept on the fringes by a fear factor surrounding active and interactive audiences. As opposed to the more passive television delivery, digital is information overload on an intimidating scale. It offers more in-depth conversations with your audience, more data, less uncertainty — and not only can you decide who you want to see your ad, you can see who’s interested and who isn’t; who likes it and who doesn’t; what missed the mark and what hit the nail on the head.

Yes, everyone has a Facebook — but good strategic, integrated campaigns on digital platforms are still few and far between.

The current climate is scary because marketers and agencies can no longer lull themselves into the false sense of security that everything works. It’s daunting because the audience reaction is out of your control, and everything is laid bare for you to watch as it unfolds.

There's a lot going on in digital... it can be intimidating. ©Red Bull

And so, the natural reaction has been a conservative approach. Many businesses feel that they should pay less for digital content than regular advertising, fitting it into their budgets as an afterthought. Others expect free work as proof of concept – an exercise in quality control which would hardly happen in the world of television.

The issue here is that quality and results should be the outcome of budget, creativity and planning — not a one-size-fits-all Cinderella shoe. The notion that one format should work effectively across multiple businesses (or even multiple industries) in the digital sphere borders on insanity.

Yet the expectation of results still always seems to follow.

Now there’s no problem with different sized budgets, but if you’re offering to pay for a pushbike and expecting a motor and five seats, you and your business have a rude awakening coming your way.

So how do you begin to tackle the complex systems and reactions?

Cinderella the elephant and her step-sisters just don't get digital.

A thoughtful, head-first approach seems to be the way to go. Acting quickly to remain relevant in a fast-paced space, before your competitors beat you to it, has never been more important. Pretend it’s 1970: Look at your advertising budget and think of television spend as radio and digital spend as your new TV budget. It may be extreme but it’s a step in the right direction. To be integrated and effective in the age of digital convergence, your content marketing, online ads, UX design, branding, ecommerce conversion clickstreams and yes television if you can afford it, all have to align with your overall strategy. One Facebook post a week by Shane in marketing is not going to cut the mustard.

And when you get into the nitty gritty, there are already plenty of lessons out there about how not to do digital — whether the spend is big or small.

Now there’s no problem with different sized budgets, but if you’re offering to pay for a pushbike and expecting a motor and five seats, you and your business have a rude awakening coming your way.

Fact: Police brutality ended the day Kendall Jenner offered that guy a Pepsi.

We all remember what happened with Pepsi last year. Somehow, someone thought it would be a good idea to make Kendall Jenner the ambassador for all issues of public protest and for Pepsi to be the deus ex machina that sweeps in to save the day. That campaign will go down in history as one of the all-time strikeouts of advertising.

And how about Unilever’s ‘racist soap’ ad for Dove? The thing is — it’s rarely bad intentions that kill an ad, but a lack of thought for how digital audiences perceive the world and communicate with one another. The audience network is a titanic beast, and if the message is insincere enough to be twisted, it will be.

The guiding rule seems to be that it is essential that your product is an accessory to the stories you tell and not the focus. When people are actively choosing what they watch, the last thing they want is a brand being shoved down their throats.

Finding the sweet spot

Heineken led the way in 2017 with their own take on how assert your brand in the domain of political discussion online with the #OpenYourWorld campaign. This highly debated ad made a much better pass at what Pepsi tried by presenting Heineken as the beer to drink while discussing differences, rather than the solution to all the world’s problems.

It doesn’t all have to be Facebook and YouTube either. Working in digital, I’ve become increasingly jaded with Facebook’s glorious algorithm and its seemingly wondrous ability to bleed you of money without really giving you what you want. If you don’t have an audience who’s already desperately seeking your brand, Facebook can be a hard road to travel.

Be The Match, a non-profit focussed on bone marrow donation, led the way in off-piste digital advertising last year. The ‘Be The Guy’ campaign launched on Reddit and Twitter as a simple series of banner ads, resulting in a 280% increase in male donors aged 18–24.

The key, once again, was that the call to action was secondary to the story being sold. The focus was still on getting young men to register, but the visual was very much about capturing attention by showing that anyone — deviant or saint — could save a life.

None of these — good or bad — were spare change commercials. Industry leaders have been using the digital space to its full potential and reaping the rewards for years now, and it’s time for the rest of the marketing and advertising world to do the same.

A campaign that tells stories people connect with will always perform better with digital audiences.
The era of spare change digital advertising is over.

The era of spare change digital advertising is over.

Why spend less on digital when it can do so much for your brand? Information consumption today is a strange...

Read more
Is too much emotion making our advertising sad?

Is too much emotion making our advertising sad?

Tugging heartstrings isn’t always the best way to advertise.

The headline reads: “Emotional ads will lead to more sales.”

The first line reads: “Advertisements that elicit a strong emotional response will deliver an increase in sales.”

See what’s happened there? The obvious requirement of advertising to elicit some form of response got magically transformed into a divine directive for all ads to be emotional.

Sadly, this is merely symptomatic of the marketing industry’s perpetual but misguided mission to draw a distinction between emotional (good) and rational (bad) advertising. Here, emotional means funny, enjoyable, dramatic, colourful, with more feelings than facts. In fact it can mean pretty much anything, as long as it looks more like pure entertainment than anything so prosaic as an ad.

Not surprisingly, therefore, this misconception is being propagated all day, every day; in creative brainstormings, boardrooms, research debriefs, conferences and the trade press.

Here’s another one: people act and make decisions emotionally, not rationally. The threat (I’d like to say unspoken, but sadly repeated ad nauseam) being, if your advertising isn’t emotional enough to appeal to those all-powerful feelings, it will fail.

Great advertising should engage both sides of our incredibly complex brains.

It’s quite sad really that most adults’ image of their own biology doesn’t get much more detailed than the illustrated children’s game ‘Operation.’ The brain has two hemispheres, one rational, one emotional and all decisions get made by one side or the other. Amazing to think marketing “academics” get paid to spout this stuff. The brain is a maze of neurons and electrochemical signals. We know about as much about its inner workings it as we know about the furthest reaches of space or our deepest ocean beds. Our actions can be rational, emotional, instinctual or, most of the time, an irrational mix of all three.

We can respond rationally, emotionally or instinctually to both emotional and rational communications. We do not need to see emotion to respond emotionally. We can respond emotionally to facts and rationally to emotions. There’s little emotion in a stone-faced policeman informing you of the death of a loved one, but inconsolable sorrow in response. Conversely a teary child with a scraped knee may trigger the instinctive reaction of antiseptic and a band aid, and a stern rational lesson on the dangers of skateboarding downstairs.

The problem is, it’s not just 21 year old sub editors who’ve been indoctrinated. The rot goes all the way to the top. One of the country’s most senior marketers at one of the biggest brands was recently quoted as saying: “an opportunity to create more emotional advertising and market to women.” Aside from the politically questionable undertone of such a statement  (What? Women are more emotional so they need even more emotional advertising?! ), the resulting work is confusing, patronising, superficial and has very little relevance to the product or why anyone would buy it.

It’s what gives rise to campaigns like the latest BUPA commercial . If ever there was an example of why Clients shouldn’t try to write their own ads, this is it. ‘Little Moments Matter’ with a hackneyed video montage of “cute” family moments, featuring BUPA’s own staff – overflowing with emotion in the conceptualisation, skin crawling in the execution, but what on earth does it all have to do with buying health insurance?

Or how’s this from Transport for NSW telling regional drivers the road is “no place for excuses.” I have no idea where this convoluted bit of thinking came from (or, for that matter, why the world needs yet another driving safety advertisement, as if all the thousands of others wouldn’t work just as well). But the real irony here is that the press release quotes the Minister as stating: “If you live in the country you are 4 times more likely to die in a road crash.”

Four times!!!! More likely to die! Now that’s a fact.

That’s going to make me sit up and think. But where’s that in the commercial? Nowhere to be seen amongst the 60 seconds of soulful looking country people regretting their, apparently, inexcusably bad driving habits. Wouldn’t want to interrupt the emotion with anything so crass as a hard hitting fact.

Our actions can be rational, emotional, instinctual or, most of the time, an irrational mix of all three.

Excuse us while we continue to drive exactly the same way.

It’s a world gone even madder in the ridiculous quest for ever more emotion and entertainment and ever less product and reasons to purchase it.

And it’s the clients and their brands who are suffering, as agencies indoctrinate them into spending considerable sums of money trying to compete on an uneven playing field with Hollywood, Netflix, YouTube and all the other entertainment experts.

It shouldn’t be about the ad. It should be about giving people very good reasons to buy whatever it is you’re selling and making it relevant so that consumers can relate. The reality is: facts, news and information can elicit just as much of an “emotional” response and engagement when presented in the right way –  and a lot more sales.

Is too much emotion making our advertising sad?

Is too much emotion making our advertising sad?

Tugging heartstrings isn’t always the best way to advertise. The headline reads: “Emotional ads will lead to more sales.” The first...

Read more
Why your digital agency sucks (kind of) and how to fix it.

Why your digital agency sucks (kind of) and how to fix it.

Hear me out and maybe we can begin to change some bad habits.

Having spent the last couple of years working across a number of agencies (digital and creative) I have come to the conclusion that your digital agency probably sucks, and it’s likely your own doing.

“To make more money you need to make the hamster wheel bigger. To get to ‘bigger’ and maintain it, everyone including you needs to run furiously faster.” – Jules Ehrhardt, ustwo

This is the agency model, a perpetual cycle of growth maintained by the scrambling and otherwise panicked movement of junior and mid-weight staff. It is a model that flourished in the early days when clients didn’t understand what the internet was and why social media might just be important in the future.

There are two forces at work contributing to the decline of effectiveness in digital. One is the hamster wheel and the other is best summed up by this quote from astronaut John Glenn:

“As I hurtled through space, one thought kept crossing my mind — every part of this rocket was supplied by the lowest bidder.”

Over the years I have been involved in countless pitches and strategies in the digital space and one thing has become abundantly clear. We suck at articulating what we do. The carry over effect of this is that innumerable clients are seeking the lowest cost agency possible. Digital is being treated as a necessary add-on instead of a solution. Gotta have that sweet Instagram page right?

But that’s okay, it just means our hamsters will have to run a little faster and work a little longer. What this actually means is turning everything into a template. Including strategic solutions as well as operations and staffing. Now this isn’t necessarily the worst thing in the world, however when the by-product is quality we need to stop and think about how we want to operate.

To put it another way, clients are asking agencies to build them a three story house but only giving enough money to build a one story unit and then asking whether the third story balcony will be ready in time for Summer cocktail parties. Stop kidding yourself, you cannot spend $3,000 a month and expect to be the next powerhouse in your industry. There is no magic wand and don’t believe anyone that purports to have one.

Then there is us.

I'm the short one.

It has become abundantly clear that digital agencies around the world are promising results that a client’s budgets simply can not allow for. And we aren’t being honest about it. In order to keep the hamster wheel growing we are over-reaching and then finding nuanced ways to imply it was the clients fault. It’s everyone’s fault, but in this instance it is our responsibility to say no, your budget does not allow for a three-story house. And besides, you probably only need a two-story unit (pool optional of course).

How do we fix this never-ending cycle of bad work and unhappy clients you ask?

The reality is that it’s a big problem with even bigger implications, but some things are crystal clear and I have listed them below.

 

As I hurtled through space, one thought kept crossing my mind  –  every part of this rocket was supplied by the lowest bidder.

For Clients

Understand where you are in the history of your business. This means having clearly defined goals that your staff are aligned with.

Be aware that a good agency will provide a solution that fits the problem, remember there is no magic wand.

Stop comparing yourself to the cream of the crop to brands that have been in the digital space for longer than you, spending significantly more time and money.

Understand the value of a digital agency. If you think of it as a necessary evil then sure the lowest bidder might be a good option. If not, value the money you spend and its ROI.

For Agencies

If you can’t deliver to a clients ambitions due to budget/technical restraints then say so. Make it really, really clear.

Stop presuming the work you did for one client will translate to a different one because they share an industry. If your solution isn’t unique each time you are letting yourself and the client down.

Say no. If you are being asked to do work that will have no value other than burning through budget, tell the client no, you are the experts after all.

Saying your digital agency sucks was probably a bit harsh (read: probably) but there are problems across the industry that need to be addressed from both sides. If not we are doomed to a never-ending hamster wheel of forking out money and not delivering.

Why your digital agency sucks (kind of) and how to fix it.

Why your digital agency sucks (kind of) and how to fix it.

Hear me out and maybe we can begin to change some bad habits. Having spent the last couple of years...

Read more

Oddspedia Mx » Resultados En Palpitante, Pronósticos, Momios Con Apuestas

Oddspedia Mx » Resultados En Palpitante, Pronósticos, Momios Con Apuestas

Oddspedia Mx » Resultados En Palpitante, Pronósticos, Momios Con Apuestas

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Theright.fit breakfast: talking collaboration, creativity & cut-through.

Theright.fit breakfast: talking collaboration, creativity & cut-through.

Now Screen attended theright.fit breakfast on November 14th.

Last Tuesday morning, The Butler played host to a fricassee (I’ve chosen my own collective noun) of trendy, mostly-millennial advertising and PR professionals, milling around a buffet of cacao nibs and goji berries to seek the wisdom of fellow colleagues. This gathering of sharp minds and undercut hairstyles was the second iteration of theright.fit breakfast, an industry who’s-who and what’s-what organised by agency founder Taryn Williams.

Invited to lead the 2018 panel were four speakers: Nathan Burman, head of PR and Communications for Twitter Australia; Chris Wirasinha, co-founder of Pedestrian.TV; Sam Berry, a partner at DVM Law; and Andi Lew, an author, influencer and content producer.

There was something for everyone in the lively discussion that took place, but the way I saw it, the whole day came down to three Cs: Collaboration, Creativity and Cut-through.

Left to Right: Chris Wirasinha (Pedestrian), Andi Lew (Author), Taryn Williams (theright.fit), Nathan Burman (Twitter) and Sam Berry (DVM Law).

Collaboration

This year’s main obsession was evident, as the conversation continually circled back upon collaboration — between advertisers, influencers, brands and organisations — and how we can use this powerful tool to achieve more for our agencies and our clients.

There was a strong perception among the speakers and attendees that the quid pro quo culture of American business has not quite reached our shores.

The shared belief was that a culture of abundance exists in the USA — a feeling that there are ‘enough’ consumers and enough markets, to go around. This notion facilitates a greater willingness to work together, in the pursuit of achieving more.

In contrast, Australians were the parochial ‘tall poppies’: stoic and humble to a fault, and as a consequence, rigidly unresourceful.

With Australia’s small population and limited geographically profitable markets, there’s an upside to putting up significant barriers to the types of camaraderie that lead to collaboration. But the time is ripe to reinvent our industry culture, in order to improve what our agencies can offer.

Nathan Burman brought forth a wonderful case study for collaboration in Australia from his team at Twitter. They were given the task of promoting the video sharing and streaming capabilities of their platform.

The challenge was to find a way to partner up with content producers and organisations in a way that made it cost effective for them to produce great content

They tracked down surfer/fox cameraman Mitch Oates, who was already regularly streaming his morning surfs on their platform Periscope. Combining with Telstra and Tourism & Events Queensland, they flew Mitch to the Great Barrier Reef. There he was given a mask that allowed him to talk underwater while streaming, sharing some of the most exciting parts of the reef in real time.

Mitch Oates promoting Twitter’s video platform, Periscope, underwater on the Great Barrier Reef.

As Twitter pushed the live content to the top of feeds, they generated the highest international search rate for the Great Barrier Reef for the whole year, turning heads in a serious way. Without collaboration, the amazing content that cost them just $6000 to make would have become a six-figure ordeal.

The essential element in ensuring such success was establishing mutually beneficial relationships, which allowed the brand truths of each partner to speak through the collaboration.

Telstra was able to showcase their dedication to connectivity and communications technology. Queensland Tourism got a hell of a promotion. Mitch got a free trip to Queensland (plus something on his CV) and Twitter got to show off their video streaming channel. Each member was able to engage in the collaboration for the right reasons, without sacrificing authenticity.

I see this as an innovative example that our industry as a whole can learn from. Together, we can do better.

Chris Wirasinha speaking on creativity at theright.fit breakfast on Tuesday 14th November.

Creativity

Collaboration is all well and good, so long as the idea is worth doing justice. The conversation turned regularly towards exactly this: how best to create worthwhile, interesting and effective content.

For Chris Wirasinha at Pedestrian, this was all about working out how to ingrain a brand or a creative idea in culture. While this works for them, taking this onto a broader stage than popular culture can be tricky. But embedding the perception of products and brands into consumer culture, or digital consumption cultures can be just as effective. So, wherever your agency comfort zone sits, this is a great exercise in creative idea generation that allows you to step outside your pocket of expertise.

And the ideas didn’t stop flowing there. An interesting process Pedestrian uses is a daily brainstorming exercise called divergent thinking sessions. Within their creative teams, each person does their own divergent thinking exercise before sharing and reworking ideas to help expand the realms of possibility for content.

The simple truth is, a lot of what we do as advertising creatives falls into the category of convergent thinking — we take a client brief, and find a solution that fits within their parameters. But it never hurts to come at things the other way around. By starting from a single point and working outwards, the possibility for creativity increases exponentially.

Click here for a more in-depth look at divergent thinking, why it’s useful and how to do it.

This is part of the brilliance of influencers. They can take a brand or product and make it distinctly their own, without compromising the brand authenticity or their own image. Although, as resident expert Andi Lew pointed out, influencing should be a by-product of something the ‘influencer’ already does for it to work.

Think of influencer as an effect rather than a title.

Everyone at theright.fit breakfast seemed to agree that companies are beginning to wise up to this shift in who has and who owns influence. Most notably, that below the line media influencers and figures are subsuming much of the third-party credibility traditionally held by above the line media.

Companies are getting the good word on influencer content marketing.

Cut-through

Companies are getting the good word on influencer content marketing.
Cut-Through

So how do you manage these changes to make sure you’re achieving cut-through in a saturated content market that’s all about entertainment and wow factor? Well the panel had a few great points to keep in mind.

Don’t try to be a master of everything in the constantly evolving digital landscape. There are simply too many channels to manage effectively, said Taryn from TheRightFit. So, pick 2 or 3 and be good at them, and your impossible task becomes much more manageable.

Chris spoke about the key to Pedestrian’s success being consistency: in production quality, perspective, topics and tone — as well as consistency in the regularity of such content being produced.

This is based on the principles of SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) and is key to audience cut-through in digital spaces. But these sorts of habits are also incredibly important to the way your brand occupies consumer mind-share. With consistent branding, the way people perceive products, brands and content is given a solid, unmoving foundation based on what you’ve chosen to put out into the world.

Finally, Nathan couldn’t stress enough the importance of brand tracking research, post-campaign, in order to prove that value is being delivered. This means conversion tracking, follow-up cognitive recall surveys, perceptual mapping, and optimising the way you create and distribute based on the results, to make sure what you’re doing has an effect.

None of this is news to our industry. There’s no ground-breaking revelations or hacks to get ahead in any media space. But the discussion around what makes great work and how we can do better is an important one to have, and theright.fit picked a great mix of personalities to get everyone thinking about what’s next for our industry.

Theright.fit breakfast: talking collaboration, creativity & cut-through.

Theright.fit breakfast: talking collaboration, creativity & cut-through.

Now Screen attended theright.fit breakfast on November 14th. Last Tuesday morning, The Butler played host to a fricassee (I’ve chosen...

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Believe in something. Anything.

Believe in something. Anything.

Making waves: Colin Kaepernick for Nike’s 30th anniversary of Just Do It.

As in life, art and protest, the world of sport has again become the focal point of political dissonance. Nike are celebrating the 30th anniversary of their iconic mantra, Just Do It. Featuring the divisive, bold and exceptionally talented Colin Kaepernick is not necessarily brave but it is a meaningful acknowledgement of the role that sports and athletes hold in our hearts.

Kaepernick, the infamous former Quarterback of the San Francisco 49ers was cast into the global limelight as a key stalwart of the #TakeAKnee movement. It is a form of public rebellion that involved NFL players kneeling during the national anthem. A protest on the mistreatment, violence and senseless killing of African Americans and people of colour.

Colin Kaepernick for Nike’s 30th anniversary of Just Do It.

Wherever you sit on the idea of kneeling during a national anthem it should be noted that African Americans and people of colour do experience significant disadvantage both in the US and Australia alike. Education, healthcare, life expectancy and incarceration rates are disproportionately weighted against them.

It is also worth noting that, until 2009, players in the NFL were not brought onto the field during the national anthem. This is not an age old tradition mired in custom and ritual. The ‘tradition’ began as part of a campaign lead by the US Department of Defense to increase “paid patriotism” when around $6.8 million USD was spent as part of the military’s recruitment strategy.

Nike has taken a stand, revealing Colin Kaepernick as the the face of their latest campaign. It will cause discussion, probably a tweet or two from Donald Trump, and may cause some people to stop purchasing their shoes from Nike. But it also speaks to the values and ethos of their brand. It shows how a brand can be true to its tone of voice and how that can be used to empower not only Colin Kaepernick but the rest of us too.

Colin Kaepernick and Eric Reid kneel during the national anthem before an NFL game.
Serena Williams in her Nike designed catsuit.

Nike and how it empowers people is a fraught topic. They celebrate the likes of Colin Kaepernick but what about their factory workers? To say there has been a history of mistreatment of factory workers is likely an understatement. Controversy follows Nike and it is often felt that until this issue is resolved they have no business talking about belief and sacrifice. As it stands you can read the official position here.

Rebellion and empowerment is not a new theme for Nike. They have consistently crossed the line between sports brand and cultural phenomenon. In 1995 they spoke of the difference participation in sports has on the lives of young women with their ad If You Let Me Play. This campaign highlighted benefits such as reduced rates of breast cancer and depression in women and young girls who take part in sport. Recently they released a series of executions celebrating the superpowers of Serena Williams and her ‘costume’ (which she was banned from wearing). Nike regularly makes space for protest, and a vision of a better world.

The vision to imagine a better future is something that the world needs more of. In a time where disrupters are shaping the future of finance, healthcare, technology and just about every other industry, it is clear that the role of organisations like Nike is forever changed.

The constant tug of war between wanting to stand for something and wanting to sell products seems for many inextricably complex. If we use Nike as an example we can say a conscious decision has been made to probably lose some customers (and sales) in the name of a cause they truly care about. Do you really want to keep customers you are so philosophically misaligned with?

The math of projecting this philosophy in such a divisive time probably suits Nike in the long run. They will likely gain more customers than they will lose, empower more positive voices than negative. And that is a pretty worthwhile ambition. A little loss for a big gain. A strong statement and a strong future.

And that is the lesson for all the brand managers and marketers out there. Champion your businesses, know your values and know where they sit in the world. The next time you’re faced with the prospect of losing a few customers to be true to your brand, be brave. Look to Nike’s example and stand for something.

Dream Crazy celebrates 30 years of 'Just Do It' for Nike

Believe in something. Anything.

Believe in something. Anything.

Making waves: Colin Kaepernick for Nike’s 30th anniversary of Just Do It. As in life, art and protest, the world...

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The era of spare change digital advertising is over.

The era of spare change digital advertising is over.

Why spend less on digital when it can do so much for your brand?

Information consumption today is a strange beast. Half the world sits conveniently in cyberspace, waiting to be spoon-fed content. Yet many companies still primarily cast their line into the arguably less reliable pond of television and wait for high tide to hit. Granted, television advertising still works — but you’ll be paying top dollar to get eyes on your ad and there’s every chance people aren’t thinking twice about it.

The truth is, your business could be reaping rewards by spending a whole lot more on advertising and marketing in the digital space.

Data-led, targeted advertising has been kept on the fringes by a fear factor surrounding active and interactive audiences. As opposed to the more passive television delivery, digital is information overload on an intimidating scale. It offers more in-depth conversations with your audience, more data, less uncertainty — and not only can you decide who you want to see your ad, you can see who’s interested and who isn’t; who likes it and who doesn’t; what missed the mark and what hit the nail on the head.

Yes, everyone has a Facebook — but good strategic, integrated campaigns on digital platforms are still few and far between.

The current climate is scary because marketers and agencies can no longer lull themselves into the false sense of security that everything works. It’s daunting because the audience reaction is out of your control, and everything is laid bare for you to watch as it unfolds.

There's a lot going on in digital... it can be intimidating. ©Red Bull

And so, the natural reaction has been a conservative approach. Many businesses feel that they should pay less for digital content than regular advertising, fitting it into their budgets as an afterthought. Others expect free work as proof of concept – an exercise in quality control which would hardly happen in the world of television.

The issue here is that quality and results should be the outcome of budget, creativity and planning — not a one-size-fits-all Cinderella shoe. The notion that one format should work effectively across multiple businesses (or even multiple industries) in the digital sphere borders on insanity.

Yet the expectation of results still always seems to follow.

Now there’s no problem with different sized budgets, but if you’re offering to pay for a pushbike and expecting a motor and five seats, you and your business have a rude awakening coming your way.

So how do you begin to tackle the complex systems and reactions?

Cinderella the elephant and her step-sisters just don't get digital.

A thoughtful, head-first approach seems to be the way to go. Acting quickly to remain relevant in a fast-paced space, before your competitors beat you to it, has never been more important. Pretend it’s 1970: Look at your advertising budget and think of television spend as radio and digital spend as your new TV budget. It may be extreme but it’s a step in the right direction. To be integrated and effective in the age of digital convergence, your content marketing, online ads, UX design, branding, ecommerce conversion clickstreams and yes television if you can afford it, all have to align with your overall strategy. One Facebook post a week by Shane in marketing is not going to cut the mustard.

And when you get into the nitty gritty, there are already plenty of lessons out there about how not to do digital — whether the spend is big or small.

Now there’s no problem with different sized budgets, but if you’re offering to pay for a pushbike and expecting a motor and five seats, you and your business have a rude awakening coming your way.

Fact: Police brutality ended the day Kendall Jenner offered that guy a Pepsi.

We all remember what happened with Pepsi last year. Somehow, someone thought it would be a good idea to make Kendall Jenner the ambassador for all issues of public protest and for Pepsi to be the deus ex machina that sweeps in to save the day. That campaign will go down in history as one of the all-time strikeouts of advertising.

And how about Unilever’s ‘racist soap’ ad for Dove? The thing is — it’s rarely bad intentions that kill an ad, but a lack of thought for how digital audiences perceive the world and communicate with one another. The audience network is a titanic beast, and if the message is insincere enough to be twisted, it will be.

The guiding rule seems to be that it is essential that your product is an accessory to the stories you tell and not the focus. When people are actively choosing what they watch, the last thing they want is a brand being shoved down their throats.

Finding the sweet spot

Heineken led the way in 2017 with their own take on how assert your brand in the domain of political discussion online with the #OpenYourWorld campaign. This highly debated ad made a much better pass at what Pepsi tried by presenting Heineken as the beer to drink while discussing differences, rather than the solution to all the world’s problems.

It doesn’t all have to be Facebook and YouTube either. Working in digital, I’ve become increasingly jaded with Facebook’s glorious algorithm and its seemingly wondrous ability to bleed you of money without really giving you what you want. If you don’t have an audience who’s already desperately seeking your brand, Facebook can be a hard road to travel.

Be The Match, a non-profit focussed on bone marrow donation, led the way in off-piste digital advertising last year. The ‘Be The Guy’ campaign launched on Reddit and Twitter as a simple series of banner ads, resulting in a 280% increase in male donors aged 18–24.

The key, once again, was that the call to action was secondary to the story being sold. The focus was still on getting young men to register, but the visual was very much about capturing attention by showing that anyone — deviant or saint — could save a life.

None of these — good or bad — were spare change commercials. Industry leaders have been using the digital space to its full potential and reaping the rewards for years now, and it’s time for the rest of the marketing and advertising world to do the same.

A campaign that tells stories people connect with will always perform better with digital audiences.
The era of spare change digital advertising is over.

The era of spare change digital advertising is over.

Why spend less on digital when it can do so much for your brand? Information consumption today is a strange...

Read more
Is too much emotion making our advertising sad?

Is too much emotion making our advertising sad?

Tugging heartstrings isn’t always the best way to advertise.

The headline reads: “Emotional ads will lead to more sales.”

The first line reads: “Advertisements that elicit a strong emotional response will deliver an increase in sales.”

See what’s happened there? The obvious requirement of advertising to elicit some form of response got magically transformed into a divine directive for all ads to be emotional.

Sadly, this is merely symptomatic of the marketing industry’s perpetual but misguided mission to draw a distinction between emotional (good) and rational (bad) advertising. Here, emotional means funny, enjoyable, dramatic, colourful, with more feelings than facts. In fact it can mean pretty much anything, as long as it looks more like pure entertainment than anything so prosaic as an ad.

Not surprisingly, therefore, this misconception is being propagated all day, every day; in creative brainstormings, boardrooms, research debriefs, conferences and the trade press.

Here’s another one: people act and make decisions emotionally, not rationally. The threat (I’d like to say unspoken, but sadly repeated ad nauseam) being, if your advertising isn’t emotional enough to appeal to those all-powerful feelings, it will fail.

Great advertising should engage both sides of our incredibly complex brains.

It’s quite sad really that most adults’ image of their own biology doesn’t get much more detailed than the illustrated children’s game ‘Operation.’ The brain has two hemispheres, one rational, one emotional and all decisions get made by one side or the other. Amazing to think marketing “academics” get paid to spout this stuff. The brain is a maze of neurons and electrochemical signals. We know about as much about its inner workings it as we know about the furthest reaches of space or our deepest ocean beds. Our actions can be rational, emotional, instinctual or, most of the time, an irrational mix of all three.

We can respond rationally, emotionally or instinctually to both emotional and rational communications. We do not need to see emotion to respond emotionally. We can respond emotionally to facts and rationally to emotions. There’s little emotion in a stone-faced policeman informing you of the death of a loved one, but inconsolable sorrow in response. Conversely a teary child with a scraped knee may trigger the instinctive reaction of antiseptic and a band aid, and a stern rational lesson on the dangers of skateboarding downstairs.

The problem is, it’s not just 21 year old sub editors who’ve been indoctrinated. The rot goes all the way to the top. One of the country’s most senior marketers at one of the biggest brands was recently quoted as saying: “an opportunity to create more emotional advertising and market to women.” Aside from the politically questionable undertone of such a statement  (What? Women are more emotional so they need even more emotional advertising?! ), the resulting work is confusing, patronising, superficial and has very little relevance to the product or why anyone would buy it.

It’s what gives rise to campaigns like the latest BUPA commercial . If ever there was an example of why Clients shouldn’t try to write their own ads, this is it. ‘Little Moments Matter’ with a hackneyed video montage of “cute” family moments, featuring BUPA’s own staff – overflowing with emotion in the conceptualisation, skin crawling in the execution, but what on earth does it all have to do with buying health insurance?

Or how’s this from Transport for NSW telling regional drivers the road is “no place for excuses.” I have no idea where this convoluted bit of thinking came from (or, for that matter, why the world needs yet another driving safety advertisement, as if all the thousands of others wouldn’t work just as well). But the real irony here is that the press release quotes the Minister as stating: “If you live in the country you are 4 times more likely to die in a road crash.”

Four times!!!! More likely to die! Now that’s a fact.

That’s going to make me sit up and think. But where’s that in the commercial? Nowhere to be seen amongst the 60 seconds of soulful looking country people regretting their, apparently, inexcusably bad driving habits. Wouldn’t want to interrupt the emotion with anything so crass as a hard hitting fact.

Our actions can be rational, emotional, instinctual or, most of the time, an irrational mix of all three.

Excuse us while we continue to drive exactly the same way.

It’s a world gone even madder in the ridiculous quest for ever more emotion and entertainment and ever less product and reasons to purchase it.

And it’s the clients and their brands who are suffering, as agencies indoctrinate them into spending considerable sums of money trying to compete on an uneven playing field with Hollywood, Netflix, YouTube and all the other entertainment experts.

It shouldn’t be about the ad. It should be about giving people very good reasons to buy whatever it is you’re selling and making it relevant so that consumers can relate. The reality is: facts, news and information can elicit just as much of an “emotional” response and engagement when presented in the right way –  and a lot more sales.

Is too much emotion making our advertising sad?

Is too much emotion making our advertising sad?

Tugging heartstrings isn’t always the best way to advertise. The headline reads: “Emotional ads will lead to more sales.” The first...

Read more
Why your digital agency sucks (kind of) and how to fix it.

Why your digital agency sucks (kind of) and how to fix it.

Hear me out and maybe we can begin to change some bad habits.

Having spent the last couple of years working across a number of agencies (digital and creative) I have come to the conclusion that your digital agency probably sucks, and it’s likely your own doing.

“To make more money you need to make the hamster wheel bigger. To get to ‘bigger’ and maintain it, everyone including you needs to run furiously faster.” – Jules Ehrhardt, ustwo

This is the agency model, a perpetual cycle of growth maintained by the scrambling and otherwise panicked movement of junior and mid-weight staff. It is a model that flourished in the early days when clients didn’t understand what the internet was and why social media might just be important in the future.

There are two forces at work contributing to the decline of effectiveness in digital. One is the hamster wheel and the other is best summed up by this quote from astronaut John Glenn:

“As I hurtled through space, one thought kept crossing my mind — every part of this rocket was supplied by the lowest bidder.”

Over the years I have been involved in countless pitches and strategies in the digital space and one thing has become abundantly clear. We suck at articulating what we do. The carry over effect of this is that innumerable clients are seeking the lowest cost agency possible. Digital is being treated as a necessary add-on instead of a solution. Gotta have that sweet Instagram page right?

But that’s okay, it just means our hamsters will have to run a little faster and work a little longer. What this actually means is turning everything into a template. Including strategic solutions as well as operations and staffing. Now this isn’t necessarily the worst thing in the world, however when the by-product is quality we need to stop and think about how we want to operate.

To put it another way, clients are asking agencies to build them a three story house but only giving enough money to build a one story unit and then asking whether the third story balcony will be ready in time for Summer cocktail parties. Stop kidding yourself, you cannot spend $3,000 a month and expect to be the next powerhouse in your industry. There is no magic wand and don’t believe anyone that purports to have one.

Then there is us.

I'm the short one.

It has become abundantly clear that digital agencies around the world are promising results that a client’s budgets simply can not allow for. And we aren’t being honest about it. In order to keep the hamster wheel growing we are over-reaching and then finding nuanced ways to imply it was the clients fault. It’s everyone’s fault, but in this instance it is our responsibility to say no, your budget does not allow for a three-story house. And besides, you probably only need a two-story unit (pool optional of course).

How do we fix this never-ending cycle of bad work and unhappy clients you ask?

The reality is that it’s a big problem with even bigger implications, but some things are crystal clear and I have listed them below.

 

As I hurtled through space, one thought kept crossing my mind  –  every part of this rocket was supplied by the lowest bidder.

For Clients

Understand where you are in the history of your business. This means having clearly defined goals that your staff are aligned with.

Be aware that a good agency will provide a solution that fits the problem, remember there is no magic wand.

Stop comparing yourself to the cream of the crop to brands that have been in the digital space for longer than you, spending significantly more time and money.

Understand the value of a digital agency. If you think of it as a necessary evil then sure the lowest bidder might be a good option. If not, value the money you spend and its ROI.

For Agencies

If you can’t deliver to a clients ambitions due to budget/technical restraints then say so. Make it really, really clear.

Stop presuming the work you did for one client will translate to a different one because they share an industry. If your solution isn’t unique each time you are letting yourself and the client down.

Say no. If you are being asked to do work that will have no value other than burning through budget, tell the client no, you are the experts after all.

Saying your digital agency sucks was probably a bit harsh (read: probably) but there are problems across the industry that need to be addressed from both sides. If not we are doomed to a never-ending hamster wheel of forking out money and not delivering.

Why your digital agency sucks (kind of) and how to fix it.

Why your digital agency sucks (kind of) and how to fix it.

Hear me out and maybe we can begin to change some bad habits. Having spent the last couple of years...

Read more

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