Tuesday, 22 August 2017

GBBO sweeeeet stop motion ad

Some people get highly emotional around, what I believe to be, trivial things such as Uber changing their logo, Brangelina breaking up, or in this case, programmes moving to other channels.

This is why Great British Bake Off's new trailer ad has been met with some mixed reviews; because passionate BBC-apostles are outraged that the show will be on Channel 4 and not feature the beloved Mary Berry, Mel nor Sue.

Click to Watch

I'm not usually into twee, overly cute or British things, but this ad has just enough edge to win me over.....

A doughnut vomiting jam on a tart? Love it.

Haunted? This is literally a dream for me.

Here are some fun facts about this ad:

- This is the first time an entire ad has animated out of baked goods.
- 335 baked character were created for the ad
- 500 eggs were used
- 28kg of sugar
- 50kg of flour

A nice short and sweet post from me tonight, because really just an opportunity to show off ONCE AGAIN my winning show-stopper cake from my work bake-off last year.
I'll let you soak this in....

The most effort I've ever put into anything in my entire life.

Tuesday, 8 August 2017

YOU are a KICKASS creative!

As Britney Spears once sang; 

"There's only two types of people in the world; the ones that entertain, and the ones that observe"

It's not often I start a post quoting such a highly reputable source, yet she brings up an interesting point.

It is quite common for people to assume one of two personality roles:
The creative person or the logical person.

Either you are artistic or you are scientific...

A dreamer or grounded...

Right-brained or left-brained.

Here is a humorously awful pic which demonstrates what it's like to be right and left-brained.
Basically you are either grey and boring, or you are kooky and potentially unhinged.

AKA: The Geek in IT vs. the Twat in Marketing

Now, I'm not 100% sure, but I think, I THINK, I have a rep for being right-brained.
Here are the comments I received from my colleagues when asked what my strengths were...

but guys, I have so much more to give

Most of the time in my job, I am asked to contribute to projects because "she's the creative one" and "has ideas".

Now, as flattering as that is, it's bullshit.

Most lefty's assume they do not have the capacity to come up with ideas; handing over the "fluffy stuff" to agencies and paying a shit ton of money for the pleasure.

Well I am here to tell you that this is no more. I believe anyone and everyone can have ideas.
If you can find a new route to work, put together an outfit for the day, cook a meal - these are all ideas.

Maybe a part of your job requires you to come up with "a new, cool way to...blah blah" or "a great way to inspire... blah blah", and maybe you're filled with dread by this because you don't consider yourself to be someone who wears a Shoreditch topknot or weeps into paintbrushes.

I recently read a book called "A Technique for Producing Ideas" and, although it was written in 1965, it is still very applicable for today.

It takes about 15 minutes to read, and gives you FIVE very easy steps on how to get ideas.

It is simply this:

1. Gather The Info: 
ALL of it. Every piece of info about the topic. This is usually where people fall at the first hurdle because they can't be arsed and expect inspiration to "come to them".
Do your research. Write it down. Not only about your subject, but clue yourself up on general knowledge and what's going on around you. These are your puzzle pieces, and the more of them you have, the bigger the picture you can create.

2. Think:
He uses a nice analogy of a kaleidoscope; how you have thousands of pieces which can make an infinite number of new patterns depending on which angle you view them from. 
This is what you have to do. Match, pair, mix and absorb all these pieces you have collected.

3. Do Nothing:
My favourite part. Literally fuck it off. Go do something you enjoy; take your mind off it and onto something that makes you feel good. You have everything you need to know in your head, let it stew.

4. The Idea!:
Whether this is in the shower, whilst you're driving, or about 1am when you're trying to sleep - it will appear. An idea will pop up. Write it down.

5. Work It:
Maybe in the cold light of day you're like "actually maybe this is a shit idea". Share it. Tell it to people. This is the part I feel I can never do alone. I need people to see the good, build on the bad, and fill in the gaps.

And that's basically it. 

And you too, are capable of amazing ideas such as this.

This method is more modernly called the "Incubation" technique, but there are literally so many different techniques you can use.

I have had a few Creative Leadership sessions with a company called Upping Your Elvis which I will share in my next post, as I really believe anyone is capable of having ideas and empowering themselves to be creative. So give it a whirl.

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Upping the dating game

If you're a woman and you've used dating apps such as Tinder, you'll know that dating in 2017 has gotten weird.

Tinder is not for the faint-hearted. Most heterosexual women who've attempted it, have most likely experienced one of the following from a guy:

- a horrific pick up line
- an unrequested penis pic
- a hostile response when rejected

Luckily for me I've experienced all three. What a time to be alive.

Tinder is now probably best known as the app if you want something quick and easy.
According to a study last year, a third of men said they "casually like most profiles", treating it like a game; seeing who they match with for a quick ego boost with no intention of following it up.
Whereas 93% of women said they only match with guys who they are actually attracted to and want to date.

So in summary, dating apps were looking pretty bleak for women; leaving them with low confidence, feeling harassed or unfulfilled.

In 2013 came Bumble. The dating app where only the woman can talk first, and banned & blocked gross men from the app, helped women take back some control.

Whitney Wolfe, CEO & founder of Bumble actually used to work for Tinder, wanted to start up a dating app that empowered women to make the first move and feel confident about dating again.

So the reason for this post is that I've seen Bumble have been the first dating app to take to above the line advertising, not only promoting their app, but forging a campaign which encourages women to feel empowered in life as a whole, not just in dating.

"In every other facet of a young woman's life we are owning our worlds in a very independent way.
We work, we create, we support ourselves, and it's encouraged to do so. The only thing that hasn't caught up to that is how we date."

I really like this campaign as, not only have they already identified a huge and very real need for women with the app, but they have transformed "just another dating app" into a brand that has a bigger life purpose, meaning there is much, much farther they can go with this idea. The potential for growing this idea outside of a dating app means they're giving themselves a great long-term advantage in an extremely crowded, (and pervy), market.

Tuesday, 7 March 2017

Lucozade Energy ranked #16 in Top 100 social brands

Just a quick one from me tonight.

Every year, The Grocer releases the Top 100 socially savvy brands, and I'm pleased to say that Lucozade Energy UK was ranked high at #16, pipping big global brands such as Doritos (#17), Cadburys (#46) and Coca-Cola (#67) to the post.

Ranked by brands' content engagement rates across both Facebook & Twitter.

Brands that may have smaller followings are outstripping the performance of their large global competitors because they’re keeping content localised and contextual. To quote Doyle from The Social Retail agency “They’re connecting with their fans in a true and very honest way”.

We don't have a massive following on social compared to some of our global competitors, however we are big on contextual messaging and targeting; understanding our audience, creating content bespoke for them, and being relevant to them at the right time, with a relatable message. 

A unsurprising learning from the list; brands are now using Twitter less, debating whether or not they need to be on both. Are their audiences using both? 
We focus more on Facebook for entertaining content, and use Twitter for conversations and interacting with reactive news. Those are how most people use both sites, so why not adapt what you do on those channels to fit audience behaviours? Brands just really need to act like a person.

Our gif content had very high level of engagement on
Facebook, and became Hall & Partners' new 
best in class score for digital engagement
Shout out to IRN-BRU who made #1. I have no idea what the fuck they are on about, but they are clearly creating content for, and appealing massively to, their most important demographic: the Scots.

Anyway, yay us.

Sunday, 26 February 2017

The Porn Identity

Holy shit guys, I'm not even sure how it's been over a year since my last post. Luckily for you, I'm back with some porn - yaaaay (a cheap ploy to get you back but hey I know what works)

sorry, this will be SFW

Last week I met a guy and we were talking about advertising and marketing, which was so great because most people I meet don't care. (sad for me)

I often forget that my friends don't absorb or remember ads like I do.
I'm critiquing the tag line, the creative, the call to action; "is it clear?", "Is the brand coming through??", "Is this aligned with other aspects of their campaign????!!!!!!"

I mean, it's exhausting.

Most people who see this Oasis ad wouldn't think twice about it, whereas I am in some kind of emotional turmoil.

It's just very uninspired. Where can this idea of shrugging off advertising as a waste of time really go beyond here? In 4 years time when this campaign has gotten tired, they will revert back to these "rubbish marketing tactics" and it will just be awkward for everyone.

I admire brands who try hard enough to make you connect with their brand through good content.
I love content which entertains and inspires me. I believe brands should strive to do the same for their audience. It's what drives me creatively, in and outside of work.

So yes, when I met this guy, it might sound geeky but I was geeking out over the fact he shared some cool campaigns with me. My personal favourite, and undoubtedly the reason you have bothered to read this post, was for PornHub.

So, imagine your job is to get people to use one of the most popular sites on the internet; PornHub.

Sounds easy right?

But wait.
  1. Your brand name is censored from most sites because you're porn
  2. You can't get ad space anywhere
  3. You have no media budget
  4. Most people who use your brand wouldn't ever admit it
  5. And people who don't use your brand probably hate you and what you stand for.

You could say who really cares about the above because, if you are the 62nd most visited site on the planet, why do you need anyone to like the brand?
Well, everyone has to build their brand. Brands outlive products. When your product is waning and a competitor swoops in with a shinier version of your product, the fact you have a trusted, recognised and loved brand will save the day.

PornHub wanted to build their brand; be the first to make porn accepted, unashamed, mainstream...

"The Playboy of the 90's"

So, enough chat. Here are a few content highlights from PornHub which I feel did a great job of bringing porn into the spotlight in creative & inventive ways.


"Love the planet by loving yourself" - this FitBit-esque device generates kinetic energy when shaken up and down.. wheeey. This contained a USB port so guys can charge their phones with the energy they produced.
This was only a prototype, but more importantly racked up 3.5m views with no media spend. A great way to get PornHub on the map.


On April Fool's Day, PornHub transformed into CORNHUB (lol), with hot steamy vids of corn getting shucked and plowed. Videos racked up millions and made it into mainstream mentions.


PornHub's own health initiative; protecting the people of Rio spreading the Zika Virus. Over the Olympics they offered a free premium membership to anyone from Rio who signed up, encouraging them to abstain from sex to help keep the risk of infection down.
They got nearly 38,000 sign ups from Brazil alone during this time.

PornHub Gives America Wood:

In 2014, for every 100 videos viewed in a certain section (male bits) of the site, PornHub would plant a tree! They have so far planted 15,473 trees.
Similarly in 2012, for every 30 views of a boob-related video, 1 cent would be donated to a breast cancer charity.

Only time will tell if PornHub will ever be a house-hold name that people feel proud to openly talk about. They have a long way to go as, ultimately, they need to take a lead in cleaning up the industry. However, these creative, data-driven ideas are ones to be proud of and the results have certainly not fallen flaccid.

Monday, 28 March 2016

Algorithm Blues

I'm sure not many people knew what an algorithm was before Easter weekend, but thanks to everyone losing their shit on Instagram, the word is now pretty mainstream.

In case you have no idea what I'm talking about, last week there were whispers in the wind that Instagram were changing the format of news feeds. So instead of seeing all posts of everyone you follow in the order they posted them, we will only see posts from people we view most/interact with most, or brands who have paid for the pleasure.
Celebrities and influencers had a meltdown, frantically telling people to turn on notifications so they wouldn't miss out on their posts.

In some ways, this is good. No longer will you see 12 consecutive photos of Susan's "night out with the gals" which prove that she cannot: a) work a camera, and b) grasp the concept of art direction.. (It's quality Susan, not quantity.)

But in many ways, this is bad. I like waking up in the morning and scrolling down all the photos that were posted whilst I was foolishly asleep, so I know I didn't miss out on anything.
Artists and entrepreneurs will no longer get a fair chance at their content being seen, and instead be elbowed out of timelines by brands with big budgets.

Anyway, it's not happening. Yet.

"Nothing is changing right now" - aka, not now but soon. And I know this because Instagram is owned by Facebook, and Facebook constantly love to ruin our lives with changes.

Whingeing aside, looking at these stats you'll probably agree that algorithms which filter out content are a good thing:

  • 3 hours of content is uploaded onto YouTube every minute
  • 3 million photos are uploaded onto Facebook per day
  • 4.75 billion pieces of content are shared on Facebook per day
  • 6,000 tweets are tweeted every second
  • 70 million photos uploaded onto Instagram per day

Algorithms are literally saving us from our own excess.

So we can see what we really want to see: photos of our ex's new ugly partner

However, it's hard to trust algorithms because they are not always accurate. Sometimes they get it right, like when I've searched for murder conspiracies online, and later an advert will pop up for a crime autobiography on Amazon.
But sometimes, like every time I watch a video on YouTube and get shown an ad for 'ClearBlue' pregnancy test, they get it wrong, and the targeting can be pretty sloppy. Yes, I am female, yes I am of child-bearing age (cry), but no I have never shown any interest in baby-related things or babies themselves; please stop assuming I have..

break my heart why don't you

Thanks to cookies, there is a wealth of data on each and every internet user. But it's an immature business with insanely vast amounts of information which lacks human intervention, so it's near impossible for the algorithms to get it right every time. It's just a computer. Instagram is more of a personal platform than other social channels - people have specific behaviours and feelings towards it and the content. That's why they like it. How can a computer formula understand this?

Like all social updates, we will adapt because we have no choice. Perhaps users will like the new format and feel that being shown more tailored content brings richness to the platform. And let's face it, life will definitely be better without seeing any posts from Susan.

Tuesday, 16 February 2016

Lucozade Energy makes The Drum's "Best Brand Vines of 2015" List

Up there with the likes of my favourite social brands such as Lego, Marmite and Adidas; Lucozade Energy  made it into The Drum's Best Brand Vines of 2015, as well as Twitter's Top Global Brand Vines of 2015.
Having led the social content for Lucozade Energy's 'Find Your Flow' campaign, I am pleased our Vine formats have been accredited. We had great success with them on Twitter, achieving over 22% engagement rate, compared to 2% FMCG benchmark.
We noticed which Vines were performing best and optimised them, not just on Twitter, but created versions for Facebook, targeting our audience with the most engaging and shareable concepts.
I only wish they had shown the best performing (and my personal favourite) Vine as the example in both articles! Which was this one:

Looping videos work so well to bring out the visual aspect of 'Flow'.
We are about to go live with our exciting new content as part of our Always-On Social Plan and we have improved upon these learnings ten-fold. Can't wait to share it!
Here are both articles for your viewing. Enjoy.

Sunday, 15 November 2015

The Return of The SUPERHUMANS.

It's not often I want to write up about an ad that I like. Mainly because there haven't been many recently.

Of course I could bore you with my opinions on the highly anticipated Christmas ads from John Lewis (made me cry) or Sainsbury's (it's just a cat fucking up Christmas), but then I'm not sharing anything new or valuable with you.

I saw this trailer for Channel 4's 'Meet The Superhumans' - spine-tingling stuff.

(Click to watch)

You may remember the original SuperHumans ad for the 2012 Paralympics. If you haven't, here it is - an extremely powerful video that I personally find emotionally overwhelming and highly gripping.

(Click to watch)

Channel 4 are bringing back the idea for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janerio,

The original idea for 'Superhumans' came because the Paralympics never had as much worldwide coverage or air-time as the Olympic Games (the Para's opening ceremony had 11 million views, whereas the Olympic opening ceremony has 27 million). Channel 4 wanted to raise the profile of this undervalued franchise and show that it can rival the Olympics in terms of drama and thrills, as well as hoping to change the way people view disability along the way,

The flashback sequence from the 2012 trailer reminds us that every athlete in the Paralympics has either had their life knocked sideways by a traumatic event or has been battling the odds since they were born.
'Inside Incredible Athletes', a C4 documentary, told the stories of these disabled athletes and how they have overcome them and pushed the limits of the human body.
It showed how a blind football player uses sonar-like ability to “see” the ball and the field, how a wheelchair rugby player paralyzed to the chest compensates for diminished lung capacity by making his lungs work three times harder, and how for a swimmer with cerebral palsy, the right side of her brain controls both sides of her body to perform a perfect breaststroke.

When I lost my hearing back in 2003 I worked twice as hard to prove that I could still do everything I wanted to do. I graduated from Uni, worked many jobs, and bought my own property, all whilst coming to terms with, and grieving for, the loss of my hearing - and it hasn't been easy. I think when you go through something like that, you adapt a 'do or die' attitude. You complain less, push yourself harder, and just 'get on with it'. Disabled people are in no way secondary to those who are not disabled, which is why the Paralympics shouldn't be treated like an after-thought.

C4's print ad after the Olympic Games had finished.

Hopefully next year we will see a rise in the profile of the Paralympics and the world start to see it as equally, if not more, impressive. After C4's 2012 campaign, they conducted a study which showed fantastic results and shift in viewer's behaviour:
  • 69%* of viewers said it was the first time they had made the effort to watch the Paralympics.
  • 65%* of viewers felt Channel 4's coverage had had a favourable impact on their perceptions of people with disabilities.
  • 82%* agreed that disabled athletes were as talented as able-bodied

Will you watch it next year?

Sunday, 8 November 2015

Instagram Ad Spam

There are many places I don't mind being advertised to, in fact there are many places I expect to be advertised to. Everywhere from my work, to my home, to my deathbed.

However, I don't enjoy being advertised to on Instagram. 

Instagram is a very personal app. Users are selective about who they follow, and weigh up whether they really want to commit to having certain content be part of their news-feed. Instagram is one of those rare social media sites where people are looking to discover; to search out their passions and be inspired. Users care about the content they are seeing; they will check their news-feed when they can dedicate the time to appreciate the content, and they will most likely scroll down until they reach the last photo they viewed, so as not to miss anything.

Unlike Facebook, users won't put up an album of photos, they'll choose that one special one which sums up the whole night. Unlike Twitter, they won't post every time they have a thought, they wait until it's something worth talking about. 

Now, does this sound like a place where people won't mind seeing an ad about toilet cleaner??

Basically, THERE ARE RULES. Brands can't rudely come into our news-feed with shit ads that don't look like Instagram-esque content.

Case in point (and what led me to write this post) was that this morning as I was checking my feed, longing to find out what I'd missed out on during the 8 hours I was foolishly asleep, and I saw FOUR sponsored ads.

The worst was this: 

Emirates decide to put their full-length TV ad on Instagram - a place where we only enjoy watching 15 second videos because we don't have the attention span for anything longer. 
Why have they just shoved the TV ad on Instagram instead of re-purposing it for Instagrammers?

This one was quite bad because it was just a boring ad.
Most users on Instagram use it to see content which is:
- Amusing
- Beautiful
- Creative
- Funny

Samsung - your ad ticked no boxes, therefore annoyed me.

This ad wasn't bad....

I follow 'I Fucking Love Science' on Facebook so this is appropriate targeting for me. The video wow-ed me by showing quick chemical reactions. However, when I went on the 'Science' profile, I was hoping for more fun videos like this, but there weren't, so I didn't follow. Users will often view Instagram profiles before following, just so they know what kind of content to expect. "Will you provide me with this kind of cool shit every day?" No? Then I'm not altering my follow/followers ratio for your brand.

This one was quite good actually:

You can't really go wrong with food on Instagram because, and I'm sure you're aware whether you use Instagram or not, photos of food and meals are hugely popular on the app.
This was cool because a video hand went into the photo of the profiteroles and picked one up, creating a 3D visual experience. 
Iceland are on the money with this ad because it's creative, something I haven't seen before on Instagram, seasonally relevant, tasty-looking and aesthetically pleasing (an important aspect for an app that has so many artistic users).

Murad Osmann & his wife became Instagram famous with their photo series; encompassing fashion, travel and beauty. Click here to view more.

Brands could be so much cleverer when it comes to social media. Instead of using it to blanket the same content over all channels, they should understand what consumers want from each channel, and then produce content which is relevant to users of that channel. For example, Twitter users might want to be more informed about current events, Facebook users might want to see things that is entertaining or informative... in this case, Instagram users want to see content that feels like Instagram. Brands have to stop acting like brands, and start acting like content producers; start acting like an Instagrammer.

Illy Coffee


Herschel Supply

 Brands have more data than ever available to enable them to tailor content to their consumer's passion points - the most powerful way to tap into their behaviours. Use these insights to produce meaningful content that fits with their lifestyle, bespoke for the platform you are advertising on.

That way you won't piss everyone off. (well, most people)

Tuesday, 3 November 2015

Please Stop Shouting!

Consumers create much more (and often better) content for your brand than you do.

A bold statement maybe, but a quick sweep of social channels and consumers are there; using, sharing, living your brand.

Take GoPro's consumers for example:

Or perhaps Lego's

Or Nutella's...

Consumers are using brands in the most genuine, real way, every day. But I'll come back to this in a minute.

Today I attended ISBA's 'Good Brief Week' event, which was about how brands should do real-time, reactive marketing. I feel this is one of those topics I know a lot about because I actually have some common sense, and I know that a beer brand shouldn't be tweeting about the birth of the royal baby because it's got fuck all to do with them.

Jon Burkhart opened the presentation with the overrated, outdated, Oreo - Dunk In The Dark example... "Ugh, here we go". 
But no, before I was about to ram my pen into my jugular, he brought it up as a bad example of real-time marketing.

He basically said everything I feel - that it was a good example of timing, but a bad example of content because the actual brand was irrelevant to the SuperBowl, and it inspired every other brand in the world to start jumping on every topic they can, whether it has anything to do with them or not. 

Ergo, Oreo is responsible for the downfall of man.


So, back to my earlier point regarding consumers, the people you are creating this "relevant, reactive" content for....

They are already doing it. They are using your product in a way that is real-time and relevant for them. They don't need brands to come up with some strained connection to #TheOscars or #RoyalBaby, they won't care about it and they will tune you out.
You need to understand what is important to your consumer when using your product, and then use that as a starting point for what conversations you get involved in and what your opinions are. That way you will connect with them in a meaningful way on many levels.

Great example: inspiring Dulux consumers using a current topic

Consumers' digital habits and behaviours have changed, so brands have to change. We have to keep these old, shouty, widespread advertising ideas to the masses in the past. Now, it's all about a more tactical, personal approach. Ideas needs a bit more thought behind them if they are to stand out from the crowd.

Stop shouting, start personalising.

Monday, 28 September 2015

Marketing lols

Just a little bit of light writing from me on this sunny evening, as I have come across several things recently which have brought me great comical pleasure.

First off, Marks and Spencer's want to put their D in your bread.

Yes, I know I'm late to the party with this one. I blame the fact I went on holiday at the time this came out, and hadn't heard/seen it until my return.

I know a few people who've never heard the term 'The D', so perhaps M&S copywriter could be forgiven, but surely someone out of all the hands it passed through to go live had heard of the expression?

Next, Marketoonist. 

As someone who wasn't from a marketing background, I started my career very aware of how all marketers talked, acted and bullshitted in the exact same fantastic way. Despite now being fully integrated in the marketing world, I can still mentally step out and appreciate how ridiculous it can sometimes be. And how aware of life can you really be if you can't laugh at yourself?


I'll let you ponder that whilst enjoying some of my favourite cartoons by Tom Fishbourne. You can subscribe to his daily cartoons here.

And finally, my last lol of the evening. Oasis' continuing campaign of horror,

I'm not really laughing actually, more like cry/cringing.

Oasis' plan to 'connect' with their target audience by being 'authentic' and 'refreshingly honest', just comes across too forced for my liking. Their digital content is try-hard and unoriginal, see examples below, or read more about my views on it at length here.

One of the Marketoonist sketches sums up perfectly how I feel about this campaign.