8. April 2013
We’re in the throws of planning out next Working Breakfast which will take place at One Alfred Place on Thursday 25th April. If you would like to come along please email us; email@example.com
Working Breakfast Theme: Youth of today
With reports of rising unemployment amongst 18-24 year olds and the misconception that they have little disposable income and are brand promiscuous, it’s no surprise that this age group tends to be overlooked by many leading brands as potential customers.
Yet, students alone (who account for one half of the UK youth population) contribute a staggering £20 billion annually to the UK economy.
So this time round we’ll be joined by youth experts, The Beans Group, who will draw on recent research into 18-24 year olds to reveal their shopping habits and some of the brands they love and hate.
We’ll also dispel any myths you might have about 18-24s
and share some ideas on how brands can reach this audience without upsetting
And should you have any unanswered questions, don’t worry as there’ll be a small group of young people to ask first-hand!
Thursday 25th April at One Alfred Place, WC1E 7EB
08:00-08:30: Breakfast and networking
08:30-09:15: The Beans Group
09:15-09:45: A chance to mingle
If you or your colleagues fancy coming along, you are more than welcome. Simply RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org so we can add your name to the guestlist for the club’s reception.
We hope to see you there!
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 : )
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.
16. September 2009
We were asked this question recently and thought it might be worth sharing our response more widely.
Whatever the hype about social media there are some undeniable truths we need to accommodate in today’s communications landscape.
Firstly, we all now have a platform, if we want it. It’s easy for us to make our opinions public and widely share our experiences. Alas, for some brands, this more often than not means that their failures are highlighted; in a world where we’re all our own publishing empire we all know that news sells and bad news sells best. Online communications takes on a role which looks ever more like a hybrid of PR and customer services. A discretely placed ‘contact us’ in the website footer really doesn’t cut the mustard any more.
The second truth to accommodate is the uncomfortable one, for both brands and the agencies that serve them, that “we” no longer dictate the conversation. It’s already taking place, whether we like it or not. But with intelligence, tact, wit and sensitivity we can steer the conversation and change its outcomes, both at the micro individual experience level and at the macro brand impression level.
Both of these issues point to websites which are more about listening, less about selling, less about bigging up the brand, more about making heroes of the fans, less brochure, more after sales support; less David Ogilvy’s “we sell or else”, more Dale Carnegie’s “how to win friends and influence people.”
Social Psychology and behavioural economics are revealing the truth that we trust our friends more than we trust brands, and our ‘lazy minds’ prefer to abdicate decision making to the group rather than waste cognitive effort thinking things through for ourselves. What this underlines is the need to be where our audience is and talk to the group, not draw in the individual and hope to irrevocably persuade them. So website efforts become an outreach programme, rather than a publishing enterprise. It also means we need to think about what success looks like very differently. It’s ‘net promoter score’ thinking, rather than ROI modelling.
This transition we are seeing in the role of websites can be seen as: -
Informative -> Immersive -> Participative
Brands have mostly moved beyond the ‘informative’ stage of pure brochureware providing a handful of key facts. They’ve moved to large Flash based entertainments; immersive environments where the customer is wooed and seduced, or so the brand hopes. Increasingly a media savvy and cynical consumer base is now looking for more of a two way street and an equal footing with the brands they decide to engage with. And that means participation and the expectation on the part of the consumer that not only can they talk directly and individually to the brand, but that "the brand" will sincerely respond.
This clearly points to very different architectures and build paradigms to those we have seen in recent years. It means that we have to think of the company website more as a channel than a publication, more of a tool than a brand asset and more of a shared platform for the consumer as well as the brand than a simple one-way broadcast mechanism.
Moreover, the key implication is that for many brands, their ‘website’ presence won’t even be on their own website, the role of the domains they own being to point customers and prospects to the many other places where the brand is participating in the wider conversation taking place online.
19. March 2008
This is a great campaign from TfL, amply demonstrating how easy it is to miss the most mindbogglingly obvious things if you're distracted looking for something else. Clear as mud? They're trying to say that you can easilly miss cyclists and they demonstrate it really well. We are also loving the fact that they've shot their video home stylee and loaded it up to you tube - and they seem to be relying on the cleverness of the video to have a viral effect - well, it certainly got it to us pretty quick!
27. February 2008
The folks at Bright Blue Day did a super job of the Somerfield 5% student discount card thingymybob. Our own Martin Nieri MD (he's not a doctor - he's our managing director) was moved to comment thus.