11. June 2013
Showing Mum You Care
Mother’s day is a revered date in the calendar. Around £60m is spent on cards, florists enjoy a bumper weekend, and restaurants are booked out as the country goes out of its way to show Mum it cares.
We all recognise the undeniable role that Mums play in shaping and moulding our outlook on life whether positive or negative, they leave a lasting impact. Therefore, it seemed only natural then that one-half of the parenting tag-team would form the subject for the latest CMW’s Working Breakfast series.
And so, once again, some of the brightest minds in advertising gathered to listen an array of insights from Steve Taylor, head of digital strategy at award-winning media agency PHD, that were designed to both shatter and confirm our preconceptions of Mum.
Alongside Steve was Justine Roberts, who knows a little about what drives Mum having founded the UK’s biggest social network for parents Mumsnet during a 13-year period. The two proved a potent combination in outlining the drivers behind this powerful group of consumers and what makes the modern Mum tick.
An economic powerhouse
A massive 80% of purchase decisions are made by the female of the house with 42% having sole control over the budget, and a further 53% having joint control of the finances. With 7.4 million active female internet users – that’s a powerful and lucrative audience to reach and their priorities may not be all that you expect.
If you were going to list the first purchases of a newly-expectant mother it’s unlikely that a Smartphone or digital camera would top the list ahead of some of common essentials. But John surprised the audience with figures that show the first concern of a pregnant woman was to purchase technology to make their life easier, with an economical car not too far behind.
The lesson here is not to pigeon-hole Mums but to understand the huge impact that parenthood has on their view of the world around them. “The way Mums consume media and interact with brands changes almost instantly,” Steve told a packed out auditorium, new platforms such as Mobile are vitally important.
An online audience
If 7.4 million active female internet users wasn’t enough to convince you of the importance of online when targeting Mums then consider PHD research that showed that 45% of Mums spend more time online demonstrates the breadth and depth of potential engagement.
This naturally puts websites focussed on the needs and issues that face parents, such as Mumsnet, in a position of power - an idea that Steve backed up and stressed its relevance as an engagement platform when pitted against social media.“Forget about engagement when it comes to Facebook, you’re much better thinking of it as a reach platform,” Steve said, pointing to the fact that Facebook Fans make up a very small proportion of the total online audience.
This was backed by Justine’s assertion that brands that actively interact with Mums to help them find a solution to the issues in their lives enjoyed the most success in their advertising activity.
She used the example of a bathtime FMCG brand that ran a campaign telling them that it’s ‘good to be selfish’ when there was really no need to let them know that they should indulge in a little bit of cleanliness. Instead, it’s far better to speak with them on a personal level and really involve them in the conversation, like smoothie brand Innocent which uses the Mumsnet forum to actively engage with the audience.
By communicating in a relevant, personal and authentic way – in the places where they are open to a conversation – marketers can build a relationship with a group of brand advocates that often have the power to make or break a brand. Ultimately, it’s those that show Mum they care benefit from a fruitful relationship, just ask any child on a Sunday in March every year.
18. February 2013
We are very proud to be the creative partner for the new and exciting initiative, Pimp My Cause. If what follows resonates with you then we would love you to help us spread the word and for some of you, make a commitment.
Pimp My Cause is the brainchild of social entrepreneur Paul Skinner and operates as an online match-making service between not-for-profit organisations that require marketing support, and marketers who are keen to make a meaningful social impact. This could be anything from a charity shop looking for a graphic designer to create an in-store poster, to a larger organisation seeking to build its annual digital plan.
As their creative partner, we are helping to raise the profile of Pimp My Cause and have developed ‘The Year of Great Marketing Karma’. The campaign kicks off with the launch of the inaugural Karma Audit which scans your career history to reveal one of 8 animals you’ll return as in the next life. You could be a fly with questionable work karma, or be an Eagle who sits on a higher plane above everyone else.
Pimp My Cause is looking for marketing professionals who are happy to give up a few hours to help a good cause. There’s no immediate commitment to sign up so please help spread some good karma and join this great initiative.
14. February 2013
Did you know that young adults aged between 18- and 24-years are the most romantic generation in Britain?
In a UK-wide survey, we found that a romantic weekend away was the preferred choice for a Valentine’s gift for 43 per cent of respondents aged 18 to 24, and a further 41 per cent were hoping for a romantic dinner.
By contrast, more than half respondents between the ages of 35 and 44 said they would like to receive a new gadget (25 per cent) or a book (27 per cent) as their Valentine’s gift –a higher percentage than their younger counterparts.
In our view it's become all too easy to write off today's young adults, but our findings show that this much-maligned generation is actually the most in tune with the traditional romantic values of Valentine's Day. They value experiences and time spent together more highly than the latest gadget, chocolates or flowers.
We have been lucky enough to have previously worked with some of the UK's most successful young adult brands including Cadbury Creme Egg and Kellogg's Krave. The online survey, conducted by OnePoll, took into account the views of 2,000 respondents from across the UK from as far north as Aberdeen all the way down to Brighton.
8. February 2013
On Thursday 7th February, CMW hosted the great and the good from the marketing world, who gathered to learn about Responsive Storytelling at our first ‘Working Breakfast’ of 2013. Armed with a cup of coffee and a suitably loaded pastry, more than 70 attendees gathered to hear what Antony Mayfield, ex-journalist and acclaimed author, had to say about the modern phenomenon that is data.
Given his background in telling stories, Antony was the perfect person to emphasise the power of a good yarn, and the way that he managed to intertwine this with the power of data left the audience captivated and sparked much debate in the Q&A after.
Backed with the analytical insight of Brilliant Noise Zoologist, Beth Granter, he identified three principles that remain crucial to our understanding and application of data – people, systems and culture.
“Data provides a responsive method to story-telling,” Antony said, emphasising the importance of applying a good narrative to the use of numbers. “The most successful stories are constructed in companies that integrate their data and creative personnel.”
He went on to explain that the consumer should lie at the heart of marketing and how data is applied rather than focussing on the company’s overriding corporate objectives. The US election and the way Barack Obama used data for campaign planning was held up as a sign of the power that lies behind joined up data, while Porsche and Getty’s content aggregation demonstrate great storytelling.
Whether big, small, social, or just plain statistical – data has an integral role to play in defining and reaching different tiers of consumers. From here brands can start small, test their communications strategy and tweak it accordingly.
Ultimately, only by harnessing this data can brands really build insights that matter, and create something special for the consumer, something that feels truly personal to them.
Antony’s slides can be viewed here:
2. February 2012
The ad industry collectively held its breath with excitement when news filtered through from twitter and the vastly expanding ‘See all the cool stuff first’ blogs, that VW’s Superbowl ad was going to have another Star Wars theme.
Hooray! Who would be in it – would Star Wars kid feature again? Could it be Jabba the Hutt squeezing into a Golf? Perhaps Han & Chewy would be taking a VW camper to Florida.
I didn’t know. In truth, I didn’t care. I was excited because whatever it was, it was going to be a-m-a-z-i-n-g.
A few days later, a teaser circulates with all sorts of dogs sat on white plinths of various shapes and sizes (both pooches and plinths). After a few seconds I recognised the inane barking as the opening score to Darth Vaders entrance music. Da da da da ddda da da dddadda da.
‘This is going to be good’ I thought and it conjured up even more ideas. Ewoks on a road trip in a Polo? Are these dogs Chewy’s kids and he needs more boot space so he’s buying a Passat Estate?
As the lunch bell silently rang at CMW towers today, one of the cool blogs announced ‘it was here!’ A preview of the ad that will be aired this Sunday during the Superbowl – an extended version in fact. Double-click!
<One minute and sixteen seconds later>
What I saw was one minute of a fat dog exercising so he can chase the new Beetle before cutting to the infamous Cantina Bar (now taken over by the Sports Café with TV screens dripping from everywhere) where space pirates debated which of the ads was better. Star Wars Kid from last year or this year’s Fat Dog? The debate was quickly settled though by a returning Lord Vader, fresh from the sales at PC World - pink Dell notebook just £399 - with a good old-fashioned death pinch.
Is it possible to be angry about an ad? I shouldn’t be but I am. I feel let down and hurt. I wanted Ewoks and Death Stars and AT-AT’s, and all I got was an even older cliché about dogs chasing cars. If you’ve paid all that money for the Star Wars franchise, you don’t bolt it on to the end of another ad. You essentially just wasted $15 million ($1million a second) on a gag that wasn’t funny to start with. All you’ve done is drag Star Wars into it. Just because everyone loved it last year doesn’t mean they’ll love it this time around. I think part of the charm of last year was that it was new. Now we’ve got Yoda selling mobiles, R2-D2 shaped washing machines and the Sith Lord telling us to turn right at the next set of traffic lights. I think the tide of Star Wars endorsements is well and truly out for the time being. It does make you think though -
I wonder what Bill Bernbach would think of the ad? Personally, ‘Lemon’ is a pretty fair description.
Saying all this, it could be a fake, a rouse, only for them to reveal a full Jedi epic at half time on Sunday.
As a 34-year old who grew up wanting to be Han Solo and now looking more like his sidekick, I hope it is.
Disclaimer: The views expressed by an employee is not shared with that of CMW. We love everybody’s work, and would never stoop so low as to put down/diminish/belittle/criticise/degrade or slag off any piece of creativity : )
10. January 2012
This morning we had our first working breakfast.
Mark Earls did what he does best – he made us think!
Here’s our 60 second whistle-stop tour of the wise and wonderful things he had to say.
His theme was that people follow patterns of behaviour. We can improve communication effectiveness by better understanding these patterns. It's for this reason that Mark's latest book is called "I'll Have What She's Having".
Mark started with a story – a story of Empire, adventure, map making and the Kong Mountains. (A quick visit to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mountains_of_Kong explains all.)
It turns out that for nearly a 100 years we believed the Kong Mountains to be in West Africa. They were the source of the great Niger River. Maps pinpointed where they could be found. The truth is they've never existed! They're a myth!
How did this come to pass? Mark explained that social context and shared belief are the most significant elements in our decision making.
We are inherently social beings and so our decision making is necessarily shaped by the influence of others.
From the moment we are born we are homo mimicus – mimicking man. We are copying machines aping the behaviour of our parents from day one. We then progress and ape the behaviour of our peers, of our social milieu and of wider society. We do it through-out our lives. This is why ideas spread; it's why markets have long-tails. We are copying machines. Drinks for example are a social choice.
As much as we all want to believe we're rational and independent of thought, the truth is we our part of a herd and make social decisions.
The trick is to understand the pattern that people's decision making is conforming to. To see the dynamic behind the mimic. Only by doing this can we seek to influence behaviour.
That's it other than to say thanks Mark for a stimulating and insightful talk. Great way to start the working day.
Mark's latest book, "I'll Have What She's Having", the inspiration for much of this morning, can be bought by clicking here. Well worth a read.
1. August 2011
Sowith a year to go until the London Olympics, stadia near completion, the pressworking themselves up into a frenzy and Team GB pumped and talking up medalhopes those with the foresight to dig deep and part with their marketing dollarto land sponsorship deals are no doubt collectively patting themselves on theirbacks.
As thoughts turn to next July we look forward to the epic battles that willplay out, not just those on the track, field and pitches but also the age-oldbattle between two of the biggest contenders, Adidas and Nike. Adidas, theofficial sponsor and Nike the brand continually associated with the Olympics inthe minds of the public due to the strength of their ambush marketing.
So Adidas will be hoping that their star Idowu will provide the Usain Bolt moment of 2012; theoriginal east ender delivering the goods on home soil, the marketing fairy-talecomplete. No doubt he’ll be climbing onto the rostrum with billions of viewersglued to their sets at home watching the camera slowly pan down to the medalthat hangs round his neck, its golden face depicting Nike the goddess orvictory.
OK, so Nike didn’t really manage to pull off the marketing coup of the centurybut when David Watkins’ designs were revealed last week it must have felt likea bit of a low blow to team Adidas in the battle of the brands.
18. December 2008
Found this via the Talent Imitates, Genius Steals blog. And I think it's is a good example of why the blog is called that. Remix-tastic.