Things We Like
So it’s already June(!), and somewhere in between pondering where the first five months of 2018 have gone, I’ve undertaken a review of all the news and inspiration that has been flying around our Slack for the month of May. Here goes…
The wise people over on Reddit called it; “The marketing folks at Aldi are gods”. And if it’s on Reddit it must be true. How could you not love this super clever ad from the discount grocery retailer? Punny goodness at its very best, and so simple in terms of production. And it didn’t just resonate with consumers, as all good ads do (although this one really did – so much so that Twitter was calling for the marketing team to get a raise, and when does that happen?!); their wit secured them coverage on sites including Good Housekeeping, The Sun, The Daily Star and more. I don’t think it was ever meant to be a PR piece so bravo to them. I’m eagerly awaiting the next instalment.
Stunt-y to the max, and featuring the somewhat divisive character, Captain Obvious, I’m not sure my inner-consumer loved this campaign from Hotels.com. However, with my marketer hat on I can recognise that it was a creative way to push an important message for the brand. Effectively, they wanted to let people know that while their URL was Hotels.com, they actually do so much more. So they stuck it all in one URL! I feel like it gets that point across but when I ponder the all-important question, ‘what’s in it for the consumer?’ I get stuck beyond the usual discount code. I guess it’s a clever solution to a brand challenge, but a very tactical one.
Super clever and very of-the-moment! Thank the lord that we continue to see increased conversation and coverage of all things mental health, and this campaign elevates the issue further. ‘Lifefaker.com is a fictitious website where you can purchase social media packages to create a veneered filter of your life to present to others.’ The hilariously-titled packages up for sale include ‘Look at my holiday and cry’, ‘My unachievable body’ and ‘I just happen to live here’ and feature the kinds of images we all see day-in-day-out on Instagram. But the fake tone and look and feel of the site do a great job of pushing the message that we’re all striving for the same, unattainable perfection. Lifefaker.com was built by Sanctus; the world’s first mental health gym and is a definite gem from May.
I’m still struggling to get my head around the possibility that plants can interpret the tone or message of what we say to them. Mind. Blown. Ikea’s latest campaign brought that possibility to the fore though. The Swedish furniture giant recruited a bunch of kids and got them to record mean things which were played to plants on loop for 30 days. An identical plant, which received the same amount of light and water, was ‘fed’ positive comments for 30 days. And the plant that got bullied withered and died. Such a powerful way to demonstrate to kids how damaging it is to be mean, without sacrificing any humans to do so! It got lots of (deserved) coverage and gets the Propellernet seal of approval with efforts to Make Life Better at the heart.
I saw this get lots of love (and awards) at the Cannes Festival and it’s no surprise. An image can be so powerful, as Lego demonstrates in this ad series. Inviting a generation of kids to ‘build the future’, they took photos of children standing inside a Lego shell of their dream future career. Well, they rendered the scenes on a computer, but either way it does a fantastic job of conveying the brand’s mission, as stated by Ogivly Thailand’s vice chairman Nopadol Srikieatikajohn: “Lego’s ultimate purpose is to inspire and develop children to think creatively, reason systematically and release their potential to shape their own future”. Simple, clever and emotive.
We get a lot of flack as marketers for flogging stuff that people don’t really need or want. But at its best, marketing is an industry that can bring about positive change and improve lives. And that’s exactly what Mercedes-Benz has done in a tie up with the Thai Health Foundation. They’ve identified that language (in its traditional, verbal sense) can be a barrier to diagnosing illness and getting the right treatment if the medical professional and the patient are unable to communicate. As a solution, they’ve worked with designers to visualise a world of pain, with images that anyone can relate to because we all experience pain the same, no matter what language we speak. It should go on to save lives, and I’m not sure there’s a more important KPI than that.
Echoing Lidl’s very successful first ever foray into brand-led TV advertising way back in 2014 (if you don’t remember, they set up as an unmarked stall at an East London market and had members of the public taste their food, only revealing that it was Lidl produce after they had remarked on the quality, taste and value), Greggs went undercover. Masquerading as a ‘hipster deli’, they pitched up at the Gourmet Foodie Festival in Brentford over the Bank Holiday weekend and served items from their new summer range of healthy snacks, filming consumer reactions when they were told that they’d eaten Greggs food. It was a clever stunt and though it recycled a tried-and-tested creative concept, it’s had a ton of impact in terms of coverage. I’d love to see some metrics around brand perception off the back of it though!
So that was May. Our beady eyes are open and already hunting down good stuff from June, so check back in early July for another round-up, or take a peak at our Twitter for some sustenance before then.