The Uber Re-Brand

Uber re-designed their look and logo, and wow are they taking a beating for it. They executed a Beyonce-esk internet drop of their new branding, with much less style and flair than Beyonce. In my time in FMCG, I learned that people search by colour. When they’re in the supermarket and scanning the shelves, their eyes latch onto the colour of the brand they know … Continue reading The Uber Re-Brand

Superbowl Ad Round-up

It’s a bit crazy how much brands pay to have airtime during the Superbowl. It’s become a place of big players. And now, it’s not only about getting the ad up there, it’s about being the best ad up there.

So yeah, you’ve got to have a lot of cash to waste on media buy, as well as probably a whole team and a whole bunch of other cash for production. Costs are up around 11% this year, to roughly $5m per 30s spot. Yes, you read that right – five million dollars for 30 seconds. In other words $166,666 per second. And that is literally just to show the advert. That doesn’t include any production or planning costs. As fun as they are to watch, I actually prefer more subtle and clever ways of engaging in this space that consumers have welcomed as an advertising hot spot (cue reference to the epic reaction of Oreo to the Beyonce blackout).

However, despite my reservations about the ROI on this, it undeniably draws an enormous audience, both live and for a few weeks after whilst the best is debated. Particularly in markets where the Superbowl itself is mostly irrelevant (sorry America), the ads still have some pull for consumers.

“No amount of homepage takeovers, no amount of native content, no amount of posting would bring you the reach and the impact that a Super Bowl ad would.” – SoFi COO Joanne Bradford.

First things first, American TV is basically 75% adverts. Therefore, I could not possibly fit all of them in one post. Someone else could be bothered though (probably because they were getting paid to do it) and you can find that here. 

Audi

I’m in two minds about this one. On one hand, I feel like its a bit weird giving an old man who needs a nurse/carer the keys to one of the fastest cars on the road. On the other hand I like the concept about the car bringing anyone to life. And obviously the backing of Bowie is a nice touch (I wonder if that was a last minute decision or, well I don’t want to say luck but….). There’s the undertone of ‘Murica which is essential in all Superbowl ads. If it were me, I would have the line “Chasing the moon brings out the best of us” instead of “Choosing the moon..” but I’m not an agency creative.

Hyundai

Okay let’s ignore how Americans pronounce Hyundai as ‘hun-day’. I really like this one. You don’t see car adverts aimed at exclusively women very often but I think they’ve made it work. It reminds me of this diet coke advert. Plus – Ryan Reynolds. This advert is actually one of two – the other staring Kevin Hart.

Avocados from Mexico

Love this advert. It’s the second time they have advertised in the Superbowl. It’s comedic, light-hearted and current. I think this is going to be one of the winners this year.

Bud Light

How much ‘Murica can you get in an advert? Not much more than Budlight have managed to pack into theirs. But it’s the good, kind of making fun of themselves but kind of not, type. Not the Donald Trump type. Star-studded. Good, but also almost forgettable (particualrly to the international audience, which isn’t really their audience so we’ll forgive them).

Budweiser

Budweiser, Bud Lights’s older brother, have gone for the opposite approach. Featuring a British actress (Helen, obv) warns against drink driving – which is actually a big problem in America. Good use of airtime from them, but could be more attention grabbing to get their message over.

Heinz

Who can resist a teeny tiny baby sausage dog? Not me. Simple ad, simple idea. Now give me a puppy.

Mountain Dew

SO CREEPY. But also strangely effective….

Taco Bell

I really like Taco Bell’s marketing. They were one of the first to adopt Snapchat, and their Twitter was on point before Innocent knew what Twitter was. This is another well thought-out campaign. A little while ago they released a heavily edited announcement that they were doing a Superbowl advert this year. Since then they have released sneak peaks of their advert, but NO ONE knows what they are promoting yet. They are also giving people the opportunity to pre-order the mystery item to receive it before anyone else. Yep, they want you to buy something when you don’t even know what it is. Good work from them. I imagine they have a lot of social planned too.

2016-02-02 12_05_41-Taco Bell's CMO on the Brand's Big Super Bowl Reveal and Taking It 'Beyond One T

Intuit/ Death Wish Coffee Company

Following on from last year, Intuit is giving up it’s paid for spot to a small business again. This year’s winner is the above. The ad itself is eye-catching, starting as if it was a movie trailer. For Intuit the idea is a good one, showing how it supports small businesses in a real way, rather than just talking about it in an advert. Bold move considering how much spots go for but amazing opportunity for DWCC.

Amazon

Promoting their new Amazon Echo, they have released ads starring Alec Baldwin who is throwing #BaldwinBowl. This advert came first, followed by the above. I think the above is better. It’s short, to the point and showcases the product in a obvious but not gauche manner.

Axe

In a weird twist of events, Axe have produced an advert encouraging men to embrace their imperfections – something mostly reserved for adverts towards women. But hey, it’s all about equality these days, so I’m liking it. I wonder how many Mom’s are going to go out and buy Axe for their sons to say “see! girls will like you for you”.

PayPal

Big and bold from Superbowl first timer Paypal. Really liked this one. It almost plays like a mood film. I would say it definitely would get people to stop and think about using Paypal.

T-Mobile

Hopping on one of the biggest 2015 meme’s is T-mobile. If I didn’t know any better, I would have said they took some cues from the Orange Wednesday adverts. Still think last year’s featuring Kim Kardashian was better, but this is still good.

Digital Thoughts

On the digital and second screen side, Snapchat is going to be a big player this year. They have been amping up their live content, giving out news for the local area, and collecting global shareable stories that let people from across the world engage with big events. With Superbowl being one of the biggest, I’m expecting a lot of action from Snapchat itself as well as brands. The big question is, how much is it going to cost a brand to have a sponsored filter or story on game day? 

If you want to re-watch last year’s ads, find them here.

If you want to watch some of the best from the past, you can take a look here.

Continue reading “Superbowl Ad Round-up”

The best of CES 2016

I REALLY want to go to CES (consumer electronics show). It’s basically a huge expo in Vegas show casing all the new tech that companies have been developing over the past year. It’s so big that it’s housed in 3 locations. About 170,000 people attend, and 20,000 new products are launched. To put that in perspective, there are only 150,000 hotel rooms in Las Vegas. … Continue reading The best of CES 2016

‘Uber for Beauty’ – The Glam App

I like to have gel nails at pretty much all times. I feel bare without them, and even if I decide to give them a rest, I tend to get a gentle (or not so gentle) reminder from my Mum and Sister that unpolished nails are not a sight to be seen.
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However, I am pretty busy. Fitting in full time work, a part time post graduate and a social life is pretty hard.

The Glam App is beauty on demand. With the push of a button, The Glam App delivers beauty experts to your front door. Offering services that range from a blow dry, to make up applications, or just a simple polish change there’s no need to leave your house, when we bring the salon to you.

With only 180 likes on Facebook and 1 rating on the app store, they aren’t doing so well with uptake. It’s only available to use in the US, but with locations in every major city I would have expected a bit more engagement from beauty addicts like me.

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What is even more surprising is that it was launched by Cara Santana (actress), so you would think you would get a lot more celebrity endorsement.

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I downloaded it and had a look around. The app is really easy to use, and designed simply but stylishly. Gel nails (which would be my go-to) were priced at $65, which is double what I would pay at a salon. Maybe if I was desperate I would pay $40, but $65 seems steep, even with the home visit.

This could be why they haven’t had much success. Particularly in a city like New York where there is a nail salon every block, paying double to have someone come to your house seems like a celebrity luxury not many are willing to pay for.

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Similarly I find it hard to believe someone would pay $100 for a half up-do, or some of the other hair styles they are offering.

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Great idea, good design, but not executed well enough in terms of price. But hey, I might not be their target market.

Check out this blog post on the other apps trying out the same concept.
http://fashionista.com/2014/08/beauty-on-demand

http://streetfightmag.com/2015/06/26/7-platforms-offering-on-demand-beauty-services/

Continue reading “‘Uber for Beauty’ – The Glam App”

A closer look at driverless cars

The sharing economy is a phrase that has started to buzz around. It essentially refers to the move towards the practice of renting or sharing rather than ownership. For example, Freecycle, shared offices such as WeWork and even crowdfunding platforms can all be included in this. The movement has also been dubbed ‘the Airbnb generation’. It is the sharing economy that is going to be the driving force (lol) of self-driving cars…or so we are being told.

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I have talked about driverless cars briefly here before, but I read a really interesting article on the Wall Street Journal during my daily scrolling that I found very interesting and therefore wanted to discuss/share.

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Before we get into it, can we all just think about how sweet a proper system of driverless cars would be? Very few accidents, sleeping in the car on the way to work, NEVER GETTING LOST (i.e. a problem for me every day). But the practicalities of it go much further beyond this.

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This article in the Wall Street Journal outlines some of these practicalities. It basically points out that for 95% of a car’s life, it just sits there. It waits for us to finish work, or waits for us while we sleep. This is where driverless technology and the sharing economy collide. If you only need a car for 5% of its time, then you can share it with 20 other people. Essentially, the end of car ownership for the masses has been predicted.

This also means that you can get the car you need for the occasion and need state. Just one of you going to work? Smart Car. Needing to transport Ikea furniture? Land Rover. Family trip? Volvo. The flexibility of this idea plays into how we live our lives today: getting personalized service, when we need it.

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This also stands to reason that there will be huge efficiency gains. No traffic (less cars, better road control) and fuel efficiency gains should be huge – particularly considering car companies plan on driverless cars being cleaner vehicles. Of course, one of the biggest appeals of this system is cost. You only pay for what you use – that 5% – rather than 100%.

“Beyond the practical benefits, autonomous cars could contribute $1.3 trillion in annual savings to the U.S. economy alone. Global savings? Somewhere in the neighborhood of $5.6 trillion.” – Ravi Shanker, a Morgan Stanley analyst covering the U.S. auto business to the WSJ.

Although this will obviously spell declining sales in cars, the industry is already looking forward to this and how they can be players in the movement. Don’t forget, driverless cars means more people using cars: children, the elderly, the disabled, the blind, banned drivers.

“The benefits for these groups would include independence, reduction in social isolation, and access to essential services.” – WSJ

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Obviously the road to driverless cars has been a long one. Google’s been at it for a while, as have other major car manufacturers. Nissan are aiming to get a full driverless cars on the road by 2020, with a ‘highway assist’ car coming in 2016 (so soon!). So if you’re thinking about buying a new car in the next 5 years, I’d hold off: you might be buying into a dud investment.

Continue reading “A closer look at driverless cars”

#WCW – Andrea Ahrendts

Andrea Ahrendts has been mentioned on my blog before: here, where I discussed her pioneering Burberry’s use of technology during her time there as CEO. She has since moved on from Burberry and is now the SVP for Retail and Stores for Apple. That’s a big job (there are 459 stores in 15 countries), but one I have no doubt she can handle.

She has been ranked 25th in Forbes’s most powerful women list, 9th most powerful woman in the UK, and 29th in Fortune’s most powerful woman in business. #goals. See at the bottom for a huge list of others. fort_20120611e_c1_689278_c111

She is the only female executive at Apple, and was reported to have earned the most out of anyone in 2014 (around $70m if you were wondering).

“With a total compensation estimated at about $82.6 million, Apple retail chief Angela Ahrendts was the highest-paid female executive in the U.S. last year,Bloomberg reported last week” – Business Insider

She started her career in New York in the fashion industry: most notably at Donna Karen and Bendel’s.

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She joined Burberry in 2006, and over a number of years as CEO  she not only halted the brand’s decline, but raised the company’s worth from $2bn to around $7bn. She was reportedly the highest paid CEO in the UK, making around $26m.

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She was snapped up by Apple in 2014. Tim Cook said that “the moment I met her, that was it. And then it was all recruiting.” In true modest female fashion, she is said to have downplayed her achievements: “She says she told Cook, “ ‘Don’t believe everything you read. I’m not a techie.’ And he looks at me, and he goes, ‘I think we have enough techies here.’ And I said, ‘But you don’t understand. I’m not even really a great retailer. I hired great retailers.’ And he said, ‘Well, last time I looked we were one of the highest-productivity-per-square-foot stores of any company on the planet. So I think we have a lot of those too.” – Business insider.

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Despite these humble statements, Cook is overjoyed with her work at Apple. “I knew she was going to be off the charts, but she’s even more off the charts than I thought. She came in so fast. There was no [learning] curve.”

Apparently she drinks copious amounts of diet coke. Same babes.

Oh and she’s also been made a Dame. Looking at others in comparison to Ahrendts is like ‘do you even business?’.

Continue reading “#WCW – Andrea Ahrendts”

Bringing ‘big data’ to the masses

I’ve been putting off writing a post on Big Data. Firstly because it’s kind of like yeah, and..? Everyones bloody talking about it so what value do I have to add? And secondly, beyond the surface, I don’t know a huge deal about the ins and outs, and I like to know a fair bit about something before writing about it.

But Google did a pretty cool thing and twitter did a cool thing earlier and I just thought’ it’s about time.

So for anyone who doesn’t know (and come on, you really should by now), Big Data is a broad term for data sets that are so large or complex that traditional data processing applications are inadequate. I touched on it on my blog post about the internet of things. There must be about 40 TedTalks on the topic. Here’s a good one, and the rest are here.

Up to this point, we have heard about big data, a LOT, but many of us have not really seen it. You’ve almost definitely been affected by Big Data, but unless you work in the right job in the right industry then you probably won’t have seen it.

However, something popped up on my twitter newsfeed the other day that got me thinking – are consumers, day to day people, going to be seeing more of it?

This thing was twitter analytics.

2015-10-30 12_49_07-Jessica McCready (@JessMcCready) _ Twitter

This add on means that you can view the reach and engagements on your posts. For the most part, it’s basically useless to the average person. Although interesting, it’s not going to influence your tweeting behaviour, probably.

However it is interesting to see that Twitter are making this information available to everyone, as opposed to just businesses who pay for it.

Google have been leading up to this for a while I think. With the launch of this (I assume) temporary website ‘Freightgeist’ Google have introduced everyone to the wonders of big data, and how it can be useful and fun.

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Now I am unsure whether this was made available in the UK, so I can’t compare and contrast, but here is what we have in the US.

The site has basically collected all the Halloween information from google searches and collated them into intelligible information about trends around costumes.

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You can see what is the most popular costume by area on a map.

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Moral of the story, don’t go as Harley Quinn – it’s going to be cliche this year.

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I just thought this is a really fun example of how big data is creeping into our everyday lives, and it makes me wonder where we are going to physically see it next. Clearly Google are keen to make it understandable and accessible, so I’m guessing they’ve got some plans.

Happy Halloween!

Continue reading “Bringing ‘big data’ to the masses”

The future of wearables and what it means for marketers.

Wearable technology has been a buzzword for a while now. And up until now the hype has been unmet in reality.

However, it’s starting to feel like we are reaching a turning point. The adoption of the Apple Watch, although slow, has been the most successful introduction of proper smart technology. For example Google Glass was not fit for the wider consumer market.

Apple made a smart move by getting a large group of famous and influential individuals to wear an Apple Watch (over their probably more expensive timepieces) before launch. They chose people from all industries and age groups. It was actually pretty subtle. And it definitely worked. Around 3.6 million units were sold in 2014. Small compared to the iPhone, yes, but these numbers are likely to rise in the coming years. For example, the first iPhone launched in 2007, had sales units of only 1.2 million, and the first launch of the iPad brought around 3.4 million in sales.

The Fitbit is another wearable – or more specifically ‘wristable’ – that has almost ‘made it’ as a complete wearable success. The thin band is used to track activity that allows the user to understand how many calories they are burning, their sleep cycle etc. The Fitbit is probably the most widely adopted gadget in this market segment.

Wearables need to be more incorporated into our lives. This is arguably why google glass didn’t work – it was almost too futuristic to push beyond early adopters into the wider consumer market.

So something like wearable contactless payment in the form of bPay is probably going to become even more common, because it feels instinctive. People won’t have to work out how to use it, or question why it would be useful to them – it just makes sense.

2015-10-26 12_03_59-bPay by Barclaycard _ Contactless Payments from bPay

Similarly, Under Armour have announced that they are going to beat the tech giants like Google to creating Smart Clothing.

“If we believe that our future is going to be defined by these hard pieces of glass or plastic that sit in our back pockets, you’re crazy. It is going to convert into apparel,” – Kevin Plank, CEO, Under Armour

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If the predictions surrounding the Internet of Things arise, there can be no doubt that wearables will be the dominant facilitator of this. What this means for marketers is that they need to think ahead. If you don’t have in the back of your mind a strategy for how your brand is going to look when wearables are the norm then you should probably start having a think. Even just hypothetically.

Of course it’s not going to be applicable to absolutely all brands, and it depends what your overall objectives are, but you can probably count on it becoming a big part of peoples lives.

“Marketers are salivating at the prospect of pushing wearables advertising to you around the clock. As ad revenues dwindle on TV and newspaper formats, next generation devices offer a new opportunity for brands to target people like we’ve never seen before.” – Wired

Rest assured it’s not going to be easy. If you want your brand to have integrity and not become the junk mail of wearables then your strategy better be good, because I’m pretty sure someone can invent an ad blocker for their wristables as much as they can for an iPhone.

Continue reading “The future of wearables and what it means for marketers.”

#WCW – Natalie Massenet

Net-a-Porter is a world-famous online designer fashion boutique. If you haven’t heard of it (or it’s brother company Mr Porter, or sister company The Outnet) you’ve been living under a fashion deprived rock. Natalie Massenet, 49, started Net-a-Porter in 2000 after a career in fashion journalism, and had the idea after trying to source designer items for a photoshoot. She was told over and over … Continue reading #WCW – Natalie Massenet