Web thinktank-international.blogspot.com

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Thinktank guest-edits brand-e.biz

We have been engaged in a fun one-day co-operation with our favourite comms publication online, brand-e.biz. Tomorrow Thinktank will be guest-editing the site - so we've written about, commented on and selected some of the non traditional campaigns covered on the site. Apart from being questioned on our stance on the social media as research and isn't 'traditional' qual ever so passé debate, we've really enjoyed for once not having to remain impartial on creative campaigns. A refreshing change from having to keep a moderator's poker face... ('I don't have an opinion about this ad- what do YOU think?') My two favourite campaigns had retro themes - posters n for IBM using beautifully stylish retro graphics and Unilever doing a bit more than jumping on the Mad Men band waggon with a tie-in of some of its brands which have been around since the 60s. We also quite liked a worthy effort from P&G to support a clean water campaign. It contrasted nicely with a Vogue Italia photo shoot on the gulf oil spill. Tasteless? Ingenious? Neither? Nick remained undecided. We enjoyed looking at brand-e's first time publication of the Viral Video chart - have to say that the brillance of the Old Spice ads stands out even more against the rest of, mainly US and somewhat feeble competition… We also had a say in the selection of the stories that would be written about - and decided with the editorial team to keep some things on the slush pile … for example two websites - one for Gap without clear purpose and one for Huggies supposedly showcasing content by babies (highchaircritics.com). One for dedicated new parents maybe but far too cutesy for our taste! Look forward to it all going up tomorrow!

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

More wealth, less logos?

When we Tankies travel around the world doing research, we always keep our eyes open for any interesting, innovative ways marketeers have used to reach their audiences. These days, we sometimes come across really nice experiential executions on our travels. A few weeks ago, in Zurich, though, what struck me the most was the absence of advertising. Walking along the side of the lake, where a lot of people hang out, in outdoor cafes and restaurants or just lounging chatting to friends, there was barely a marketing message to be seen. Despite a captive audience on-shore, pedalos had no advertising on them and boats were bobbing on the water, hidden by neutral covers with no logos. Posters were very rare. I finally did come across a bike-rack, appropriately sponsored by a bike-shop. But very little else. Away from the lake, at the local S-bahn station, posters were also relatively sparse. What this did mean was that those that were there, and other efforts such as sample hand-outs, stood out a lot more. Perhaps it had something to do with the more upmarket nature of the neighbourhood. While much of the city's advertising does seem more discreet than that you see elsewhere - the trams, for example, only have a simple strip up top - clearly Zurich as a whole has plenty of outdoor advertising around. But perhaps those that have more, and pay more (as all Swiss clearly have to do, for many things) are on some level coughing up the cash for a life less cluttered?