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 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 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?”