Nike RE2PECT: The Power of Ritual

Nike RE2PECT: The Power of Ritual

I'm a huge sucker for well crafted, emotive advertising. When a brand creates powerful stories through their communications, they not only give themselves a better chance of engaging their audience, they have a much better chance of driving changes in behaviour.

Nike (via W+K) have just released a new star studded campaign 'RE2PECT'. The ad is a beautifully shot and scored celebration of the career of Derek Jeter as he moves towards retirement.

Beyond the aesthetics, the ad leverages the powerful marketing tactic of ritual.

As outlined by Douglas Van Praet in his book 'Unconscious Branding: How Neuroscience Can Empower (and Inspire) Marketing':

"Rituals are some of the most powerful ways to brand because they often involve multiple sensory experiences and repetitive acts, driving information into the mind." 

The Duel: Robot vs Human Ping Pong

The Duel: Robot vs Human Ping Pong

If you are a German robotics company looking to expand into China, how do you promote your organisation in this new market?

First, you sponsor a table tennis champion to represent your company (due to the huge interest in Ping Pong in China, this makes perfect sense). Then you create a great piece of content by pitting said champion against one of your own robots in an epic duel to see if man or machine can be crowned king of the table.

KUKA Robotics have done a great job with this video. While it is highly stylised and takes a lot of liberties in the editing process, it is enough to get your heart pumping and raises some great awareness of the brand.

Farmed and Dangerous: A Content Case Study

Farmed and Dangerous: A Content Case Study

As far as businesses dipping their toes into branded content, Chipotle have made some serious strides with some short form examples recently (think Back to the Start and the Scarecrow).

Their latest efforts are a lot more ambitious, with the release of a new unbranded long form series called 'Farmed and Dangerous'.

The show (which streams on Hulu) is a four part satirical look at a fictitious industrial farming giant 'Animoil', and the PR agency hired to cover up some unfortunate instances of exploding cows. Check out the trailer:

Sad Robot Goes Funny

Sad Robot Goes Funny

As robotics continue to advance and become more accessible, and digital technologies only become more pervasive in our lives, some interesting conversations are being sparked about the blurring lines between humans and machines. 

Warp artist Squarepusher is really creating an interesting dynamic around this with the release of his 'Music for Robots' EP, a collaboration with Kenjiro Matsuo and a team of Japanese roboticists.

Matsuo and team developed what they called 'Z-Machines', a music-performing set of droids that could do things well beyond the most advanced musicians. With examples like a guitarist with 78 fingers or a drummer with 22 arms, the resulting composition sets out to dispel the myth that music performed by robots could never be emotionally powerful. 

Denham Psycho

In advertising, the real game changing campaigns tend to create their own cultural movements (check out my post on Hoopla to get some insight into this thinking). 

Unfortunately the majority of advertising only attempts to piggy back off existing culture through parody. While this isn't necessarily a bad thing, it does lead to a lot of crap campaigns.

Denham the Jeanmaker have shown a classic example of a parody ad that doesn't suck with 'Denham Psycho'. Developed by Flickering Wall, it features great craft combined with one of the best advertising insights I've seen in a while.

When American Psycho was first released, it remained a viscous satire of the yuppie culture that permeated the mainstream of the 80's and 90's. Twenty years later, there has definitely been a change in the zeitgeist; the yuppie has been surpassed by the most divisive of all postmodern subcultures - the Hipster.

Axe Peace: Make Love Not War

When something becomes tired, stale or predictable, it's a sign that a pivot is on order. That's why the new Axe Peace campaign is so incredible - they have completely thrown out the near naked girls and messages around getting laid with a spray in favour of something much more emotive and poignant.

I wonder if Axe has taken a page out of the Old Spice book - if women are actually the ones buying body spray in the supermarket, creating a broader appeal outside of just teenage boys could have a bigger business impact.

Kudos to Axe for trying something bold. 

Most Contagious 2013

Most Contagious 2013

Contagious Magazine have released their Most Contagious 2013 report. Originally designed as a print version for delegates at the Most Contagious Conference in London, it provides a review of the trends, technologies and creative innovations that have shaped brands and the marketing industry over the last 12 months.

The report runs through the changes in consumer culture through a number of key sections, providing examples and case studies within each leading into their Most Contagious award. I'll try and break down the information in this post as simply as possible (see the full report for detailed info on each example). 

From Dave Senay, CEO and President, FleishmanHillard (Contagious sponsor and partner):

"Can brands and businesses rise to the challenge? We all feel the waves of disruption swirling through and around our organisations. We all sense the new immediacy and intimacy our stakeholders demand. Will we seize the opportunities that convergence and virtual proximity afford?

The YouTube Review: What Does 2013 Say?

The YouTube Review: What Does 2013 Say?

To start off this post, let's look at some statistics on how big YouTube has become. The following are some statistics released by the YouTube Press Department about their viewership:

  • More than 1 billion unique users visit YouTube each month
  • Over 6 billion hours of video are watched each month on YouTube—that's almost an hour for every person on Earth, and 50% more than last year
  • 100 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute

The Epic Split

When I was a kid, JCVD was the man. I remember Bloodsport was the greatest film ever made, and the fact that Van Damn could do the splits between two chairs had to be the greatest martial arts achievement on celluloid.

JCVD still holds a lot of nostalgia for me, which is why I love this new Epic Split stunt from Volvo. Great work in turning a fairly boring vehicle feature (the Volvo Dynamic Steering) into something amazing.

Bonus: You know you are on to a winner when your ad gets remixed. Embattled crack smoking Toronto Major Rob Ford gets his own Epic Split moment.