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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.”




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.



From The New Integration to The Newest Integration May 30, 2014

Posted by nicholas gill in integration, thought leadership.
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The New Integration

On August 10, 2010, I posted an article on my blog entitled, “The New Integration.

At the time, there was a lot of talk about integration being dead. Integration was old, lumpy, slow and no longer sexy. It wasn’t suited to the new socially aware age.

Back then, the stand-out campaign of the year – and it still endures today as a case study of legend – was Old Spice’s “Smell Like a Man, Man.” Of course, it was an integrated campaign.

Since then, technology has moved on apace making a mockery of the simplicity of the Mad Men era and the vintage approach and lifestyle that some still seem intent to aspire to. The classic lead generation funnel is similarly viewed by misty-eyed marketers for no more use today than charting conversions in a spreadsheet. It does not provide a representation of what actually happens outside of the boardroom.

The Current State of Integration

Today, the funnel constantly shifts. The marketing landscape consists of attention-grabbing event moments in appointment to watch television that spark conversations and actions to quick-minded reactions.

The landscape continues to change too. Facebook seemingly changes weekly, while only showing interest in numbers that are in the billions. Instagram was the anti-Facebook. Then Facebook bought it. WhatsApp was the anti-Facebook – the place where the tricky to pin down youth demographic hung out. Then Facebook bought it. Snapchat launched and was much better than Facebook’s Messenger app. And then… well, not yet.

Facebook said it changed itself from a utility to a mobile company because 65% of all social activity takes place on a mobile device, according to ComScore. Mobile devices are where we’re spending more of our time. Marketers instinctively look to target this audience. Which is why you hear “mobile first” as a mantra.

We instinctively gravitate to mobile because it’s shiny. In the same way that social was shiny before Zuckerburg started sucking the dollars out of the marketing budget with diminishing returns. The mobile device is always with the consumer, so clearly we can target them exactly when and where we want. But sadly, this is mainly where broadcast media went wrong. The 30-second spot became so popular that it became wallpaper, forcing consumers to fast-forward the ad break and agencies to dial up the creativity to stand out.

Digital banners are ten a penny. Most of us have banner blindness and an odd acceptance that a 0.1% response rate is amazing. That’s 99.9% irrelevant. Mobile is heading the same way. Inventory is cheap. Reach is high. Bang ‘em out, right? Wrong.

The Newest Integration

In a recent study from Adobe entitled “Digital Roadblock: Marketers Struggle to Reinvent Themselves” personalization was the most important priority on marketer’s lists. That’s right – it out ranked mobile.

Now, we need to understand the role of mobile in a customer’s relationship/journey with a brand and the points where you can intervene and helpfully add value.

Integration has never been more relevant. Today’s integration is nimble, without boundaries, creative and impactful. Today’s integration understands the multiple and complex client and brand issues and the unstructured, unbound customer and prospect relationships with your brand and each other. Today’s integration understands how to use and blend the many, many tools – including mobile – at our disposal and how you can leverage them to work together.

The newest integration could be a responsive website, a useful app, a near-time response to a customer complaint in social media, an experiential stunt to surprise and delight or even a telly ad to stamp your brand and what you stand for right between the eyes.

For your brand to be successful in The Newest Integration, consider the following:

1. Think about the bigger decision making journey

Don’t get bogged down in the details by creating a banner ad. There are so many things that influence a decision. Identify the key experiences that consumers will resonate with to make a decision. Then, activate against an approach rather than just an idea.

2. Don’t be biased to one particular channel

If the environment is not right, then fix the environment. Don’t try to polish the turd with pretty creative. That will just be a waste of time, money and resources.

3. Avoid the temptation to attain the social status of another brand

Brands and consumers both want to be authentic. Create your own trends and establish your own voice to increase engagement and overall business results. Don’t be another me-too brand in our me-first world. It simply won’t work.

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

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?

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.

I don’t always need a TwitFace to get an emotional response February 10, 2011

Posted by nicholas gill in advertising, brand, Brand Bowl, brand experience, integration, social media, Super Bowl.
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I don’t like American football, I don’t even know who won the SuperBowl this year. But I have seen some of the advertising. Because it is a cultural phenomenon that stretches beyond the 110 million fervent Americans watching in their dens and into a global audience.

I have also seen a lot of the post SuperBowl bitching that this year was supposed to be the SocialBowl. Because y’know social is the new world order innit? And Pepsi shipped their SuperBowl budget into the Refresh social cause project last year. And because Old Spice guy did some personalised video responses to Twitter people. Which was, of course, brilliant. So this year we should all be exploiting the FaceSpace in a go big kick ass way. Whoop!

But SuperBowl has 110 million fervent fans watching. Live. Which is a prime opportunity to build your brand and be entertaining in an entertainment medium in the ultimate (if you’re American) sports entertainment date.

Which is what telly does brilliantly.

But still we whine that they missed an opportunity to be social. We even helpfully provide “they could have done this”. Well, some did use social…

Audi – they used a hashtag. So you could “participate”.

VW – they used social media to seed the Vader/Passat ad before the event to raise awareness and ohmygod create BUZZ.

Chrysler – they just did an amazeballs brilliant ad that left you with goosebumps. Oh and most Americans know it’s Chrsyler.com which has the campaign front and centre. It also has a social hub. And it’s as prominent as on facebook.com/Chrysler.

So they did do social after all – they just didn’t shout about it. Because it’s so second nature that we’ll find it if we want more.

If advertising is designed to elicit an emotional response and plant that brand front and centre in your brain then some of the Superbowl ads did it in spades.

Some of them didn’t. But still we yakked about it afterwards.

If advertising is just meant to be a vehicle to send people to Facebook then a brand ad on SuperBowl Sunday won’t be the answer. Brand awareness and emotional response doesn’t always have to have a social element.

The ads above delivered emotional response in spades and also had a lot of talkability/buzz factor we crave in marketing.

That’s why we need integrated approaches. Different parts of the communications mix do different jobs. You don’t need to tick every single box every single campaign.

Why consumer behaviour is driving a change in thinking about integration – published in Figaro Digital September 24, 2010

Posted by nicholas gill in DCH, figaro, integration, social media.
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I’m thrilled to be published in Figaro this month with the DCH current focus on the new integration. We’ve already had some great feedback direct from readers of the magazine and we’d love to know your thoughts. The online version is here and you can also read a longer version in our downloadable PDF.

Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn |nicholas.r.gill@gmail.com

the new integration August 10, 2010

Posted by nicholas gill in integration, social media, thought leadership.
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Right now, there’s a lot of talk out there about integration being dead. Almost as much talk as there is about social media, the death of the ad agency – and the Old Spice viral.

But I think it’s all nonsense. Find out why and discover some simple truths by reading this ‘New Integration’ thought leadership piece. It’s the first in a probably highly irregular series of thought stuff from us at DCH.

Like or dislike?

Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn |nicholas.r.gill@gmail.com

we are people, not just consumers of social media July 6, 2010

Posted by nicholas gill in integration, social media.
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Yes, there’s a lot of noise about social media and yes, it is very exciting and yes, the social specialists are forcing other agencies to up their game in the space. But it’s rare that a social media campaign works extraordinarily well in isolation.

Social media should only really become relevant if viewed as part of an integrated plan.

Integration is the way to achieve better results from your total marketing expenditure and efforts. Embed it with your brand, broadcast, direct response, interaction and operations objectives and you’ll get far better results and far better customer experiences than toiling in one silo channel.

Consumers don’t separate their consumption; why do we continue to separate our marketing responses?


Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn |nicholas.r.gill@gmail.com

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