The Week’s Digital Highlights – 19 May

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Two things caught my eye this week in the digital and advertising world.

The first being how Coca-Cola used image recognition software to target users based on images users shared on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

Digiday reported that Coca-Cola’s ice tea brand Gold Peak targeted users who shared images of drinking glasses and jugs of ice tea, including images of competitor brands. Ads were served across 40 mobile and app sites. Having used social listening tools for about 8 years, I’ve noticed the steady decline in

Having used social listening tools for about 8 years, I’ve noticed the steady decline in the number of conversations people are having on social, with the trend moving to image and video sharing. It looks like the Toronto based software company Cluep, behind Gold Peak’s campaign is on the right path with its facial recognition software. I would seriously consider testing the software for an awareness campaign.

The other thing that caught my eye was from the UK with McDonald’s pulling its bereavement TVC (Dad ad) featuring a child discussing his deceased father with his mum over a Filet-o-Fish burger. Looking at the backlash on social, McDonald’s probably wishes they didn’t take the purpose-driven ad route, which is all about brands expressing their values and beliefs. Heineken took a similar approach with their 4 minute ‘Open Your World’ ad, which challenged people’s way of thinking. As Mark Riston expressed, there’s nothing wrong with the ad, similar to the McDonald’s ad, but does it ultimately sell more products? I probably say no. Advertising helps in building mental availability, but you want ads to showcase your products in a memorable way. Leave the beliefs of the company to the mission statement.

My mother passed away from a long battle with cancer when I was 11, my brother was 7. I remember the following day after my mum’s death dad took us to McDonald’s, my brother was happy to be going to the golden arches. At the time it pissed me off, but looking back I now realise it was a place my brother associated with happiness, which in a time of death was comforting for him.

I can see why some people are angry with McDonald’s for their ad, labelling it exploiting childhood bereavement, but I can see what they were trying to do. For many people, McDonald’s is more than a fast food burger joint, it’s a place where families come together. In saying that, seeing as the topic of ‘death’ is so sensitive I would’ve stuck to selling burgers.



Australian Paper goes Digital to close the Recycling Loop

Australian Paper - Campaign image - May2016Recently I finished working on an exciting digital campaign for Australian Paper promoting their new range of Reflex 100% Recycled paper. The challenge was to educate the general public about the benefits of  closing the paper recycling loop. Australians are great recyclers, with 68% of people recycling office paper, but only 20% buy recycled paper back.

For this awareness campaign we developed an integrated digital approach utilising Facebook, LinkedIn, EDM, Google Display, videos (GIFs) and campaign website. We managed all aspects of the campaign, from developing the creative concept and strategy, video production, technical development and ad management. The 2 new characters Wayne and Lexie helped us communicate the serious message in an entertaining way which the target market could relate to. Lexie and Wayne will be used throughout the year to promote the closing the paper recycling loop message.

For more information on the campaign it was featured in Campaign Brief and Stationery News.

To be or not to be controversial in advertising

ImageIt’s been a while between blog posts, but a billboard has propelled me to write.

To launch a new line of bras Australian garment manufacturer Bonds has rolled billboards with the word ‘BOOBS’ on them! As you can imagine the billboard has raised a few eyebrows and strained some neck muscles! Not only has Bonds taken over prominent billboard spaces across Melbourne, Brisbane and Sydney; they have also landed themselves in the headlines across all forms of media.

The brief for Clemenger BBDO was to announce to the world that Bonds was a serious player in the bra industry.  This ambitious and aggressive campaign has certainly gotten everyone talking!

Sections of society would find the campaign funny, while others offensive. Reading on the forum, Essential Baby users complained of it being sexiest and others are waiting for the male version.  Children have taken joy in repeating the advertising when they see it, making it tough for some parents to manage. I don’t have kids, but I could see how this could be a problem.

Going for the controversial angle is nothing new in advertising. Sportsbet in July pushed the boundaries when the Lions Rugby team toured Australia. The company’s tagline was ‘Rooting for OZ’. They painted the world’s biggest outdoor sign, a 170 metre wide and 90 metre tall sign on a field near Melbourne’s airport. The sign was very visible for passengers flying in-and-out of the airport. Uproar over the controversial advertisement forced the removal of the sign before the British team touched down in Melbourne. Similar to the Bonds example, Sportsbet received a lot of coverage in the mainstream media.

In addition to the media attention controversial advertising attracts, it appears that pushing the boundaries commands a high brand recall. It may not be the best coverage, but getting mentioned in the media can do wonders for brand awareness.

However being controversial does not suit all brands, but some can get away with it more than others. An example of one controversial advertisement that backfired was the ‘Where the Bloody hell are you’ television ad.  Developed to promote Australia, it did the opposite on the world stage. I think the ad got lost in translation and didn’t result in an influx of tourists.

As it gets harder to be noticed, more and more brands will continue to create controversial advertisements as a way to be a step ahead of their competitors.