Creativity in Public Relations » creativity Creativity, marketing, great ideas, smart thinking, public relations, insights, inspirations, innovations and more. (Formerly known as Ryan's View) Wed, 05 Aug 2009 00:52:54 +0000 en hourly 1 Old Spice Hands Out The Cash Thu, 18 Jun 2009 01:15:51 +0000 Ryan Peal Everyone loves cash – plain and simple.  While some promotions have prizes and trips and the like, Old Spice is launching a new campaign that is all about winning cash.  The campaign – Swaggerize Your Wallet – provides actually lots of ways to win cash, depending upon how much work you want to put into it – which I think is fair enough.  The campaign is connected to Old Spice’s deodorant line, Swagger, with body spray, deodorant, body wash and more focused on 18 to 24 year old guys (who obviously love cash like the rest of us).  This effort follows the hilarious “SwaggerizeMe” campaign that made it easy for people to create fake articles to show up all over the Internet to make them look “as awesome as possible.”

The challenges are all a bit out there and right on target for the challenge 18 to 24 year old target who needs the right motivation to do anything – something too hard or too cheesy can backfire.  You can win $500 by making a cake in the shape of the Swagger logo, eating it with friends in a Swagger way, videotaping the whole thing and hoping the judges pick yours as the winner.  You can win $1,500 by throwing a Swagger product by at least 65MPH and capturing the whole thing with a radar gun.  Or you can win $2,500 with the old classic “hold up an Old Spice Swagger sign at a big sporting event and be caught on TV.”

The campaign site will have new challenges posted every week, with 2 weeks normally given for people to send in entries to compete.  You can just imagine the great photos and videos – solid Old Spice Swagger content – that will start showing up on YouTube and Flickr and of course all over people’s Facebook profiles too, showing up their cake or fastball.

This is one of my new favorite campaigns for a bunch of reasons.  The challenges have the right balance of effort and return – making a cake to win $500, a cake you can eat so it’s like someone paying you to eat which you have to do anyway.  And the challenges all sort of feel like some 21 year old just randomly thought them up, none have to be explained twice.  And of course the product is in the center of every challenge, so as far as product/brand integration, it’s hard to miss that.

Only thing that could improve would be some added social media connections.  I was unable to find a Twitter feed for the campaign – which you’d think would be an easy way to remind people of the new challenges happening each week.  And nothing on Facebook or YouTube either, but maybe once the campaign kicks off and has some content these areas will pop up too.  And didn’t see a lot of blogger conversations yet about the campaign, was thinking there would be a bloggers-only competition to get the blogosphere talking about the campaign too.

The campaign kicks off this week so we’ll see how it goes.  The good news is that because the campaign is over multiple weeks with more challenges coming up, there is an easy opportunity for the Old Spice people to get some feedback and keep coming up with new challenges, looking for those that really hit the mark and get people talking, playing and videotaping.  Watch this space.

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Canon Photo Competition Zooms In On Charities Wed, 03 Jun 2009 07:34:34 +0000 Ryan Peal We all know a “picture is worth a thousand words,” but thanks to a new campaign from Canon Australia and New Zealand, a picture could be tens of thousands of dollars for your favorite charity. The new “Canon, Creative For A Cause” campaign launched today, grounded in the notion that a single photograph can represent the hopes, dreams or concerns of an entire community or nation or race. (Full disclosure: Canon is a client of H&K)

The campaign is a simple one (the best kind) on multiple fronts. Here’s how it works: visit the site, register (name/email), upload a photo, provide a title and a short description, and now the twist, select a charity you believe is visually represented by your photo and submit. A photo of a homeless person connected to the Hutt Centre working with the homeless definitely grabs your heart strings. And a cute dog reminding us all dogs need a home that Doggie Rescue could provide is another great one. Each definitely showcases the power that one image can have to tell a deeper, broader story.

Once registered you can browse photos and read stories that will make you laugh or cry or anything in between. And the fun part, you can vote for ones that really grab you and stop you in your tracks. The votes go toward awarding the related charity to the winning photo with some big bucks – $60,000 to an Australia one and $25,000 to one in New Zealand. Public votes select the final 24 and a celebrity judging panel picks the winners.

You can share your participation via Facebook, invite friends to vote for your favorite charities/photos and nominate new charities to be included on the site.

What can we learn from this campaign? One thing is certain, simple campaigns work. Everyone has a camera, knows how to take a picture or already has one they probably love – so it’s easy for everyone to enter. Next up, the charity component isn’t just a bolt-on to the effort, it’s grounded in the overall foundation of the campaign – there are lots of photo competitions but Creative For A Cause and the charity connection to each photo definitely sets it apart. Third, it’s easy to share the story of the campaign with your friends, so driving word-of-mouth to increase participation is natural.

It’s also important to note that the campaign directly connects to Canon – a company grounded in photos and making/sharing memories/emotions. Some campaigns can come across as a bit disconnected to the brand or a bit too “try hard.” And of course, my favorite part of this effort, there’s no sales job, no “buy this” no “check out the latest Canon product.” We all know brands need to “sell” products. With that said, the smart and confident brands know they also need to entertain and engage too. Thankfully Canon knows how to balance both needed areas, and thus, brought to life one of my favorite campaigns this year (again, I’m biased, but I think its true).

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Interview: Virgin Mobile Australia Thu, 28 May 2009 01:20:31 +0000 Ryan Peal My mission to speak with some of the smart marketers around the world today leads me down under to Australia, where I recently had a chance to speak with Chris Jones, head of acquisition marketing at Virgin Mobile Australia.  Chris is responsible for creating awareness of Virgin Mobile products and services, showcasing how they can make someone’s life better.  As with previous guests Chris tackled “5 Big Questions of Creativity.”  Here we go:

1.    Why is creativity important to your brand and business?  We operate in a competitive category where it’s easy to be drawn into price wars with the competition.  As a challenger brand operating with fewer resources we have to leverage the power of our ideas to gain cut through in a very crowded marketplace, and that’s where creativity is a major contributor of our success.  This becomes an even greater priority in light of the recent merger activities in the telco space.

2.    Where do you find creative ideas/thoughts for inspiration?  We look to understand the consumer’s mindset to understand what’s important or relevant to them right now.  With this as a foundation, we then try to generate ideas based on what we believe the consumer is open to accepting or wanting to hear at this point in time.  Listening to the customer in this way creates a platform from which strong ideas can make their way to the fore.

3.    What do you do to encourage/nurture creativity in your business/campaigns?  The pace of our business often makes this a difficult task.  We try to create an environment where employees feel empowered to take ownership of their campaigns.  In addition we really look to our agency partners to push us and push our thinking.  We’re not where we’d like to be with this yet but we’re moving in the right direction.

4.    Can you share an example of a creative campaign that really stuck with you, and why?  I am very impressed with Turkcell, a wireless provider in Turkey and their award winning efforts around gnctrkcll, a 15 million strong youth mobile club.  They’ve created a new revenue stream that adds value for their customers and for brand partners trying to reach their customers through the mobile phone as a platform.  The concept and campaign are very innovative and creative leveraging products & technologies that are widely available (ringback tones & their delivery platform) in a new way that better meets the needs of their consumers.

5.    Can you provide one short phrase or sentence of your definition of creativity:  the application of insights to deliver value for consumers

Virgin Mobile continues to be a force down under, and with Chris and the rest of his team leveraging creativity to its fullest, it’s easy to see why.

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Sydney Is On Fire Wed, 27 May 2009 01:11:09 +0000 Ryan Peal On fire with creativity that is.  Last night Sydney’s new multi-week, multi-event smorgasbord of creativity exploded on the city as part of “Vivid” – the largest lights, music and ideas festival in the Southern Hemisphere.  The festival is a playground of stimulation and inspiration for any creative mind, turning city monuments such as the Opera House, Harbour Bridge and more into canvases for lights of all varieties to come to life.  Here are some of the highlights:

Luminous.  The ambient maniac superstar Brian Eno has been let loose on the city, with amazing light and art installations appearing in his wake.  Visuals that make your head spin and your brain in need of a scratch to fully take in the views all around you.

Fire Water.  This one I can’t wait for, it’s an artistic recreation of the 1814 story of a convict ship – The Three Bees – that exploded into flames right on the harbour.  The event promises “fire sculptures, floating lanterns, light installations” and some amazing visual feasts re-enacting the explosion.  Yes, this one you have to grab some popcorn and a front row seat by the harbour.

Smart Light Sydney.  Crazy light sculptures, projections and more advanced technology used in clever and unique ways will illuminate various parts of Sydney with works from all over the world coming down under.

Creative Sydney.  This is an extensive lecture series with lectures/events hosted by a mixed bag of people from various backgrounds and philosophies all doing their best to showcase the brilliance of the creative community in Sydney.  After hosting last year’s event I’m thrilled to just be an attendee of what will no doubt be an incredible series of conversations.

As Europe is celebrating an entire year of Creativity and Innovation it’s great that Sydney is also showing off the creative smarts of the city.  If only every city around the world would showcase the power of creativity, just think of the world we’d create.

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“Reject The Recession” Scores For Small Business Thu, 14 May 2009 03:26:22 +0000 Ryan Peal Australia’s top morning news program – Sunrise on Network 7 – recently unveiled an extremely clever campaign that grabs the GFC by the neck and body slams it to the ground with their rallying cry of Reject The Recession.” As with lots of countries around the world Australia has been impacted by the global financial drama going on and is having or is about to have (depending on who you talk to) some type of recession.  But providing yet another example of Aussie’s optimistic and “give it a go” attitude, the new campaign by Sunrise empowers and encourages the country to get out there and beat the recession out of Australia.

The campaign – Reject The Recession – makes it extremely easy for businesses to get involved and for consumers to benefit.  It goes something like this – if you are a small business (those with under 20 employees) you sign-up to a directory of companies rejecting the recession and pledge to provide a 10% discount to any member of the Sunrise Family that comes into your store.  The Sunrise Family consists of people who sign-up with their name and email to get info from the program and special offers from advertisers (a type of club).  Once companies sign-up they are listed on the site along with any type of information or special offer they want to include (and contact information).  They also download from the campaign site a “Reject the Recession” poster that they display in their store (with Sunrise branding and the mention of the 10% discount for Sunrise Family members).  Genius on all fronts.

Why I love it?  Lots of reasons.  First up, the campaign positions Sunrise as a program that supports the local small business, the heroes of the country (and there are lots of them).  Second, Sunrise looks like they are offering the 10% discount to consumers.  Third, huge word-of-mouth happening as the amount of businesses participating is already at more than 7,000 (it was about 4,000 last night), so the word is out there and people are listening.  Fourth, Sunrise gets free advertising space everytime a company signs up and prints out a poster to display in their business.  Fifth, huge database builder for Sunrise – who wouldn’t want to get 10% off stuff just by signign up to a club.  Sixth, low environment impact – no mass mailings, no brochures, etc.  And finally, Sunrise uses their national broadcast reach to keep driving participation and awareness.

A brilliant campaign across the board.  One of those “I wish I had thought of that” campaigns.  A great one to think about when developing your next campaign.  Go Sunrise!

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Friday Fun With Wordle and Balls Fri, 08 May 2009 00:58:31 +0000 Ryan Peal I’m sure its been proven somewhere in the scientific community that Friday afternoon playtime is necessary if not required, providing a way for your brain to transition from a hard work week to the casual weekend.  If it hasn’t been proven then I think I may need to apply for a research grant and do it myself.

But until I make time to do that, I’ll go on the old saying that “there’s nothing more practical than a good theory” and provide some Friday fun that has the potential to let your brain prepare for the weekend.

First up, Wordle.  On Wordle you cut and paste text from entire documents or blog feeds or even your delicious bookmarks and turns all of these random words into crazy word clouds.  You can see from the visual above – a Worldle of This Blog – how it works, providing more weight and size to words repeated more often than others, creating a very cool way to get a different type of summary of what kind of stuff I write about here.  I’ve started using it to look at the underlynig messages in famous speeches or even news releases, providing a visual way to see what the person was trying to say.  One recent news release produced big words for “strategy” and “care” and “future” which was spot on as it was about a new charity program for a client.  You can change color, directions and fonts for hours of fun.

And lets talk about balls for a moment, dropping balls.  No, not those kind of balls (get your mind out of the gutter), Dropping Balls is a very cool game from Google that was discovered as part of the company’s Chrome Experiments – an ongoing open search for cool things programmers can create using Java and browsers (the stuff that makes stuff work online).  At first it seems very simple, but if you start trying to make a song or keep as many balls as you can on the screen you’ll find an hour has gone by and you are still playing with balls . . . it happens.

Hope these two Friday distractions help provide an easy transition into the weekend.  And please don’t visit these sites unless its on Friday, it just wouldn’t be right for your brain on any other day.

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Music Lovers Celebrate “We Are Hunted” Sun, 03 May 2009 23:00:28 +0000 Ryan Peal Let’s kick off the week with an amazing example of creative thinking in action that also is extremely simple and will have you wondering why you didn’t think of it first.  Today’s focus:  a new website called “We Are Hunted” that rocks in multiple ways.

As Madonna once sang, “Music makes the people come together” and more and more these days the people all meet up online, searching for their favorite new artists or for up and coming bands, for the music that everyone will be listening to tomorrow (we just want to hear it first).  There are millions and millions of pages online that talk about music and artists and what is hot and what is breaking and it can all be extremely overwhelming, not to mention time consuming.  The amazing people behind We Are Hunted have answered the prayers of music lovers everywhere, providing a simple and fun way to find and celebrate new music all around the world.

The site at its core is an online music chart.  But the creative brilliance of the site is actually its an online music chart that listens to what is happening in online music across blogs, social networks, forums, Twitter and P2P networks to chart the top songs online.

Most of us are used to charts based on number of albums sold or more recently, number of downloads, and the likes of Ryan Seacrest in the US and Kyle & Jackie O in Australia counting down the hits.  Most likely the hits on the radio are ones you’ve heard, and heard, and heard.  Now, with We Are Hunted, we can actually look for music based on online buzz, passion by fans and overall pockets of excitement around the world around new music.  The charts (singles and bands) are updated hourly, as close as real time as you can get (for now).

The site is extremely simple and to the point – simply scroll through visuals of bands and click on links to band sites, fan pages or how to buy their music.  And, thankfully, each song is streamed on the site in its entirety so you can quickly hear what just may be your next favorite song.

Readers of my blog know that I’m a big believer of ideas that are simple but powerful.  A lot of time we think of big, complex campaigns that turn out to have so many moving parts that it’s easy for something to fall down and ruin the whole thing.  Thankfully, efforts like We Are Hunted are alive and well, reminding us to keep it brilliant but simple.  Music to my ears!

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Videos “going viral” latest marketing hope (Beyonce, Trident, Gillette) Tue, 28 Apr 2009 12:44:11 +0000 Ryan Peal Seems like everywhere you look a brand is trying to be connected to the next (or the current) viral video madness that is entertaining the world.  Sometimes brands do it well while sometimes they seem like they are just tagging on and don’t exactly mix in right.  All are just new ways to entertain people enough that hopefully they want to share it with a friend for instant credibility and endorsement (versus straight product advertising focusing on features).  Now its all about driving conversations, talkability and buzz.  And the best part, the ideas for entertaining short videos that could “go viral” can come from anyone – all that is needed are companies willing to experiment and see what happens.

For today’s class we’ll take a look at two different approaches to video entertainment by two different brands (and two different size budgets).  First up, Trident, who recently jumped on the Beyone “Single Ladies” worldwide phenomenon, which shows no signs of stopping.  Recently Trident hired 100 ladies to slip into leotards and hit the strees of London at Picadilly Circus, performing the Beyonce dance number for unsuspecting crowds.  The focus, however, was just getting the content filmed and then posted on YouTube – with some strategic placement on some forums and blogs to drive awareness.  I just one week the video is nearly the magic 1,000,000 views number.  The performance was connected to Trident giving away tickets to an upcoming free Beyonce concert – and has a reference at the end of the video, directing people to visit a campaign site to win tickets.

Next up, some supermen starring in a new Gillette video – the supermen being Tiger Woods, Roger Federer and Derek Jeter, all spokespersons for the razor megabrand.  The brand brought the three together, dressed them up in some stylin’ 70’s outfits, dropped some “staying alive” music into the background and away they went.  The success of the video depends on the “look at what they got these big sports heroes to wear” factor, hoping it is enough to get people to tell a friend about it.  The idea doesn’t have the same talkability as Beyonce (just because that one already has a life of its own online) but the brand does a good job at directing people to a campaign website where people can try and win one of 500 free Gillette razors given away every day for 30 days.  You have to enter your name/email/address to enter and you can enter as much as you want (but only one razor per person).

For me I think both are great efforts, driving buzz for both brands and not doing any type of hard sell.  I wish the Trident Beyonce dance would have had some connection to the chewing gum – like all of the dancers putting in a stick of Trident at the beginning of the routine, or blowing a bubble in the middle of it, or some connection back to the brand.  It looks like a classic “sponsorship” instead of creating something new or putting a little twist on it.  It works with regard to being fun enough that people want to pass it along to friends, but think it was a missed opportunity to add something new to it. With regard to Gillette, I wish it just went a bit further on the “on my God” factor to motivate people to watch it again and send it to friends.  It’s fun but, in my opinion, a funny plot twist (beyond the platform shoes) or visual or something could have ensured it was a huge success.

Hats off to the people behind both videos, as the more brands experiment and try new things we all actually win – people get a new kind of entertainment, more free stuff is up for grabs, imaginations get bigger and hopefully boring ads of the past are gone forever – and true brand engagement is here to stay.

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Twitter Weekly Updates for 2009-04-26 Sun, 26 Apr 2009 05:30:00 +0000 Ryan Peal
  • Please Retweet: Sign this petition : “Save the Giant Slide” – #
  • UNESCO + 32 institutions today launch World Digital Library — manuscripts, maps, rare books, films, prints, photos #
  • Today’s the day – go see EARTH the movie & Disney plants a tree (only opening day – hurry up already) #
  • Playing with new Social Media Index tool, easy snapshot of brands showing up in online conversations #yam #
  • Powered by Twitter Tools.

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    Ashton Kutcher, Twitter, H&K Help End Malaria Sat, 25 Apr 2009 00:40:21 +0000 Ryan Peal In one of the biggest examples to date of the new ways people hear about things and get involved (beyond hearing from traditional media channels like TV, radio and newspapers) Ashton Kutcher and CNN use the power of Twitter to drive awareness by millions of the campaign “Malaria No More.”

    It all started with a magical number – 1 million followers – who would be the first to get 1,000,000 people to follow them on the microblogging sensation taking over the world, Twitter.   Ashton, we are so on a first name basis, has been a huge ambassador for spreading the fun and power of Twitter, providing people with a fun peek inside his world but also guiding people toward causes and events that do things to help the world.  As people love competition, both Ashton and CNN were both gaining big followers recently, with the big 1,000,000 finish line (or starting line perhaps) coming strong.  Both Ashton and CNN were approached to celebrate the winner to the big magical number with a donation (and related awareness) to fund the purchase of mosquito nets to help combat Malaria in Africa.

    The traditional media (like CNN) was attracted well, like flies, to the competition and covered the race as well as the related finish line donation.  The big day happened last week and Ashton showed up on Larry King to talk about his win and of course talk about the Malaria No More campaign.  Both Ashton and CNN donated $100,000 to purchase 10,000 bed nets for the campaign.  (watch the video here)

    Inspired by Ashton’s feat, Malaria No More wants to build on this momentum and use Twitter to generate even more awareness leading up to World Malaria Day this Saturday, April 25. Their ultimate goal?  Fund 1 million bed nets in the next five days.  A tall order perhaps, but as the CNN race demonstrated, combining social and traditional media can yield impressive results.

    On Thursday, Ashton announced that 100 of his best Twitter friends (including the likes of Oprah, Sean “P Diddy” Combs, Jimmy Fallon, Ryan Seacrest) will tweet about malaria on World Malaria Day, driving extensive awareness and hopefully traffic to the website for people to make as little as a $10 donation to help the campaign.

    This campaign has a ton of key learnings for us to think about.  First off, of course, is the combination of social networking (like Twitter) with traditional media (CNN) to maximise both channels and work in tandem to drive awareness and traffic to a campaign site.   Secondly, celebrities actually leveraging their star power to shine the spotlight on an issue that doesn’t somehow benefit them is extremely powerful.  There also is something to be said about a challenge, a goal or some big number to reach – people like being involved and being a part of a movement so the 1,000,000 goal worked well.  And the Malaria No More website does its job by having a simple homepage to guide people to easy ways to read more and to donate (sometimes sites can be so busy that they lose people who took the time to visit).

    Full disclosure – Malaria No More is a nonprofit organization near and dear to our hearts here at H&K through our current work with a broad malaria coalition (in conjunction with the Football World Cup 2010 in South Africa).

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