Our Top 3 of 2016

A Marketer’s life is not easy.  Coming up with a great idea, and then executing it to generate maximum returns requires a lot of focus and effort.  So, without undermining the efforts of many, we have come up with three 2016 campaigns that have managed to leave a lasting impression in terms of innovation and revenue.

Snapchat’s Snapbots and Snap Spectacles

Image source: smartinsights.com
Image source: smartinsights.com

Breaking through the clutter is an achievement in itself, and doing so in the least amount of budget, is definitely worthy of praise.  Snap Spectacles managed to do exactly that.  The campaign is an excellent example of using distribution, PR and marketing around a product launch to get massive amounts of attention in a relatively low budget.

Snapchat put up pop-up stores in the form of vending machines, called Snapbots, creating enough excitement about the commonality as well as exclusivity of the product.  Snapbots were only seen in some cities, and anyone could buy the spectacles from them; almost always a line was seen.  The wait encouraged people to tweet, instagram, and snapchat stories, generating buzz for the product online.  Not only that, every time a Snapbot was dropped in a city, it caught enough press by the mass media, generating more publicity and word of mouth than any paid campaign could have attracted.

The spectacles are a great product idea, with an exclusive distribution method, and genius marketing communication. “It’s about us figuring out if it fits into people’s lives and seeing how they like it,” Snapchat’s CEO Evan Spiegel told Wall Street Journal.

Virgin Holidays’ Tech Initiatives

Virgin emerged as a company that successfully used technology for marketing.  

Virgin Holidays used in-store VR experience through headsets, working with Google Cardboard technology.  The company took a special 360 rig and GoPro cameras to a Virgin Resort in Mexico to capture the 3D video needed to create the immersive VR experience in-store.  They walked along cliffs, sat on beached, and swam with dolphins to create a range of holiday experiences to offer.

Virgin called the results of the campaign ‘phenomenal’ in terms of sales: overall and from trips featured in the VR experience.

As a step forward, Virgin also produced a series of 360 videos for Virgins holiday resorts, so anyone could tour them from the comfort of their homes.  These videos do not have a mass audience one can imagine, but the short term and long term pay-off is high, Virgin claims.

What’s more, Virgin even decided to launch live videos – a prime time TV ad streamed live from the holiday resorts.  It was a risky but an innovative move, which had an appeal of its own.  The uniqueness and riskiness of the ad caught a huge amount press coverage and created quiet a buzz online.

Risky endeavors with huge costs like a prime time spot are not always easy to pull off.  The company deserves a place in this list for venturing into the unknown with great results.

H&M’s ‘Come Together’

While using innovation can facilitate attention getting, using conventional marketing tactics has not been, and must not be forgotten.  H&M’s ‘Come Together’ is a great example of influencer marketing.

When Wes Anderson’s direction and Adrian Brody acting came together in this ad, the brand effectively and immediately connected to a community of fans.  TV provided the mass reach needed, and the ad was hailed as the best Christmas ad in the UK.  The ad also attracted over 5 and a half million views on YouTube, which although a fairly small number compared to the TV reach, says a lot about online traction.

The ad says one thing to marketers: conventional certainly has great potential, but it does not mean rigidity any longer.  Playing around with brand elements to ad flavor to a traditional medium can give campaigns a uniqueness not found in the medium itself.

Sources: Hubspot.com & SmartInsights.com

The 2017 Pirelli Calendar makes a powerful statement

The 44th edition of Pirelli’s calendar “conveys personality, sensitivity, and the guts to be yourself, ” explained Peter Lindbergh at the international press launch of the 2017 calendar.  The German photographer names the creation “Emotional” emphasizing on how his aim was “not shoot a calendar about perfect bodies, but to capture sensitivity and emotion, laying bare the souls of the women in the images, rendering them more naked than a nude.”

Image Source: dailymail.co.uk
Image Source: dailymail.co.uk
Image Source: dailymail.co.uk
Image Source: dailymail.co.uk

The Calendar boasts an influential cast, featuring Jessica Chastain, Penelope Cruz, Nicole Kidman, Rooney Mara, Helen Mirren, Julianne Moore, Lupita Nyong’o, Charlotte Rampling, Lea Seydoux, uma Thurman, Alicia Vikander, Kate Winslet, Robin Wright, and Zhang Ziyi; Anastasia Ignatova, a Political Theory Professor at Moscow State University, maked a guest appearance.

Image Source: dailymail.co.uk
Image Source: dailymail.co.uk
Image Source: dailymail.co.uk
Image Source: dailymail.co.uk

Behind the scene reveal how the actresses felt about the shoot and being featured in a calendar giving such an important message.  Uma Thurman, for example, said if felt “like an interview, but with a camera”, while for Penelope Cruz it was “almost like seeing into your soul.”

“I wanted to show women in a different way: I did this by asking actresses who have always played an important role in my life and to try and get as close to them as possible through my photos.  As an artist, I feel I have a responsibility to free women from the idea of eternal youth and perfection.  Society’s ideal of perfection is impossible to achieve”, Lindbergh explained.

Pirelli has published the Pirelli calendar since 1964, which has featured famous photographers and celebrities.  The calendar is known for its limited availability.  It is a unique product combining art and exclusivity, only given as a corporate gift to a restricted number of Pirelli customers and celebrities.

Sources: DailyMail.co.uk & pirellicalendar.pirelli.com


Do you need a coffee? Yes you do if you have passed this billboard on your way.

We have seen many interesting interactive outdoor campaigns over the years: Women’s Aid and Ocean Outdoor, Reebok’s Fast Enough, and Medcom’s Tweeting Pothole.  But this one is definitely more interactive than any of them: it involves your unconscious self. How you interact with the billboard is completely involuntary, and you cannot control it!

The outdoor campaign by the Brazilian Agency, Lew’Lara\TBWA is a real yawner.  It involves a digital panel equipped with a motion sensor at Sao Paulo’s busy Fradique Coutinho subway station.  When the commuters approach the sign, the face on the panel yawns!  Yes, that’s right: It starts yawning in all honesty, producing a ripple effect throughout the station.  Naturally people who see this face start yawning, and people who see these people yawning, start yawning, and soon the entire area is filled with people yawning.

At this point, the panel makes the product pitch! Here is what happens next:

Yes, the glamorous girls and free coffee makes everyone’s day after yawning, doesn’t it.  This is a classic example of prankvertising, becoming quite popular over the past few years.  This involves campaigns entrapping or surprising unsuspecting consumers by a prank, hidden camera or spectacular stunt.  Although most people have started to guess some redundant techniques, but ideas like these are definitely out of the box material, and creative enough to have an impression for long.



Mad Over Marketing


When #YESMAMM became trending

Carilion Clinic, Virginia raised a Breast Cancer Awareness Campaign in October 2014 by launching a social media campaign using the hashtag #YesMamm on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest.

The campaign was a result of the discovery that women over 40 in the Roanoke Valley were not getting mammograms.  Carilion decided to provide screening locations throughout Western Virginia for women of all ages and economic backgrounds.  #YESMAMM was the company’s effort to take the initiative online and generate buzz around it.  The online exposure significantly expanded the reach of the message and increased Carilion’s Twitter following from 3,000 to 4,605 followers.

Here are some informal results:

Over 230,000 women in the US are diagnosed with breast cancer each year: it is the most common cancer in women.  Getting the mammogram early is the best way to find and treat it.  An annual mammogram is advised to all women who are 40 years or older.  It can be done earlier if you have symptoms or a family history associated to breast cancer.  Carilion ran a successful campaign two years ago to press the issue with positive results.  Healthcare providers today continue to do that.  Medicare is one of them, and covers mammograms for all women between the ages of 50 to 75 at no cost.  It recommends getting it done once every year.




3 Creative Agencies you can follow on Instagram for a Daily Doze of Inspiration

1. Huge @hugeinc

Features high quality photography, graphic design inspiration and quirky snaps of daily office routines.  Follow to see what its like to work in a top agency.

Images Source: Instagram (@hugeinc)

Huge Inc
Huge Inc
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2. Wolff Olins @wolffolins

Showcases the company’s work-hard-play-hard approach to creative strategy.  You will see a lot of pictures of the daily grind and how the people cope with it.

Images Source: Instagram (@wolffolins)

« 1 of 4 »


3. Carrot Creative @carrotcreative

From awesome photos of team members to clicks of adorable dogs, this service digital agency shoots on the go to add a fun element to their account.

Images Source: Instagram (@carrotcreative) & Hubspot



Sources: Hubspot.com



Just Do It! With Nike

1980s saw the emergence of one of the most successful campaign in history. It was the turning point for Nike: a transformation from a sports to a lifestyle brand.

It all started in 1987, with Director Advertising Nike Scott Bedbury and Director of Marketing Insights & Planning Nike Jerome Conlon thinking and talking about the essence of the brand, and how it could address certain unmet consumer needs. Nike at the time had just faced its first sales contraction and laid off 20% of its employees. The new set of ads delivered by Nike’s Creative Agency, Wieden+Kennedy (W+K) were frowned upon by the senior management and rejected.

Scott and Jerome discussed the state of the brand, highlighting the challenge as catering to a small market of people involved in sports, whereas Reebok had successfully captured the fitness market. The fitness market had huge potential with growing obesity and recession concerns in the US. Nike needed to tap into segments other than mainstream sports, and make the brand a wholesome lifestyle brand. This mainly included fitness enthusiasts, but all kinds: hardcore as well as the ones who went walking and running every morning.

The appeal of the brand was housed in the experience of sports. The brand wanted to extend this experience into becoming a protagonist for all that was good and true about it. Nike wanted to show people through its communications the joy of being involved in sports or fitness. So far, Nike had focused on top sports players in the industry with an emphasis on hyper competitive sports. They needed to come up with something subtle to appeal to everybody who was involved in sports and everyday fitness routines.

After having this discussion, Scott, only three weeks into his job, presented a creative brief to W+K. The brief emphasized on widening the access point of the brand: talking to the masses involved in sports and fitness. After several discussions, in 1988, the Just Do It campaign was born. Dan Wieden is credited to have come up with the tagline. He is said to have been inspired by the last words of Gary Gilmore, a convicted murderer, — “Let’s Do It”.

This is a clear example of understanding the brand’s core positioning, its challenges, and goals. Just Do It captured the brand essence not only for the consumers, but internally for the company’s employees as well: everyone motivated towards a singular goal, with one brand purpose.

In 1988, Nike sales were at $800 million; by 1998, sales exceeded $9.2 billion.

So when trying to decide the best way to present your brand, make sure you understand the brand well enough to know the challenges it is facing, how they can be met, and how they can be best presented to the consumers. Just Do It is short, sweet, easy to remember, and represents the brand’s essence well. More so, it represents the consumer too. It is soulful in a way that it can easily connect to the consumers it is communicating with.

Sources: Branding Strategy Insider

Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment trying to make its space!

The Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment (OAE) is the resident orchestra of the Southbank Centre, London, associate orchestra at Glyndebourne Festival Opera, and has its headquarters at Kings Place.  The main musicians are Alison Bury, Matthew Truscott, Kati Debretzeni, and Margaret Faultless.  

There is no particular person in charge, and the players run the orchestra.  The OAE is different not only in terms of having no ‘leader’ but also because it claims that it is not a chamber or symphony orchestra.  The orchestra’s size depends on the music they play, and since there is no leader, each player is a contributor while occupying his or her own individuality.

The orchestra does not spend a lot of money on marketing and is not hugely famous among the audience, but continues to grow in its familiar circle, based on its uniqueness and talent.  However, it does prefer unique and efficient ways to promote its music.  And so when designers Harrison & Co presented their ideas for the new 2012-13 campaign, the company took it up for its unique, interactive, and artistic nature, which the orchestra stood for as well.  The idea is simple: featuring audience members with a strong or unusual look, alongside the players.

Harrison & Co has worked on design and creative communications for arts organizations for over nine years.  Although arts are great to work with in terms of creativity, they require serious thinking because of tight budgets.

The 2012-12 OAE Campaign was inspired by Richard Avedon portraits; specifically the ones he made of the characters who hung out at Andy Warhol’s Factory in the 60s.  This got Harrison & Co thinking about people and audiences.  Taking the OAE tagline ‘Not all orchestras are the same’ to the next level, Harrison & Co decided to pair up an audience member with an OAE player.  Not only would this be an unusual sight, the project would spark debates with about the players and the audience.  All these would produce enough publicity for the campaign to meet its objective, the goal was.

Source: i.guim.co.uk
Source: i.guim.co.uk


The campaign got its viral thrust on social media.  The OAE recruited audience members for the photo shoot via social networks.  The response: success! Fans, all past, current, and prospective came forward, intrigued by the uniqueness and creativity of the idea.  The photographs shot by Eric Richmond, are beautiful and capturing.  The company hopes to draw some chatter around the photographs in social circles for publicity.

Source: i.guim.co.uk
Source: i.guim.co.uk


The campaign, the designer thought ‘was risky, and a bit scary, but that’s probably a good thing’.  And he is right.  Marketing, with or without a budget requires careful thinking, just more when you are looking to achieve larger awareness goals on small budgets.  With OAE, Harrison & Co seemed to have nailed it!





No, Animated Videos are not Clichéd

Video is a fast growing media channel, and corporate animated video has gained some hype in recent times.  This is not surprising, as it is predicted that by 2017 video will be responsible for 90% of all online traffic.

The reason for such popularity lies in the fact that video is processed 60,000 times faster than text.  In today’s world, people are too busy to go through large copies of text.  A typical internet user will only read 28% of written content on a web page.  People seek instant and relevant content, which is easy to understand and access.  This is exactly what video offers.

Animations and videos significantly boost conversion rates on websites and email marketing, with a 41% higher click-through rate as compared to plain text.  An animated video on a landing page increases conversion by 70%.  In addition video are reshared 12,000 times more than text.

Following the trend, corporations are increasingly becoming interested in getting animated videos to showcase their profile, outline procedures, or explain processes.  They are looking for something, which is easy to access, understand and share.  Here are some styles that are being used:

  1. Corporate 3D animation allows you to show, describe and present benefits of your offering to your consumer simultaneously.  This results in a powerful package that provides a commendable user experience.  Animation is usually very successful in selling intangible products.  It is often difficult to describe these products, for example insurance, and this where animation becomes very helpful.  Animation also helps to explain the product in its most easy to understand, and yet comprehensive, form. Here is an example:
  2. 2D animation transcribes a friendly atmosphere which presents the information in a relatable manner.  In doing so, this kind of animation proves very effective in conveying the benefits of many human services. An example:
  3. The combination of raw video and animation can also be very effective, particularly when it comes to helping the user empathise with the product.  A raw video combined with graphic overlays gives an honest effect to the information presented through the video. Here is an example, that also reiterates the importance of video: 




YouTube Is Important: A Marketer’s Perspective

When it comes to marketing yourself on the second largest reach generating platform, we have you covered. Although not as famous as Facebook, YouTube has its popularity not only in terms of reach, but as a search engine too: It is the second biggest search engine after its parent company Google. For marketers, it important to understand what can be done to expand reach and convert it into profitable business. For this purpose we collated a list of 10 things you can utilize, and make the most out of the video sharing platform. Here it goes:

1.You can create a link that starts a YouTube video at a certain time
Sometimes you want to show a certain part of a video to someone, not the entire video. Here is how you can do that:

Open up the video and click “Share” underneath the video title. Then under the first tab (also labeled “Share”), check the box next to “Start at:” and type in the time in hours:minutes:seconds you want the video to start at.

Source: Hubspot.net

Soon, you will see a tag add itself to the end of the generic YouTube link. Simply copy that link and paste it wherever you like. But remember that you can’t embed a video for a certain time, you can only link it.

2. Editing or uploading a transcript can help you search results
A transcript is a kind of description that helps tell search spiders what your video is about, so it helps boost search rankings. To add a transcript to your video, open a video on YouTube, and click on the icon on the far right (under the video) for “Subtitles & CC”.

Source: hubspot.net

Set your language, and then choose among three different ways to add subtitles or closed captions (CC) to your video. You can upload a pre-written text transcript, paste a full transcript, or type them in.

3. You can create, share and collaborate on playlists
YouTube is not just the place to store and organize videos. You can keep playlists private, make them public, or even share them directly with others. Playlists are important for users to get related videos at one place. Take the example of albums! Playlists facilitate browsing and give consumers a better online experience.

To create a playlist, click on your account icon in the top right, and choose “Creator Studio”. Then click on “Video Manager” on the left. Next click on “Playlists”. From here click on “New Playlist”. To add a video to the playlist while you are watching it, click the “Add to” icon below the video title and check the box next to the playlist you’d like to add it to.

Source: hubspot.net

If you want to add a video to a playlist right from your playlists page, simply click “Add Video” and either paste in the video URL, choose a video from your uploads, or search a video on YouTube, and select the “Add to” menu from the video to add it to the playlist.

You can turn on the contribute/collaborate facility for your friends to add to your playlists. To add friends to a playlist, go to your playlists page again, and open the playlist you want to collaborate on. Click “Playlist Settings” and choose the “Collaborate” tag. Toggle on that, and from here, you can send them a link where they can add videos to the playlist.

Source: hubspot.net

Notifications to all collaborators will be sent when a video is uploaded.

4. You can create your own custom YouTube URL
A YouTube address must be memorable. You can create a custom one for ease of convenience and memory. But be careful, this is not reversible.

To claim a custom URL, open your YouTube account settings and click on “Advanced”.

Source: hubspot.net

If you are eligible, you will be prompted to claim your URL by clicking a link:

Source: hubspot.net

Agree to the terms and conditions, and then click “Change URL”. Be very sure!

Not everyone is eligible for a custom URL. You have to have 100 plus subscribers, and be at least 30 days old to claim for one. You must also have a photo as channel icon, and channel art.

5. You can add clickable links to your videos
Engagement is key when it comes conversions. YouTube lets you add clickable links called annotations to your videos. These could be anything from links to your website or social media networks, or calls to action like subscribing to your page. Here is how you can add some to your videos:

Make sure your YouTube account is verified for this to work. Also have external linking turned on for your account. With that clear, go to your Video Manager on YouTube. Then look for the video you want to add links to. Click on the arrow next to Edit; choose “Annotations” from the drop down menu.

Source: hubspot.net

Click “Add Annotation” to add a new annotation and choose from the five annotation types in the pull-down menu: Speech bubble, Note, Title, Spotlight, or Label. You can look for tutorials before if you are not sure what the annotations will look like.

After choosing annotation type, you can add text, choose your font, size, background color, and transparency. Below the video, you can choose the time you want the annotation to appear: start time and end time.

To add a link, check the box next to “Link” and choose what type of page you will link to. When done, click on “Publish”. Edit, if you are not satisfied with the result, by selecting the “Edit existing annotation” tool in “Edit Annotation”.

Note: Annotation will only appear on standard YouTube players. It may not show on chromeless players, or mobile, table and TV sets.

6. You can browse and access high-quality, royalty-free sound effects and music on YouTube
There is a whole library of sound effects and music you can use for free in your videos, or listen to. To add these to your video, open your Creator Studio, click “Create” in the menu on the left, and choose “Audio Library”. You can now search for sounds and music, toggle by category, or scroll through favorites you may have starred in the past.

Once you have found the track, download it, and do whatever you want to with it.

7. You can create photo slides shows with background music
Don’t have to use PowerPoint or Moviemaker for this! You can upload as many photos and videos as you like, and choose from hundreds of movie styles, transitions, and effects.

To create a photo slide show, log in to your account and click on “Upload” at the top right corner of your screen. Find the “Create Videos” module here and then click on “Photo slideshow”. Then click “Create”.

Source: hubspot.net

Now, choose your photos, on your Google drive or computer; rearrange, add more. Pressing “Next” on the bottom right will open a video preview. Here you can change transitions, slide duration, and slide effects. You can still select “Back” to rearrange photos and/or add more.

When you are done, click “Upload” on the bottom right and let the video process. Once that’s done, your photo slideshow is ready to be shared.

8. You can live stream videos to YouTube
You can live stream on YouTube from your desktop or mobile devices. But this feature is only available to a few.

To live stream from your desktop, log in to your account and click the “Upload” button at the top of your screen. Find the “Live Streaming” module on the right hand side of your screen, and click on “Get Started”.

Source: hubspot.net

Before you go live, YouTube will first confirm that your channel is verified and that you have no live stream restrictions in the last 90 days. Once that’s all set, you have two options for streaming: “Stream Now” and “Live Events.”

Stream Now is the default option for streaming. Looks something like this:

Source: hubspot.net

This is where you will need to open your encoder and start and stop streaming from there. More information on this can be found here

Live events give you much more control over your live stream. You can preview it before it goes live and you can start and stop the stream whenever you want. Choose live events from your live streaming dashboard once you have enabled it. Here is what it looks like:

Source: hubspot.net

You can learn more about it at https://www.youtube.com/my_live_events

Note that your live stream videos are automatically published as public as soon as you are done recording. You can select “Make archive private when complete” in the “Stream Options” of your live dashboard once done recording to make them private.

9. You can use YouTube as an advertising medium, pretty effectively
Like on Google and Facebook, advertisers help fund the YouTube experience in return for ad exposure. But just like its parent company, YouTube’s algorithms make sure people are not bombarded with advertisements while a video is playing. Here are 5 ad formats you can use and see on YouTube:

Display ads: show up next to the video, and only appear on desktops and laptops. The advertiser gets paid when someone sees or clicks on the ad.

Source: hubspot.net

Overlay ads: appear across the bottom 20% of the video window. These only appear on desktop and laptop computers. You can opt out of the ad anytime.

Source: hubspot.net

TrueView: supports in-stream, skippable, video ads. You can use them before, during, or after the video. Advertisers only pay if 30 seconds of the video ad clip is watched, or the full video is seen.

Source: hubspot.net

Non-skippable video ads: are longer (15 seconds or more) ads that you see before videos and cannot be skipped.

Source: hubspot.net

Midroll ads: are only available for videos over 15 minutes long that appeared among videos like TV commercials. You cannot skip these ads. These ads could be like TrueView, or can be charged at a per impression basis.

Source: hubspot.net

10. You can remove ads from YouTube videos
Yes, you can do this, but for a charge. With YouTube’s subscription service, YouTube Red, you pay $9.99 a month to watch ad free videos. In addition to that, you can save videos on your mobile, and watch them in the background or while offline. You can also use YouTube’s Music App offline, in the background or on audio mode. This is great for people who use YouTube for business purposes: to have 24/7 flexible access.