Thursday, 31 January 2013

The future of brand communications

In his book "Understanding Media: The Extensions Of Man" (1964) Marshal McLuhan states that "the medium is the message". At the time he was trying to explain this concept people had a hard time understanding the theory behind it. However, using just the simple analogy of a light bulb really helped to flick the switch. The message is simple , the medium affects society not only by the content it delivered, but also by the characteristic of the medium itself.

 If you take the concept of a light bulb it is merely just a glass ball, there isn't any physical content within. However, as a medium it has an implicit social effect in the way that it allows people to create a visible space at night. McLuhan states that "a light bulb creates an environment, merely by its presence"

Jessi Baker has made a vital connection between McLuhan's findings and the future of brand communications. Something I found very interesting in the article she wrote for Campaignlive , was the correlation that she explained between this somewhat old theory and today's current market.

Firstly, you need to think about marketing campaigns more like a story told by the marketer, brand and product itself. Everything done in a single campaign complements each other to try and convey this story to the consumer. Consumer needs are drastically changing and the way that this story need be told needs to be revolutionised. Now instead of just existing the medium should now be able to interact with consumers on a personal level.

This got me thinking about the timeline of brand communications , if we look back 100 years ago the only way consumers were really communicated with was through fancy packaging, the product itself and maybe the odd poster. The biggest revolution in brand communications came with media itself , fist the radio but mainly the television. This is where one way communication came on a mass scale , however, everyone knows that to communicate effectively it needs to be two way. Brands were telling people their story's but were they effective? Did consumers appreciate them?

I think that it is imperative that 2 way communication becomes a standard platform from which marketeers build from. The term I've heard a few times is "the hyper connected age of marketing", this basically means that we move on from simply trying to differentiate brands. This is an old strategy that will set brands up for failure in the long term, instead brands need to offer the consumer something that will genuinely make life better.

I heard a great example of this from Umair Haque with Nike's running shoes. Previously Nike would sell a pair of shoes with the concept that if you buy these shoes one day you might be able to run a marathon or jump as high as Michael Jordan. However, now with Nike plus helping runners to plot their runs, keep track of timings, help find running partners etc. They are now taking on the challenge of amplifying and enhancing human potential. If you buy a pair of Nike trainers and use Nike plus it will make you a better runner and they will help you to reach that goal of running the marathon you have always dreamed of.

This is the future of marketing.

Marketing Student.

Saturday, 26 January 2013

The power of nostalgia

Being part of "generation Y" I absolutely love this advert , when I first watched it I was smiling the whole time. Personally I think it was a very smart move, Internet explorer has become obsolete and very much needed re-branding. How do they tackle this problem ? They appeal to the hearts of the generation that are emerging into the economy.
I don't need to explain the ad to you as it is pretty self explanatory. Please leave a comment to let me know your views and opinions on it. Am I just a sucker for nostalgia or have Microsoft hit the nail on the head with this one ?

Friday, 25 January 2013

better your best

Asics have just launched a new "better your best" campaign that is going hit the world on a global scale , spanning TV, print and social media. The focus behind it is to motivate every day athletes , personally I love the 60 second advert. It sure makes me want to get my running shoes on!
As with most modern strategies it is vital to integrate social media as a marketing tool , whilst Asics are doing this I feel like they aren't doing it as well as they could do. They don't seem to portray a solidified brand slogan across their social media websites. Maybe this is a deliberate ploy to allow themselves to target their branding geographically to meet the needs of customers at a more local level ? This seems to be the case with Asics twitter pages as they have nearly ten pages all categorised by country , allowing more opportunity for effective direct marketing.

The advert itself shows an attractive woman with prominent red Asics trainers, tying her shoe laces getting ready for a run. She glances up to see a hooded figure run off in front , this is where her race commences. She isn't quick enough to beat the hooded figure but with dedicated training and the help of her brilliant Asics running shoes she can. It shows her competing in races and out training but always behind this mysterious figure. I like the symbolic part in the middle where she falls , pauses and realises she needs to pick herself up and do it better. After all , even in the business world we need to fall to learn how to do it better and eventually succeed. Have a look at the advert below to see who this person is and if she manages to finally beat it.


Saturday, 22 December 2012

Mr W. Inspirational "Green" Advert

I know I originally said I was going to talk about up to date advertising campaigns but today my tutor diverted my attention to this advert named "Mr W". This great video depicts a lonely, vulnerable and confused man just seeking a purpose in life. I just felt like I had to talk about it.

First publicised on the 30th of April 2007, this add was created by Nordpol Hamburg, said to be one of the most creative agencies in the world. It was made for EPURON to be showcased to B-2-B customers on TV and over the internet.

I think that this advert is very clever in the way that it engages with the audience, keeping you guessing right until the last part of the video. I must admit I didn't clock on until the caption "wind" appeared in the bottom right hand corner. This is definitely one of the most original and captivating campaigns I have ever seen, just turning such a bland subject matter as wind into something so mesmerising is a pure stroke of genius.

Feel free to watch the add yourself, what do you think ?

I'd like to thank my tutor Neil for bringing my attention to possibly his "favourite add"

Marketing Student.

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Lord Sugar, Generosity or PR plan ?

Hi again,

Something that caught my eye on Twitter almost as soon as
I updated my last post was a tweet from Lord Alan Sugar stating

"Disgusting that xmas presents were stolen from @greatormondstreet kids . Replace them and send me the bill to "

This is in relation to the fact that recently up to twenty presents were stolen from Great Ormond Street hospital including DVD players, games consoles and toys. (Guardian 2012)

Now at first this looks like Lord Sugar is fully embracing the Christmas spirit by making a donation to people a lot less fortunate than himself. Then it comes to mind, why would the bill get sent to a brand new business called "Stylfile" ? A similar tweet was also posted by "Inventor Tom", Lord Sugars partner in this new business. Lastly Stylefile themselves have put forward a similar message. This message has been re-tweeted nearly 15,000 times in under a day, with Christmas only a week away. Therefore, for a promise made to replace twenty toys this new brand has been exposed to nearly 15,000 people in 16 hours. Personally I would say that is up there with some of the most effective and economical public relations strategies.

However, I suppose it's Christmas and part of me wants to just believe that message was sent out with all good intentions and the fact it could boost sales and was great for brand exposure was just mere coincidence. Merry Christmas to the children of Great Ormond Street and I hope you wake up to the presents you deserve.

Marketing Student.

New to blogging

Hi there world,

I've never had a blog before, however, I have decided to venture out into the digital community. So here we go, I am a student studying Marketing and Advertising Management in the vibrant city of Leeds. I am currently half way through my second year at university, eagerly anticipating next years opportunity to find myself a placement working in the big scary world that is the Marketing industry.

So, I am more writing this blog for myself, my aims are to update the blog as much as I can along side my studies. The posts will both be a platform for me to discuss theory I have learn't in lectures and seminars and give my views on them. Also, I could just randomly talk about any random campaign, advertisement or just something interesting related to the subject that catches my eye. Ideally, if I could link the theory I am learning in University to relevant and up to date campaigns/strategies then that would be great. One step at a time though.