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Branded content in demand

Champagne content for the holiday season

In the run-up to Christmas, drinks giant Pernod Ricard has turned to branded content to raise the profile of G.H.Mumm Champagne.  The ‘So Champagne’ initiative aims to ‘educate gentleman’ in the art of drinking champers through an online hub, giving the uninitiated lessons in top tipple etiquette. The content series will accompany PR’s ‘Champagne Protocol’ app released earlier this year.
Diversified digital content campaigns look set to top many brands’ holiday wishlist in 2012…

A new Sony make.believe story

What happens when you combine music and gaming? Beck’s latest album has been brought to life in a new game: ‘Sound Shapes’ by PlayStation. Gamers play levels composed around song structures and original artwork, with the lyrics appearing within the built environment.

Mitsubishi Unpretentious

Social media showboating is becoming more and more common – but Mitsubishi has had enough! With its latest campaign Mitsubishi has produced a statement app, ‘Mitsubishi Unpretentious’, which analyses your Facebook friends, drumming up a list of the most pretentious. We don’t want to spoil the ending, but check out the video to see what the new Mitsubishi Outlander does to your pompous friends and their Facebook content.

Skip Ad or Skip Behaviour

Is it possible to convince viewers to ignore the YouTube ‘Skip ad’ button by integrating it into an advert ? This  video for a Chilean environmental care agency does just that. The viewer is confronted with the following options: ‘Skip behaviour’ or ‘Skip ad’, prompting them to question their unecological actions rather than click away. It’s worked on 80,000 people in one week – will it work on you?

Viral video stock exchange

Think you’re pretty good at recognising which YouTube videos will become a viral success and which will peter out? Put your skills to the test with this interactive trading game in whuch users invest in and trade on the viral potential of videos. Be the first to discover a viral video and ride out its success. Give it a go!


A rally call against uniform brands

The Editor of Monocle magazine has written in the FT asking for more brands to aspire to be different, he wants an end to uniform brands & marketing. We’ve got a few recent examples of brands seeking to stand out through humour and the personal touch.

A rally call against uniform brands

The Editor of Monocle magazine pens an article in the FT claiming the business problem facing publishers and airlines is actually one of differentiation. “Spend a bit of time at a US news stand and it’s clear that the crisis in the magazine industry isn’t so much about plastering covers with hash-tags, the problem is that everything feels and looks alarmingly the same”. As brand publishers – identify & listen to your niche audience and be brave with the content you produce.

Fancy a free 4 pack?

This week Grolsch have created an interactive campaign featuring the detective Journt Von Deg. The content shows the detective sitting in a bar with a business card and the obligatory pint of Grolsch. Users are then asked to text the number on the card with their name. See it for yourself here.

Muscle Music

Viral ads go interactive on vimeo. In the latest Old Spice ad, which has been coined a ‘technological and pectoral breakthrough’, users are invited to use Terry Crews muscles to   control a variety of musical instruments. The real fun is creating and recording your own muscle music. If you’re struggling why not use the cheat sheet for a bit of inspiration.

Get your name engraved on a commemorative bean

Heinz Beanz: brand to offer new sauce and social media competition

Brands often seek to expand into new sectors of the market and increase demand for new products. With the launch of their ‘Five Beanz’ range, Heinz is no exception. They’ve created an app to let consumers discover the bean that fits their personality, and then have the chance to win their own personalised Heinz bean, which will have their name engraved on it. The quirky campaign has every hallmark of being a cult Facebook hit.

Sports, Beer & Sausage Rolls

London 2012

Never mind the brand police, here are the best “Fauxlympic” ads

The Long Shot: Bronze

In the spirit of the Olympics, creative agencies across the country have let their imaginations run free, producing spoof campaigns based on the games for a contest organised by The Drum magazine. Check out the winners to see who won faux gold. Just don’t tell the IOC!

… but which real ad is topping the social podium?

Which Olympic sponsor produced the most shared video content? Find out who’s become the viral Usain Bolt with this quick but cute game from Unruly Media.

Beer nurtures creativity!

Heineken looks for the perfect draught experience…

It’s not unusual for brands to launch a rebranding competition. But inviting people to reinvent their consumption habits is something new. This is what Heineken has in mind with the launch of their Ideas Brewery Challenge, a worldwide competition to reinvent the draught beer experience through digital technology, social media, and interactivity.

… and Stella Artois to fund film workshops

Stella cultivated its association with film through the launch of the Stella Artois Cannes Cinema Club earlier this year. The campaign is now set to expand, with the brand providing funds for special workshops to give cinema lovers the chance to learn from the most influential experts in the industry.

Social Media & Sausage Rolls

Greggs looks for their biggest fan

Greggs: pushing on from half a million Facebook fans

Will Greggs’ biggest fan still love Greggs after indulging every week for an entire year? The brand seems to think so. To celebrate reaching half a million fans on Facebook this week, Greggs is hosting a series of social media competitions to encourage fans to bring their virtual sentiment into the real world. The prize for the winner? You guessed it: free Greggs … every week … for a year! We can only hope one of those hungry looking long-distance runners comes out on top.

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.

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.

The better late than never Jubilee edition

Documenting the Jubilee with Social Media – Great, but who is curating?

Social media & mobile phones have turned us all into broadcasters for major live events. With thousands of people attending the Jubilee, there will be millions of individual stories capturing different aspects of the event, each one with different pictures, videos and text updates. There is a big opportunity for brands to get responsible for curating the content & organising it for the historical record. Who would be most appropriate to do this for the Olympics?

App to crowdsource videos of events

Vyclone iPhone app

Vyclone is a recently launched mobile app that lets people connect with everybody else filming video on their phone at the same event, synchronises them together, and then let fans remix all of this into one edit. A fantastic concept for gigs and festivals – imagine the possibilities of crowd sourcing footage of the Jubilee Flotilla heading down the Thames from different vantage points.

 Proud to be British

Brands that strongly rely on their British heritage saw their value grow in the year running up to the Jubilee and London 2012. Some brands gained growth by simply sticking a Union Jack on their logo or packaging. Some others tried to find more original ways of communicating their ‘Britishness’. Marmite focused on its very British sense of humour (they even revamped their famous slogan: “One either loves it, or one hates it”). T-Mobile instead chose to bring together the best-loved cultural memes in their What Britain Loves ad.

Her Majesty showed her true colours

Pantone is the first brand to officially acknowledge the Queen’s status as a fashion icon by launching her personal limited edition Diamond Jubilee Colour Guide. This contains the most notable colours preferred by the Queen in her 60 years of reign.

Interesting and engaging advertising formats

Not quite vibrating Nokia tattoo’s but this weeks Juiced brings you Google’s augmented reality glasses, miniature billboards, Facebook film casting and a kissable pop star poster – which is both interesting, engaging all be it slightly unhygienic.

Brand Engagement

Legoland places miniature billboards made of legos around London

In an interesting new campaign Lego went big with small ads to create great advertising and a lot of small talk around town. To promote new attractions at LEGOLAND – Agency DLKW created 12-inch high signs, made of Lego and placed them around London. With a game like vibe people were able to find the signs guided by Google maps and then share their photos on Twitter using a special hashtag. The use of social engagement maximised the campaigns reach to impressive proportions.

Today’s weird idea from the future: Ads that want to kiss you

Perhaps the most unhygienic campaign of the week goes to a group of Japanese scientists who created digital adverts interactive enough you can kiss them. The digital posters come complete with ultra-sound sensors that change the image to a kissy face as you approach. With further research scientists are hoping this technology will be able to recognise the scent of shampoo or flavour of lip balm. Splitting opinion- is this invention incredibly cool or are the ramifications of this technology both undignified and unsanitary?

Pepsico and Arby’s join trend for offering rewards for engagement

Many brands are jumping on the latest trend of offering rewards for digital engagement. Consumers have come to expect discounts and rewards and as a result we are seeing a lot more brands willing to come up with such goods. There are numerous ways brands are going about this. As a working example Arby’s reward consumers who spend $5 in store earn 10 Facebook credits – this could turn out a useful way to monetise its existing social media network. What is Kameleon’s view on rewarding people for engagement? Do such incentives actually providing meaningful engagement?


A guide to brand building on Pinterest and Tumblr

Should Kameleon make the move to Pinterest and Tumblr? As more brands and companies move to communicate within these mediums we need to re-think (once again) the way we write and present our content to gain maximum traction. Pinterest is predominantly a visual medium whereas Tumblr is more versatile, however, the most successful posts are still those which are visually stimulating. There are four keys points to consider when planning successful content for these mediums; understanding what your audience wants, getting creative with how you title your boards, be willing to show your brands personality and finally write to sell aesthetic. There is definitely something interesting about what people are choosing to pin – we are finding it is usually something that inspires them – brands should take to these media with a similar spirit and enthusiasm.

Google begins testing its augmented reality glasses

This video has had more than 11 million views in 5 days.

If you thought Nokia’s vibrating tattoos were peculiar check out the latest invention from Google. Last week Google gave us a sneak peak at their secret initiative called Project Glass. The glasses are the company’s first venture into wearable computing – check out the video to discover all the potential uses of this new invention. Not available for sale yet Google is trying to stimulate conversation and gain valuable input from a wider audience.

Nissan India launches Bollywood movie cast on Facebook

An interesting move for Nissan India sees them launch the ‘New Star of India’ campaign – creating the world’s first Bollywood movie that was cast on Facebook. With an enormous Bollywood following this campaign paints Nissan in an innovative and fresh light – creating engagement not only within the Bollywood market and aspiring actors but with first time car buyers too. (To watch the short-feature film follow the hyperlink.)

Branded Events

Breakdancing meets soccer in ‘street style’

As we’ve seen in recent Gold research Red Bull are always push the boundaries when it comes to partnering with extreme events on land, sea and sky but this new venture combines two relatively mainstream pastimes  – football and dancing. A somewhat off the wall event that attracts those interested in both or either sports or perhaps an event which may instantly turns off both groups. The fact it’s now a world championship event says to us that it could become the next Olympic sport.

Getting social with intellectual property


NuSound experience for music lovers

A Swedish headphone company and students from Hyper Island have come up with a concept that claims to bring the experience of being at a gig to life online, however you are in charge – interact live with the artist and have a panoramic 360 view of the action. Viewers need a ticket to this viewing and the only way to get a ticket is through a binaural sound treasure hunt.There was some debate as to whether the actual experience will match up to the claims but I think there are two key takeouts – how can we create content viewing experiences as well as tell great stories, and secondly, how can we extend the experience and engage fans before and after the main event. Tickets to the first NuSound gig anyone??


Interest social graphs

People are moving onto social sites that are focussed around specific interests rather than a broad group of connections with friends. As a marketer this should be a far easier opportunity to engage potential consumers but few brands seem to be hot off the mark. We are social recommend fostering discovery with multiple notebooks, include non brand assets and most importantly encourage people to curate. Sony especially should be looking to engage specific communities around photography and stop motion on popular sites such as Pinterest.

Make your own Dominos pizza

A mouthwatering simple piece of engagement which uses the communities tastebuds and creative juices to create and name a new Pizza that will feature in stores for people to get a taste of.

Bribing your advocates..a brand in trouble?

Getting your fans to work for you doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg. Just a pair of trainers. Skechers identifies the power and ease of getting your biggest fans as advocates. But is free gear the right way to win your fans over? Surely earned media is precisely that – you provide value and engagement and fans will willingly spread the word.


Something we have all been thinking about since learning lunch – 3 hazards with IP and social media (US focussed but we should be clear on the UK standpoint); pictures on Twitter are still subject to copyright and we need to be clear where we are sourcing our images from,don’t just re-post content but transform it and add our own POV, parodies are danger.


City maps via brand logos

How often do you give directions by saying ‘look out for the Apple store’. One app manufacturer has created a map that uses retail landmarks instead of road names. Purpose-led maps seem to make much more sense – imagine maps of bars, parks, record shops etc. If this takes off we could see it being sold to phone brands, tourism councils or even lonely planet.


Angry birds to appear in a Walmart near you

A stream of new tech savvy punters will flock to traditional Walmart stores trying to find hidden gems for the new Angry Birds game. Angry Birds will receive an unbelievable reach across America’s non-digital land. A mutual benefit from two very different perspectives.

Personalised branded content at its best


Coca-Cola eyes Olympic velodrome naming rights

Can Coca-Cola build a long term success of the Olympic Park velodrome if the brand is granted the naming rights? The O2 or the Emirates are two such success stories. As Coca-Cola aims to capitalise on it’s sponsorship of London 2012 it’s interesting to consider what they may intend to do with the space after the Olympics, and how they plan to name it?

Engagement in retail

Ted Baker customers can become an artist’s muse in store

A fun initiative sees Ted Baker create a live art event for consumers in store. The digital service called ‘Ted’s drawing room’ will give 100 customers the opportunity to get their photograph recreated by a top illustrator. The finished portraits will be sent to their owners and will be displayed on Ted Baker’s facebook page – live footage will also be broadcast. As the ease of online shopping continues to threaten the high street I expect we’ll see more brands using their retail stories to host events to bring in the crowds.


Diet Coke announces Jean Paul Gaultier as Creative Director 

Jean Paul Gaultier has created a series of short films titled ‘The Serial Designer’ launched on Facebook as part of his new role. Each film features one of the Diet Coke Puppets and Gaultier helps to solve their fashion emergencies. Working with Gaultier is a massive coup but I’m disappointed by the content – the narrative is weak and the product placement feels too overt, it seems more like an ad. Also there is no call to interact despite the content being hosted on Facebook.

Fat Duck’s reservation experience

Like A Kid In A Sweet Shop. from The Neighbourhood on Vimeo.

The Fat Duck is famous for creating an immersive dining experience, however with a waiting list of about 2 months, how do you keep diners excited? Heston Blumenthal’s team have come up with an idea to engage diners before they’ve even got to the restaurant – after booking, customers get a url which takes them on an animated journey evoking the memory of being a kid in a sweet shop, and binaural sound features too! Anyone that completes the experience also get a digital souvenir. Personalised brand content at it’s best!

BBC to introduce paid download store

Codenamed Project Barcelona the iTunes style store will allow viewers to pay to download programming. Thompson said ‘the BBC iPlayer is the most successful used catch-up service in the world but it’s true that after that 7 day public service window, a large proportion is never seen again’…The window would be non-exclusive and all this content would be made available for producers to exploit in any way they wish.


PG Tips is ‘most engaged with UK’ brand on Facebook

PG Tips is the most engaged with brand and it’s not all about the number of fans. According to research, nearly 2 out of 10 fans actively responded to the brand’s page over a week by liking, commenting, posting, responding to polls or sending RSVPs. If like me, you are wondering how they do this it’s simple –they focus posts around the lovable ‘Monkey’ and Jonny Vegas. Brands need a personality and great content to maintain engagement beyond marketing campaigns to grow fan acquisition.

Adprovising: Agile marketing made easy

Not only did SXSW (9-13 March) social media carnival throw up some great trends as seen last week with Me-TV but it produced a great variety of talks. This one was easy to share, so, I’m sharing it! Hyper Island’s Tim Leake gave a great, thought provoking talk on Adprovising: Agile marketing made easy – check out the link.

Agency uses app to find their interns

Are we looking to vet any new interns – why not use an app to do it? A bit on the ‘digital savvy/crazy’ side the app assesses applicants by asking them to draw a picture for a given word. The agency behind this believes the key to successful messages is simplicity. If you fancy your changes why not download the app and get drawing.

The Industry

 SXSW Festival: POV piece

A festival famous for highlighting the ‘things to come’ there are 3 connected trends emerging from this year – which will have both an impact on brand reputation and comms. They are crowd-sourcing ‘social’ and privacy. All of which are set to revolutionise traditional practise – we are in an area of networked intelligence and cracking the code will lead to more successful aggregation and understanding of engagement.

Keeping it short and sweet


Sam Sure & Giacomo music video

Take a tour around Notting Hill with Sam Sure & Giacomo in their interactive music video. Whilst watching you can click on the screen and drag the camera direction round, like you’re on Google street view. Although an engaging idea to bring you inside a music video, I think this functionality has more potential – imagine making interactive content in this style with binaural sound.

Worth the wait? 

Swedish rapper Adam Tensta has only released one copy of his single and despite this being released online, only one person can listen at a time. Fans have to download the app and then wait their turn for the track to be passed on to them. Although a good PR story, this is an unusual approach for a music artist who surely wants to engage a wider fan base. Maintaining this air of exclusivity would be better suited to a luxury fashion brand.

Move to the Beat

Coca Cola’s ‘Move to the Beat’ campaign aims to use music to unlock the social side of the sports event. Mark Ronson travelled the world to meet up and coming athletes and fused the sound of their sports to create the campaign anthem. This is one campaign to keep an eye on – there will be events, digital activation and a full 60 minute documentary on Ronson’s travels airing soon.


The Guardian ad

Created by BBH this ad for The Guardian uses the children’s story of the Three Little Pigs to demonstrate the future of journalism – crowd sourcing, open platform collaboration, social media. A fantastic ad to show how the traditional newspaper industry must evolve if they ever hope of remaining relevant.


Visit Scotland and Disney Pixar

Disney Pixar’s latest cinema release tells the tale of a flame haired heroine and is set in the Scottish Highlands. The film is scheduled for release this summer and the global marketing campaign will also be aimed at promoting Scottish tourism through TV and cinema advertising, PR opportunities, digital marketing and events.