People aren’t paying attention to ads anymore

Canadian ad agency John St. created this self promotion piece called exFEARential – hope they have enough people to respond to the requests for meetings!

Oreo Twist Dublin

You have probably noticed the Oreo ads recently. It is Oreo’s first advertising forray into the Irish market where they are putting the Oreo Twist on Dublin Landmarks and events. There are a total of 16 ads in the series, with the 16th being an event or place chosen by a reader of the  The event ones, like the one below for the Bram Stoker Festival almost look like Oreo are sponsoring the events, when in fact they aren’t, they are just putting an Oreo twist on it.


The ads in the series (a selection of them are below) are all consistent in look and feel and simplicity. There is no mistaking they are from Oreo and as a way to launch the brand above the line in Ireland it feels like a good move.

Of course this is an extension of the hugely successful, Cannes Lions Cyber Grand Prix winning “Daily Twist” campaign which marked OREO’s centenary and made the cream-stuffed sandwich a social-media behemoth with incredible real-time culture jacking. There is a nice case study video which I have put at the end of this post for you.

Sadly this isn’t a sign of a new advertiser entering the market, the opportunity for Oreo is the result of PHD winning €150,000 of media space in JC Decaux’s “Fame – The Agency Edition” competition. I guess what it does go to show is the effectiveness of outdoor.

The work was done by Draftfcb London.


I just hope this means we will start to get some of the decent size packs of Oreos in the irish market now!



Users three times more likely to engage with video on mobiles than desktops

dot rising reported last week that “new data reveals that those who view videos on smartphones are nearly three times more likely to click through to a brand’s website than if viewing videos on laptops or desktops.”

The report by Unruly revealed new stats that show CTR on desktop at 5.45%, compared to a 13.64% on mobile. As well as this, the data highlights that interaction rates for mobile are up a massive 105.63% to 22.64% in Q3 2013.

dot rising comments that “The continual reports regarding the rise in popularity of mobile highlights that now, more than ever, brands must ensure their sites are successfully optimised for mobile and tablet users. As well as this, branching into the realm video marketing is also of utmost importance for companies looking to stay on-trend and relevant for consumers”

Smart mobile ad

I saw this on Best Ads and thought it was pretty smart:

To promote LG’s new smart phone G2, M&C Saatchi, Stockholm created a whole new way of making banners relevant to mobile users. The banners detect what phone you are using, compare it to the LG G2 and customize the message. The banners appeared in Scandinavian HTC’s, Samsungs and iPhones on the 4th of October, 2013.

Samsung Galaxy Gear: A Long Time Coming

Great piece by 72andSunny announcing the new Galaxy Gear. Tapping into nostalgia to deliver a product launch message.

Catch a GTI

Some more online advertising innovation here – Dutch agency Achtung created this interactive idea to catch a GTI on the ‘Volkswagen Bannerbahn’. It challenges the user to catch a Volkswagen Golf GTI by clicking on it.

Romanian Coke ad merges Twitter and TV advertising

I read this on .rising this morning (a great resource). Its another bid of advertising innovation, this time using live Tweets in a TV ad. .rising explain it really well and there is (a slightly annoying) video that shows it in action.

In a bid to connect the often separate worlds of TV and online advertising, an innovative ad created by Coca-Cola and aired in Romania used software that allowed a TV advert to air live tweets by viewers while it was playing.
As the video below explains, Coke’s spring campaign in the European country looked to address the fact that 60% of people in the country prefer to sit in front of the TV instead of eat their meals together. Inviting them to share a Coke and eat a meal with others who may also be eating alone, viewers were asked to tweet with the hashtag #LetsEatTogether.
Ad agency MRM Worldwide in Romania then quickly edited the tweets that would flow in, selecting five to seven to be included in each ad placement.
The campaign, which took place in spring, made it to the national evening news, and saw Coke’s Romanian followers increase by an impressive 15%.
Nir Refuah of MRM highlighted the fact that the integrated media drove excitement for the campaign, saying: “It made people actually wait for the ad. How often does that happen?”
Innovation in advertising ensures viewers view brands as fun, fresh and interesting. By interacting with Twitter followers and getting them involved in Coke’s conversation, the drinks company managed to improve the reputation of its brand in the area and, hopefully for the company, help ensure people got together to eat, tweet and drink a coke in the process! Smart campaigning, indeed.

Online Advertising – Innovation

Online advertising can be so very dull and boring – so nice to see some innovations!

Barbie & Content Marketing

Did you ever think that connection would be made!

In my house Barbie is adored (along with Peppa, Rapunzel, Aladdin & Jasmin, big doggy and teddy!). And its not just my two and a half year daughter that loves Barbie, her mum is pretty into it too, my nieces and nephews are keen on it as well.

What has struck me lately is how brililant Barbie is at Content Marketing. Mattel have created some brilliant content on youtube, short 3 minute videos that pretty much showcase their product range. It’s all done really well though, the pieces are humourous and engaging. There is no hard sell, they don’t need to do that, but they keep Barbie top of mind. As a parent this content can help me out, so instead of having to watch a long cartoon or programme I can get away with a short 3 min Barbie video. It makes me feel good about the brand. My daughter isnt demanding a new Barbie everytime she sees one of these videos but it does make her want to play with her Barbie so the next time its time for a treat she may well choose Barbie (she may also well choose a big ball – who knows!).

It may seem surprising that Barbie is a queen of content, but when you think about it, it makes sense. This is one of the only pieces of content I am aware of, but I am sure there is a huge Content Marketing strategy in Mattel I am yet to stumble across!

And now to brigten up your Friday – here is a short piece about Barbies life in the dream house – enjoy!! (if i have to watch it you do too!)

Dove Camera Shy

A conversation in the office this morning prompted me to post this. I didn’t want to like this ad when I read about it, but then when I saw it I realised it was a powerful insight driven piece. The conversation in my office today was pretty much exactly the same as what is represented by this ad. What do you think?

Risk the idea – Cannes 2013 review

You have probably seen a lot of these already, but this is a great summary of Cannes 2013 – enjoy


Why Screaming Goats and Random Cats Matter


Screaming goats, random cats. They are some of the most popular pieces of content online and to many seem like a waste of time and space. In a recent post on Fast Company  Google’s Abigail Posner explains why they aren’t just mindless distractions, instead they reflect a real human need to elevate the everyday, make connections, and exchange energy.

“This is what the Internet is all about, people. A killer song, a stupid meme, a nostalgic throwback to 2001, and, most important, bites of dumb hilarity that come in 30-second bursts.”

Huffington Post on the Harlem Shake, February 2013

Posner says that “Google searches for Cat GIFs hit an all-time high last month. And we took 380 billion photos last year–that’s 10% of all the photos taken . . . ever. But let’s be honest–these memes are fun, but they don’t matter, right? They’re pretty much a waste of time.”

She has done research to see what brands can learn from these visual plays (in fact her research has kicked off Googles The Engagement Project).  Posner says that “To get to the bottom of these memes, we assembled a team of original thinkers–anthropologists, digital vanguards, and content creators–to dig a little deeper into this “visual web.” We also spoke to gen-Cers–the people who grew up on the web or behave as though they did–and who thrive on creation, curation, connection, and community.”

Cute-little-kitty-wearing-blue-toque-dancing-to-and-fro-to-musicThe research showed that far from distracting from more serious things, “viral pictures, videos, and memes reconnect us to an essential part of ourselves. And by understanding what’s at the root of our obsession with the visual web, brands can create the kind of content that resonates in today’s culture.”

Abigail Posner outlines some reasnos why it resonates, which I have summarised here:


It may seem that all we’re doing is just capturing every mundane moment. But look closely. These everyday moments are shot, displayed, and juxtaposed in a way that offers us a new perspective. And then all of a sudden these everyday moments, places, and things look . . . fascinating.

This fascination with the familiar is deeply rooted. …we strive to elevate the everyday by feeding our appetite for imagination and discovery. The web allows us to do this on a scale we’ve simply never seen before.


Let’s say you’re a fan of Les Mis. But you also think the whole screaming goats thing is hilarious. Even though they seem very different, to you they’re connected–if only by the passion you share for them. So you take a leap of imagination and make that connection.

Neuroscientists explain that synapses occur inside the brain when we’ve made a connection between various different things. The more random the components connected, the more synapses occur. Synapses are the basis of creativity. In other words, synapses firing equals creative joy.

The visual web frees us to return to a childlike state, where we can adventure through a whole array of different, seemingly unrelated images and clips–be they old, new, from a world away or own backyard–sparking our all-important synapses and helping us come up with new combinations and ideas so easily.

Uninhibited by linearity and stimulated by all the access to imagery, synaptic play takes hold and we’re free to indulge in a purer kind of creativity. Or, as we call it, the Nyan Cat Dubstep Remix. And even if we’re just watching these crazy creations, we are still celebrating and appreciating all this synaptic play, and it inspires us!


The only thing better than going on this journey of discovery is sharing it with others. This “gift” of sharing contributes to an energy exchange that amplifies our own pleasure–and is something we’re hardwired to do.

In the language of the visual web, when we share a video or an image, we’re not just sharing the object, we’re also sharing in the emotional response it creates.

There are billions of these energy exchanges happening every day. Whether we’re posting, commenting, liking, repinning, or +1ing, our new visual culture is one in which we’re constantly offering each other little gifts, little moments of pleasure that remind us we’re truly and deeply bonded to one another.

It all matters

According to Posner “In the end, it all matters: every meme, GIF, and seemingly silly video. Nowhere else can we rediscover the fascination of our everyday world, spark synapses that unlock our creative potential, and amplify the joy we feel in a global exchange of energy. And through it all, we connect more deeply with each other–and ourselves.”

What does it mean for you?

Brands and their creative agencies need to stop thinking like advertisers and start to tap into this visual play and think like creators.  Its about content not commercials. Posner gives a few starting points to get you going:

  1. Help people rediscover the beauty of a forgotten familiar.

  2. Find something familiar–in your product, brand, or from people’s lives–and help us see it in a fascinating new light. It could be as simple as taking a kitchen appliance and turning it into a science experiment.

  3. Find ways to spark synaptic play and participation.

  4. Search for your brand online. Chances are your fans are already mixing and mashing your brand with something seemingly unrelated. Build on it, fuel it, steer it, and help us make more with it.

  5. Give happiness we can share in.

  6. Ditch the pitch. Instead, start an energy exchange. Create content that reminds us of our own capacity for excitement, happiness, and vivacity so we want to share in it with others.

And to sign off this post – the ultimate goat compilation 


Facebook introduces hashtags

FB#Facebook announced on Wednesday that it was going to introduce clickable hashtags for users. You will often see hashtags in peoples posts on Facebook, where they are posting the same thing to Facebook and Twitter, outside of that its become part of the vernacular, yes people actually use the word “hashtag” in their speech!

So Facebook are doing what Facebook do well and looking at what their users are doing and rolling out a feature, with users being able to click on the hashtagged words from the search bar and view a feed on that topic. Users will also be able to click on hashtags that originate on other services, such as Instagram and compose posts directly from the hashtag feed and search results.

Debra Aho Williamson, an analyst with eMarketer, told Mashable that “This is a layer on top of what Facebook is already offering. If marketers are already using hashtags as part of their marketing on other sites, they will be able to use those same hashtags within Facebook and drive engagement within the Facebook environment.”

It seems that Facebook is trying to steal back some of the second screen action that has been pretty much twitter territory. In a post on their Blog Greg Lindley, Facebook product manager said “. “During primetime television alone, there are between 88 and 100 million Americans engaged on Facebook — roughly a Super Bowl-sized audience every single night,”

The company said that hashtags were the first of several new features that will be introduced to highlight discussions about events on Facebook. The company is rolling out hashtags to roughly 20 per cent of its users, with a full global launch expected in the coming weeks.


What does it all mean for you?

Well the introduction of the hashtag on Facebook will change how people use the platform and engage with eachother, content and to a degree brands.

  • Brand Mentions – it seems likely that brand mentions will be easier to monitor now, similar to Twitter.  Which means you will have more access to data about your brand  which adds another layer of metrics and numbers to gauge success. You will also be able to engage in real time conversations, so think about needing to be even more always on.
  • Brand Pages – it seems unlikely that Facebook’s move to introduce #’s will threaten brand pages (where brands have spent lots of money)  and it seems more likely that it will enhance brand pages. This is a wait and see one I think.
  • User Generated content – If someone posts a picture of themselves wearing/using a new product and uses the brand hashtag, depending on your legal guidelines that could be a photo your page could use. Facebook and users love images so this will be a way to help generate more image content for brands.
  • Privacy – Facebook will maintain their privacy settings regarding hashtags, and won’t allow users to show up in click-throughs of the hashtag if their settings are set to be shared only with friends
  • Not for mobile – sadly, mobile will be a hashtag free zone as the app doesn’t support the phrase. Hashtags can be used, but there will be no click through to the hashtag feed.
  • Facebook hashtag ads – Facebook say they aren’t offering this yet, but they will.
  • Don’t Hashtag vomit – when brands were getting used to Facebook I coined the phrase Facebook Vomit  to describe how they just spewed on their walls. We have to hope brands don’t start hashtag vomiting now, so if you are a brand owner reading this – please don’t!