Archive | July 2012

Olympic fever & the brand police

Olympics 2012: 100 Years of Sponsorship
The sponsorship of the games and surrounding controversies has been with us for over 100 years. Oxo was one of the first official sponsors of the London Olympics in 1908, providing beef stock drinks and rice pudding for marathon runners – the food of champions. During the 60s one of the main sources of revenue for the games came from tobacco sponsorship, the ‘Olympia’ cigarette brand generating over US$1m during the 1964 Tokyo games. Who are the brand winners today?

EDF and the dawn of the twitter Olympics
London 2012 will be most digitally connected Olympics and for brand sponsors to maximise their impact, they need a strong social media presence. Sponsor EDF energy stands out with their plans for curating a light show, projected onto the London Eye. Every night a special algorithm will measure the mood of tweets surrounding the Olympics, and the colours of the light show will change to suit the mood of the public. The live show will be streamed online.

Cadbury’s ‘Chocolatarium’
Sponsorship is most effective when there is a consistent brand story and POV. After months of build-up Cadbury’s may have found its feet with the launch of the Cadbury’s house – an experiential hub where people can play with a variety of virtual sporting events and share their fun on social networks with RFID technology. The spots and stripes campaign almost feel like a distant memory.

Sponsor Confusion
There has been a lot of talk about the “Olympics Brand Police” stopping smaller businesses from mentioning the event, but just how successful has Olympic sponsorship been for the brands? This NewsWorks report looks into interest in the Olympics and how the brands awareness and perception have changed, if at all. Is Adidas’ sponsorship that successful if many people still just assume it’s Nike? Or have EDF benefited when people are still getting them confused with E.on?

Oddbins spearheading the revolt against LOCOG

The most effective marketing doesn’t need huge budgets, just a core insight into the mood of your audience. During the Olympic period Oddbins are offering anybody 30% off in -store if they turn up wearing Nike trainers and have in their pockets an RBS Mastercard, set of Vauxhall car keys and an iPhone. “We are doing this primarily to highlight the absurdity of the fact that the British people – who are paying for these games – are at the same time being subject to ridiculous rules”. Oddbins website has seen a 22% increase in traffic since its anti-olympics campaign launched

Celebrating the Paralympic athletes

This trailer from Channel 4 is one of the best ads we’ve seen from the games, celebrating the athletes as super humans whom have triumphed over adversity without being patronising. Emotive content at it’s best.


The changing face of content

Brandalism and the Olympic Anti-Content

How far should brands go to protect their own content? In a recent anti-Olympics campaign a group of artists called Brandalism have toured UK cities, in their own version of the torch relay, covering Olympic billboard ads with bespoke spoof interpretations. We have seen content produced for brands like JD sports which we think is more alluring than the original…

 Nike Shoe Boxxxx App

In our digital age brands often use rewards to engage consumers. But, as a mechanism, what is more effective – a physical incentive or a virtual one? Nike’s new Facebook Shoe Boxxxx app offers the latter. Players (avid training fans) can collect and build their very own online shoe museum, learn about their favourite Nikes, trade with others and share with friends. Are there enough sneakerheads to make this brand extension a success?

Cadbury adopts social first strategy

What should come first: social strategy or a branded campaign? Cadbury’s Dairy milk has gone social first to tell the world that their advertising will now be all about chocolate (yes, this means no more gorillas). Social will enable Dairy Milk to give something back to the customer. In turn they hope people will associate happiness with chocolate once again. Not that we ever didn’t! The first leap was their imaginative Joyville brand platform.

The truth behind hidden cameras

The use of social experiments to produce branded content campaigns seems to be on the rise. Last month a couple of us were caught on camera by Birra Moretti in Golden Sq. We won’t spoil it, just have a look at what we did. A similar concept developed for Carlsberg in Hong Kong was filmed around the city using actors to test people’s behaviour and award the ones that “stepped up to do the right thing”. As an approach to content this method can definitely be both cost effective and funny.

Travelling Book Club

Mobile branded content—and we don’t mean the digital sort of mobile!—is an area often explored in the arts. But could a project similar to the recently-launched Mexican Art Book Club be adapted for an electronics or sports brand? The Club hosts a mix of workshops, seminars, and special events in their mobile library.

Better Looking Hatred

Hackers Cheer Up

If you can’t beat them … redesign them? In an attempt to end the “Cyber Wars” between Israel and Arab nations, McCann Digital Israel asked a group of students to redesign 50 webpage and then asked hackers use them in place of ugly hate-banners in future attacks.

Friday the 13th… unlucky for some!


Friday 13th

It’s Friday the 13th, unlucky for some…. In Paris superstitious diners can hire a quatorzieme, or professional 14th guest to make up the numbers. Fear of Friday the 13th is called paraskavedekatriaphobia. Chicago airport has no Gate 13.

Friday 13th, whilst synonymous with bad luck, seems like a missed opportunity for a brave brand to hijack, how about an insurance brand taking over the YouTube homepage with mishap stories.

AT&T goes all out with an interactive content campaign

AT&T, the US network provider, have this week launched an interactive content experience called ‘Daybreak’. Players have to solve a cinematic-style mystery through 5 online films and complete challenges using a gaming app. The tie-in is that to complete the challenges, people have to use technology devices that AT&T can provide (translator app, GPS friend-locator, voice recorder). A good example of how good content can both provide entertainment and showcase a product’s features.

Music band finds new way to engage potential fans

Springwise: Band Launches Album In NYC With Sidewalk Listening Boxes

Enjoying your favourite band’s music is best done collectively, with other fans. Kitsuné America have done an interesting promotion where they released their compilation album to the general public by playing it out of special listening boxes on the streets of New York. Fans could find out where these boxes were on the website and once at the location, you could download the album for free.

Context is king

Content has a role to play at all stages of the purchase funnel and can be especially powerful at point of sale (according to Internet Retailer visitors who view product videos are 85% more likely to buy than those than do not). A new digital platform called Gimbal has launched which serves personalised and time specific content to people’s mobiles, taking their previous interests and activity on their mobile into account. The key to ensuring people use the service is ensuring the relevancy of content.


Sony acquire a US company that stream video games online

For the small fee of $380 million Sony Corporation have purchased Gaikai Inc, an open cloud-based video game platform. Streaming video games has not taken off as quickly as streaming music and film due to the high data download but it’s on the rise. An interesting future facing move from Sony who have traditionally focussed on the hardware rather than the software.


O2 and Nike partner for Priority Sports

O2 Priority has traditionally been centred around music via Priority Tickets and shopping via Priority Moments. Now Nike are getting on board to provide access to a digital sports club for O2 customers. Customers will be offered access to Nike plus, events & training clubs and product exclusives through their mobile. A great content distribution channel too for Nike to reach 23 million UK customers.


Nissan LEAF promotes EV with cheaper TAXI ride

To get Londoners into electric vehicles, Nissan promoted a new original initiative. People who tweeted their destination to hashtag #6XCHEAPER could call a ride from the new Nissan LEAF ‘taxi rank’ in East London, and they’d be shown the cost of the journey in petrol and electric to compare. A great idea to increase EVs popularity, particularly among the sceptics. How can we demonstrate the value within EnergyShare in a similar vein?

Social Media

BNL Bank goes social

BNL People: Infografica

While many consumer goods brands have embraced social media as a essential way to engage & retain customers, banks have been so far reluctant. BNL Bank has made its first step into Facebook by creating a brand page that is all about people, their lives & their needs. As one of the least trustworthy business categories, this is a brave step which will become increasingly necessary to communicate transparency and win back trust.

Kameleon shortlisted for the Braves Awards

We are incredibly proud to have been shortlisted for a Braves Award in the ‘Best Long Form Branded Content’ category for our Sony ‘make.believe’ campaign, launched in 2011.

To bring Sony’s inspirational brand message to life we produced a series of videos and digital applications. They were distributed across hundreds of Sony owned and earned channels around the world.

Such extensive distribution was made possible by the Sony Owned Media Planning Tool, a sophisticated digital system that allowed the auditing and selection of the most relevant and powerful channels across the Sony estate. The tool was conceived and created by Edward Donald, Head of Brand Content and Brand Initiatives at Sony, Europe and includes 1000’s of channels covering websites, forums, newsletters, social media channels, in-store and broadcast channels, all owned by Sony and its sister companies (Sony Music, Sony Mobile, Sony Pictures, Sony Playstation…) across Europe.

The shortlisted film follows three emerging European music artists, Oh Land, Loick Essien and Mads Langer, and their stories of pursuing their passion. We get a glimpse into their everyday lives and understand their unique perspective on their talent and performing. Whilst each artist belongs to a different cultural and musical background, their stories combine to tell a compelling make.believe story.

Check out the film here:

The trends reshaping British society from The Future Foundation

2012 has been a pivotal year for the UK with the Jubilee, the Olympics, the gradual recovery of our economy, what impact is this having on the national psyche and what effects can we expect over the next 10 years?

1.Local Preference

The growing interest in buying local and supporting local businesses demonstrates a growing concern in why, where and how we consume. It’s evident across categories but most significantly in food & drink with certain restaurant menus boasting the air miles associated with each of their dishes. On a macro level we are being encouraged to buy British. 2012 celebrations has created a new stock of nostalgia goods which is likely to produce a long-term revival in national pride and local preference, further boosted by the disruptive political & economic climate in Europe. Just look at the rise in popularity of The Royals. How do we advise brands to take advantage of this?

2.Ageless Society

The decade ahead will see the +65s edge towards 20% of the total population and this will be a tribe of relatively prosperous, techno-skilled people, keen to keep living life (& spending) to the full – lucky devils! However few marketing campaigns are currently connecting with this generation, for example car buyers over 65 are 12% of the market BUT willing to spend 25% more on a new car than the national average.


This has been a trend on the back burner since the 90s but with the Government having to cut carbon emissions by 50% into 2020 we can expect increasing pressure to change the way that we live & work. Consumers will want to see brands putting in the effort too and we can expect to see greater emphasis on CSR campaigns and transparent practises. Starting an open dialogue now in comms will pay dividends in the long term

4.The End of Inefficiency

Data, data, data. Already people are starting to embrace services and systems that process choice options on our behalf e.g. suggested playlists, Evian fridge apps that automatically update a delivery when stocks run low, next step a personal program that selects and buys your financial products based on your current lifestyle. As more and more of our consumer choices become automised, brands will need to work harder to ensure they continue to engage their audience and remain relevant. Personalisation will be key.

5.The mullet haircut come back

You heard it here first!