NIke “dominating Olympics brand buzz”

Campaign magazine yesterday ran a report from the "Socialympics" panel debate on the London 2012 Olympics, which it described as "the biggest social media event ever".

The article says:

"Adidas is currently getting around 0.4% of all conversations around the Olympics associated with its brand. Its non-sponsor rival, Nike, is dominating Olympics brand buzz with 7.7%. A lot of this can be attributed to Nike's #makeitcount campaign – a runaway social media success… The campaign resonates with sports fans by associating Nike with training for the Olympics and cleverly skirts Olympic ambush marketing rules."

Goes to show, if you don't have a huge marketing budget, you need to #makeitcount.



Lactofree – listen up, hedgehogs!

Over the last six months, we’ve spent a lot of time talking and thinking about hedgehogs.
We’ve learned that hedgehogs probably do like campfires and crumpets, but are less inclined to hold their own cheese and wine evening (too posh).
We also learned that like many humans they are lactose intolerant (allergic to the lactose sugars in milk). 
Happily, Arla make a special range of products called ‘Lactofree’ which is free of lactose sugars.
We found some photogenic hedgehogs (African Pygmies), filmed them doing their shopping in a local supermarket and then we captured their dreams on film to make an advert.

This was the result. It airs tomorrow night during the Coronation Street break at 8.45pm.
Hope you like it.

(This is the ad that led to the infestation in our reception blogged about previously.)

how solar-powered lights help Africa


Above is the S1 solar-powered light from d.light design, which was sent to me by Anna at Solar Aid, with whom we've done some work on our Off/ On Project.

Screen Shot 2012-02-21 at 08.35.57

These lights are currently selling well in Africa. How come? At 6pm every night when the sun goes down across sub-Saharan Africa, most off-grid households, of which there around 110 million in Africa, opt for burning dirty, dangerous kerosene lamps in their homes. Or if they can't afford that, they sit in the dark. That's obviously not conducive to productive working, safe cooking, socialising, studying or reading. Not only that, it costs lives. The kerosene lamp contributes to indoor air pollution that kills more people in
the world than malaria.


The S1 solar light costs around $7 and after that it's free to run. Solar Aid's goal is to banish kerosene lamps from Africa by 2020, freeing people from the need for dirty, expensive kerosene.

For more information on Solar Aid and their work see…


And here's Elliott (in Islngton, not Africa) reading his Moshi Monsters comic by solar-powered light. He was amazed to learn it was charged just by leaving it near the window during the day.

NESTEA shoot in New Zealand

It’s always busy on the NESTEA account: we've made 3 major TV ads in just over a year and last week, Rob, Lolly, Adam and Andrew were in New Zealand shooting the third instalment. It’s an ad about a blossoming romance between a girl, an unusual guy and, of course, a bottle of Nestea. 

 During the intensive shoot days, inbetween exciting dramatic set ups, we've still found time to invent new games and generally keep our creative juices flowing.  


We've had the ‘throw the bottle into the chair cup holder’ game, then the more traditional ‘left-handed catch game with a punctured tennis ball’, a classic if ever there was one, then a game more rooted in nature, that, much to Lolly's annoyance, Rob surpassed himself in, called 'throw the acorn in the bin from 10 metres game'. A blinder.

 We also found time to entertain our client AJ to a game of tennis. (Only the best for our clients, eh?)

Taught by AJ: the invaluable skill of making bird-mating noises using fresh acorns


And Lolly caught his first ever fish, with AJ getting the prize for the biggest whopper (naturally).

While Adam illegally rode around the most powerful Honda scooter known to man. 

Rob and Loll bought some new shoes

All in all, a great shoot in a beautiful country, lots of hard work but lots of fun.

It's always sunny in a NESTEA world. 


our new Cravendale campaign featuring Muppets

Our new TV ad for Cravendale – starring Kermit the Frog and Pepe the King Prawn of Muppets fame – launches tonight during Corrie. Here it is:

 The background for the ad is a Cravendale partnership with the new Muppets film, (in cinemas this Friday), which will manifest itself through an on-pack promotion – collect 20 codes when you buy bottles of Cravendale and you can send away for a pretty cool Kermit backpack.

The partnership looks to tap into parents' affection for the Muppets Show and renewed interest from their kids with the launch of the film.
Here's account director Hanne getting to know some Muppets.

Hanne and muppets

Do marketers see creativity as added value or added cost?

The juxtaposition of two articles in this week’s Campaign magazine caught my attention. A piece about the Cannes Awards Festival says,

“The reason creativity matters, of course, is pretty obvious. In his book, The Case for Creativity, James Hurman tracks the share price of Cannes Lions’ Advertiser of the Year winners during the lead-up to their success. Without exception, they enjoyed their highest share price, biggest gains and most competitor-smashing results when they were producing their most creative work – Procter & Gamble, Nike, Volkswagen, Swatch, Honda… the list goes on and on.”

The author concludes that, “Clients value creativity more and more”.

On the other hand, a couple of pages later in the same issue an article entitled “Are agencies being screwed on fees?” reports on new research by the Marketing Agencies Association and argues that “Clients are squeezing agencies until the pips squeak.”

It continues, “Based on figures supplied by the finance directors of MAA member agencies, the research suggests clients have forced down agency fees by almost 20 per cent over the past decade, with creative departments bearing the brunt of the cuts….The MAA figures claim that hourly rates for creative talent over the same period have plunged by 26.5%. It begs the question of whether agency remuneration has reached crisis point.”

There’s a contradiction here: is it possible that clients value creativity more and more, but want to pay less and less for it?

It's hard to answer this question based on our experience at Wieden + Kennedy, which is not representative of the industry as a whole. It’s unlikely that any client who didn’t value creativity would consider working with an agency whose philosophy is ‘the work comes first’. But, even allowing for this, there’s no question that our fees are increasingly under pressure and that we are now pushed harder to justify the extra time and resource that goes into getting the work from good to great.

 Of course, clients have always negotiated hard on fees. On every pitch I’ve ever done where a procurement department was involved, at every agency I've ever worked at, I’ve been told, “Your agency is significantly more expensive than the others.” I’ve never heard of anyone at any agency being told, “Your proposal is significantly cheaper than the others and we wonder if you can help us understand why that is.”

So, what's my point here? I think the separation of marketing and procurement in many companies means that clients can be schizophrenic about the worth of creativity. Marketers may prize it, while their procurement department will aim to buy it at the best price they can. As agencies, our job will be to continue to prove to clients that an extra few percentage points on the money invested in creative fees may pay much greater dividends on the bottom line. That may mean enlisting marketing people to help persuade procurement creativity can add value.

And, going back to those Campaign artcles, maybe so as to help them develop a better appreciation of what creativity can do, agencies should be inviting some procurement people to Cannes…? Mind you, on second thoughts, maybe not. (Shudders imagining Megacorp Global Head of Purchasing being confronted by scenes of profligacy and debauchery that would appal Caligula.)