Monthly Archives: February 2013

Air New Zealand Marketing = One of the Best

Air NZ are fabulous at integrated marketing communications.

The Bear Grylls safety brief is the latest example of how a company makes old information we’ve all heard a million times, fun, relevant and engaging.

How do I shut down Twitter?

The mere question rings alarm bells.

Moreso when reports out of the recent HMV experience suggest they were the words of HMV’s marketing director as HMV’s official twitter account was hijacked by disgruntled staff.

I’m no lawyer, but there is a reason internal communications are structured and handled differently than its external counterpart. There are legal, political and economic repercussions for businesses, hence why corporate messages are often ‘crafted’ and ‘approved’.

Now before you get all indignant about ethics and freedom of speech, it is timely to remember these are common, respected practices and behaviours of business men and women (of all ages) within the global business community.

However, for the rest of corporate Australia (and elsewhere) now is not the time to look down your nose at HMV management or their disgruntled staff and keen tweeters (I’m sure HR and engaged lawyers will cover that debate sufficiently).

It is however, time for management the world over to do an audit of strategic web-based marketing communications operations, focusing on process, procedures and governance.

Not sure where to start?

1.Start by acknowledging a title doesn’t determine superior knowledge. While it should reflect experience, in the constantly evolving world of ICT communication (embodying web-based, digital and social communications) a few conferences, or campaigns, an expert, it does not you make. (Not sure why, but Yoda seemed appropriate all of a sudden). Most companies are placing juniors in charge of digital communications (web and social media). I cringe every time a first or second year student seeks guidance for a job interview in social media which starts with: ‘how do I use it for business’ only to tell me the following week they are now the social media manager!

The savvy traditional marketing communications ‘experts’ (a term I cringe at whenever I hear it) are ‘dipping their toe in’, and playing it safe by applying the age old ‘suck and see method’ based on hunches, recommendations and gut instinct. When in doubt, this is a sensible, albeit soon to be dated approach (especially, if they’re outsourcing it!). More on that later…

2. Ask yourself, do I know who we (brand/ business) are?
That’s right, take it back to basics and ask yourself point blank, do I know who we (brand/ business/ team) are? You’d be stunned by how many successful business practitioners (and their staff) have NO IDEA how to answer this question comprehensively and succinctly.
If you’ve just discovered you’re one of them, then you have you’re opening question to your senior management team brainstorm right there.

3. Where are your team members in the great cycle that posits their professional life with your business/brand life cycle. Are they complimentary? Where are the gaps? Opportunities for growth? How and where can you best provide the necessary supports to lift your team as individuals as well as, a well-oiled marcomms machine to support your business…?

4. If you’re one of the few who answered question #2 with relative ease, then congratulations. You’re off to a great start. As the lead executive, ask yourself how you communicate down through your team, department, business and across key target markets and media. Be sure to identify the key points of variations within those communications, your teams’ response (as individuals and a group) and where they may be improved upon.

This step takes time, so don’t be too hard on yourself if you’ve realised you’re moving a littler slower all of a sudden…

As senior leaders, this is actually our FIRST real step in the process. It’s the one that exposes whether we have the entrepreneurial mindset that enables agility in strategic thinking and multi-channel campaign design. Thinking that drives market-leading specialists. It also enables clear aims, researched objectives and practical processes to be successfully married to the prerequisite sense and intrinsic response.

This is skill that in acquisition, is challenging and demanding in the most honest of ways. Don’t worry, if it doesn’t come straight away. It’s a skill that develops overtime.

A process that enables you as a professional to reflect on how you can better contribute to the success of your team and your business through applying thought leadership to management practice. A process that does not include (at any time) the question: How do I shut down anything.

Why? Because you saw the potential problem before it had the chance to arise.

Organised Crime and Drugs in Australian Sport

When the Australian Commission on Crime released their Organised Crime and Drugs in Australian Sport Report, the heads of all four football codes, as well as, Cricket Australia, presented a united force with the Federal Minister for Sport in Canberra; to present a report limited in scope thanks to ongoing police investigations and judicial enquiries.

All but one CEO faltered when questioned directly on missteps specific to their codes, which comes as no great surprise, when the AFL continually outperforms all other codes when it comes to proactive media management.

Today’s press conference was the first of it’s kind in Australian sporting history. It was also, IMHO well overdue. However, on reading the document: maybe somewhat premature.

As you’d expect, the Minister’s Response was efficient.

Although I suspect there are a few athlete’s shifting uncomfortably… So much so, I would not be surprised if the ‘shock and awe’ expressed by the mass media today on behalf of the Australian general public, is only the start of revelations far more shocking than those discussed by the powers that be to date.

Anyone else have a feeling of de ja vu…? #2009 #WatchThisSpace

Forget the rest: OREO take out Super Bowl 2013 Ad of the season

Forget the rest: OREO take out Super Bowl 2013 Ad of the season

Only minutes after a post Beyonce power failure sent half the stadium into pitch darkness and the Ravens and 49ers back to the dressing sheds, the clever kids at Oreo tweeted this advertising gem.

Oreos Super Bowl 2013 tweet

Contextually relevant marketing communications – what’s not to love?

Super Bowl 2013: Creative is King

Super Bowl advertising is expensive and represents some of the best known ‘spots’ in global advertising.

Traditionally, it is the best cocktail of TV and outdoor that has the power (audience) and prestige (position) to make or break a brand, but cash alone (approx. USD 3.5 million for 15 second spot) does not guarantee position. That comes down to creative (and relationships).

With Super Bowl kicking off in the wee hours of Monday morning (Sydney, Australia time), Super Bowl creative is top of mind in corporate and creative circles around the world.

This year, Visa declined a spot in favour of social, while  Kia and Budweiser have put together some key spots.
Although, Mercedes inspite of the the use of fire, not so hot.
And while fellow automotive VW creative was controversial, ‘s shock and awe tactics won out, by pairing a Sports Illustrated Swimsuit model and nerdy computer type in a raunchy game of tonsil tennis.

Samsung, put a fresh spin on the use of celebrity ambassadors, as Coca-Cola raised the engagement stakes for gamification, but potentially at the cost of the creative. While also highlighting why Super Bowl ads are not always broadcast outside of the USA, with this gem. Anyone else thinking Bundy?

While Doritos reverts to its original point of (campaign) origin for Super Bowl creative: story-telling by an amateur creative and Doritos Crash the Super Bowl competition winner,  Pizza Hut keeps it simple in a fabulously contextually relevant way.
When it comes to ad creative EVERYONE has an opinion. Talk Super Bowl and quite frankly, it doesn’t get much bigger.
But as with all marketing communications, what works, and what doesn’t is personal.
So what works for you this Super Bowl final advertising season? And most importantly, Why?
For the Quantitatively-minded: Check out the latest Super Bowl consumption infographic from Nielsen:
Media Consumption by Nielsen

Media Consumption by Nielsen