Posts filed under RADvertising

RADvertising from Super Bowl 53

It’s almost obligatory for a blog about advertising to comment on the Super Bowl each year. If you want to watch them all in your copious spare time, you can see them here. But why would you when I’ve just done the homework for you?

So here goes my 3 favourite Rad Ads… and a few runner-ups.

#1. Hyundai: The Elevator. Humour never goes out of style. Jason Bateman and the cast of characters deliver perfect comedic timing and make you want to know how the ad finishes as they descend into life’s most miserable experiences… including root canals, jury duty and a vegan dinner party (Beetloaf!) —- naturally vegans are outraged by the ad. Car shopping is down there with the vegans (I can pick on them because I practically am them) - but then all is revealed for how to make car shopping a pleasure.

#2. BUD LIGHT: Brewed with No Corn Syrup. Sometimes a brand just needs to take off the kid gloves and just punch its competitor(s) in the face, which is exactly what Bud Light does to both Miller and Coors Light - which are apparently brewed with corn syrup…. who knew?! There is the risk that this will bring the entire “light beer” category down rather than lift Bud Light up (new mental model: “Light” beers = corn syrup) but I admire their bravery in portraying competing brands in their ad. It’s ballsy - just like Bud Light. Certainly seems more motivating than sister-brand Budweiser’s ad which uses Bob Dylan’s “Blowing in the Wind” to tout that its beers are produced using wind farm energy, which I’m even less sure its audience cares about than corn syrup in beer.

Verizon: The team that wouldn’t be here. One of the more poignant ads, it features 12 NFL players who nearly died in accidents earlier in their lives - and the first responders who saved them. The ad celebrates the players and first responders and drills home Verizon’s clear brand positioning as “America’s most reliable network” due to its role in helping first responders receive emergency calls. It encourages you to go online and hear more about their stories (bring tissues).

And there are 3 runner-ups as well:

  1. Pringles Stack - Sad Device… because I never thought to combine flavours by stacking them - which might really increase my cart size next time (I’ll buy a Ranch tube AND Honey Mustard). Also - it’s very funny. See it here.

  2. Pepsi “Is Pepsi OK?”…. As far as I can tell, Steve Carell can do no wrong. This insightful ad brings to life a snippet of real world dialogue that always happens when a you order a Coke but the restaurant only has Pepsi: “Is Pepsi OK?” After seeing this ad, you’ll never hear that question the same way again. See it here.

  3. Michelob Ultra Pure Gold… You have to admire a brand that uses the whispery sounds of ASMR (autonomous sensory meridian response ) as Zoë Kravitz plays with a bottle of “beer in its pure form.” Only problem is…. this ad would not have worked in a rowdy and loud party of beer drinkers who wouldn’t be able to hear it. See it here.

    What WASN’T working for me: a) Anything much over 1 minute long (gratuitous!); b) unclear what the ad is for (and you really don’t care to find out); c) blatant use of celebrities without them adding to the story (ie: M&M’s doesn’t need Christina Applegate to be a soccer mum; but Sarah Jessica Parker reprising her role as Carrie and choosing a Stella Artois instead of a cosmo has relevance to the actor so it feels less crass).

    What do you think? Would love to hear your thoughts.

Posted on February 7, 2019 and filed under RADvertising.

RADvertising: Crazy Rich Asians as an ad for Singapore

In 2007 I took a trip to Singapore for an IBM brand strategy project I was working on and remember not loving it there.  I was living in NYC at the time so thought nothing could compare.  I jokingly referred to the island city-state off southern Malaysia as "Singa-snore."  It wasn't for me with all its rules (No spitting.  No gum on the street.)  - which they even joke about on the tacky tourist t-shirts at the airport.  I was from NYC - I was a rule breaker, not a rule follower.

Common tourist t-shirt

Common tourist t-shirt

The only part of Singapore I remember liking was Little India - with all its Hindu temples and authentic Indian food everywhere youwent.  But all that's changed after seeing Crazy Rich Asians last night.   

If you haven't seen it yet (and it's topping the box office currently), it squarely fits in the rom-com genre.  But besides the central romantic relationship in the movie, it's actually a love story about Singapore.   It romanticises the food, the architecture, the nature and (some of) the people.  I was salivating over the hawker food market scene even though I was painfully full from having dinner just before the movie.  When the main character mentions some vendors are Michelin-rated chefs, it puts your local food truck to shame.  

When I visited in 2007, the Marina Bay Sands was probably just a hole in the ground.  Now, I'm obsessed with the idea of swimming at the top in its infinity pool:

The Marina Bay Sands, which opened in 2010

The Marina Bay Sands, which opened in 2010

Who knows what kind of set-up there was between Singapore's tourism body, film industry and the producers of the movie, but they must all be pretty pleased with the result and likely boon for visitors.  The best part is, you won't leave the theatre thinking you have to be 'crazy rich' to enjoy Singapore - but you would be crazy to not be more curious and excited about Singapore than  you were before you walked in. 

In that way, Crazy Rich Asians definitely counts as RADvertising for Singapore.  

Posted on September 4, 2018 and filed under RADvertising.

RADvertising: Qantas x UNICEF "Change for Good"

On a recent flight to Melbourne I passed by the large bin holding headphones you could take onboard to use on the flight.  Wrapped around the headphones is an envelop for UNICEF in which you can provide any pocket change after your flight.   This got me wondering:  Does anybody ACTUALLY do this?  Is this actually an effective and RAD way to do advertising, albeit a fairly old school and analog approach?

The answer is apparently YES:  According to UNICEF, since the program began in 1991, over $31 million dollars have been raised, that's about $1.25 million per year on average.  Considering 5 cents gives a child clean drinking water for 2 days, and $1.50 can protect 5 kids from disease, that money can go a long way.  

The UNICEF brand has been around for a long time - and I always associate it with doing good on a big scale, similar to a Red Cross.  But I've never been really clear on what it actually does.  Turns out it stands for United Nations Children's Fund.  From the site:

The United Nations Children’s Fund, formerly the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund, was established on December 11, 1946, by the United Nations to meet the emergency needs of children in post-war Europe and China.

In 1950, its mandate was broadened to include the long-term needs of children in developing countries everywhere. UNICEF became a permanent part of the United Nations system in 1953, when its name was shortened to the United Nations Children's Fund. It retained its original acronym.

Here's a list of the other corporate partners - and hey perhaps you work on a brand that would want to be added to the list?  With the state of the world as it is, seems the need has never been greater.  

Although at the time I didn't donate (I bring my own headphones), learning more about UNICEF has inspired me to do so next time - that spare change in my wallet only weighs me down as I'm travelling and could be put to much better use through UNICEF.   My only recommendation to them would be to switch it up a bit and get people like me who are on auto-pilot and don't know much about the organisation to take a fresh look at what they've accomplished.  

Of Frorks and Ford Cribs - aka viral stunt marketing

I am probably the most McDonald's-loving vegetarian / tree hugger you will ever meet - considering there is very little on the menu for me and the environmental waste is soul-crushing when you think about it.  

Which is why you'd think that I hate the new FRORK invention that has set some spheres of the interweb ablaze with commentary, confusion and delight.  It's basically a red plastic fork handle that allows you to insert 3 fries into the end to serve as the fork's prongs, which can then be used to sop up any extra ketchup or Big Mac special sauce left on your plate, erm, wrapper.  

Sometimes the rational marketer in me asks: What's the value of doing something like this - does it ACTUALLY SELL MORE BURGERS?  Is this just content for content's sake?  Or is pumping out ideas that spread virally simply the way brands need to operate today to remain top-of-mind? 

Ford did something similar recently with a baby crib that simulates being in a car, since babies are more prone to falling asleep in cars:  The crib gently rocks back and forth like a car, emits car engine hums, and has a circling glowing light that emulates a car passing street lights at night.   I'm getting zzzzzzz just thinking about it:

Part of me is very sceptical and thinks it's a total waste of dollars and energy and won't sell a single car... but part of me also recognises the PR value being generated by these stunts.  A quick search on Youtube for FRORK shows the number of people who've created additional content off the back of the original videos.  By even writing this post about them, I'm adding to the chatter.  

And I was guilty of doing it last year too when I blogged about Volvo launching the Volvo Life Paint, a clear spray paint that can be sprayed on clothing and bikes that glows and is reflective at night.  This to me was the ultimate in viral stunt marketing as it also hammered home Volvo's core positioning of being a SAFE vehicle and caring about protecting consumers.  

But did it sell any Volvos?   

That's debatable - but it did manage to get the brand top-of-mind for a bicyclist/car buyer like me who never watches ads any more.  To that end, perhaps it's done its job.

What do you think?  Are these viral stunts worth it?  Do you believe they help build sales --- or could that money be used better some other way?  

 

Posted on May 9, 2017 and filed under RADvertising.

RADveritsing: REI's #optoutside campaign

It's fitting to write this blogpost on Friday, 25 Nov 2016, even though we don't celebrate Black Friday nor Thanksgiving in Australia.  Just a few days ago at an AMSRS event we got to hear Niccola Phillips, Head of Art for M&C Saatchi, share her picks from this year's Cannes festival.  Probably the best was the REI campaign from the 2015 Black Friday in which the store adamantly shut its doors during one of the biggest retail sales days of the year in America.  Below is the video case study she shared and the 3 reasons why we think this is a form of RADvertising:

Why we love this:

1. It bravely goes against the grain.  It zigs when everyone else zags.  It goes against conventional wisdom ("We must open our doors at 3am because that's what our competitors are doing!!").  People are tired of seeing how much the Black Friday shopping holiday has been creeping backwards into the Thanksgiving evening and this brand finally decided to do something about it.

2.  It builds the brand:  It wasn't just some PR stunt to be forgotten the next day - it embodies what REI is all about - and they are doing it again this year.  Their employees are still paid which also endears us to the brand and makes them a good corporate citizen.    

3. It's become so much bigger than the campaign:  This year national parks in California are opening their doors (gates?) to the public for free - and people are tagging their photos #optoutside.  On the website where you can pledge to opt outside (5.2 million people have already), you have to wonder how many new family traditions are beginning because of this campaign... naturally they are beginning to call it Green Friday instead.  

For all these reasons and more, we say this is full-on RADvertising REI!

Posted on November 25, 2016 and filed under RADvertising.

RADvertising: Squatty Potty - "The best poop of your life"

We normally review ads for more serious categories (banks, supermarkets, wet cat food...) but on a recent trip to the US we were first exposed to the Squatty Potty - an invention so simple it makes you sigh: "Oh why didn't I think of that?"  

Probably because it's a topic not many marketers would be keen to touch: POOPING!  There is a growing body of evidence showing that we poop better when we are in a more natural squatting position, as our ancestors would've done prior to the invention of the toilet.  Seriously - this has been written about in The Washington Post, HuffPo and Men's Health.  It's also based on the insight that people do not need to waste their money buying more laxatives and prescription drugs when they can solve this problem with a simple "pooping posture" adjustment.  

So someone out there came up with the blazingly simple idea to create a plastic blow mold stool that rests beneath your toilet bowl for you to put your feet on when doing a #2, thus creating a more beneficial squatting posture.  It probably costs them a few cents to produce and it's selling like hot cakes on Amazon for $25 (of course it's $55 from the local Australian distributor).  And the 2,500 customer reviews are largely 5 of 5 stars (read them yourself and become a believer).  It even had a successful pitch on Shark Tank.   (post continued below photo...)

What we really love about this burgeoning health brand is the level of FUN they've managed to have with a potentially unpleasant topic.  Rather than take a boring, medical approach, they've removed the stigma of talking about pooping by making it humorous - the same way some feminine hygiene and toilet tissue brands have recently.  Though we haven't seen it air on TV ever, the hilarious Squatty Potty video (commercial?) came up in our Facebook feed recently.  Titled "This Unicorn Changed the Way I Poop" - the ad is one of the most oddball, captivating pieces of long-form advertising we've ever seen.  We couldn't take our eyes off it and bet you won't be able to either:

The holidays are just around the corner... how many of our clients would rather receive a Squatty Potty instead of the usual bottle of wine?  More importantly: What do you think of this quirky product, advert and brand?  Discuss!  

BADvertising: NAB - More than Money campaign

We at The Insights Grill feel bad for banks: no matter what they do, it's never good enough.  Admittedly our last blog post was a RADvertising post for NAB's visually stunning home loans "Journey" ad, the new "More than Money" campaign tilts towards the BADvertising side.  Here's why:

1. Money is inherently emotional - there's no need to go overboard on emotional appeal in the ad.  By now it's pretty well documented that brands do better when they appeal to not only the rational side of our brains but the emotional as well - which is why every marketing brief now talks about communicating the rational and emotional benefits.  But it's not the same for every industry - some categories seduce people more with emotion (fashion, sports), others there is a high degree of rationality involved (toothpaste, cars).  None are completely exclusive of emotion nor rationality, but they are not all equal.  Whenever we've done consumer research on the topic of money, people get incredibly emotional and worked up about it.  Banking should be the rational counterbalance to all the pent up (crazy) emotions we have about our money.  Banking is a category that we believe skews towards rational thinking and evaluation.  The "emotional battle" that banks need to win is at the point of contact (in store, one the phone, online) - arguably NOT during a 30-second TVC.    

2. The Online Backlash undermines the work - Judging by how people have responded online (both on NAB's Facebook page and also advertising trade media like Mumbrella), the campaign is at best falling flat, at worse an indictment of contradiction.  People simply don't believe a bank like NAB could possibly be about "More than Money" when last year it recorded a $6.3 BILLION profit (up 20% from the previous year ago.  (source)  The claim "More than Money" perhaps would be better coming from a community bank or credit union.  

3. All Talk when there actually is some Walk - When you actually visit the More Than Money content (micro?) site, you can see what the company has been doing to prove that it is about more than money: creating co-working hubs like its Village in Melbourne, providing small loans to economically challenged people to help them get back on their feet, and offering quick 3-day loans of $50K to small businesses so they can succeed if in a pinch.  Those real life examples do a much better job of conveying the brand is about more than money than a splashy ad (which people will always equate with a hike in their bank fees to pay for the ad).  

The good intent of a brand highlighting the fact that money is just a conduit (usually) to the important things in life is to be applauded...  But given the current climate of consumer scepticism, uncertainty and oftentimes anger VS. record-breaking bank profits, the More than Money campaign, on the surface, comes up short in believability and for that reason we've classified it under BADvertising.  

RADvertising: NAB Home Loans "Journey"

Sometimes, but rarely, we at The Insights Grill can focus on a TVC for more than 15 seconds because it's just so darn captivating.  That's exactly what this new ad from NAB does as it lures the viewer in with its striking visuals, realistic looking actors, and perfectly selected music.  It also leaves you with a bit of a cliffhanger - the journey is not over for these two.  This is one minute of our lives we're happy to not get back:

RADvertising: Cillit Bang makes household cleaners sexy

Look there's not much to say about this one: Brilliantly shot, 80s nostalgia music, and one of Madonna's tour dancers.  What more do you need?  We rarely sit through ads over a minute long as they always seem gratuitous but this one is worth the full 1 min 37 seconds of your life: 

* Note:  If you're looking for Cillit Bang in Australia we call it Easy Off BAM!  

Posted on February 5, 2016 and filed under RADvertising.

RADvertising: Fitness First "How did I get here?"

 Saw these ads in the Newtown Fitness First last week and was very taken by them - especially the one of the woman at what looks like Burning Man in the desert.  It's not your typical posed perfection gym brand photo - the whole series takes a bit of risk: the mum climbing the rocks while her kids watch from below, the naked people on the rooftop probably at 8am after a great night out partying (which we know NOTHING about!), and the granny in the gay nightclub.  

Questions in headlines are an easy way to engage readers - and the simple pay off here of the "Fitness First" logo as the answer to the question is suggestive but not over-powering.  It's not saying Fitness First is the be-all end-all in your life, but rather implies that your time spent at the gym has given you the confidence be naked in broad daylight, to endure a week in the desert, to throw yourself into the middle of a dancefloor.  

Well done to VCCP Sydney and its client Fitness First for doing something interesting in a category that often defaults to trite health images.


Posted on October 3, 2015 and filed under RADvertising.

Top 10 Sizzlin' Moments from Mumbrella 360

Allow us to save you $2,000 and two days out of the office.... Here's what we learned last week at Mumbrella 360 ("Australia's biggest media and marketing event").  Note:  all quotes are paraphrased to the best of our ability - we can only write so fast - and should not be taken as verbatims!

#1.  ASSERT YOUR TERRITORY... SIMPLY

Legendary ad man Ted Horton’s keynote opened the conference.  The founder of agency Big Red (most famous for Coles’ “Down Down” campaign) emphasised the need for “less fluff; more integrity in the message.”  He urged brands to “assert your territory” and then “re-assert your territory” – as Coles did when it stopped selling beef with hormones.  With everyone being too busy and distracted these days, a clear, consistent and simple message can cut through – it doesn’t always have to be mind-bogglingly creative.


#2.  DESTROY YOUR COMPANY FROM WITHIN

MOST HERETIC IDEA:  Funny enough, the most provocative idea shared at Mumbrella 360 didn’t come directly from the conference, but rather when Kerry Taylor, SVP at Viacom/MTV, shared something Kathryn Parsons of Decoded told her:  “Start a business inside your business who’s main aim is to destroy your legacy business.”  If you’re the taxi industry, it’s better if Uber comes from you than an outsider.  Same goes for the hotel industry (AirBnb) and car hire (witness Hertz now playing catch-up with GoGet through its Hertz 24/7 knock-off).


#3.  MOST INNOVATIVE PANEL: CMO CONFIDENTIAL

Four CMOs were hidden behind a curtain and had the pitch of their voices heightened or lowered so the audience wouldn’t know who they were.  Whilst they shared tales of agencies behaving badly (copying work, booze-fueled nights) they also offered straight-forward advice:

  • “To get on my radar, show me results of your work – not just a list of your clients.”
  • “A relationship is stale when you start putting juniors on my account, show complacency, and make me sweat the small stuff like typos.”
  • “Go beyond creativity: Bring me data, insights and opportunities.  Boston Consulting Group can charge $200K a month, but they promise to deliver 10 times that in ROI.”  

 

Four CMOs were hidden behind a screen and had their voices changed.

Four CMOs were hidden behind a screen and had their voices changed.


#4.  Best Marketing Metaphor

In the Humanising Data session, big data experts Lucy Acheson and Simone Blakers from RAPP did a great job explaining how big data “is like looking at the universe of stars in the sky and being able to find the patterns that provide the brightest opportunities.”  They also stressed the importance of creativity, saying advertising is still “…more Mad Men, less Math Men.”     


#5.  LESS IS MORE... EXCITING

Steve Coll, ECD at Droga5, talked about the tightening of budgets as an opportunity to create better work:  “When you have to do more with less, it’s an exciting mindset to approach challenges with.”  We really love applying this concept to market research since there are so many old, expensive ways to get insights that ultimately aren’t as good as the more nimble, digital tools out there.   


#6.  THE 7 PLOTS OF ANY STORY

"Storytelling" is definitely this year's buzz word, with plenty of people paying lip service to it, but not always acting on it.  So it was refreshing to hear husband and wife team David Morgan and Rowena Millward of Morgan share the 7 basic story plots, lifted from a 2004 book by Christopher Booker.  For any marketer that enjoys brand archetypes, they should look into the book to understand if their brand is telling the story of Rags to Riches, Quest, Comedy, Tragedy, Overcoming the Monster, Rebirth or Journey/Return.  (We at The Insights Grill see our brand story as "overcoming the monster": all the dreadfully dull market research that’s being done out there)     


#7.  FAVOURITE EXAMPLE:  AMAZON ECHO

This came out last November but somehow slipped past our radars.  We think it's a great example of artificial intelligence, which was another key theme coming out of the conference:


#8.  THE PROBLEM WITH THE "PAID OWNED AND EARNED" FRAMEWORK

UM CEO Mat Baxter raised a good point about the Paid, Owned and Earned framework that has been the darling of agencies for the past 5 years or so:  “Everything we do is Earned.  Even a print ad needs to earn your attention.”  The litmus test of everything you do should be:  Will this get news coverage?  Will this get shared?


#9.  ADAM FERRIER ON THE PRATFALL EFFECT

Adam Ferrier (Consumer psychologist and global chief strategy officer at Cummins & Partners) said some very ‘schmart things as you’d expect, explaining:

1.     The Pratfall Effect: the human tendency to like a person or brand more after they’ve made a mistake – and owned up to it.  Think Jennifer Lawrence falling as she goes up to accept her Oscar, or Apple Maps after its terrible bug-heavy launch:  “We screwed up.” 

2.     The need for using the scientific method in advertising:  Observe > Create hypotheses > Experiment > Analyse > Modify & Repeat.  He said Experimenting is the one most lacking.  The great thing about consumer research is we can help companies employ more of this approach through A/B testing and scenario simulations.

3.  He also announced the launch of a Consumer Psychology Interest Group in conjunction with the Australian Psychological Society.   If you'd like to be involved click here


#10.  RISE OF THE CHIEF CUSTOMER OFFICER

The 2-day event ended with Mumbrella Question Time with a panel of heavyweight pros like Darren Woolley from the Australian Marketing Institute, Mia Freedman of Mamamia Women’s Network, Robert Morgan of Clemenger Group and John Sintras of Starcom.  All agreed it’s the era of “disrupt or be disrupted” and pointing out that the Chief Customer Officer is the fastest growing C-Suite job in the US today (more than 25% of Fortune 100 companies now have one).  

Throughout the conference, customer-centricity was an ongoing theme: the better you know them, the better you are able to craft products, services, content, and messaging (brand stories!) that will appeal to them.  Here's a list of things we can do to help your organisation become more customer-centric in the new financial year. 

And… let us know if you went to Mumbrella 360 and learned anything else – next year we’ll send 4 people to cover the 4 different tracks – it was hard to pick which sessions to attend.      

Posted on June 9, 2015 and filed under RADvertising.

RADvertising: 3 brands that get benevolence

First off, I’m going to be totally honest: I didn’t come up with the idea of benevolent brands – it’s been around the past few years.  Even worse, I had to google “define benevolent” to even understand what the word benevolent even meant at first!  I’ve since discovered that I’m not the only one, so for those of you who suck at Scrabble too, here you go:

Benevolent (adjective):  “well-meaning and kindly” and “an organization serving a charitable rather than a profit-making purpose.

In the past month there’s been a surge in brands doing cool, benevolent things that take them beyond their core categories (cars, dog food, vodka) – and into an adjacent space that might not make them rich, but certainly make their brand proposition stronger. 

The one you’ve probably seen mentioned the most is Volvo’s “LifePaint.”  The boxy family car that’s synonymous with “safety” has deepened its commitment to safety by creating a spray that can be used on bikes, backpacks and clothing so they become reflective at night (but look no different in daylight).  Apparently the bike shops that sell it are receiving hundreds of phone calls a day about it.  Whilst Volvo isn’t in the bike business, it is in the business of safe driving and this initiative has got people talking about the brand again.

Similarly, dog food Pedigree has launched Pedigree Found – an app that lets dog owners notify if their pet has gone missing, and in conjunction, Google Display Network will post a picture of the dog to people within a 2.5km radius of the owner – acting almost like a digital “Missing Dog” poster. So far it's only in New Zealand (and so far it only applies to missing dogs... what about us crazy cat ladies?!?!) 

And last, Absolut Vodka is elevating its 30-year connection to the art world with Absolut Art – an initiative that helps regular folks like us (I assume you’re not a high end art collector either) discover and purchase artworks from rising talent around the world.  First stop: Stockholm (of course).  It demonstrates that their commitment to artistry and creativity isn’t just lip service – it’s part of who they are as a brand.

Based on my own newsfeed of friends’ posts, the social media currency of these benevolent initiatives seems strong – and I imagine they have a good deal of PR value as well.  The beauty is they manage to strengthen the brand without resorting to traditional forms of advertising… and do some good for the world at the same time.

What do you think… Is it all hippy-dippy feel good stuff with little reach and impact?  Or something every brand needs to be investigating?  

RADvertising: Shot on iPhone 6

We know it's totally trite to use Apple as an example of RADvertising, but they really nailed it with this campaign.   Here's 3 reasons why:

1.  The Simplicity - One beautiful, bold image, brought to life through outdoor advertising, with the simple tagline "Shot on iPhone 6"

2.  They're Aspirational - You see the photos and think: Wow, that was shot on a phone camera.  I WANT to do that... I COULD do that.  We all have an inner-photographer waiting to become the next Annie Leibovitz (pre-financial troubles). 

3.  Variations = Engagement:  Instead of the usual 2-3 variations of an ad (or none!), there are 77 different photos used from iPhone photographers around the world - so you'll rarely see the same ad twice.  At The Insights Grill we often talk about the Internet being an endless stream of new content... this campaign almost simulates constant newness in the form of an ad.  

Posted on April 9, 2015 and filed under RADvertising.

RADvertising: Organic Valley Saves the Bros

It's so refreshing when a brand is able to take the piss out of something and have a bit of fun - especially an FMCG brand like Organic Valley.  With the recent 40 year anniversary of Saturday Night Live, ad parodies are on the top of our minds.   This ad is so good it could be on SNL.   At first we weren't sure if it was a real product however - but by clicking on the Organic Valley website it appears to be so - that's the only slight problem we had with this ad which had us wondering "Is it April fools day?"  


Posted on February 20, 2015 and filed under RADvertising.

Rosetta Stone - create a smaller world

I'm headed to Mexico in January and unfortunately in high school took French instead of Spanish (mostly because a best friend of mine took French - always a good reason for picking your classes).  But I'd like to have basic transaction-level Spanish speaking skills by the time I go - you know, enough to order a beer and express that I'm vegetarian.   

I stumbled across this recent ad from language learning software Rosetta Stone - the only brand name of language software I could name without prompting.  Famous for their yellow boxes sold at kiosks in shopping malls - they've created a piece of RADvertising that lifts the brand from being a software company to a company on a mission to make the world a smaller place.  It's very touching and with the world being in such a state of fighting and chaos, it feels like a real antidote to our problems.  You're not just learning a new language... you're creating peace, understanding and camaraderie.   

Posted on November 16, 2014 and filed under RADvertising.

The only piece of native advertising we've ever re-posted on Facebook

There are a million cat videos on the interweb but probably the best one we've ever seen comes to us on Buzzfeed from Friskies brand cat food in a video titled, "Dear Kitten."  It's an open letter told from one experienced cat to the new cat on the block.  Over the course of 3 captivating mins (yes, a whole 3 minutes - which is like a year in internet time) it manages to pull the viewer in by giving us a glimpse of the world through a cat's eyes, including the menacing threat known as "va-cuum" (a pronunciation we now use whenever cleaning the house).   

About midway through it manages a very subtle product placement of delicious Friskies wet food - deemed superior to the "dehydrated brown nibblets" designed more for astronauts than for cats.  It's a clever way to get a product message in, and it supports the entire video story line, rather than feeling jammed in there.  We posted it to Facebook knowing full well the brand managers at Friskies are gleefully watching the video view counts go up in hopes of an end of year bonus.    We don't mind - it's THAT good!  

What do you think?  Watchable for native advertising?  Would you share it?  Got any other pieces of native advertising you've considered worthy and share-able?

Tags: RADvertising, Branded Content, Video, Cats, Friskies, Viral, Funn, Buzzfeed, FMCG

Posted on October 2, 2014 and filed under RADvertising.

Why Brands Should Consider the Pink Dollar

Earlier this year The Insights Grill was hired by Pink Media Group to conduct the largest study of Australia's LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) consumer population ever.  It's a fascinating time in history for LGBTs: Major advances are occurring like marriage equality (in NZ, almost half of the United States), an increase in transgender awareness and understanding, and more LGBT characters on TV and film than ever before.  Conversely, there are violent atrocities happening in Russia and Uganda, and to a much lesser degree, Facebook threatening to delete drag queen profiles who don't use their real names.   

What our study found is that there is a major reciprocity factor that happens when companies actively target and engage with LGBTs: "If you show you care about/respect us, we will happily return the favour."  We created a 3-part webisode series, each about 10 mins long.   Part 1 is about Why brands should consider advertising to LGBTs; Part 2 is about Best Practices of brands who are doing it well (and NOT doing it well - the name and shame wall);  Part 3 concludes with 3 strategies any brand can use to enter into the LGBT market.

We hope you enjoy - let us know what you think and if you'd like a live presentation of it to your staff we'd be happy to come in and share.   

TAGS:   RADvertising, LGBT, Selfie, Best Practices, PinkMediaGroup, The Insights Grill, Drag Queens