Idea of the day: Pick your best idea, then execute all of them

Coca Cola in Israel have done an interesting thing. As part of the global (or at least multi-market) idea of personalisation, just like everyone else they have received the centrally-funded tech to create personalised bottles. No doubt you might have heard some mention of this campaign in the UK.

Usually at this point they (and their agencies) would have a stretch session, come up with a load of ideas about how to activate this, and then pick the best one and sink the budget into it.

But instead they have backed a whole raft of different ideas activating the same thing. I’ve found three so far, and I suspect there are others to come. Each one of these is the sort of campaign masthead that clients usually put into play one at a time:

Personalised road – using a simple app, digitised posters recognise people and put their name up as they get near.

Social-powered robot – as a way of extending the footprint of their sponsored beach party thing, they have built a robot that people can take control of via social channels, and go for a wander (warning: slightly odd video).

Mini-me – win a 3D printed version of yourself via an app contest, to launch the new mini sized bottles (but keeping within the brand theme of personalisation).

Obviously rolling the dice (at least) three times like this requires the budget to do so, but it would be interesting to know if these multiple innovations had a cumulative effect on brand perception greater than the individual parts.

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Idea of the day: Connecting action with product

This is really two ideas, or perhaps two version of the same idea.

There has been a real fad for quirky vending recently, not least by Coca Cola who tend to be the best at executing it. The best ideas in this space, i think, are the ones which successfully connect a desired needstate or action with the product. This means that all the social sharing that hopefully happens with the resulting piece of content is constantly serving to underline when you should want/need/buy.

These two ideas come from quite different briefs, but end up executing in a very similar way. The first is for Douwe Egberts coffee in South Africa, where they rewarded those in airport who yawned with a free cup of coffee.

The second is from Amstel beer in (I think) Russia, which rewarded people who took a break for 3 minutes on a busy street.

In both cases they identify a behaviour that they want to associate the product with, and embed it in a high traffic – and camera-friendly – location. How else could we do this?

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Idea of the (yester)day: racing with ghosts

We spend a lot of our time advising our clients on how to create culturally relevant associations, the better their audiences might remember or consider them. A few brands already have extremely valuable associations, and the challenge in that instance is to activate using them in a sensitive way – so as not to demean or damage what has already been built up. Shell & Ferrari is one such that springs to mind.

I am an unashamed petrolhead, and make no apologies for opening my week of idea of the day with a car idea. Actually, I do apologise for doing so a day & a bit late.

Honda have fared better than most at preserving their relationship with racing legend Ayrton Senna in an unsullied state, having been his F1 team for much of his success. Speaking as a motor racing fan, I can tell you there is probably no modern driver who is so universally regarded with admiration, and indeed love. The scale of the success of the excellent film Senna is testament to that.

This means that Honda have a sticky conundrum to face; on the one hand, an incredibly valuable cultural association. On the other, a responsibility to treat that association with the reverence it deserves – or face the irrevocably brand-damaging wrath of the worlds’ automotive influencers.

Honda clearly have considered this carefully, and as a way of launching their ‘internavi – drive with the power of data’ message have turned to their archives in an extremely clever way.

Honda were pioneers of telemetry in F1 – that is, the system that records every small piece of data on a car’s performance and allows analysis in incredible detail. In 1989 Senna smashed the Suzuka lap record during qualifying, and using that data from 24 years ago, alongside some weapons-grade speakers and a large quantity of LED lasers they have brought his lap back to life.

I know it is geeky, and potentially rather niche. But there is something extraordinary in what they have done; petrolheads can be a sentimental bunch, and the reverence with which Honda treat the legend of Senna is tangible. As a piece of content it is compelling. As a way of communicating to the car cognoscenti the message that Honda know what they are doing when it comes to data, it is extremely simple & effective – and also cleverly makes it clear that Senna’s ghost is in good hands.

Turn on YouTube’s English captions, unless you read Japanese.

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Numberwang ii: Uth

This weeks scary numbers all sourced in the traditional nickable style:

3mn 20-34 year olds still live at home with their parents. This number increased 20% between 2007-2011 (source: ONS)

(here is a stealable image)

at home


15.1% of 16-24 year olds are NEETs (Neither in Employment ,Education or Training) (Source: Dept of Education) – this number is 13.8% of all 18 year olds

Those who are in Education aren’t necessarily getting their dream job anymore – there has been a big surge in share of lower skilled jobs for graduates

recent grad employment

Life is sweet, happy days . . .



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OMG, the oral care category just got interesting!

OMG, the oral care category just got interesting!

colgate station

If anyone, like me, was battling through the crowds first thing in the morning at Waterloo Station last week, you may have been startled to see a very large group of people queuing up to get a free Colgate electric toothbrush, in return for swapping their current electric toothbrush.

In fact, according to reports, some folk were so determined to get their hands on one of these new brushes they started queuing up at 5 am in the morning to ensure they did. (Or perhaps this last point was hyped up a bit by Colgate’s PR Agency…)

And there was much hype. At some point, a bit later on in the morning, the crowds were so big and rowdy with excitement to get hold of one of these amazing toothbrushes, the Colgate staff were told by Waterloo station officials to stop giving them out in case a riot broke out!

So a big win for Colgate and a clever way of getting people to change their behaviour and trial Colgate’s shiny new electric brush, probably switching from a competitive electric toothbrush.

Click on the link for more information:

However, it back fired for Colgate as apparently some people took to twitter and the like, bemoaning the fact they didn’t get an electric toothbrush. So, all in all, it was a bit of a PR disaster for Colgate.

Then, to matters even worse, a competitive electric toothbrush brand, Phillip’s Sonicare, rubbed it in a bit more by producing a brilliant piece of tactical press in the Evening Standard, the like of which we haven’t seen for a while.

See below.

philips sonicare


In a desperate attempt to try and claw back some credibility, Colgate took the swap online and hiked up the number of electric brushes to give away, and calm was restored in the oral care category once again.

So the lesson here is, if you are going to put on an event and give stuff away, make sure you’ve got enough to give away. Or else you might have an angry mob on your hands…

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