Digital strategy + Steve Jobs approach = Digital journey

•July 20, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Spring Research created a new research tool for the ‘right side’ of our brain, the emotional side, to measure the emotional impact of ads. This couldn’t have come at a more perfect time. “The technique uses “emoticons” (emotional graphics) to measure the right brain thinking, and aims to allow agencies to examine emotional drivers as well as the consumer’s rational response to an advertising campaign.” Therefore the rational side of your brain doesn’t have time to react, as your gut feeling takes over with only visual representative for your feeling towards the brand/campaign. Here is the article on Spring Research’s Emotimeter

Recession brought the emotional impact of campaigns forefront, and rational thinking has been replaced by the emotive consumers. The second, and most important factor in the ad industry, is the introduction of digital. Still we are mostly thinking banner ads are only a copy of TV ads, and most marketers are using online just as an add-on. However with some amazing engaging campaigns, such as the Mcdonals, Dove, Haagen Dazs, Peugeot, Jeep, GTI Project and Nike+, we know digital is not about increasing CTR. It is about making consumers want to spend more time with your brand, and creating a positive buzz within your online consumers (which is everyone).

Such research should aim to also prove the emotional impact of digital campaigns on the consumer. The measurability of digital has made it vulnerable, it is impossible to say to the marketer “Look, the page impressions are this much but look at all the buzz, look at all the posts about it, and see how people need to share these brand experiences. It is not just about how many of them visit your website”. Marketers need to know now that digital impact is not about percentages, but also the overall impression it has on consumers.

We don’t expect a TV ad to increase footfall to the store straight away. That is why we have tactical ads and brand awareness ads. Why can’t we think the same for digital? As I said before, digital being measurable made it ever so hard to think in these terms; positive brand acknowledgement, positive buzz, positive engagement, positive recall. No, just because we can calculate the clicks, we disregard all these other factors which may, and usually are, more important.

One thing is for sure: A good product and great consumer experience is the backbone of any successful brand. One doesn’t exist without the other. And when digital is giving us the opportunity and endless tools to make user experience as pleasant and as smooth as possible, we are not taking advantage of it…? Making user experience as easy and smooth as possible should be the forefront of any digital campaign. No one wants to click on one thing and then redirected to another thing and then has to go back to go to the original site… etc. It can be all so confusing and intrusive. So digital has the ability to ensure this doesn’t happen for a brand, that the digital experience is as smooth and as pleasant as in-store experience (if not more).

Whenever I think of user experience, I think of one person only; Steve Jobs. He gave his life and passion to this one very important thing; making something as simple as possible. Within Apple’s product range the bottom line is the amazing easy user experience; this made sure Apple was always different from any other company. Steve Jobs’ bottom line was simple; design and function. For him, a successful design was nothing without the function. He would spent months going over the MacBook’s on/off button! His extraordinary talent comes from wanting the best experience ever. For example, he deosn’t believe in focus groups, he believes people can’t know what they want. Its competitors spent millions on consumer research, for Jobs it is merely useful. He gives people the “wow” factor, something they didn’t even know they could have. When he created the iTunes, people asked him “What makes you think people will pay for songs, when they can get it for free? no one had succeeded on this yet“, his answer was “Because they will enjoy the experience“. And it is so true, iTunes is the single most successful online store for entertainment.

This approach I think is the same with digital, it doesn’t matter how many banners, microsites, MPUs, apps and widgets you have. If you haven’t worked out the consumer and the simplistic form of user experience, it will all go to nothing. Just think, there are many others like iPhone embedded with similar technologies, what makes it different is the pleasant feel and use of the Apple iPhone. The sleek model, the easy-to-use navigation…

It is not just about the outcome in digital, it is about the journey.

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Unless you have 250 followers, you’ll remain jobless

•July 14, 2009 • Leave a Comment

If your dream job is in marketing, unless you managed to bag 250 followers on your twitter account, US is not going to hire you. Big Buy, a US retailer, posted this on their website; their one of many other job requirements.

Well, I am sure UK won’t be following this anytime soon. The most recent agency to use Twitter as means to find an employee was Agency.com. You were to explain why you should be hired (as an intern) in one tweet using their chosen hashtag.

Beyond this, I am sure we British won’t go too Twitter-mad!

Rhetorical triangle – Going back to basics.

•June 24, 2009 • Leave a Comment

We’ve been going back to basics lately. We as consumers, we as companies and we as communications industry. I wrote a little about it here in my earlier post. So I wanted to dedicate another post to this idea of going back to basics on theory of art of persuasion.

Most of us is familiar with the Greek philosopher Aristotle and his theory on rhetoric. The theory is used to say your ideas are more valid, or that you ideas are more valid than others. The three terms that this theory uses is Ethos, Pathos and Logos. It however seems to be regarded as outdated, but I beg to differ. I wanted to talk about this with a little more updated examples to how we still go by this simple theory to communications. Rhetoric is now mostly used in communications and english literature, whereas in its history it was used in more variety.

In the above theory (the triangle), persuasion is divided into 3 categories. It is known that it works best when they are all combined together. But in today’s theory it isn’t really necessarily to use all three (in communications industry). However speeches, another version of persuasiveness, is different (this includes sales people).

Ethos is your personal credibility, what we call today charisma. Another explanation is that your knowledge is stronger than others on the matter. For example, if you are a sportsman, when people listen to you they are going to have the respect for you to know about sports more than themselves and therefore your ethos is strong from the start. Most brands have used this theory in many of their communications including Sainsbury’s (Jamie Oliver), Nike, Adidas, Alli, charities (using celebrity endorsement – charisma)…

This theory was first seen on the TV Commercial in the 60s for a cough syrup brand that had the slogan “I’m not a doctor, but I play one on TV”. You can get away with a lot using ethos.

Pathos is the emotional appeal. Basically what we have currently been using, especially during recession. Pathos is the art of making people ‘feel’ by going into the details of storytelling. Pathos is known to be the last resort out of the three terms, if everything else fails you take a shot in trying to make the audience feel something. With recession, it has been this! There was nothing else left to do, as people were no longer logical in what they were buying, but practical. Hovis, Virgin, M&S are only a few of the many examples to be using this theory in the last 12 months. If we take recession out of the argument, Charities are the single biggest example of pathos being used to persuade/engage people.

This brings me to the last theory of Logos. This is the art of logic and evidence; ‘thought + action”. This was used widely in the 60s and earlier years of when advertising started. Now it is mostly used in FMCG products; beauty, cleaning, as well as technological ones. We don’t see many communications using only Logos anymore, it is mixed with pathos most of the time. Dove campaign is a great example of that.

We also see these theories a lot in everyday speeches, from our doctors, politicians and even sales assistants. They combine all three to be successful salesman.

It felt good to be going back to basics to put a theory behind it all. Hope you enjoyed it.

Why it is never about following, but creating…

•June 19, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Here is a great short story, in an animated format, about our path in life. This short story explains why we need to tune in to life, rather than just be a robotic mechanism that just slides through predictable doors. I feel it fits very well with the creative industry’s motto; We know it has never been about wearing the suit and going by the rule book, it is about passion.


Microsoft’s vague attempt.. once again

•June 12, 2009 • 2 Comments

Microsoft has a way of digging itself a huge hole, doesn’t it? I mentioned these before, in my previous posts; how they responded to Apple with Apple-style ads which only made them look even more desperate and weak. Anyone who knows me, and reads this blog with a bit of intense interest, will see my admiration for Apple and most of all for Steve Jobs as he is a one-man success for Apple.

However Microsoft is a huge company that delivers great product-driven solutions, but not necessarily as daring and out-of-the-box as they claim to be. They will never be an outlaw brand, and therefore they should cling on to their heritage and their amazing range of services. Attempting to be something they are not is just vague. And that is exactly how I feel about their latest attempt with its new search engine bing.

They claimed it would change the way people search, it would change people’s idea of what a search engine is… They claimed more than they could deliver and therefore no doubt they failed and will continue to do so. It is great they threw millions of dollars to advertising for bing, however putting a proposition out there that can’t deliver will only make those dollars a dept in your account rather than a good profit. They did raise enough awareness and PR to get people to go on it to try it out, but I doubt anyone has returned back as it never ‘changed the way people search’.

All it has different is if you search say a famous person, on the side it will give sub links to quotes/films (if its an actor)/shops etc, so it is useful. however it is hardly a breakthrough service. We are familiar with searching for products so much now, mostly thanks to Google that having sub-links to help us out is not that evolutionary in our search behavior.

Sorry Microsoft, but bing might have risen a great awareness for its launch, but it is no way a product that lives up to its given proposition. It’s main competition is Yahoo, not Google, so maybe this might help its market share a little. Microsoft, if you are going to be ambition about your products, produce them first, rather than representing ambition only through your words and ads. Mr. Ogilvy’s words come to mind “Consumer is not an idiot, she is your wife”

You think I am being too harsh? Check it out yourself and see if it changes the way you search.

Agency website made only out of Youtube clips…

•June 3, 2009 • Leave a Comment


Yes, US agency launched their official ‘website’ that you can only navigate via Youtube clips. It’s fun, and definitely innovative enough to prove they can walk the walk (and not just talk to talk) when it comes to digital creativity. Check it out at www.booneoakley.com

Great initiative and effective execution

•June 1, 2009 • 1 Comment

Obama has closed down secret prisons and showed his disapproval of torture. Now, there is a petition going by Reprieve to stop music torture. It is favoured because of the lack of evidence it leaves on the body. It might sound silly; music? torture?… Victims are left in very stress positions with music blasting full volume for days, weeks and months. The initiative for this petition is of course great, I couldn’t agree any less with it.

However what is even more inspiring to see is the execution of how it is been collected.

The site shows supporters, including famous people, filmed in silent protest, with users encouraged to record their own videos to join the petition and to be played on the site. There are literally thousands of them… And when you see these different people from all around the world doing a silent protest, it effects you more than any signature or words ever could do.

Check this out: