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." 

Paired Metrics

Paired Metrics

There is no question that information is flowing at exceeding rapid rates. This increased complexity is often creating uncertainty, and in extreme cases paralysis for organisations.

We often look for shortcuts or simplifications in this environment, and this is especially true of the data that is being generated as part of doing business. As a result, both business leaders and agencies often try and simplify data into a single key metric to measure goals and performance.

As pointed out by Avinash Kaushik, the danger of this approach is that single metrics can often hide valuable insights, and even worse drive bad behaviour. 

The solution he proposes is to always ensure you partner up your 'golden metric' that is important for the business with a paired metric (in essence acting as a backup and sense check to the data). The goal here is to ensure the partner metric is immediately adjacent or offers contextual value - it should add further insight into the specific primary goal you are focused on. 

Below I'll go through several key paired metrics Avinash outlines as examples. Remember, all businesses are very different, and have largely differing goals, so use these as inspiration.

The Marketing Genius of Jimmy Iovine

The Marketing Genius of Jimmy Iovine

I've been thinking a lot this week (as I'm sure a lot of people have) about the Apple acquisition of Beats. When you begin to read between the lines on this one, it really does start to look like this acquisition was less about the Beats brand itself (both the Streaming service and the Headphones), and more about the acquisitions of the individuals driving it.

Specifically I'm not talking about acquisition of the perceived cool of Dre (although considering his record, it definitely is a big factor), but more about the quieter 'behind the scenes' cool of Jimmy Iovine.

Over the years Iovine has shown himself to be one of the smartest and most savvy music execs in the business. The main point I want to make is Iovine has also proven himself to be a marketing genius, which is why Apple have decided to bring him into the fold so aggressively.

To get a better understanding of Iovine, I wanted to refer back to a few stories outlined by Steve Stoute in his book "The Tanning of America; How Hip Hop Created a Culture that Rewrote the Rules of the New Economy".

To set the stage, this story begins in mid-1992 at Interscope records. Two guys named Marion and Andre - otherwise knows as Suge Knight and Dr. Dre - were looking for distribution for their label Death Row Records and the album The Chronic, featuring vocals by Cordozar Calvin Broadus (now Snoop Dogg).

The Tanning of America

The Tanning of America

I have just finished Steve Stoute's book "The Tanning of America; How Hip-hop Created a Culture that Rewrote the Rules of the New Economy". 

If you don't know Steve Stoute, he is a former music artist manager and record executive responsible for launching the careers of a huge number of famous hip-hop and R&B artists, who went on to create Translation, a brand and marketing firm that prides itself on having its finger on the pulse of culture. Translation has gone on to developed a lot of iconic campaigns - think the Justin Timberlake / McDonald's "I'm Lovin' It" partnership.

In essence, the book outlines a history of the rise of hip-hop, and how it has achieved a global connection unlike any other force in a process dubbed "tanning". From Steve:

"But the tale I'm here to tell is less about the music itself and more about the atomic reaction it created, a catalytic force majeure that went beyond musical boundaries and into the psyche of young America - blurring cultural and demographic lines so permanently that it laid the foundation for  transformation I have dubbed "tanning". Hip-hop had come in a time, in places, and through multiple, innovative means that enabled it to level the playing field like no other movement of pop culture, allowing for a cultural exchange between all comers, groups of kids who were black, white, Hispanic, Asian, you name it. Somehow the homegrown music resonated across racial and socioeconomic lines and provided a cultural connection based on common experiences and values, and in turn revealed a generationally shared mental complexion."

The RIBS Test

The RIBS Test

The RIBS test is a simple framework designed to help make a message that resonates (in short, "stick to your ribs"). From startups to traditional brands, creating a compelling message is critical to getting press, finding customers, raising funding or hiring the best people, so you need to ensure the message is as compelling as possible.

(Credit to this framework goes to Caryn Maroony, Vice President Technology Communications Facebook).

Let's break it down.

The T-Shaped Digital Marketing Framework

The T-Shaped Digital Marketing Framework

This post continues my series on Mental Models.

Without sounding like a broken record, digital has added a huge amount of complexity to marketing (although on the flip side, also a huge amount of opportunity) . The problem we face is the pace of change at the moment - attempting to stand up against the tide of innovation can feel hugely daunting.

There is a great quote from Jocelyn K. Glei from Maximise Your Potential that sums this up:  

“The lightening-fast evolution of technology means that jobs can now become indispensable or outmoded in a matter of years, even months. Who knew what a “community manager” was ten years ago? What about an “iPad app designer” or a “JavaScript ninja"?

A substantial portion of the working population now earns its livelihood doing jobs that didn’t exist ten or twenty years ago. And even if the nature of your job hasn’t changed, chances are you’re using new and unanticipated technology and skills to perform that job. Think of the designer who blogs, the comedian who tweets, or the filmmaker who raises a budget on Kickstarter.

Ten years from now, we’ll probably all be doing some new type of work that we couldn’t possibly imagine today. That thought is both exhilarating and frightening. How do we prepare for a future filled with uncertainty?”