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modern day brand building – advertising as a byproduct?

Welcome to Detroit from Shinola on Vimeo.

This is a nice post by Edward Boches covering Shinola, a brand I myself just recently came across flipping through Men’s Style on Flipboard (ehrm), and how well they build their brand (so far).

What’s noteworthy is that this is not about building a brand in a new way, often including opinions around the death of TV, the insanity of bought media and extinction of print. And it’s not a case of proving how traditional advertising still works. It’s about how modern brands understand it’s not either/or, it all compliments each other, and that the most powerful thing is to have a purpose, and hence story, beyond – but not irrelevant to – the commercial interest.

This isn’t about going viral or driving millions of views, rather it’s more about telling the brand story, providing easily embeddable elements, and building a library of content that doesn’t feel as disposable as most advertising.

Boches

The thing with advertising being disposable and, in general, increasingly being disliked, distrusted and enjoying less acceptance is an interesting one. It’s not just that there’s more and more bad, lazy, poorly crafted advertising speaking in a voice that’s disconnected from reality, it’s that there’s often not much of a counter weight.

Advertising, at least as we tend to narrowly define it today, should be no more than a byproduct (and certainly not the sole product) of a commercially curious creative company.

Gareth Kay

People are ad literate enough to understand how advertising works – polished by agencies, constructed and often exaggerated – but if that’s all a brand is going to serve, then screw you. If a brand opens up and shows a greater depth, signs of being in sync with society, people, vision, reality, you are much more likely to enjoy a greater acceptance to your advertising.

Think about a great brand experience you’ve had, and how that affects your perception/acceptance of their advertising. That’s brand experiences in a broader sense.

Increasingly, to get meaningfully noticed is through delivering on the unexpected and over-delivering on the expected. Not very advertising centred, but very much commercial creativity.

the value, or not, of online advertising

From a brand communications perspective, some of the most interesting things happening are around new ways of connecting to people that, at least, buy or use your product. I say at least because today there’s nothing holding people back from promoting and selling your brand, if they dig it. And there’s nothing holding brands back from not making that more likely. I like what Rick Liebling touches on in this post about the future of retail, and how brand advocates can/should/will be viewed differently from an organisation-boundary-perspective. More thoughts on that in a later post.

At the other end, brands need to continue to “just lightly nudge” people into buying their services and products and display advertising is, from a user behaviour and media usage pattern perspective important. A few bits that are connected happened to pop up about the same time.

Google says that its technology could be a game-changer, in that it will create an advertising product that can command a premium.

“Display inventory to date has been limitless,” said Faville. “It could be that prices for viewable inventory become higher as advertisers’ confidence increases in the system. There is a high likelihood of these ads being seen as valuable to marketers.”

From The Guardian/technology

“The problem with television is that people must sit and keep their eyes glued on a screen. The average American family hasn’t time for it, it will never be a serious competitor to radio broadcasting.”
– The New York Times in 1939, by way of Dave Trott.

Via Gustav von Sydow

“Well-informed people know that it is impossible to transmit the human voice over wires, as may be done with dots and dashes of Morse code, and that were it possible the thing would be of no practical value.”
– 1865 Boston Newspaper, by way of Dave Trott

Via Gustav von Sydow

Premiumization is likely to happen. Exclusivity formats too. And likely to work, because it actually should work. We will break free from terminology like display vs ondemand TV vs online TV vs Broadcast TV etc and see more clearly. Nobody ever clicked on a TV ad, yet we know it works. Mere exposure effect is real, etc. Just a reflection.

Make your bedroom happy with Viking Beds

Viking Beds of Sweden from funny you should ask on Vimeo.

Viking Beds of Sweden, ett litet familjeägt företag ifrån djupa Småland, är ett trevligt varumärke jag fått stifta bekantskap med. Workshop, besök fabriken i Landsbro (som om allt går vägen är dubbelt så stor), sängprovande och slutligen köp av egen Viking Bed (jag skriver under på hur jädrans sköna dom är).

Efter intervjuer, observationsstudier, siffergenomgång och det sunda förnuftet hos de affärssmarta grundarna kommer man fram till att…dra mig vilken makt återförsäljarna har. Vi valsar in med ett par 3 varumärken i skallen (vilka vi också testar). Kanske en favorit, inte helt osannolikt genom rekommendationer från bekanta. Sedan står vi där med (felaktiga) uppfattningar om hårdheten, naturmaterial och individuella behov, men börjar mer och mer dumpa ansvaret på sovspecialisten (läs: säljaren). Hen ställer frågor av ergonomisk natur som vi lite ovant svarar på. Jo, jag har ju breda höfter. Nja, jag ligger nog mer på sidan. Det hela avslutas med den frustrerande och avgörande frågan, genom vilken ansvaret kraschlandar hos oss igen, “men i slutändan ska det kännas bra för er, vilken tycker ni själva bäst om?”. Tack för den. 30 lax, och den som känns skönast för mig gäller.

Vad gör man med högst begränsad budget (till skillnad från Hästens sängar när det begav sig), otroligt ambitiösa tillväxtmål och en stor geografisk marknad? Tro det eller ej, men TV-reklam flyter upp som det mest potenta första draget.

Make your bedroom happy kommer från observationen att sovrummet kan anses vara det mest mobbade, exkluderade och illa behandlade rum vi har. Speciellt när folk kommer på besök. Släng in den där grejen så länge, ställ in ostruken tvätt bakom sängen, ja men den kan stå där tills helgen, göm den här inne. Sängen är en sak, den ska (och kommer att) vara mycket skön. Allt talar för det, oavsett varumärke. Men stackars rummet då? Vi menar att sängar inte är så mycket annorlunda än bilar och kläder; vi vill känna att vi väljer, vi har ju stil, smak och tycke utöver en sned rygg. Sen väljer vi gärna det andra väljer ändå (hur många tror att den blommiga modellen säljer speciellt mycket, hur cool den än är?).

Viking Beds of Sweden skapas helt i Sverige. Teknik, material och tillverkning konkurrerar fint med de andra. Men bättre är att lyfta något annat. Valmöjligheterna och det faktum att som central möbel kan den göra under för ditt misshandlade sovrum. En misshandel du ofta erkänner dig skyldig till efter utfrågning.

Men så bred kommunikation trots återförsäljare? Jo, det är extra skönt och tryggt att välja något som inte är helt okänt. Speciellt efter ett ursprungligen rationellt förfarande, men i slutändan (och med säljarens hjälp) väldigt öppet och godtyckligt val. Då vill du gärna ha något du känner till, och vet att andra känner till.

Sen kan jag personligen tycka att något sängvarumärke borde åka runt med en buss, tuta som hemglass, och få alla stackars ryggar i kvarteren att komma in och provligga deras sängar. Det, om något, kommer du ihåg. (bumper sticker suggestion: “vill du sova skönt? Ta rygg på oss”. Ha!)

personlig kraft, moralisk styrka och ohämmad konsumtion

Ingenting kan hindra er när du inte alls investerar pengarna i en affärsidé, utan ingenting hindrar dig när du sparar hela skiten på postsparbanken.

Det var då det. Personlig styrka och moral, det var eftersträvansvärt. Inte bara en framtidssäkring helt enkelt, med eventuellt förmånliga villkor (vilka ju kunde kommunicerats), utan mer än så. Det sa någonting om din karaktär och styrka. Din mentala styrka till och med. Och med det sagt; vad detta då sade om alla som inte sparade.

Idag ser det lite annorlunda ut, men bygger helt på samma premisser. Realisera ditt drömkök, klart du måste synas med senaste mobilen, självklart ska även du ha segelbåt. Vad säger det annars om dig?

conspicuous consumption

Må hända gör detta, sparandet och konsumerandet, något omedelbart konkret för oss. Men än viktigare säger det mycket om oss. Det är en generalisering av oss. Med kommunikation finns alltid två grupper, oftast samma individer i två roller. Den där vi agerar och den där vi förstår vad agerandet signalerar (att vissa kör Bently och andra cyklar). Den senare rollen in action kallas självklart för “samhället”. Samhället, som för övrigt Tomas Steinfeldts träffsäkert ringar in.

“Det är det väsen som ingen någon gång har sett, hört eller känt, men som ändå behandlas som någonting som existerar i verkligheten: Jag menar samhället…Det bekräftas genom en fungerande offentlighet där det finns tillräckligt många människor som tar sig an vad som händer med de olika grupperna, som uttrycker sin kritik eller sin uppskattning av vad politiken gör, som funderar över världens framtid i allmänhet och marknadens utveckling i synnerhet.”

Tomas Steinfeldt, i DN, ang. tidningens roll

Kul då också att reklamforskning med ett samhälleligt perspektiv verkar vara på framtåg.

Being Agency Of Record

A while back there was an ongoing discussion about the future of the advertising agency. That time it was not about them moving into service design and products, the way it is now (agencies are always needing to change into something else it seems, or at least talk about it), but it was about digital agencies vs. tradtional agencies as “agency of record”. Did the traditional ones get it? Would the digital ones grow up? It turned out it wasn’t so dramatic, and I would say that the agencies acting like good consultant are probably the ones still referred to as AOR. Why? Because good consultants don’t have one truth, as in It’s all digital now or social media is where it’s at or TV is dead – X is the answer etc.

No, good consultants start with their clients and then look for what seems to be true for clients’ situations. Quite nuanced. Less of an agenda, other than end results. More open and likely to identify connections and not just dots.

This is why Heiselman thinks that advertising will become a sales tool not a brand building one. The only way to clinch the deal is to offer a deal, and that is my big concern. If people are constantly bombarded with special offers, they will soon become sensitized to them.
– Nigel Hollis, in Will advertising become a transactional tool

> Data driven, contextual (dumb or otherwise), centered around offers.

Advertising vehicles that allow you to “engage” and have “conversations” with your brand’s heavy users by promising precision targeting provide very limited opportunity to grow your business. In fact, they often distract you from your proper objective – attracting new customers.
– Ad Contrarian, The Hidden Danger Of Precision Targeting

> On the belief that people want to engage with brands. For some, often few, that is the case, but it’s definitely not be all end all.

What are people’s aspirations? How does the brand play a role in it? I would employ anthropologists and psychologists and look at cultural analyses. We should be doing that with channels and places and spaces that consumers are engaging with every day. While advertising has tended to be more channel-orientated I’m not sure we, as strategic planners, have been putting the same emphasis on understanding as we should have. That’s what I’m hoping to bring.
– Abigail Posner, Head of Strategic Planning, Agency Development, Google, on “How brands can humanize their digital experience (PSFK)

Those consultants, agencies and other companies who want to understand how things relate, that don’t love specific tools and solutions more than others, are the AORs. By understanding what needs to be done while not necessarily being able to do all themselves.

brands – coming alive to the world!

There were a couple of things shared last week that just made a full circle, like a triangulation that zeroed in on an often discussed matter in advertising (and brand management). That of brands being a bit like humans. Or not. Having POVs on issues, showing humor or not, being in the know and so on. Complex like humans. But let’s not get too deep into that.

Absolute Vodka

Absolute Vodka, with their artistic heritage, doing their view on what’s available to us all; more possibilities than ever to communicate and express our individuality. Less and less must conform to furmulas, more styles are in-style at the same time than ever before. You are never more than a couple of keystrokes or swipes away from your “cultural peer groups” wherever they may be in the world. Individuality and uniqueness for everyone.

Campbell Soup

Campbell Soup
image source

At first, Campbell opposed the Warhol artwork but thought again. Today, they’re recognizing that the Warhol artwork evokes so much more than a can of soup and welcome being part of pop art history by working with the Warhol Foundation to celebrate the 50 year anniversary. One can only hope they build on that and keep going beyond that, seen as it’s basically a boring ol’ can.

Oreo Cookies

Oreo Mars Rover Ad
image source

Brilliant ads with this little cookie as canvas.

“Oreo turns out to be really respiratory. When it celebrates Elvis, the Mars landings, or Bastille Day, it comes alive to the world around it. Playful, even. After all, who celebrates French holidays? And the brand has recently taken on the image of the Liberty Bell, the Dark Knight, and the Delta Aquarid Meteor Shower.”

– Grant McCracken in HBR

“It comes alive to the world”, what a fitting way to express it. Brands who look outside their immediate self, recognising and tapping into the world around us.

As there is usually a long time-lag between an advertising exposure and the actual act of purchase, effective advertising requires long-term memory (Ehrenberg et al. 1997, p.9). This associations in long-term memory are built on the one hand by repetition and on the other hand through all kinds of other brand exposures, such as WOM, brand usage, POS or even recalling memories. Once associations are stored in the long-term memory, they are hardly ever completely forgotten. As people build highly individualized memory-structures, “[p]ublicizing a brand is [.] about what consumers do with the advertising rather than what advertisements do to consumers […]” (Ehrenberg et al. 1997, p.10). So with long-term memory in mind, advertising’s task is then to find creative ways to publicise the brand, refresh and build new memory traces and “to make the brand distinctive rather than differentiated” (Sharp 2010a, p.353).

http://sophisticated.at/blogs/thomas/2012/09/3-2-1-3-advertising-as-creative-publicity/

Brands can act a bit human in more ways then ever before given social norms soaking the very fabric of most media technologies and platforms for communications. But brands are moved forward by organizations, and those organizations aren’t exactly littered with individuals who understand that we tend to buy more easily from brands who occupy a larger share of our memory. And that those memory structures do not have to be internally worshipped facts about exactly why to buy, and instead be thrilled that “…this ‘mere publicity’ perspective might actually be liberating for creatives, as advertising then becomes “making distinctive and memorable publicity for the brand out of next to nothing” (Ehrenberg quote from Thoma’s thesis).

weak positioning; drinks for women, undrinkable for women

Stuff like this makes me go oh come on! An energy drink for women that should be avoided by pregnant women. Important to note is that there are energy drinks, not aimed at women specifically, that are all right for pregnant women to drink. Now that’s a disconnect between product and marketing if I ever saw one.

An energy drink for women, that should not be drunk by pregnant women

ta turen till dig på vinnarum casino

Ta Turen Till Dig

Det är inte första gången jag jobbar med poker och casino, dvs spänning, underhållning och den ständigt hägrande chansen att vinna stålar. Vilken är den största drivkraften om man nu ska välja mellan de tre? Ingen – det är en onödig diskussion, även om alla spelbolagsrepresentanter säger sig ha en klart bild på hur landet ligger. En som gör dem unika och tydligt annorlunda gentemot konkurrenterna. Jag håller ju aldrig riktigt med, men vi släpper det.

Vinnarum är ett svenskt Casino (ja, det kan faktiskt spela en viss roll att det är svenskt) uppbackat av Bonnier Gaming (ja, ännu viktigare garant) där strategiarbetet satte fingret på ett ganska intressant fenomen tycker jag. Inom casino och poker representeras ju i kommunikation nästan alltid någon aspekt av skicklighet, tur eller underhållning. När det gäller just tur har vi en tendens att tala i termer av antingen/eller. Inte bara “antingen har du det eller så har du det inte”, utan även som i “antingen så har man tur, eller så är man skicklig”. För de som känner sig skickliga kan detta med att ha tur vara direkt avtändande.

Men faktum är att det finns en hel del forskning kring tur, och det faktum att det inte är helt upp till antingen fru fortuna eller din exceptionellt begåvade hjärna. Nej, de två sitter ihop. Det tyckte vi var en jäkligt intressant och sporrande tanke som resulterade i uppmaningen att “Ta turen till dig. Aktivt alltså; se till att få tur.

Läs mer om tur, skicklighet och hur de samspelar i Richard Wiseman’s bok “The Luck Factor”

Vinnarum “Turmetoder” from Tre Kronor Media & Create on Vimeo.

ta turen till dig - vinnarum

Vad tänker du själv när okänt nummer ringer?

intertextuality galore by Nike

I thought more than once in 2011 that, gosh it must be the year of intertextual ideas and executions given the vast amount of internet culture based ads. In Sweden, this was led by ComHem going all-in by trying to own associations to internet memes and all that’s beautiful with that.

Here’s a new, lovely, example from Nike. As usual the execution is perfect.