Archive for January, 2010

Ahh Meh

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Euro RSCG were lovely. I was horrid.

So, where do I start, the bit where I’m excited, ready, prepared, and raring to go, or the bit where I’m sitting back in my chair, feeling like I’ve punched my own face over and over again for the past 2 hours.

Communication is all about projecting your values, beliefs, capabilities, characteristics and vision. It is about showing who, or what you are; sending a message that propels the core being. It is about reaching your target, and getting through the ‘noise‘. It is about starting with the core, and projecting it accurately and consistently.

And that is exactly what I did not do.

Yesterday, I was invited down to Euro RSCG for a ‘chat’. I walked into the plush, airy agency with a smile and the clicking of my shoes. Sat in a glassed office, in a rather comfy chair, I waited and gathered myself. And so it began.

I blurted out cliché after cliché. “So what makes you tick?” My reply, “Advertising, digital media, technology…” Really? Is that all I had? It was like the creative bone in my body had just frozen over. Gone. Vanished. Leaving an empty space of blackness and void. “What’s your favorite, or most notable campaign that we’ve done?” I knew plenty, there were the car ones, the drinks ones, the medical ones, the flu ones. I searched my mind, like I would my iTouch cover flow album library. Swiping across, nothing. And again, nothing. Swipingsearching, scouring, looking for something to appear. Nothing. Until I blurted some stuff about a car and a robot, and added some more clichés into the mix for good measure. By now I knew it was going well.

However, that was all mediocre, I could live with that. They were things I knew, I’d learnt, or read about, and in that moment my mind had simply gone blank. But what I am, and what I’m about, and what I believe in, well surely that I could put across in the precise and accurate manner I know so much about, right? Wrong.

Looking back at it, I used the word “creative”, or “creativity” not once during the whole conversation. And I assure you, I was not trying to make any sort of statement by doing so, or not doing so. I spoke of new media, digital technologies and the digital age like it simply referred to social media. What on earth was going on?! Never before had I restricted or pigeonholed the notion of digital. It’s not a medium, it represents so much more. It’s not a separate entity, but an integration of what already exists. Where had all this ‘noise’ come from to distort my messages and communication?!

I can now hear you ask, “Did it get any better?” The simple answer is, no.

However, everything we undertake, go through and perform is a process, and as much as it is a cliché(and we all know how much I love them), it is essential to learn from our actions, and doings. What you believe, or what you say, is not always what is heard. It is imperative to be clear, and precise. If it’s something of value and meaning, it will not need to be sugar coated, or delivered in a fancy parcel or bow tie.

And that is something I learnt not only about myself, but about products and brands too.  I didn’t want to finish this post with a deeper meaning, or wider significance, but I shall, because it’s what I took from my experience.

On a final note, it was a pleasure meeting the lovely people of Euro RSCG and visiting their trendy agency.  A thank you to both Joanne and Patrick for taking the time to see me, you were both lovely, and I’m sorry I was horrid.

Integrated Calling

At its core, integrated marketing represents the fluency of a campaign that is consistent throughout a variety of messages, marketing ideas, and interactions with its target audience. Every aspect of a campaign should add value to the overall idea or message. The messages, in any form, need to be rooted to the core campaign.

The evolution of digital media and technologies has allowed marketeers the flexibility, and opportunity to interact with consumers on a variety of levels, and platforms. As a result, integrated marketing has evolved, and has come to also represent the integration of a variety of media and channels when executing a campaign. One of the biggest, and most influential of the these changes has been that of social media.

To marketeers, social media is powerful, essential and engaging. It is interactive and easily accessible. It allows conversation, and transparency. And now, it also gives you an opportunity to fly halfway around the world, to California to be exact, and live a life of utter luxury.

California Tourism has taken social media, infused it with the concept of crowdsourcing, and chopped it up into small consumable pieces for us to play with. You might recently have seen an advert for California Tourism on TV, it’s also on YouTube with a slight twist.

Want to be in a new ad? Want to win a trip to California? Want plenty of money to spend in designer boutiques when you get there? Want to bump into celebrities at VIP locations? Want a life of luxury, where the sun always shines? Maybe some surfing in the morning, and wine tasting in the afternoon? Of course you do!

The campaign integrates a variety of social media platforms, in order to invite members of the UK public to audition for a part in a new commercial by uploading YouTube videos onto www.californiacalling.co.uk However, every message, idea and interaction relates directly back to the overall campaign, which is essentially to drive tourism to California. Everything you win, everything you see, everything you can have the opportunity to do, is what California is all about.

It utilises the key strengths of social media by allowing the campaign to be accessible, engaging, consistent and interactive. From Facebook, to Twitter, through to YouTube, it allows for conversation, and draws your peers to engage. It is a social media campaign that is not selling a product, service or place, yet it draws you in to interact with it, and then opens an opportunity for you to consider the true value. It is a campaign perfectly put together, and executed precisely. It is what an integrated campaign of ‘today‘ looks like.

And at the end of all this, if you do make a video, and explain why you should appear in the ad, and think about all the lovely things you could be doing, but then you don’t win, is California not just a rather pleasant place to visit and explore anyway?