Posts con el tag ‘Publicidad’

From Goodvertising to Meaningful Brands

It’s a fact: people value brands less and less. Ninety-one percent of Spaniards say that they could do without brands altogether. The Meaningful Brands study, conducted since 2008 by the Havas Group, shows that a majority of consumers wouldn’t mind if practically all brands disappeared.

One proposed solution is to create “advertising for people”, as argued by Thomas Kolster, who coined the term goodvertising. This is the concept of sustainable communication, which proposes that advertising should be used to improve the planet and educate society.

Just advertising? Communication as a transformative element, as we saw in the last Super Bowl, where ten spots were clearly oriented toward the social value of brands? Or communication as the tip of the marketing iceberg? Let’s review the question of whether brands need more than advertising. Here are two examples I love (two steps forward):

-          Mattel’s iconic Barbie doll is now available in three more realistic body types – tall, curvy and petite – and seven different skin tones. It’s an attempt to make the doll relevant and beloved again. More dolls, more ways for girls to use their imagination with a Barbie. Doing good and making a positive change in people’s lives.


-          Pontevedra has been recognised by numerous international bodies – the Urban Institute of Beijing, the prestigious Centre for Active Design, the UN Habitat programme, etc. – for a mobility design that increases the livability of this small Spanish city. The main marketing contribution is Metrominuto, a pedestrian map that indicates walking distances, which has now been introduced in more than 30 cities around the world.

In the words of Miguel Anxo Fernández Lores, the mayor of Pontevedra: “Sometimes I feel like a preacher.” Or, as implied by the Soul Marketing concept, when managers embrace their role as citizen-consumers, learn to grasp contradictions and understand the need to enhance positive effects on society, they can create projects that end up generating solutions and advertising that is valuable to people.

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Purpose brands: standing for something

In subjects like Business in Society, we think about what the truth is and the interrelationships between – and the future of – concepts such as CSR and social marketing. The eternal debate about the virtue of sales gains from CSR. Until once again managers find an alternative route to avoid arguing about organisations with a soul (it’s marketing that has a soul!). Let’s give the consumer a more credible value: brands have a soul; brands are becoming purpose-oriented.

When many companies have to fight to turn a profit while competing in price, new leaders emerge, such as Indra Nooyi of PepsiCo, the guest speaker at the recent ESADE Alumni Annual Conference. When digital media generate real-time conversations about companies’ activities and new ways for consumers to access information, consumers expect transparency, authenticity and higher standards of ethical conduct.

Philips has its own index to measure the number of lives the company improves each year, calculated using an algorithm that looks at demand for products directly related to health and how many people those products have affected. Today, Philips is a purpose brand: this KPI explains who they are as a company, their courage to stand for something. This is the only benefit they bring to the world, beyond the proposal of Milton Friedman. And like Philips, there are also the companies ranked by Radley Yeldar, for example.

These are brands that, without being perfect, bring out the enthusiasm in consumers and the talent of the millennial generation that they want to attract. Brands that offer to become part of the solution. When we talk about brands in the non-profit sector, we talk about advocacy or relief brands. But profit-oriented companies are starting to talk about creating movement brands.

Do they work? Take a look at the three following purposes. If you can identify the brands that have these purposes, you’ll know it works.

  • To empower creative exploration and self-expression.
  • To bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world (everybody is an athlete).
  • To help women reconsider and redefine what beauty is.

Want more? Attend the ESADE Alumni conference on purpose brands in early 2017.

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Bananas speak louder than words

A round of applause for Alves and Neymar’s #WeAreAllMonkeys! This excellent social marketing campaign has achieved incredible quantitative results, as well as criticism from the usual anti-marketing quarters. Let’s take a closer look, now that the criticism has started to drown out the praise.

Barça football player Dani Alves has continually been the target of racist insults, monkey noises from the stands, and bananas launched onto the field during breaks in play. Throughout his 11 years playing in Spain, Alves has been calling for greater awareness and measures against racism.

Actions speak louder than words: During a match on 27th April, Alves picked up a banana that had fallen at his feet and took a bite. His friend and teammate Neymar subsequently launched the hashtag #WeAreAllMonkeys. The quantitative results on the Internet speak for themselves. Let us add our qualitative analysis:

-       Criticism: It’s not original – Pa Dembo Touray ate a banana during a match 10 years ago. Solidarity is not the same as fixing the problem, and awareness is not enough. (These critiques are heard in the non-profit and public sectors, which firmly believe that marketing is negative and trust only their brainy public policies.) The hashtag is wrong – it should say #weareallhumans. And the worst: It’s not spontaneous; there’s an advertising agency behind this; it’s a professional job.

-       My professional recognition. These two professional football players are not just mindless poster boys. They decided to act when no one else would. (Two years ago, the Spanish football federation chief declared that “racism does not exist in Spain”.) Theirs is a simple campaign that has been professionalised (by Loducca Publicidade) to ensure excellence: the simple gesture of eating a banana is the essence of a global viral phenomenon. And what’s more, it works.

Studies show that young people see racism as a stigma on a par with suicide or drugs. They conclude that no adult is willing to intervene. And they dream of global multimedia campaigns in the popular media featuring the testimony of bystanders. We happily overlook the Samsung product placement in selfies posted by celebrities, but if Neymar hires an advertising agency, it strikes us as pre-planned. Neymar and Alves are bystanders who knew how to kick-start a social media campaign.

Have you done anything this big or this useful?

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Everything in the world is about sex (except sex)

Applying marketing to social issues always raises eyebrows and gets people talking – yet another advantage of striking chords that are still capable of surprising the customer/citizen. Here are two examples that recently made headlines in Europe:

-       The Danish travel agency Spies is selling city holidays with a campaign called “Do it for Denmark”. Market research has shown that Denmark’s birthrate is very low and falling, and that Danes have 46% more sex while on holiday. The resulting advertising campaign appeals to patriotism by encouraging Danes to take a libido-boosting getaway. The special offer: Couples who can prove that they conceived during the trip receive a three-year supply of baby essentials. The result: “Do it for Denmark” now has more than a million Google hits and the campaign’s YouTube video has been viewed more than 7 million times. Likes and dislikes: Some blogs are sensibly debating why the Danish protagonist of the video is not wearing a wedding ring.

-       Six recent political science graduates from Pompeu Fabra University have created a website called Sexy Europe that aims to “get new generations interested in Europe’s promising political future”. The founders believe that information about Europe is lacking in the media. They went to fill this gap specific values tailored to young people: a particular communication code, an “EU for Dummies” section, and opinion pieces.

How should we measure the success of these marketing campaigns? Pregnancies? Votes? YouTube views? The percentage of Danes conceived abroad already stands at 10%, and early forecasts indicate that only 28% of young Spaniards will vote in the upcoming European election. Perhaps we shouldn’t call this social marketing, but rather private companies capturing attention, awareness and differentiation using social values.


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Societal marketing: focus & alignment

Ideally, what characteristics should a company’s societal-marketing project have? As long as we’re doing societal marketing, how can we do it better? This is a top-priority question for the managers in our programmes.

We already know many things. Jordi Torrents shows us how to manage a brand’s social dimension in order to boost brand differentiation and customer loyalty. Following in the footsteps of James E. Austin, Juan Mezo seeks to align causes with the mission and values of an organisation.

These are solid recommendations – even more so when we compare them with real projects. Let’s take a look at two Spanish projects that we analysed recently:

  • Muebles Boom have undertaken many marketing actions: they promote the fact that their manufacturing is 100% local, that their low-cost strategy prevents them from providing customer service by telephone, and that they engage in controversial, media-savvy promotional offers such as “Furniture for €1”. They complement all of this with societal marketing:
    • Food for soup kitchens: Every piece of furniture sold comes with a label that indicates the number of meals donated.
    • Kisses against domestic violence: The company organises a national kissing championship on Valentine’s Day and donates €10 to a women’s foundation for every participant and €1 for every photo shared. The participants in the three longest kisses at the store win trips to the Dominican Republic, Venice and Paris.
  • Compañía Cervecera de Canarias, a subsidiary of the SABMiller Group, has positioned itself with “Ten Priorities, One Future”, an enormous programme aimed at discouraging irresponsible alcohol consumption, producing beverages with less water, reducing the company’s energy and carbon footprint, encouraging the reuse and recycling of packaging, respecting human rights, contributing to the struggle against AIDS in the company’s area of influence, increasing transparency, and doing business ethically: …uff!. Among other things.

How can these two companies optimise their programmes to give customers more differentiated value and create a perception of alignment with their mission and values? It’s not as easy as it looks.

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“Betcha Can’t Read Just One”

Jeff Bezos, who recently purchased The Washington Post, is on a quest for a new golden era based on the philosophy that guided him in building “Put the customer first. Invent. Be patient.” Mr. Bezos concludes: “If you replace ‘customer’ with ‘reader,’ that approach, that point of view, can be successful at the Post, too.” What do customers  and readers value? What kinds of value? How can we innovate to increase our value?

Let us interweave the Post’s marketing challenge with professor Jean-Jacques Lambin’s reflection about the challenges facing marketing: Should the marketing process satisfy short-term or long-term needs? Should it be more concerned about a person’s well-being than the person herself? And should it foster social or individual value?

Let’s expand this reflection using a global example: the snack-food industry, as described by Michael Moss. In his latest book, Moss describes how the food industry uses innovation to maximise the addictive effect of snack foods: salt and fat go straight to the brain, glucose levels in the blood shoot up, and crunchy textures leave us always wanting more. The food industry executive Indra Nooyi has admitted as much: reducing fat content and making snack foods healthier would be better for consumers’ health, but it would also make the products less addictive, cause immediate sales to drop, and lead to a loss of value for shareholders. The historic result: “Betcha Can’t Eat Just One.”

I love the story about Jeffrey Dunn, former chief operating officer at Coca-Cola. Dunn was fired after suggesting that consumers in Brazil’s favelas needed many things but that sodas were not one of them, and for trying to eliminate vending machines from public schools. In his book, he shares the marketing pitch he used some years later to sell baby carrots: consumers who are regular snackers make up a segment of 146 million people, let’s position baby carrots as simple as “Eat ‘Em Like Junk Food”.

Why not transfer the snacking slogan to a newspaper, even when it represents not just a business but a “public trust”?

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If You’re in Marketing, Kill Yourself

I found this lovely headline on social media, spewed forth by someone – probably an engineer – who hasn’t been convinced by the message of this blog: that marketing can help society and marketing professionals can create value for society.

The outburst was in response to a new marketing application: train windows that talk. If you’re riding the metro and you lean against a window, advertising – about insurance, detergent or whatever – can now be delivered directly to your brain. The advertising agency BBDO created this new application, known as Sky Deutschland. Tired commuters who lean their head against a window receive vibrations that are translated by the brain into sound – a voice inside their head that no one else can hear. Talking windows.

This technology – also found in Google Glass – could be used to pipe music, public-transit information, weather forecasts and, of course, advertising directly into commuters’ brains. This development was foretold not by Orwell but by Professor Farnsworth of Futurama: “It’s very simple. The ad gets into your brain.”

The technology is out there, and marketers must now decide how to apply it. It’s a technology suited to sensory marketing. The sense of sight is relatively simple; we can identify around 200 different colours, whereas the sense of smell can distinguish up to 10,000 aromas. We know that the sense of hearing brings emotions into perception. Even as adults, our brains react to sounds we first heard in the womb. In one study, when people were asked to describe an emotional experience, 96% recalled hearing a song (compared to 70% who mentioned some sort of sexual activity).

The list of potential social-marketing applications for talking windows is already growing: fundraising, public-health messages, campaigns against antisocial behaviours. But to paraphrase Jurassic Park’s Ian Malcolm, when faced with a horde of velociraptors: scientists have been so busy developing technology that they haven’t stopped to think about whether they should. God help us, we’re in the hands of engineers. And engineers are the death of marketers.

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Would you like to be described as a game-changer?

Pulling off a successful marketing campaign/project that has social impact is easier said than done. In my own work with the SCACS advertising team we’ve tried to this; aiming for excellence of the Booker T Washington type – “excellence is to do a common thing in an uncommon way.”

The kinds of campaigns that generate these sorts of remarks can, I think, be described as “excellent”:

  • “they are also providing a significant change in redefining the standards of advertising and the unrealistic ideals for the way women look”
  • “this campaign is a game-changer for advertising and more should follow in their footsteps”; “a powerful video, but it doesn’t mean is perfect”;
  • “a campaign that shows how a company chooses when and how to jump into the commercials landscape with the right marketing scheme”
  • “women have reportedly wept over this video, and who could blame them?”

Any idea which campaign I’m talking about? Did you work out who the critics are getting themselves into a lather over? Just a cream soap.

Marketing campaigns that link to societal issues can be game-changers. Check out the examples on Publizia, a fantastic blog that compiles the best advertising samples. Count how many are linked to social issues, both in societal marketing terms or as social marketing campaigns.

A nine day’s wonder?. Last check, Coke ad bringing tears to your eyes.


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Please, don’t come, you won’t like it here

Explicar el cómo y porqué del Demarketing es a veces difícil .. hasta que aparecen los casos. El Gobierno de UK está inmerso en una campaña de demarketing para reducir la inmigración a partir del 2014 de ciudadanos rumanos y búlgaros (por el momento, publicity, relaciones públicas, relaciones con mass media): un marketing de “trash its own image”, de “anti-nation branding”, “that the streets here are not paved with gold” . Incluso The Guardian ha propuesto que los ciudadanos propongan la creatividad de la campaña publicitaria. Los atributos, disuasorios: llueve, los derechos en sanidad o vivienda social pueden denegarse, hay poco trabajo, sobran bishops, y además nada comparable a los Cárpatos o el Mar Negro….

Las razones son evidentes: la previsión en el año 2004 de inmigrantes de Polonia fue de 20.000, y finalmente fueron casi 2 millones y según la BBC hoy el polaco es el segundo idioma de las islas, por delante del galés; la previsión oficiosa de la inmigración desde Rumanía y Bulgaria (el Gobierno prefiere no dar cifras) hoy son unos 250.000 en cinco años…. o sea que aplicando la desviación habida quizá llegarán a 25 millones (más no podrán porqué el total de la población son 29 millones).

¿Funciona realmente el Demarketing, podrán desanimar la demanda de emigración a UK?. También se habla de efectos contraproducentes con una campaña de estas características, y quizá como siempre el error en marketing esté en la falta de empatía y de comprensión de qué valoran, de hablarles de “salarios y servicios sociales bajos” o de recordarles lo bonitos que son los Cárpatos a la población de dos países en la cola de la UE, con un salario mediano real de unos 400€ al mes. La misma falta de comprensión del consumidor que llevó a UK a no entender la campaña de Eurostar en Bruselas en el 2007 para atraer turistas belgas a London: el marketing y el demarketing exigen comprensión real de la percepción de los stakeholders, aceptar que los estereotipos y percepciones son más valorados que la realidad.

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Porn poverty & porn t-shirts

Una vez más en una clase de ESADE alumnos del BBA como Marta Garrós o Oriol Cagigós nos hacen reflexionar, sacándonos algo los colores: ¿debemos usar en el marketing para ONG la estrategia de simplificar algunas características para hacer nuestra causa más atractiva?; ¿debemos destacar, por ejemplo, una actividad asistencial con niños para captar mayor interés en los prospectos, aunque no sea su actividad prioritaria?. Aplicar la clásica estrategia de posicionamiento que nos diferencia genera pues dudas en personas externas pero muy bien estructuradas.

Las mismas dudas han sido el motor del proyecto Radi-Aid. Africa for Norway: una campaña de sensibilización, que como destaca el excelente blog Global Social Stream critica el miserabilismo y la parcialidad utilizada por algunas ONG en sus campañas de comunicación y marketing para recaudar fondos. Estereotipos, simplificación, y reconocer que la ayuda no es la única respuesta. Acertada crítica que invita a la reflexión.

Claro que también sabemos que las personas acudimos al marketing prioritariamente cuando la competencia es extrema y limita mi capacidad de alcanzar objetivos. Mejor sin duda evitar el miserabilismo; pero revisemos cuando la alternativa es cerrar, o no poder cumplir mi Misión fundacional por falta de recursos, o por falta de donantes, o de voluntarios, o de capacidad para transformar a la sociedad.

Leamos a fondo la web de Raid-Aid. Dos de sus máximas: “Fundraising should not be based on exploiting stereotypes”, “Aid must be based on real needs, not “good” intentions”. Demoliendo clichés; mediante una simplificación evidente, unos estereotipos comunicados parcialmente en un video viral de millones de visitas, vendiendo Radi Aid t-shirts, y usando cliches fáciles de entender y estereotipados como “the poverty porn”. Marketing, posicionamiento, acciones, parcialidad, resultados

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