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Taking on branded content

Calling all 007s…

Nick Grimshaw and the BBC Radio 1 Breakfast Show asked their audience to recreate a favourite Bond scene, with a chance of meeting and interviewing Daniel Craig and Naomie Harris as the prize.  Listeners were encouraged to produce a one-minute video and upload it to YouTube.  To kick-start the campaign and inspire the public to get involved, Greg James, one of the DJs on Radio 1, made his own video in which he emerges from the sea à la Daniel Craig – which has now gone viral.

70 second win

At a local train station, Coke Zero challenged unsuspecting passers-by to unlock the 007 in them for a chance to win exclusive tickets to the new Bond film.  In true James Bond style, contestants had to go the extra mile—overcoming obstacles and delays in less than 70 seconds to win.  Brilliant content by Coke. It looks like there’s a little 007 in everyone.

Sony brings it all together

Making brilliant use of their leading music, movies, games and technology, the Sony Entertainment Network has brought everything they do best under one roof to create unique content. Add a great soundtrack by Swiss Lips (one of their newest artists), and the result is truly inspiring.

Commuters play Beethoven

Great crowd-sourced content brought to you by Nexus (Art of Transport Scheme), with support from FACT Services Liverpool.  At a bus station in Newcastle, commuters and passers-by were invited to contribute a note or two to a Beethoven Sonata – they all lent a hand and shared in a centuries-old musical tradition. Compared to some more elaborate flash mob performances, this is rather simple: less is more.

Check In with the All Blacks

In July this year Mastercard launched “Check In”, a competition in which the winner gets to follow the All Blacks on the Air New Zealand European Tour in November.  This advert, voted New Zealand’s favourite in the Fair Go Best Ad Award, is an amusing and endearing look at the enthusiasm of the All Blacks’ fans, and their relationship with the players.

Oozing aspiration

US luxury gym line Equinox, which launched in London this week, fuses fitness, fashion, and high-quality content focusing on brand building, aspiration and their award-winning instructors, rather than the physical environment of their gyms. The result is compelling. Will you sign up?

 

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Kameleon’s are back in town…

The Real Bears

The CSPI, a US advocacy group with aim of promoting health and nutrition, have created a short film featuring animated polar bears who suffer with problems associated with excessive fizzy drink consumption, including tooth decay, the onset of diabetes and even erectile dysfunction.  What makes this most effective in getting the message across is the use of some recognisable ‘happy’ polar bears.

Answering Back

The “CEO” of Bodyform had a potential PR nightmare on her hands: a male Facebook user wrote to them saying that Bodyform’s adverts had misinformed him of women’s periods, setting him up for a fall. Their response: to create a tongue in cheek video for women and tell the truth to all other men. Crafty buggers.

Man Reminder

Whilst on the subject of men… Rethink Breast Cancer have cleverly created a Man Reminder App and accompanying advert.  Using attractive men in their content has allowed for a fun approach to push forward a serious message, which reduces the scary aspect of checking for signs of breast cancer. It’s not only memorable but users will look forward to receiving reminders and women will want to share the messages with friends.

#TheReturn

Basketball viewers, fans and teammates are all in it together, rooting for D Rose to return to The Chicago Bulls after suffering with an injury. His passion for the sport, his determination and professionalism are inspiring character traits that the basketball player displays in the series for Adidas, which charts his return to the court.

Road Bike Party

Martyn Ashton has teamed up with WD40 and taken a £10,000 road bike for the ride of its life. Road Bike Party captures some of the toughest stunts ever from a Tour de France-winning bike.  ‘Hero’ videos such as these drive traffic to YouTube sites and are perfect fodder for sports fans who might want inspiration to oil up their old bike.

Zombies

Greggs is promoting their Halloween products through a new piece of branded content called ‘Britain Prepare for Zombies: Only Humans Allowed’ where zombies invade a Greggs cafe. This, in conjunction with live sampling events in high footfall areas where consumers can try the products and take photos of themselves with the zombie bakers, is an excellent example of appropriately tent-poling their branded content.

Cybergeddon

Norton Antivirus and Yahoo have teamed up to create a brand new online series, a crime drama called ‘Cybergeddon’.  Developed by Anthony E. Zuiker, the creator of TV crime drama CSI, this series is high quality and perfect for the tech-literate audience who will engage with the show, take advantage of the bonus material and Norton offers.

Dear 16 year-old me

The David Cornfield Melanoma Fund have asked real people, not actors, to tell their true, emotional and powerful stories to the next generation to try and prevent as many lives being touched by melanoma.  The video is heartfelt and honest, and attempts to speak to sixteen year olds who can change their habits to save their lives.

Affiliation, Uniqueness and Identity

Expedia Find Yours

Expedia have created a series of human stories, both user-generated content and selective brand-produced films to convey their personal touch – every trip is unique and transformative. Working with travel bloggers, this approach aims to provide the Expedia brand with an aspirational identity, rather than a quick booking site.

I’m Not Rafa!

PokerStars have drafted in Spanish tennis player, Rafa Nidal, to rehearse his bluffing skills in an amusing piece of content which promotes the recently opened online poker market in Spain.  The film shows Rafa posing as a receptionist at a Golf Course in Mallorca, and trying to convince customers that he’s not the tennis star. The release date of the film is pertinent too; with the Ryder Cup in full swing this week, this content will generate a strong dialogue for the brand.

Asos & Puma in Brazil

Politically-charged, Brazilian graffiti artists are the stars of Asos’ gritty, mini-film to promote their new association with Puma X Black. With brand logos noticeably absent, the film delivers the typical Puma, everyday athlete vibe, and is filled with street cred to engage a young male audience.

Why VW?

September 17th saw Volkswagen debut their campaign for drivers to share their stories, be it unforgettable road trips, fun first dates or sustainable customisations of their cars.  Volkswagen has invited their customers to tell the online community why they love their car and share their fondest memories of it.  By asking their consumers to define what Volkswagen means to them, the power and scope of the carefully curated campaign rests on who is most important to the brand.

WAKE THE F**K UP

Despite our internal debate as to whether the Democrat Party should be considered a brand, this Obama campaign video certainly garners attention:  Samuel J. Jackson has been recruited by the Jewish Council for Education and Research to speak frankly to young people about the importance of voting, canvassing and donating to Obama’s re-election campaign.  Filled with crucial facts, this humorous, no-nonsense film endorses Obama’s manifesto and inspires the viewers to get up and get engaged, and with over half a million shares in the last five days, this video is set to go viral.

 

The Good, The Bad, & The Beautiful

The future of content – prêt-á-porter?

Brand Content went high-tech & haute couture this summer when Google hit the catwalk with fashion heavyweight Diane Von Furstenberg to showcase ‘Google Project Glass’. Augmented reality enhanced glasses worn by models & designers recorded runway footage for “DVF Through Glass.” The film, which gives viewers a behind-the-scenes look into DVF’s creative process, was released yesterday on the designer’s Google+ page and YouTube channel.

The Beauty Inside

Intel & Toshiba’s remarkable new content project, “The Beauty Inside”, is a crowd-sourced hybrid of film and social media that riffs on the iconic “Intel Inside” tagline. The two tech brands collaborated on the project—not only with each other, but with the audience.  The interactive four-part film tells the story of Alex, a regular guy who wakes up every day looking like someone else. The twist… this someone could be you.

Audition now at Facebook.com/TheBeautyInsideFilm.

Peugeot wide of the mark?

Automotive content and interactive games are a great fit, as demonstrated in Mercedes’s successful escape the map campaign. But Peugeot’s latest offering, a graphic novel based on its HYbrid4 technology, looks to have fallen short. Limited interactivity, and content that feels like a slave to the product, make this feel more like advertising than Brand Content we want to spend time with. What do you think?

The Lego Story

How should a brand celebrate an iconic moment in its history? Lego chose to stay current.

For the brand’s 80th birthday, Lego has produced a charming animated film which tells the rollercoaster story of the historic family business, showcasing dedication to core values through changing times and fortune. With over 2.3 million views in the last month, it looks like these old boys won’t be left behind in the digital age.

 

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.

Then. Now. Next.

Branded content

Monsoon and Accessorize Move into Digital

Monsoon Discover: design retailer to offer dedicated editorial content online

Monsoon and Accessorize have launched a major new area of digital content on their websites this week. Monsoon Discover provides customers with articles surrounding the origins and ethics of their clothing, and includes a travel section featuring places such as Jaipur, India, which has inspired several of the pieces in the current collection. With magazine-style articles and contributions from professional travel writers, it looks set to become a market leader for retail fashion content in the future.

5 Reasons your Branded Content is Failing

Brand’s are recognising the need to build their owned media channels and act more like a publisher. However this is still in its infancy and there are many lessons to be learnt. Here’s 5 common mistakes to consider; you haven’t developed a brand voice, self-promotion & pushing product is too heavy handed, you’re not guest writing anywhere, you’re not distributing your content to new audiences, you’re not tailoring your content mix to the needs of the platform.

Go Pro: The HD Hero 2

Almost all of this week’s Viral Video Ad Chart is composed of longer form branded content, and Go Pro – the first name in action cameras, is the latest brand trying this approach. There are many ways to create a camera advert, the first two that come to mind are 30 second spots featuring the shiny little box from all angles (in a range of colours, don’t you know) or groups of young, fresh-faced friends snapping their fun times. Go Pro instead decided to show how good their product is by shooting a 5 min film with it, which has so far received over 14,000,000 views.

Agencies & Lifestyles of the future

Imagining the future

How will developments within mobile, social and local shape our lives in the future? The brand consultancy team at Wolff Olins build on Mary Meekers Internet Trend Report to make some predictions…will we soon be watching Match Of The Day composed by 40,000 people filming from every angle and paying digital buskers through contactless payments?

Enabling Agile Creativity in Agencies

As brand communication needs to be increasingly of the moment, traditional ad agencies need to evolve to be faster and more flexible. Think with Google have released 7 tips for greater agility and those centred around increasing collaboration are especially relevant for our move to Kameleon’s new office.

Olympic campaigns from around the globe

Italy: From gymnasts to Stars thanks to reality show
How do you create engagement and build an audience for a team of athletes who have no sponsors and no fame? MTV Italy created a reality show to follow the lives of 3 members of the Italian Gymnastics team in preparation for their first Olympic adventure. The successful TV format – which tremendously increased the sport’s popularity amongst young girls and also helped the team find sponsors, is now set to be distributed worldwide.

Netherlands: Volkswagen create a cheer powered car to celebrate the Dutch athletes

A common route for brands across the globe to engage Olympic fans has been to offer the chance of free tickets. Volkswagen has taken this one step further by getting fans to prove their passion – by cheering as loud as they can in a car rigged up to run purely off the noise. All the videos of people trying are viewable on their site.

Azerbaijan: The Official Sponsorship of the Azerbaijani Olympic Wrestlers

P&G brand Febreze decided that despite having a host of world class athletes at their disposal, they wanted to move away from the big names and find “the toughest odour challenge of the Olympic Games” – which they decided was wrestling. Upon becoming the official sponsors of the Azerbaijan Olympic Wrestling Team they started a campaign using video content and social media to not only promote the team globally, but also show just how good their products are.

Australia: Qantas community based gymnastics

In the run up to the Olympics sponsors have leveraged their brand ambassadors in several ways. In Australia Qantas developed a community based initiative to tell the story of their most recognised gymnast, Lauren Mitchell. The Gymbus event saw over 120 aspiring gymnasts come together to be coached by Lauren and her team mates. This brand campaign targeted a much younger demographic to most – giving future hopefuls a taste of London 2012 and what may be to come.

USA: Win when the USA wins gold

How have unlikely Olympic sponsors managed to create brand campaigns that target their target audience whilst aligning themselves to the biggest sporting event of 2012? As part of their Olympic campaign, McDonalds is offering rewards ‘as big as a 25k trip to London’ to incentivise consumers to eat healthier. Items containing 400kcal or less will have an athlete’s name on it and if that Olympic athlete wins gold, you win a prize.  With Team USA’s current run of form, McDonalds may giving away quite a few prizes.

World: Phelps honoured as ‘most decorated Olympian’

Not only did the worlds most decorated Olympian, Michael Phelps receive a phone call from President Obama but courtesy of Visa, Phelps was also honoured with a video message of congratulations from Morgan Freeman. Throughout the games brands have been releasing new content to keep up to date.  Yet a day after the content was released, Phelps won another Olympic gold taking his total up to a whopping 20. Who will be next to congratulate the don of swimming?

The best & worst of Olympics Marketing

A useful Pinterest board – with P&G cited as one of the best

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’
CadburyHouse
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 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.

3.Environmentalism

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!