Marketing

IKEA Easy-Peasy Food Day.

Once again, IKEA pulls off an absolutely brilliant piece of marketing. Working with Contagious, IKEA developed a series of recipes, as poster/cooking vehicle that was used to help promote the annual IKEA kitchen event. A series of 4 recipes were printed on cooking parchment featuring all of the ingredients needed to cook a complete meal. Each of the portions were to exact size, helping to minimize any cooking mistakes, and the recipes featured IKEA ingredients. The packs were placed in the kitchen areas of IKEA stores in Canada and encouraged shoppers to cook and share using the hashtag #easypeasy  Such a simple idea, and absolutely brilliant.

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“How Life Unfolds” Paper and Packaging Leverages The Power of Storytelling.

Last night while suffering from a bout of insomnia I was watching TV trying to will myself to get sleepy so I could just go to bed and dream the night away. It wasn’t working and I’m glad it I stayed up. The fact that I was watching late night TV allowed me to see a commercial for Paper and Packaging that originally dropped back in April, which led me to the online campaign that it is tied to as well. And this got me to thinking about how really nice this campaign is.

In a day and age where no one really writes physical letters anymore, how does a company communicate the use of paper, of how personal handwritten communication is, and how touching a physical letter can be instead of an email or text? They do it through compelling storytelling. When I first saw the commercial below, the sound was off on my TV. I was actually working on my iPad and happened to look up and see it. I didn’t turn the sound on, instead I watched the entire spot in silence and was still drawn in by a storyline that simply works. The visuals are as equally compelling as the voice over. After watching the spot I backed up, turned on the sound and watched again, this time listening to the message, and thinking about how this spot hits a home run.

The commercial is relevant because it does a number of things. It unites multiple generations with the experience of writing an actual letter. It ties three generations together, one that grew up in a time where email and texts didn’t exist, one where these technologies emerged, and one where the primary form of communication is digital. In doing so, it humanizes what could be a forgettable experience, (a text, or an email) and replaces it with something that we all know is memorable, a hand written letter. Everyone everywhere knows the power of a correspondence written by hand. A letter takes time, require focus, and tends to feel more genuine. It isn’t something that is typed out on a phone, reduced to 140 characters, or lost in a digital inbox or folder that exists on the cloud out of sight out of mind.  The commercial also shows the products in use. Not just the piece of paper, remember this is for “Paper and Packaging”, a company that also produces cardboard boxes. The commercial shows the letters, written on paper, shipped in a box, and returned the same way, all while telling a great story about how the product is used as a form of communication and delivery.

After watching the spot a couple of more times, I no longer cared about willing myself to sleep. I was curious about the rest of the campaign, so I did a quick Google search and found that Paper and packaging had recently created a new series of YouTube videos entitled “Letters for Peace” on their channel “How Life Unfolds”, great tagline by the way. I have one of the 3-minute videos below, but I highly recommend clicking through and watching the remaining six. Every one of them is  done at the same high level of production and tells a wonderful story all coming back to the same basic component of the commercial “Letters to Dad” that I happened to look up and catch last night.

All of this is tied together through digital media of course. Let’s face it, they might be a paper company, but even they know you can’t escape from the digital realm, especially when it comes to advertising and marketing your products. There is an Instagram account that has a little over 400 posts and a few thousand followers. Followers are encouraged to celebrate how paper and packaging helps them accomplish their goals at home, at school, and in the workplace by posting images using the hashtag #howlifeunfolds. The website is an online archive of the letters of peace, and a place where comments are fed to the site and people are encouraged to like and share. In addition the site offers additional insight into the authors, invites people to submit their own letters, promotes the product line, and has feature articles on why you should write things by hand.

Great stuff from Cramer-Krasselt, Paper and Packaging’s agency of record.

Madita, a New Typeface from Animography.

If you work with After Effects, or you are a graphic designer you might be familiar with Animography, the company that produces animated typefaces that are fully customizable. I’ve been a fan of these guys for quite some time, and always love it when a new release comes out. In the past Animography has done a pretty straightforward promotion of the product, they show the typeface animating, and the variations that can be achieved with it. All of this is an effective demonstration of what they are trying to sell, but the promotional animation for Madita is a winner.

Animography Shows the typeface in use, but blends it with a catchy little story, some wonderful animation, and shows how the typeface can be used in a project before wrapping it up with a simple question, “Where can I get this typeface?”  The design and animation by Philip von Borries does a really nice job of showing Madita in use, and combined with the narration, the story hooks you and keeps you interested until the marketing punch at the end, which hopefully gets viewers interested in the font. Even if you aren’t a designer, or animator, the video is worth watching simply for the visuals and the nice little storyline.

TOMS “One for One” VR Campaign for Peru.

IMG_5179Over the weekend I was in Chicago for a bit of R&R, good food, and fun. While I was there I decided to hit the Miracle Mile for a bit of research and investigation into marketing trends, displays, and general design trends. I tend to find that merchandising, and packaging for some of the larger retail giants seems to be a good indicator for emerging design trends. While I was at Nordstrom’s I noticed that TOMS Shoes had a number of VR headsets and headphones set up, and the sales staff was encouraging people to try them on.

Since I am a huge fan of technology, and using it to extend the marketing experience I decided to investigate.

What I found was a 3 and a half minute video with solid surround sound audio. The message wasn’t about TOMS shoes, instead it was about the TOMS One for One campaign that is a massive omni channel campaign for good. TOMS One for One provides shoes, water, sight, safe birth and bully prevention world wide.

I have been trying to find an example video to link in here but haven’t been able to come across anything. So, I’ll just have to describe the experience, and if you are in Chicago or a Nordstrom’s that has the set up, check it out for yourself. Basically this is a full immersive experience where you are introduced to children in a village in Peru, and volunteers that explain the program and ask you to get involved. Everywhere you look, the world moves with you. It is Virtual Reality in action. You look down, you see the earth beneath your feet. Up and you see the sky. Straight ahead and left to right, video of the children in the village interacting with you, the virtual camera. The message is straight forward. Buy TOMS shoes and Tom’s will donate a matching pair of shoes to a child in Peru. There is a secondary call to action, asking you the viewer to get involved by going to the TOMS One for One website, where additional options are available. It’s pretty damn impressive. The video quality could have been a higher resolution, but you don’t really care when you are experiencing this. The audio was fantastic. And while, I tended to forget at times what the campaign was about, I was distracted by the cool tech, it did what it was supposed to. It kept me thinking about it, got me involved, and connected me to the Brand.

In addition to the VR set up, Tom’s has also launched a number of micro sites, a YouTube Channel, Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook accounts all of which are coordinated to drive traffic back to the main site and encourage the visitor to donate and give.

Very cool stuff. Great campaign.

Battersea Dogs #LookingForYou

As the owner of two rescued and adopted dogs this campaign for the Battersea Dogs Home, hits a special note with me. Created by Ogilvy London, the campaign involves leaflets that are embedded with RFID tags that are synced to every Adshell billboard and inteactive screen at the Westfield Mall in London.  As people carrying the leaflets walk by video is dynamically loaded to the screen with a call to action message about pet adoptions.  The entire campaign is tied to social media using the hashtags #LookingForYou. This is such a nice blend of technology, design, and marketing prowess.

Since the campaign launched in 2014 Batersea has placed more than 3000 dogs in new homes.

IKEA Virtual Weddings.

OK this is just absolutely brilliant. Thanks to Swedish agency Akestam Holst you can now have a virtual wedding courtesy of IKEA. The new “Wedding Online” is a service where users can choose from a variety of locations, that have been decorated with IKEA products. Designed to showcase the latest and greatest trends from IKEA, the service works by having you connect via Facebook, and then live stream the event to your friends and family. The wedding is recorded and stored online so you can relive the memories again and again. This is absolutely brilliant, and pretty hilarious at the same time. Part of me wants to think this is a joke, but based on some of the amazing promotional stuff IKEA has been doing on the web and in social media lately, I’m pretty sure it’s not.

15 Digital Trends for 2015

As 2014 draws to a close and 2015 rapidly approaches people are beginning to look at trends for the upcoming year. Below is an infographic from Bell Pottinger that predicts 15 digital trends for 2015. The infographic is marketing focused, but has some really interesting facts in it that will ultimately impact everyone whether you work in marketing and advertising or not. Things that jumped out at me were “Blog posts with visuals drive 180% more engagement on your site”, “NFC saw a 358% increase in use over the 2014 year”, and “Businesses with Blogs increased by 41% with the blog generating 67% more site traffic per month”.

Bell Pottinger Digital - 15 trends for 2015 infographic