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this is what excellence in integrated digital communications looks like August 2, 2014

Posted by nicholas gill in advertising, align technology, award, communique awards 2014, digital, Doner, integration, invisalign, social media.
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WINNERSme winner

We won an award recently and I can’t tell you how thrilled I am. It was for the work we’ve been doing for Align Technology to generate awareness and lead generation for Invisalign across Europe.

The award was for the 2013 consumer campaign, “Smile and the Whole World Smiles With You” received the Excellence in Integrated Digital Communication award at the 2014 Communique Awards on July 3.

The Invisalign Smile campaign ran across key markets in Europe, where a mix of appointment-to-view television programming on digital channels was sponsored with integrated digital direct response, social media paid advertising, social media community activation programs, Pay Per Click, and digital innovations such as Zeebox in the UK and use of the new Twitter Card lead generation functionality. This strategic approach was designed to get more target consumers to ask for Invisalign treatment at dental practitioners and leveraged an integrated consumer marketing campaign that engaged and motivated people with problem teeth to start Invisalign treatment.

The award judges summed it up nicely:

“The beauty of this campaign is its demonstration of what could be achieved outside standard pharma practice. It was a paradigm in terms of its integration of carefully chosen, appropriate channels and had digital at its heart. It’s also very in-sync with where the industry is going to have to go in terms of the breadth and connectivity of different communications channels.”

 

AWRD1AWRD2

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And it also worked, here’s what Raph, the VP International at Align had to say:

“The Invisalign Smile campaign had a significant impact including driving prompted brand awareness for Invisalign and achieving 30% growth for Invisalign lnfo Kit downloads and Find an Invisalign Provider searches. Our social media community grew a phenomenal 140% (2.5X) year on year and the Smile campaign helped to impact our total business objective by increasing Invisalign case submissions.”

 

Really terrific stuff. I’m really proud of this work. It shows what can happen when a client and agency work together in a proper relationship to deliver great things.

 

what it’s like to work in the creative industry July 24, 2013

Posted by nicholas gill in advertising, Inspiration.
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A short documentary on what it’s like to work in the creative industry when your craft becomes your profession. Even though I’m not a “creative”, I can relate to these feelings and scenarios.

Originally found on Design Taxi via Evan Michaels.

my favourite londoner – new work May 29, 2012

Posted by nicholas gill in advertising, Client, Doner, Fuller's, James May, London Pride.
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Image

Blatant work plug. Here’s our new work for Fuller’s London Pride, again featuring the marvellous James May. The campaign celebrates the provenance of the brewery and the pint, especially important when the world’s eyes will be on London this Summer. The work is featured on the Marketing Society blog and also on Haystack and you can see it pretty much all across London this Summer. Cheers!

we fear change November 16, 2011

Posted by nicholas gill in advertising, brand experience, digital, integration, marketing, social brand, social business, social media, technology, Technology Digital.
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Change is the only constant factor in life and in the world of Technology; the businesses which realize this sooner, can only gain from it. Article by me in Technology Digital.

Image source.

brands need to take the risk while embracing technology November 14, 2011

Posted by nicholas gill in advertising, analytics, brand experience, data, digital, integration, mobile, Technology Digital.
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Article in Technology Digital by me on why brands need to blend with other channels of interaction to create a bigger impact among their audiences.

Image also from Technology Digital

no such thing as a free lunch November 2, 2011

Posted by nicholas gill in advertising, social media, social networks.
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A fascinating article on privacy, advertising and the use of your data on social networks and the new alternatives such as Diaspora and Unthink to the accepted norm. Where Hugh once said if you talked to people the way advertising does, they’d punch you in the face, he was talking about traditional ATL advertising and the shouty nature of the traditional 30′ spot. This quote from the article suggests that advertising in social media could possibly be worse; rather than just blurting at you in ad breaks, it snoops on you and brazenly flashes this in your face. Good food for thought to start your day with.

Imagine you’re eating out with your lady or a loved one; the restaurant is completely free from 12pm until 2pm. Free. Trouble is, your entire conversation is being recorded and watched closely. Every time you both mention something that suggests an interest in a product or purchase or place – an ad rep/TV/radio ad/leaflet appears in front of you and pitches away. Mention you’re interested in a mini break; cue the man from the travel agency peddling his wares. Your meal is free though, don’t forget. You can always ignore the ad man. How many of us would appreciate that constant eavesdropping? Few. Remarkable then that the digital world doesn’t quite suffer the same reaction. It all feels so remote and far way.

Image source.

connecting and kinecting October 20, 2011

Posted by nicholas gill in advertising, brand experience, integration, microsoft.
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When CP+B picked up the Microsoft advertising account, we all wondered what would happen. The “I’m a PC” ads weren’t as bad as the original haters suggested. The product elements and the use of interesting characters started to change perceptions of Microsoft. I quite liked them but I didn’t identify with being a PC still. And then just as some momentum was happening, the Launch Party “thing” happened. Finding the video now, the comments have been disabled on the version I am linking to. Unsurprising given it was truly horrific. I also thought the “Windows 7 was my idea” campaign was an interesting concept but felt hollow in execution. There’s been some advertising for the Windows Phone but in a market that is dominated by Apple, HTC and Samsung in the kudos and media space, it’s not really stood out. And then there’s X-Box. The golden child. And it’s shinier child, Kinect. Which aped the successful Wii advertising but without a controller. X-Box is a great product and the Kinect addition has made it even better.

But it’s never been leveraged as part of a wider brand and product effort. The reason I, and countless others, buy into Apple is that their stuff together just works. iTunes, iPhone, iPad, iMac, AppleTV and so on. Seamless, easy, great. The best brand experience by far. You can even take this into the retail environment.

You don’t get the same feeling from Microsoft. It feels disparate and hard. My own experience of Apple’s “plug it in and it will work” is in stark contrast to “plug it in and load the accompanying CD, load up the drivers, reboot, etc.” of Microsoft. Now I know this perception is now several years old but it’s stuck. And that’s why we are an Apple household.

But this new ad challenges people like me. And it makes use of the integrated Microsoft brand experience which has never been done before. I like it. It shows Microsoft in a new, family setting than rather the individuals it has targeted before. It has humour. It’s not trying to copy Apple or Nintendo either. It also looks easy, creative and fun to have Microsoft products in your home. It’s a shame then that the good work of the commercial is let down by a bland website that does nothing to re-enforce the message of connectivity and togetherness by immediately splitting the products again. Perhaps CP+B can get their hands on the digital side of things too?

the networked business of the future September 15, 2011

Posted by nicholas gill in advertising, brand experience, digital, Knowledge Peers, social business, social media, technology.
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Last night I presented at the Knowledge Peers event: Technology – transforming growing businesses at the Design Council, Covent Garden, London. A lot of good presentations and discussions with a genuinely interested and intelligent audience asking some probing questions about cloud, social business and the changes required. And then I came on. I was the entertainment; the only one in jeans as far as I could tell. Certainly the only one in trainers.

I think the title is quite misleading. My bit was about how technology has changed companies, the problems they face and the benefits of becoming a more social business internally and externally. It picks up on themes from a couple of previous posts on social business if you fancy checking that out.

So up I popped and did my thing. And it was all going so well. New content, on form, enjoying it and then unfortunately the technology in the Design Council had a spaz. A big one. The keyboard wouldn’t work, the mouse wouldn’t work and any attempt to run slide show resulted in it all just blitzing through the slides and ending up on slide sorter. The irony of the session prior to me involving the shift towards employees bringing their own IT equipment into the workplace was not lost on me. (An ironic) thanks, Design Council. So I managed to convey the key messages (I hope) and promised to share the slides with the funny, sweary videos in them. They’re up there. Also because the technology spazzed, here’s the script. I went off script last night, a lot I think, as I usually do. I don’t normally write a script either so this is a rare collector’s item. But this is what I was meant to say.

THE NETWORKED BUSINESS OF THE FUTURE

Knowledge Peers event, 14 September 2011 @ Design Council, London

<intro>

I’d like to share a part of a speech given by Ben Hammersley, the editor of Wired, gave to the IAAC this week – the Government’s talking shop for lots of things including cyber security. It’s a brilliant read. Probably better than the next 10 minutes with me, in truth. But then again, he hasn’t got the videos I’ve got so stay with me. The thrust of Ben’s speech was similar to the themes we’ve explored tonight; how technology is rapidly changing our world and the line that stands out for me is this…

“The Internet is the dominant platform for life in the 21st Century… it is the central platform for business, culture and personal relationships.”

It is. Not soon, not in a few years but now.

But in business, we’re slow to catch up. And I’ll share why this is happening and what needs to change internally and externally.

<slide>

Some of you may be thinking exactly this. I know a lot of clients I have spoken too in the last few years have also experienced this horror too. Some put their heads in the sand; some jump headlong. Most just haven’t seen it coming.

<slide>

We live in 2011. We are in the information age. But we act as if we’re in the industrial age. Factory mentality rules. Process this, refine that, get a repeatable outcome every single time. No exceptions. Except in our economy, that doesn’t happen. We don’t live in a 9-5 economy. Example: Facebook traffic peaks at weekends and evenings. How many brand managers are actively looking after their brand beyond Monday to Friday 9-5? We live in lumpy times. Not repeatable. Our workload is up and down. So we compensate for lumpiness with meetings. Because downtime is a sin. But where some detest this, others embrace it. Google allow developers 20% of their working week to develop projects. This is where Gmail, Google Plus and other game-changing technologies have come from. Not sat in endless meetings or churning through a gazillion poor uses of email that are a time sink.

<slide>

But here’s the thing. We fear change. Because change means different. It’s hard. And the change needed is immense because it spans the entire organisation, not just adding Facebook and ticking the social media box in the comms list. We need to change across the enterprise. Change from jealously guarding our knowledge stocks and eking out ever decreasing profits from them. To become more open, collaborative and sharing.

<Slide>

Because the silo model organisation inhibits growth. Of course you can’t break down all the barriers. That would cause chaos. Or an ad agency as we tend to see it. No, you need to become more porous. Demilitarize the silos. Fundamentally sharing the data reserves. But harnessing it and mining it for actionable insights. Not just pretty charts. And it can work.

<examples on screen>

<slide>

And it’s a similar story for marketing to people. The external environment.

Look at this timeline and look how long TV has been there. It’s now a process. Honed and toned. Familiar, trusted and yes, still effective. But with recent developments, it can be bigger, better, more effective.

And then technology came along and we hid away because we fear change. But even old things that we thought were dying have been given a new lease of life. Take outdoor. Eyeballs were the thing. But nobody looks up any more. We’re praying to the blackberry. But give them a reason to look up

 <McDonald’s Sweden interactive billboard>

<Slide>

For years marketing has been like a scene from Ghostbusters.

Bear with me here.

Don’t cross the streams! Why?

Dr. Egon Spengler: There’s something very important I forgot to tell you.
Dr. Peter Venkman: What?
Dr. Egon Spengler: Don’t cross the streams.
Dr. Peter Venkman: Why?
Dr. Egon Spengler: It would be bad.
Dr. Peter Venkman: I’m fuzzy on the whole good/bad thing. What do you mean, “bad”?
Dr. Egon Spengler: Try to imagine all life as you know it stopping instantaneously and every molecule in your body exploding at the speed of light.
Dr. Peter Venkman: Right. That’s bad.

<source: IMBD.com>

So don’t cross the streams. It’s bad. And the marketing MIX became silos. Oh the irony.

We carefully trap our consumer in our stream of high impact telly, grapple him with press and outdoor, and opt him in to an email programme that will bludgeon him to death with messages until he finally buys our product. And now he’s in our box, we’ll maintain our CRM programme to keep him loyal. Process. We love that stuff in marketing world.

Here’s the thing though; technology changes, people don’t. They like to disrupt. To change. To do new things. And new things don’t have a history of past performance so we don’t know what will happen.

We fear change.

This is why brands have been slow to embrace technology.

All the while our consumers are doing interesting things without us. They love mixing the steams, messing with things. Our precious brand being messed with is hard to take. But it can be brilliant.

<Backstreet Boys weird manga>

Embrace change.

<slide>

Which is why brands are behind the curve on mobile. It’s perhaps the most exciting thing to happen in marketing yet it’s being largely ignored.

Mobile devices were predicted to outsell PC shipments in 2015. This already happened in the last quarter of this year.

The opportunity for brands in simultaneous viewing is huge.

It becomes more communal, enriching and adds excitement.

Just hop on Twitter or Facebook on a Saturday night when X-Factor or Strictly Come Dancing are on. I don’t have a video of Anne Widdicombe. I don’t want to make you all ill.

<slide>

Mobile represents as big a shift as TV did. Because you always have it with you. 35% of women under 30 check their Facebook news feed BEFORE they get up.

It’s exciting because we know your location, the context (contextual ads based on mobile search terms have 6x greater impact than banner ads on the web), it is real-time. And if you can combine the data you have unleashed form silos, imagine how powerful that is?

But let’s not get too carried away, there are things it cannot do.

<David Lynch on the iPhone>

<slide>

Contrary to popular belief, TV is not dead. It’s evolving. We spend more time watching TV than anything else. Still. We do it in different ways. Technology has improved our telly entertainment. But it also means we need to be smarter. Run of network will get fast-forwarded – some 70% of ads are fast forwarded on PVRs which is no surprise when we’re time and place-shifting our viewing. Appointment to view TV gets saturated and expensive. You need to think and behave differently to light the fires a great TV ad can start. If a Yoghurt brand can think differently, you can too. Yeo Valley wanted to change perceptions of being an organic brand and decided TV was they to go for the first time and took over the entire ad break in X-Factor last year with something quite different.

<Yeo Valley Rapping Farmers>

Different thinking, different behaviour. Great ad. Did it work?

In the 12 weeks to December 25 2010, the brand experienced a 14.9% year-on-year sales uplift, outperforming the total yogurt market by two-and-a-half times. Total downloads of the song from the ad on iTunes has exceeded 27,000 copies.

<source: UTalk Marketing>

The brand amplification and extension is social channels is still growing today.

<slide>

Be brave, have budget and cross your streams. Activate your brand, embrace your community and let go.

I’ll leave you with this great example of Lego. It’s not by Lego. But technology and fan passion makes this a great ad for Lego.

< Lego, Death Star Canteen>

You stay classy, San Diego.

(I didn’t say that.)

And here’s a follow up video from the event with me yakking on for a bit from 2min 45ish and again from 6m 50ish.

strategic digital integration April 8, 2011

Posted by nicholas gill in advertising, DCH, digital, integration, social media.
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We’ve been helping clients to become more social and more digital. In an integrated way. This is part of how we’ve been helping them.

when digital got in the way April 7, 2011

Posted by nicholas gill in advertising, automotive, digital, digital advertising.
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This time last year I had a strange desire. No, not that you dirty minded pervs. No, a desire for throbbing engines, helmets and leather. Yes, I wanted a motorbike. Part practicality – I could save a chunk of cash by parking at a different train station – and part just because I’m heading into the dreaded 4 and 0. Not yet though. And then it all went away. Overnight. And it’s been taken over by another desire.

For a massive 4×4. Partly because any moment now we will have child no. 2 but also because I enjoy driving big cars. I enjoyed immensely driving the humoungous 8-seat Dodge Durango while on holiday in Florida a couple of years back – except when you went round a corner. We have corners in Europe.

So I should be frothing at the mouth at this new partnership from Microsoft and Ford for the all new C-MAX. I know the old C-MAX from my previous life on the Ford of Europe account (I didn’t work on it btw). It was the bastard child. Nobody liked it. The Focus and the Mondeo looked down on it and the S-MAX showed how versatility and all those other things can be put together in a great driving package. Some time down the track it’s been re-born. And here’s where my current desires fit in. I perceived the C-MAX as crap. Then I saw the telly ad. It looked nice. And what’s this? It has 7 seats! Woo hoo. We NEED 7 seats. (I know we will have 2 sproglies but have you EVER tried fitting your mum/mother-in-law in between 2 car seats in a V50? No? It just won’t go. So 7 seats are now officially tick box requirements for our next automobile.)

And then I completely forgot about it. And then I saw this tie up with MSN. Partnering with MSN gives you lots of good content, instant access to a gazillion people and a whopping amount of digital platforms on which to share the product love. It’s got lots of nice technology content, men things, stuff that men will like, manly stuff and things that are loosely related to the technology and men things about the car. I didn’t read any of that though because I watched Tiff Needell driving the car. The production quality was horrific which is inexcusable for a brand like Ford. And the car was DIRTY! I almost fainted. But the film content was good. I had no idea it had Active Parking. Which would terrify me at first in the same way Stop-Start mechanisms do. I am paranoid the bastard won’t start again. I couldn’t get as excited as Tiff at the automatic boot release though. I would get more excited at an automatic boot close as you get on premium motors from Germany. No more slamming. I even smiled knowingly as Tiff flashed his headlights in a retro Top Gear over-taking manouvre on the Oxfordshire back roads where it was filmed.

But where are the 7 seats, Tiff? WHERE? Nothing. Not even a nod to say “for those who want extra versaility there’s a 7 seat version.” So I had to jump ship to the microsite. Which seems to have no reason to live as it’s same content as the main site. And discover it’s called the Grand C-MAX. And try and find the video for that. And it was a bit rubbish. And then I looked at the prices and thought ouch! And then I figured I could get a decent used XC-90 for the same amount of cash and enjoy it more. Because it’s bigger. And it’s what we wanted all along. And they have some lovely films of Sweden. For the first time in ages I felt let down by digital because it got in the way.

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