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.