Category Archives: Marketing

65 years of innovation!

Honda UK and W+K London have launched a two-minute brand film that celebrates the brand’s creations over the past 65 years – it follows a teaser campaign of idents promoting Honda’s sponsorship of Channel 4 documentaries.

The film shows us a pair of engineer’s hands morphing one famous company invention into another – from lawnmowers to spacesuits to jets – demonstrating Honda’s great innovational spirit. Although this spirit has pushed the company to be the largest engine manufacturer and racing company in the world, this film (directed by Nexus Productions‘ Smith & Foulkes) brings it all back to the basics; one screw, two hands and “The Power of an Engineer’s Dreams”. And beautifully done.

Back in 2005, Wieden produced a similar brand film for Honda whereby a range of their products (mostly automotive then) smoothly convert into one another. Although a completely different execution, the brief was probably near identical. Apparently, Honda needs to keep reminding people of their inventiveness and versatility.



Coca Cola opens up a can of happiness on Italy

Following a year of political turmoil, economic uncertainty and religious upheaval, Coca Cola sought to brighten Italians’ moods by tweaking the design of the Coca Cola can to create a smiling ‘Happy Can’.

Posters carrying a single top-down image of a smiling ‘Happy Can’ with the words ‘open happiness’ beneath the can closure were erected in Rome and Milan. Coca Cola aims to bring the can to shops in the near future.


Anti-abuse advertisement for the ANAR (Aid to Children and Adolescents at Risk) Foundation in Spain


A new campaign for a child welfare organisation The ANAR (Aid to Children and Adolescents at Risk) Foundation in Spain has created an advertisement that can only be seen by children.

The campaign, created by ad agency Grey Spain, hopes to empower abused children by secretly giving them a number to call for help without alerting their abuser even if their abuser happens to be standing next to them.

ANAR was concerned that if the anti-abuse phone number is both visible to children and adults, the adults may possible dissuade their child from seeking help.

The ad agency has used a lenticular printing technique, which is typically used in novelty postcards and kids’ stationery products. The technology produces printed images with an illusion of depth, allowing the display of different messages when viewed from different angles.

Anyone under four feet, three inches can see bruising on a child’s face in the poster, along with ANAR’s hotline number and copy that reads, ‘If somebody hurts you, phone us and we’ll help you.’

Anyone taller can simply see the child without the bruise and the line. ‘Sometimes child abuse is only visible to the child suffering it.’








Do customers always know what they want?

new_1891904_customerSome managers, particularly in high-tech firms, question whether a strong focus on customer needs and wants is always a good thing. They argue that customers cannot always articulate their needs and wants, in part because they do not know what kinds of products or services are technically possible.

Others have pointed out that some very successful new products were developed with little or no market research. The laws of probability dictate that some new products will succeed and more will fail regardless of how much is spent on marketing research. But the critics of a strong customer focus argue that paying too much attention to customer needs and wants can stifle innovation and lead firms to produce nothing but marginal improvements or line extensions of products and services that already exist.

Although many consumers may lack the technical sophistication necessary to articulate their needs or wants for cutting-edge technical innovations, the same is not true for industrial purchasers. About half of all manufactured goods in most countries are sold to other organizations rather than individual consumers. Many high-tech industrial products are initiated at the urging of one or more major customers , developed with their cooperation and refined at customer beta sites.

As for consumer markets, one way to resolve the conflict between the views of technologists and marketers is to consider the two components of R&D. First there is basic research, and then there is development – the conversion of technical concepts into actual salable products or services. Most consumers have little knowledge of scientific advancements and emerging technologies. Therefore, they usually don’t play a role in influencing how firms allocate their basic research dollars.

However, a customer focus is critical to development. Someone within the organization must have either the insight and market experience or the substantial customer input necessary to decide what product to develop from a new technology, what benefits it will offer to customers, and whether customers will value those benefits sufficiently to make the product a commercial success.

Often, a new technology must be developed into a concrete product concept before consumers can react to it and its commercial potential can be assessed. In other cases consumers can express their needs or wants for specific benefits even though they do not know what is technically feasible. They can tell you what problems they are having with current products and services and what additional benefits they would like from new ones. For instance, before Apple introduced the iPod, few consumers would have asked for such a product because they were unfamiliar with the possibilities of digitization and miniaturization in the electronics industry. But if a market research had asked whether they would buy a product smaller than a Sony Walkman that could store and play thousands of songs they could download from their computer without messing with cassette tapes or CDs, many probably would have said, “Certainly!”.

A strong customer focus is not inconsistent with the development of technically innovative products, nor does it condemn a firm to concentrate on satisfying only current, articulated customer wants. More important, although firms can sometimes succeed in the short run even though they ignore customer desires, a strong customer focus usually pays big dividends in terms of market share and profit over the long haul.

Source: Walker O. C. and Mullins, J.W., Marketing Strategy: A decision-Focused Approach, McGraw-Hill

Breakthrough Marketing | The Virgin Story

Virgin Group


Virgin, the brainchild of the UK’s  Richard Branson, vividly illustrates the power of strong traditional and non-traditional marketing communications. Branson emerged in the 1970s with his innovative Virgin Records. He signed unknown artists no one would touch and began a marathon of publicity that continues to this day. He has since sold Virgin Records but created over 200 companies worldwide whose combined revenues exceed US $5 billion.

The Virgin name – the third most respected brand in Britain – and the Branson personality help to sell diverse products and services such as planes, trains, finance, soft drinks, music, mobile phones, cars, wine, publishing, even bridal wear. Clearly Branson can create interest in almost any business he wants by simply attaching the name ‘Virgin’ to it. Virgin Mobile exemplifies this strategy. Branson supplies the brand and a small initial investment and takes a majority control, and big-name partners come up with the cash.

Some marketing and financial critics point out that he is diluting the brand, that it covers too many businesses. Branson has had some fumbles: Virgin Cola, Virgin Cosmetics and Virgin Vodka have all disappeared. But despite the diversity all the lines connote value for money, quality, innovation, fun, and a sense of competitive challenge. The Virgin Group is always looking for new opportunities in markets with underserved, overcharged customers and complacent competition.

A master of the strategic publicity stunt, Branson took on stodgy, overpriced British Airways by wearing World War I – era flying gear to announce the formation of Virgin Atlantic in 1984. The first Virgin flight took off laden with celebrities and media and equipped with a brass brand, waiters from Maxim’s in white tie and tails, and free flowing champagne. The airborne party enjoyed international press coverage and millions of dollars’ worth of free publicity.

Although Branson eschews traditional merket research he stays in touch through constant customer contact. When he first set up Virgin Atlantic he called 50 customers every month to chat and get their feedback. He appeared in airports to rub elbows with customers, and if a plane was delayed he handed out gift certificates to a Virgin Megastore or discounts on future travel. Virgin’s marketing campaigns include press and radio advertisements, direct mail and point-of-sale material. Virgin Mobile, for instance, rolled out a postcard advertising campaign offering consumers discounts on new phones.

To identify where listeners to Virgin’s Web – based Virgin radio reside, the company created a VIP club. Listeners join the club by giving their post code, which then lets Virgin Radio target promotions and advertising to specific locations, just as a local radio station would. Once known as the ‘hippie capitalist’, Sir Richard Branson continues to look for new businesses and to generate publicity in his characteristic charismatic style.



When Facebook met Linkedin, this is what happened!

This is hilarious!

Brand Manifesto | Make your brand stand out!


A brand manifesto, is an incredibly powerful tool for entrepreneurs and marketers who want to create a brand that “means something”.

Effective branding is about creating an emotional engagement and connection with your audience. A manifesto, is a public declaration of the principles and values of the brand. It sets the tone and the expectations customers should have of your brand and provides a roadmap for creating consistent experiences with your brand at every touch point.

A meaningful, relevant and engaging manifesto that your brand can live by, and your customers can relate to sets your brand apart and aligns your message with the hopes, aspirations and values of your customers.

An authentic and genuine manifesto can help form an emotional attachment between your brand and your audience, and provides customers a signal to their peers that their and your values are aligned. This let your audience self express, through identifying with your brand’s values and sharing your brand message within their social group.

If you’re a startup or an entrepreneur seeking to develop a richer and more meaningful experience for your customers then consider developing a brand manifesto that declares your values and principles and speaking in real terms to your customers about the issues they care about too.

Some great examples of brand manifesto’s include:

Weber Shandwick

We are engaging – always.
We are provocative, original, surprising – always.
We are conversation-starters, headline-grabbers, attention-getters, sales-drivers, reputation-guarders, brand-builders – always.
We believe in advocacy – always.
And we stick together and work together – always.
We are driven by our clients and their success – always.
We are determined to succeed, improve, excel – always.
We’ve always been this way, and always will.
Weber Shandwick. engaging, always.





The North Face