Hello, Tomorrow???

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Few days back, Emirates published the opening of its new commercial and had the world anticipating and guessing what could be its amazing continuation.

“Who was this enigmatic Sir?” was the question being asked all over social media, all over the world.

Some speculated it was an old ‘Friends’ cast; some were even convinced it was ‘Brad Pitt’.

Imagination flowed, as it should have.

Stories were built…beautiful ones.

I, from my side, was expecting the start of an Epic, à la Nespresso campaign, featuring George Clooney and Jean Dujardin.

I was expecting Emirates to leap into awesomeness, and make us dream. Something only Emirates could do.

I could not expect less from the world’s best airlines.

 

Then came 5pm yesterday, the much anticipated reveal rendez-vouz.

I was on the road and as soon as I stopped at traffic lights, I reached for my phone with such a ridiculous enthusiasm and…

Here was the ‘KID’.

The enthusiasm that started few days back, turned 20 seconds later, into a jaw dropping disappointment.

The Epic I had in mind turned out to be a trip into lame-land.

This much anticipated ad stank of ‘ticked marketing boxes’.

I could almost hear the brand teams shouting out in the background:

‘Let’s add a kid, it would be so cute…and emotional…oh and let’s make him dream of becoming a pilot…. an Emirates pilot!’

‘Where is my family…. Families constitute 56% of our passengers, WE NEED TO HAVE A FAMILY!’

‘What about Economy Class??? We need to highlight that our Economy class is comfortable…”

 

What I was hoping to be one of the best ads of the month, turned out to be a trip into the mundane, a story where ‘Jen’ is so comfortable in Economy that she doesn’t want to return to her First Class Cabin….

Seriously Emirates? Who will buy this?

I have been flying Emirates for the past 20 years. It is my favorite Airlines, and probably the worlds’ too.

You had a chance to build an epic and become the World’s best advertiser and inspire us a bit more. Make us dream like only you could. But instead, you succumbed to these boxes that needed to be ticked.

I will keep hoping that one day, your communication will be as good as the amazing experience you offer…

Maybe, tomorrow???

R.K


What does Obesity have to do with Advertising?

Peter Attia

This talk is interesting not only from a nutrition & health perspective (it might lead to a debunking of some long held beliefs about obesity & diabetes) but because of the scientific thought process behind it which we could learn from. It shows a willingness to challenge the pre-accepted hypothesis and to develop empathy with a situation rather than just passing quick judgement.

It is a demonstration of open minds, courage to throw out yesterday’s hypothesis, and a recognition that scientific truth isn’t final but constantly evolving.

So how can we learn from this for our own industry? For me there are two points:

First, although advertising is not a science but we should try to make it so – for example we search for an insight just like researchers looking for Cholinesterase inhibitors treating Alzheimers. The difference is that we shouldn’t debate, procrastinate and pontificate over it but instead invest in a true process of discovery.

Second, even when we do uncover an amazing insight, the enchantment of great advertising is not actually the insight itself but about taking a straight forward insight and turning it into something amazing.

The point is that ultimately advertising is an entertainment / creative & social industry. Maybe we shouldn’t be over-thinking creativity and searching for a holy grail, and instead just letting go of our inhibitions and enjoying ourselves (just like when we watch something that engages us). Let’s be honest with ourselves – these days whether a campaign for a noble humanitarian cause or the next big Soda campaign, the life span of an idea is a few days / weeks with a # before something else takes its place. So let’s be nimble, let’s be flexible, let’s search for entertaining ideas rather than unequivocal truths because there are very few unequivocal truths in the world, but many points of connection.

I’d like to leave you with this message from Joi Ito. If innovation has been broken down and democratized, then it’s right for advertising to be also broken down and democratised. The future is about not getting bogged down in words and statements and more about quick prototyping, experimenting, learning to trust the team and building on each others ideas. This doesn’t take the responsibility off strategic rigour, but it recognises that advertising just like Science and Innovation is about experimenting, coming up with quick iterations, building and breaking hypothesis and then getting to the point where we can make a creative leap to something fresh yet useful.

I’d love to hear your thoughts.

#newwaysofworking.
Brenda.


Empty Promises

Sometimes I am so inspired by certain things in business. These days SME’s and Entrepreneurs in the region are doing things differently to the way they had been before the new economy. They are customer service oriented and in fact they are a direct result of errors (read: opportunities) that have arisen from old ways of working. A few businesses are really reaching out to their customers and being open and transparent and providing added-value.

But then, I read and / or experience certain things and realize that some people / organizations are not yet hitting the mark.

Like this proud claim I read on a piece of communication recently: “The Largest Loyalty program in the region”.

What exactly does that mean? Is it the largest by number of subscribers? Or the largest by number of outlets that are part of the program? In any case, how does either of those benefit the consumers who are part of the program? What is the real benefit of belonging to the program?

So to those organizations who are still selling empty promises, there is a lot of merit to being the biggest and largest – but if you can translate that to something more tangible and rewarding, which will actually benefit your consumers you will find your business and your people (customer and employee) relationships will benefit.

Have a positive day :)

Brenda.


A Chef is not just an expert on saucepans.

I interact with a few of my very favorite brands (and thinkers) on various social media networks. These are brands that kind of hold the same values and world view as myself. I enjoy receiving useful bits of information about various topics from them. What distinguishes these brands from other brands I merely follow is that I like to show them my support – I ‘like’ things they post and I sometimes participate in conversations they initiate by posting comments and answering questions, retweeting and repinning.

But recently I’ve started to question this ‘loyalty’. Because if I’ve taken the time to ‘like’ and comment and interact with a brand, then I believe the least the brand can do is recognise this relationship/support.

I believe that good brands should act like good friends. Is that the way good brands would treat their friends? By ignoring them?

I think that social media has been used as an updated form of push marketing rather than a genuine attempt to connect with people (albeit brands push their messages out to people who have opted into the messages). Social media is such a great way to connect with people but when not used properly, it just highlights a brands opportunistic and selfish tendancies. Any brand / employee can be given the tools to connect, but very few brands (and employees) really understand how to talk and how to treat people.

Here are my issues:

Why don’t brands link their customers online and offline interactions?

Why don’t brands reward customers who support them online?

Why don’t brands use social media as a form of customer support and customer service?

If I was a brand owner / custodian I’d make sure that I connected the people who most commonly interact with me to some sort of loyalty or ‘appreciation’ program. I would send them a little note “Dear friend, next time you’re *at the cafe / at the mall / shopping for shoes* we’d like to shout you a coffee, because you’re special to us!”.

I think it’s time we built smart database or eCRM programs that connect people’s social media activity to the real world. Databases that value people not numbers, interactions not merely transactions.

That’s how I’d treat my friends and supporters.

But that’s just me.

~ Brenda.


Let’s Live…

Brands live in an era where the conversation is constantly evolving.

And the consumer is controlling the megaphone.

Consider this carefully then.

Should your brand still be speaking in cavemanic?

Or pursuing a near extinction thought process?

We don’t think so.

That’s why we believe in not being another dinosaur.

We are led by talent.

Motivated by honesty.

Fascinated by new technology.

Obsessed with the conversation.

And don’t believe in waiting for the future but rather in creating it.


We live so that brands can.

Let’s live. 


The GOOSE, The BAT and the UGLY

“They hate you.

All Agencies hate you!

What have you done?

They hear ‘Livingroom’  and they fume in anger!”

mentioned a well-connected friend, few days back.

 

“That’s what I call a compliment…a great one.

A tribute to a one-year-old company, obsessed with changing the rules of the advertising game”

I said.

 

I wouldn’t have hoped for better.

 

 

 

 

So Dinosaurs hate us….why wouldn’t they:

We’re not another clone. We will never be one.

Their best talents are flirting with us.

Their clients are seeking us.

We know them inside out whilst they don’t have a clue about our core values and the way we operate.

We’re playing it fair and winning pitches right left and center with a success rate they dream of.

And, we’re doing that humbly without shouting it off the roofs.

We’re the orange sheep standing out of the herd.

We’re the UGLY

And proud to be.

 

 

 

 

…And if you’re wondering about the GOOSE and the BAT,

it’s our latest great win in an 9-way pitch involving the ‘biggest’ and ‘mightiest’,

and this, I am sure, will fuel their “hate”.

So keep hating…

It’s our greatest pleasure.

Cheers.


A relationship company.

One of the (many) characteristics of Apple which leads to its success is them being a ‘people company’ – natural, real, and employing the best people and then trusting them. No beauracracy, appreciating differences, open and honest.

This is evident in the relationship they had with a startup called Transitive, based in Manchester UK. Transitive is the company behind the Rosetta technology, which allowed Apple to introduce Intel processors into Macs in 2005, thus opening them up to a wider audience.

Co-founder of Transitive Alasdair Rawsthorne, said this about working with Apple:

“Apple was a wonderful company to work with, they’re very relationship oriented. As soon as we got the contract in place it was like we were working for the same side – it was a very single-minded development.”

Steve Jobs’ final piece of advice to his friend and now CEO of Apple was “don’t think about ‘what Steve would do’, think about what YOU would do”. In other words – trust yourself, like I trust you.

Simple amazing.

Brenda.