.@okgo, @BangOlufsen and more: creative ideas of the week

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Between bookmarked sites, Twitter and RSS feeds which showcase advertising, I come across many new creative ideas every week. As with advertising in real life, only a handful are memorable. Here are my picks for the week ending 25th November, 2016: Bang & Olufsen, Morton Salt and more.

1. Bang & Olufsen: humblebragging

Years ago at an advertising planning workshop, I saw a slide which defined Bang & Olufsen’s brand essence as: ‘crafted for the senses’. The rationale was that the brand’s high end audio & video products appeal to both our visual and audio senses. They were not only great looking (different from conventional design in the category) they promised great quality in terms of sound and visuals. I also remember that such a sharp positioning defines the borders for the brand in marketing communications and sponsorship too. For example, with ‘crafted for the senses’ as the brand essence, there is a stronger fit for the brand if they sponsored a classical music concert as opposed to say, rap music. Anyway, I am digressing – the point is that I remember all this even after two decades because of the sharp definition of the brand and the products living up to that promise.

I was reminded of all this when I saw this charming ad for Bang & Olufsen. The insight about consumer behaviour – bragging on social media when a new gadget is acquired is married well with the product truth. Ownership of the brand does trigger bragging.

Agency: Robert/Boisen and LikeMinded, Copenhagen

2. Iceland Tourism: Safe Selfies

Tourism marketing is extremely competitive. Positioning and marketing play a key role in consumer decisions pertaining to travel – not to mention the prevailing political and social situations. Most countries dramatise their tourist attractions – the varied landscape, the cuisine, history and culture are common themes. Iceland positions itself as a country of extreme contrasts. What I liked about the campaign was the idea of an Iceland Academy which wants tourists to get the most out of the country. Such a positioning allows creation of ‘how-to videos’ with tongue firmly in cheek. ‘Even though Iceland has scenery to die for, it doesn’t actually mean you have to die for it’ is the claim in this one.

Agency: The Brooklyn Brothers, London

3. OK Go/Morton Salt: The One Moment

Apparently, OK Go, the Chicago rock band is known for its visually striking music videos. Their new music video is quite funky too – it starts off with a visual which lasts only 4.2 seconds. But the action within those 4-odd seconds is then expanded in slow motion to fit a 4-minute video. Pretty cool.

Agency: Ogilvy

But what does it have to with Morton Salt – whose logo appears at the end, you ask? It is a branded video for a larger cause – Walk Her Walk, which is a promise to make a positive impact in the world. With such branded videos or content marketing efforts, the usual questions remain unanswered in my head:

– what is the brand fit to this video?
– how does it help the brand: if not in sales, then on parameters like affinity and equity

One could argue that it has got a boring category and an hitherto low key brand into the limelight thanks to the articles in trade publications. Still, I cannot see the value of such. Maybe I am wrong. Do comment in.

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