We are the Millennial experts who think different…

Our focus for the remainder of 2016 is THINK DIFFERENT.

We aren’t pursuing dull briefs, or bread & butter account, but clients who want to think different. Who want to be progressive not recessive. Who are brave and entrepreneurial.

In today’s climate that can be key to survival.

The dull, the unimaginative and the cautious will die.

With technology, changing consumer habits and the internet there is no company that can sit back and be complacent. Look what happened to Kodak!

CAMERAIt made over 100m Instamatics, and millions of Brownies before that. Almost every household owned  a Kodak. Then along came digital technology, then the iPhone and Kodak’s consumer division was dead. Just one of  100s of brands that have gone because they didn’t keep up.

“The Davids are wiping out the Goliaths at a fast rate.” (Forbes)

Our focus is on ‘disruptive innovation‘ and greater consumer insight. Companies need to be consumer centric more than ever and stop chasing technology for the sake of it and instead focus on what their customer really want – and it’s not an in-store interactive video screen and gamification or more social media!

Heres’ a few shocking facts:

• 52% of top 500 companies have vanished in the last 15 years (88% in the last 50).

• More ‘established’ firms have gone bust in the last 10 years than ever before.

• The oldest company in the world (a Japanese house builder) recently went bust after 1400 years!

Companies still need to invest in marketing but 50% of the briefs we see come from clients who don’t really know their real problem but think marketing will solve their issues like a magic wand.

As being honest is an ethos here, we tell them straight. And it is out of that approach that our disruptive innovation consultancy, THE GARAGE, was born. Helping brands stay ahead by thinking different.

DICE

One of our new workshops is THE DICE THEORY. It helps companies see all 6 sides not just the 3 you can see easily, metaphorically speaking. A class in innovative thinking

 

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KING OF THE MILLENNIALS

We’ve recently published a report on what content Millennials and students are reading, watching and listening to.

You can download a copy of the Content Insight Guide to Millennials & Students here Millennial Report.

STUDENT COVER med

We are currently working on 4 projects targeting students & Millennials, one UK based, one European – both top secret.

We are also orking on a great new brief for Diageo and a radical brief for the NUS.

Plus a great new app for an insurance company – InsureTech they call it.

And two big pitches!

NUS_CMYK-01Unknown

 

We are also working with several start-ups – full of enthusiasm but without good marketing even the best ideas will fail.

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CHANNEL 4 SUPERFOODS.

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We recently starred in Channel 4’s Superfoods program with the lovely Kate Quilton. The challenge was to invent a fake superfood and con the public into buying it.

So could we sell chalk to people? Kate and Chris went to Greenwich Market, set up a stall, packed full of CHORK from Iceland, lots of secret cameras and…the rest is TV. Seems yes, they’ll buy anything thinking it’s healthy. Check it out here Channel 4 Superfoods

 

IDEAS FOUNDATION CREATIVE MEDIA CAMP

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The Ideas Foundation cultivate new talent and inspire kids to enter the creative ad industry, so it was pleasure to do a talk on the art of pitching at the recent Creative Media Camp in Southend.

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A FEW RECENT ARTICLES WE’VE WRITTEN….

HOW MILLENNIALS WILL RESHAPE BUSINESS

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Recent article Chris has written on Millennials and ethics – his two top subjects. It was commissioned for an international publication, Philanthropreneurship magazine.

Try saying that after a few pints of organic cider! 

WHY CREATIVITY, INNOVATION & DYSLEXIA WILL SAVE THE UK’S BUSINESSES AFTER WE QUIT THE EU.

Dyslexia T-shirt crop

[Another article] From the film and TV industry to design, digital, advertising, architecture, fashion, product design, music, gaming and many other creative industries, the UK creative economy is the second biggest economy we have after financial and growing. But if we stand still our exit from the EU could see it decline. Read more… BRAND REPUBLIC

If you are dyslexic then check out our disruptive innovation consultancy, THE GARAGE

ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT LOCAL COMMUNITY MARKETING

Boston-Community-Showcase51-1024x685

Whatever you think about local community marketing, (LCM) you probably have it wrong. All the rules of national marketing don’t apply. Research companies have no clue, so unless you immerse yourself in the local scene, you won’t either.

Disruptive Thinking is all about thinking differently, and to be successful at a local community level, you need to think different. Very different. READ MORE…

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Our new innovations agency, The Garage has been in the Guardian.

Our new innovations agency, THE GARAGE, has been featured in the Guardian. With over 5,000 shares!

We created a controversial social media recruitment campaign, actively seeking dyslexics with the line “We require people with a unique mind, so only dyslexics should apply.”

 

The Garage all started with the thought, “If Steve Jobs was an agency, what would it look like?” And like Google, Amazon, HP and Disney, Apple started life in a garage.

FINAL steve-jobs-think-different ad

Disruptive innovation” is the talk of the boardroom and this new division is designed to help companies reframe, reimagine and reinvent themselves. In today’s business world you can’t be relax, you need to be keeping up and even ahead.

We have started to build an impressive number of big thinkers to work with us, a good few who are dyslexic.

Check out the new website. 

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ANOTHER TV SHOW

We’ve recently been approached by ITV to appear on a TV programme on obesity and another for Channel 4 on superfoods. Shooting start in a few weeks.

ANOTHER DAY, ANOTHER PITCH

This year started off with a unusual win – one of the country’s biggest councils. Can’t say which yet (NDA). But it’ll give us a chance to do some great social campaigns.

ANOTHER NEW CAMPAIGN – I AM AN IMMIGRANT

The new campaign will be launching soon. We have two, one featuring top footballers and another based on beer – yep it’s not a natural English drink but an ‘immigrant’ from the Middle East.

ANOTHER DIGITAL PITCH

Having got through the first round we are now pitching for an exciting new website/app aimed at millennials (one of the audiences we know a lot about).

And there’s more…

 

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2015 – looking like a good year so far.

QUICK UPDATE – PITCH CRAZY

Clock animated

What a manic end of Feb!  We just pitched for a drama school, a charity, a pet accessory (launching across Europe, so a biggie) and a herbal medicine.

Just finishing some lovely work for Clear Channel and Metro.

Our Made in Spain, Making it in Britain event was  a massive success with loads of press coverage. Which has lead to some interesting new potential clients.

Working with Islington Arts & Media School on a fantastic eco product to save electricity.

Chris is chairing the Proximity Marketing seminar at the DMA PULL event in Shoreditch later this month.

Chris is also writing the political blog on Brand Republic until the election.

Working on another programme with Channel 4.

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TOTAL RETURNS TO TV WITH 4 NEW ADS

We have just created 4 lovely new TV ads for Total Greek Yoghurt (FAGE UK). Each one features members of our fictional family the Potters, showing how to use the yoghurt in other ways. The ads were directed by Gus Filgate  (Little Fish Films) and features stop motion combined with animation by ETC to create a very original effect. Music was by Simon Bass (Pure Music). Media buying – Total Media.

Total TVC image

See the ads on Total’s YouTube channel.

UPDATE – sales are up!!

Metro_Logo

METRO MOVES FORWARD

Last year we won the METRO newspaper, a brilliant win for us as the client wanted a creative agency and is really allowing us to do some great stuff.

We’ve just redesigned the distribution bins (can’t publish the new images just yet), been working on press & digital ads to promote the App and created a three day pop up event in Soho called Urban Impressions“one of the most innovative and original trade events of 2014”.

ui

http://www.urbanimpressions.co.uk/home/

It featured 14 different artists, 2 very unique new technologies, including a fantastic device called a Mogee. Each floor of the 5 floor building had a different event in.

24x411

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TARGETING YOUTH

We have recently created a great poster campaign targeting youth for BROOK, the leading youth sexual health charity. The key here was they were all researched among young people and we hit the nail on the head, proving we understand how to appeal to young people.

Having worked with NUS – we are developing their new generation interactive platform with students and have written THE TRUTH ABOUT STUDENTS – we know a lot about how young people think – and it’s not all about the cliche’s people think. In fact, some of our research shows that many ads by big brands targeted at youth are seen as “fake” and “patronising”. And surprisingly, social media isn’t the golden delivery service of brand communications some people think it is, they love posters.

BROOK_POSTER_LAYOUTS_v1_change  Screen Shot 2014-10-30 at 02.22.32

We were responsible for their brand identity/logo, which we created a few years ago. They now share offices with FPA (Family Planning Association) who we created many award winning campaigns for.

OUTDOORS

We have kicked started 2015 with some tasty briefs from Clear Channel, the world’s leading outdoor specialist. More later…

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QUALITY OF SPAIN

Feb will see the next event, MAKING IT IN SPAIN, MAKING IT IN BRITAIN. We will also be launching the new Quality of Spain mark for food and drink soon.

http://www.qualityofspain.co.ukQoS

DMA PULL

PULL4b

We’ll be speaking at the DMA‘s PULL event on technology and marketing in March … more later

IN THE PRESS

We’ve always in the press commenting everything from ethical issue to creativity, plus spots on radio and TV. We will soon be publishing on Brand Republic a series of thought provoking pieces on Ecological Economics, The Psychology of Curiosity and Eat Yourself Healthy.

http://www.marketingmagazine.co.uk/article/1315388/coca-cola-life-pepsi-trues-green-branding-devalues-colours-ethical-heritage

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PITCHES

Lifes A Pitch

We have been approached to pitch for a telecoms company – all top secret at the moment!

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A NEW HAIR CARE BRAND

We are working with a new hair care range, naturally targeted at women. We are working at brand positioning, logo, packaging and marketing. Nice job.

peggy-mad-men (MadMen, Peggy pitches to Heinz)

ANOTHER PITCH…

We are just about to pitch for another charity, one that fits our expertise. Confident we’ll win it as it’s a perfect fit.  Everything from branding through to campaigns.

To date we’ve worked for over 30 charities and NGOs. Plus a few CSR campaigns, including ones for Diageo and Starbucks .

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YOGHURT

On the back of our successful campaign for Total’s fruit yoghurt brand, we have also created a charming press campaign that is running in women’s press.

Orange Beast

CHANNEL 4

Looks like we’ve been back on TV with our ‘Bagel Chicken Burger’ idea for ‘Food Unwrapped‘.  We’ve down several programmes for them, including Tricks of the Junk Food Trade  – we created Orange Beast for them.  We are currently consulting on another food programme.

http://www.gogadm.com/channel-4-promises-to-expose-tricks-of-digital-marketers/

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2014-2015

TOTAL RETURNS TO TV WITH 4 NEW ADS

We have just created 4 lovely new TV ads for Total Greek Yoghurt (FAGE UK). Each one features members of our fictional family the Potters, showing how to use the yoghurt in other ways. The ads were directed by Gus Filgate  (Little Fish Films) and features stop motion combined with animation by ETC to create a very original effect. Music was by Simon Bass (Pure Music). Media buying – Total Media.

Total TVC image

See the ads on Total’s YouTube channel.

 

Metro_Logo

METRO MOVES FORWARD

Last year we won the METRO newspaper, a brilliant win for us as the client wanted a creative agency and is really allowing us to do some great stuff.

We’ve just redesigned the distribution bins (can’t publish the new images just yet), been working on press & digital ads to promote the App and created a three day pop up event in Soho called Urban Impressions“one of the most innovative and original trade events of 2014”.

ui

http://www.urbanimpressions.co.uk/home/

It featured 14 different artists, 2 very unique new technologies, including a fantastic device called a Mogee. Each floor of the 5 floor building had a different event in.

24x411

24x42

24x410

 

?????

TARGETING YOUTH

We have recently created a great poster campaign targeting youth for BROOK, the leading youth sexual health charity. The key here was they were all researched among young people and we hit the nail on the head, proving we understand how to appeal to young people.

Having worked with NUS – we are developing their new generation interactive platform with students and have written THE TRUTH ABOUT STUDENTS – we know a lot about how young people think – and it’s not all about the cliche’s people think. In fact, some of our research shows that many ads by big brands targeted at youth are seen as “fake” and “patronising”. And surprisingly, social media isn’t the golden delivery service of brand communications some people think it is, they love posters.

BROOK_POSTER_LAYOUTS_v1_change  Screen Shot 2014-10-30 at 02.22.32

We were responsible for their brand identity/logo, which we created a few years ago. They now share offices with FPA (Family Planning Association) who we created many award winning campaigns for.

 

OUTDOORS

We have kicked started 2015 with some tasty briefs from Clear Channel, the world’s leading outdoor specialist. More later…

Screen Shot 2014-07-15 at 09.48.20

 

 

 

 

 

IN THE PRESS

We’ve always in the press commenting everything from ethical issue to creativity, plus spots on radio and TV. We will soon be publishing on Brand Republic a series of thought provoking pieces on Ecological Economics, The Psychology of Curiosity and Eat Yourself Healthy.

http://www.marketingmagazine.co.uk/article/1315388/coca-cola-life-pepsi-trues-green-branding-devalues-colours-ethical-heritage

Screen Shot 2014-10-30 at 02.25.11

 

PITCHES

Lifes A Pitch

We have been approached to pitch for a telecoms company – all top secret at the moment!

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A NEW HAIR CARE BRAND

We are working with a new hair care range, naturally targeted at women. We are working at brand positioning, logo, packaging and marketing. Nice job.

peggy-mad-men (MadMen, Peggy pitches to Heinz)

ANOTHER PITCH…

We are just about to pitch for another charity, one that fits our expertise. Confident we’ll win it as it’s a perfect fit.  Everything from branding through to campaigns.

To date we’ve worked for over 30 charities and NGOs. Plus a few CSR campaigns, including ones for Diageo and Starbucks .

Screen Shot 2014-03-26 at 01.03.45

YOGHURT

On the back of our successful campaign for Total’s fruit yoghurt brand, we are working on a new campaign for the main Total brand. We have also created a charming press campaign that is running in women’s press.

Orange Beast

CHANNEL 4

Looks like we’ve been back on TV with our ‘Bagel Chicken Burger’ idea for ‘Food Unwrapped‘.  We’ve down several programmes for them, including Tricks of the Junk Food Trade  – we created Orange Beast for them.  We are currently consulting on another food programme.

http://www.gogadm.com/channel-4-promises-to-expose-tricks-of-digital-marketers/

OTHER NEWS

We are also busy on a number of other accounts and some great project ideas – one we have for IKEA is very exciting. Watch this space

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German wins the World Cup, and we’ve just won a big new account…

Mad Men 2

ANOTHER BIG WIN

Just won a big new account – will announce it in next few days. Lovely client, big name and they wanted great work – which we delivered.

BIG MEDIA – STILL THE KING

As anyone who works with us knows, we are very media neutral, adopting the approach of using what works best. Fact is, FMCG brands are moving budget back to TV, outdoor (OOH) and press. Why? Because big media drives acquisition. Social is great for CRM. Get the balance right and bingo.

We’ve just started work on a press campaign and  a new TV campaign for our dairy client. Last one boosted sales of their new flavoured product by 82%.

 

Just started working on a new animation for Clear Channel as part of a new B2B campaign.

Just picked up a skin care brand from Scandinavia – first stage – brand strategy then marketing. Great product and we think it’ll result in some great creative work too.

Screen Shot 2014-07-15 at 09.48.20 

PROXIMITY MOBILE MARKETING

We’ve been speaking at a number of conferences on Proximity Mobile Marketing (PMM) on NFC, BLE (iBeacons)  and other technologies, including The Retail Forum, WIMA, NFCP Global Conference, DMA Connecting Retail and the Insight Forum. Plus a few other coming up.

The retail industry is naturally skeptical about new technologies, having spend millions on fads and gimmicks, and now what they really want is technology that sells.

iPads have become popular with sales staff but it’s NFC that’s attracting attention because it empowers the shopper an is cheap and very versatile. BLE (iBeacons) have got a lot of publicity but pragmatic retailers think it’s too pushy. The new trend us in PULL not PUSH.

We’ve found a lot of interest at conferences in Adshels, as they are the perfect start to the retail journey – 25,000 Adshels posters panels have been installed with NFC by Clear Channel. Adshels now can target 74% of the adult buying population.

The obvious question is , “when is Apple getting NFC?” The answer is very soon, they have patented several things relating to NFC. However, with over 30 million smart phones in UK and 74% on Android, that’s over 21million potential NFC users – more people than you can reach with TV. Plus Apple users can use the QR codes.

 COMOBI2 LOGO ON GREEN

Through our specialist division Comobi2 (www.comobi2.com) we’ve developed lots of innovative thinking into how NFC can be used by brands & retail and charities, making us one of the UK’s leading experts in PMM.

 CLOCKTOWER MAN poster copy

SUPPORTING COMMUNITY – THE CROUCH END FESTIVAL

We have always ben big cultivators of youth and creative talent, it’s part of our ethos. We’ve had some great talent pass through our doors and given some people a first break. Recently we discovered Roxy working in a Crouch End coffee bar and gave her 3 months of real experience which helped her land  a job at a big agency.

We have also been a supporter of the UK’s largest community arts festival, the Crouch End Festival. we originally designed the logo and this year created a poster campaign on Adshels.

 

CHANNEL 4 – SELLING TO KIDS

 Orange Beast

We’ve recently been back on Channel 4 featured in a Dispatches programme (Tricks of the Junk Food Business) on the dark side of marketing to kids. We were the good guys and were asked to create a product that could used for the programme. We created Orange Beast, based on Sunny D, it’s largely coloured sugar water with 5% juice. The twist is that Orange Beast shortens to obese – which is what you’d be if you drunk a lot.

Dispatches then showed the product to a number of digital agencies who did gaming targeted at kids and revealed how they were breaking guidelines on marketing to kids.

We’ve been asked to do another programme soon but can’t reveal what just yet.

 

MORE TO COME….

 

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NOW WATCH THIS… our new Fruyo TV advert goes live on April 1st

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FRUYO YOGHURT TV ADVERT

What do you get if you combine the world’s finest Greek yoghurt, Total (FAGE) of course, with fresh fruit? Fruyo, a new range of fruit yoghurts.

Now how do you convey that in a TV ad… you hire a real magician to turn a pot of Total Greek Yoghurt (0%) and some real fruit into a pot of Fruyo. “Just like that!”

We hired in Ben Hanlin, star of ITV’s Tricked series.

We hired legendary award winning commercial’s director Graham Rose.

We headed to Spitalfield’s market one Friday and Saturday and shot our commercial.

Almost 100 people worked on it.

The trick was done for real – no camera tricks or CGI was used.

And all the people’s reactions are 100% genuine, no acting was used.

Hayden Parsey, who has written music for all our other Total TV ads (and many others), supplied the music, or audio signature if you want to sound posh.

If it does as well as all our other TV ads we’ve done for FAGE, then we expect Fruyo to disappear off the shelves (excuse the pun) as sales rocket.

Screen Shot 2014-03-26 at 01.05.43

TV ad: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pgNKjcelj3g

Making of the TV ad: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QCL-JCx_yi8

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WE’RE DESIGNING A NEW ETHICAL LOGO

We are currently redesigning and repositioning an ethical brand. Not an easy task as the politics are a challenge in themselves!

But we have  a top team on it and if the client doesn’t lose their bottle, we should have a corker for a June launch.

As most people know,  we are leaders in ethical marketing thinking. Chris is not only author of ETHICAL MARKETING & THE NEW CONSUMER but also also a D&AD White Pencil ambassador.

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Of course the best is  Fairtrade, simple, eye-catching and the most recognised of them all  so a tough one to beat.

The worse must be the Soil Association – bland and says what? Apparently Tesco’s Organic logo is more recognisable than theirs, well Tesco’s is better designed. We have always wondered why the Soil Association has never redesigned their Organic’s logo. We even wrote to them several years ago offering a free evaluation.

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NFC and iBEACONS

Despite the fact that NFC is about 100x better than iBEACONS, being Apple it has got an excessive amount of PR coverage. However, in the wash 90% of clients opt for… yep, NFC.

Chris will be speaking at 3 forthcoming conferences on NFC and Proximity Mobile Marketing technology, including the DMA and Monoco. Plus he has  number of other talks on other subjects lined up.

Comobi2 Logox

 

 

 

 

 

Since we’ve launched Comobi2, our PMM specialist division, we’ve had loads of enquiries from brands, especially FMCG.

http://www.comobi2.com

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ANIMATIONS

aardvark on black

We seem to do a lot these these days and are currently working on another for Clear Channel.

We also just recently finished producing a launch video for their STORM brand.

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SKIN CARE

We’ve just picked up a brief to rebrand a skin care range and take it all the way through to advertising. Just the kind of brief we love.

 

NEW MEDICAL HELPLINE

We’re working with a new launch, top secret, but we;’re working on the marketing strategy and advertising.

 

IKEA

We have come up with an awesome global idea that makes IKEA genuinely top of the ethical tree for recycling.… more later

 

MARKETING & McDONALDS

logo

Chris has written a piece in Marketing about McDonald’s new Fruit on Friday initiative.
http://www.marketingmagazine.co.uk/article/1284054/sorry-jamie-ronalds-champion-good-kids-food.

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2014

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As we head into 2014 we are very positive about this year. To be honest, most of the industry didn’t seem to think 2013 was a good year, in fact it was terrible for many (especially suppliers).

Many clients stopped spending and budgets were being spread too thinly over too many channels.

But we think 2014 is going to be one with less jumping on bandwagons and a more pragmatic approach.

Last week Nielsen and the Grocer revealed that 10 of the top 15 FMCG brands were slashing digital budgets to spend more on TV.

Read our piece on Brand Republic – Why is TV beating digital in battle for FMCG ad spend? http://arnoldonethicalmarketing.brandrepublic.com/2014/01/06/why-is-tv-beating-digital-in-battle-for-fmcg-ad-spend/

We predict that Proximity Mobile Marketing (PMM) will take off on the back of NFC technology this year. We’ve had a lot of interest from the end of last year when we started pushing PMM and NFC to brands.

PMM is a great way to target consumers where they spend – 88.5% of retail spend is off-line, where we shop, eat, drink, have fun and socialise. With NFC technology you can combine the power of outdoor with the personal space of mobiles. And our specialist division, Comobi2, are thought leaders in this area.

This year we’re kicking off with TV on two FMCG clients, two trade campaigns for two different media B2B clients, plus new work for an airline, an automotive project, a financial service company and a great recycling idea for a top retailer!

We’ve just featured in a Channel 4 programme, Food Unwrapped – that was fun. We even managed to get ourselves a troll – some very amusing abuse about the “sins of advertising!” We’re also working with the Despatches team. http://www.channel4.com/programmes/food-unwrapped/4od#3629337

Lots of talks coming up, including the Financial Services Forum and one in Estonia. Hoping to be speaking at Cannes again too.

As Jan progresses we’ll be updating you with latest news.

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Creative Orchestra launches Comobi2, the UK’s first Proximity Mobile Marketing agency.

Screen Shot 2013-10-14 at 08.50.47http://www.comobi2.com

Below are a pair of information sheets to give you a quick crash course in NFC and Proximity Mobile Marketing.  See more at http://www.comobi2.wordpress.com 

Comobi2 is our specialist division and  thought leaders in the field of Proximity Mobile Marketing & NFC.

We deliver all aspects of a campaign, from top to toe.

In a nutshell, we connect brands with consumers via the mobile, utilising technologies like NFC (and others too).

We help you reach potential customers in the proximity of where they spend 88.5% of retail spend – malls, high streets, bars, showrooms, events…

NFC can be applied to almost any media or medium, from posters to postcards to POS.

But there’s both an art and science to it – it’s a lot easier to get it wrong than right.

Contact details below.

NFC and PMM-1

NFC and PMM-2

FACT: 88.5% of retail spend is where consumers shop, eat, drink, have fun, socialise… so it’s no wonder Proximity Mobile Marketing is estimated to be a market worth $9bn across Europe within the next few years (equal to both mobile and to outdoor).

Online will only reach 12.5% of spend by 2018 – and that’s Government official figures.

So the money is in the proximity of where the consumer really spends – out of home.

Comobi2 is the UK’s first specialist agency, and thought leaders, in helping brands connect with consumers via mobile, utilising proximity media and  technologies like NFC. We manage the whole process from strategy to mobile to data analytics.

Defining a Mobile Strategy.

All brands now need a mobile strategy, combining on-mobile and off-mobile.

On-mobile – uses PUSH messaging:

– You will need opt-in and new data protection laws, plus people signing up to TPS, restricts the number of targets. You also need to be aware that 83% of consumers hate unsolicited push messaging.

– Small ad spaces means little room for good creative work or to make any impact, so useless for brand awareness, brand building or acquisition.

However, on-mobile is very good once you own the customer. Ideal for CRM.

Off-mobile has few disadvantages and lots of advantages:

– A wide variety of targeted media and mediums you can use from posters to postcards, in-strore to ambient media that are close to sale. So a lot more flexible.

– A real opportunity to increases sales.

– Opportunity to use big spaces and be more creative, so winning over customers = acquisition. They come to you – that’s PULL methodology.

– It’s also brilliant for brand awareness and brand building, plus for the entertainment industry, you can engage through exclusive downloads.

– It can be used to provide additional services, especially information.

NFC (installed in most smartphones) means consumers can connect with brands at the touch of an NFC button. It automatically opens a webpage on their phone where they can engage with brands and get info, get offers, get downloads… the options are endless.

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The First NFC & PMM Forum.

Comobi2, our new specialist PMM division, are  thought leaders in this area and in November we’ll be chairing the first ever forum on the subject.

Held at the DMA (Europe’s largest trade marketing body) it’ll bring together all the top players in the NFC & PMM area, including all the major media owners – including Clear Channel, CBS Outdoor, JCDecaux, Posterscope, Kinetic, the key NFC technology suppliers, like Proxama, WEVE, plus data and others.

One of the aims of the forum is to unit the key players in NFC and set the performance standards of this fast growing area, with a focus on sales and acquisition, not lots of fuzzy numbers. Something that will please both the CMO and the CFO.

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Proximity technologies:

NFC (Near Field Communications a form of RFID) is already a billion dollar business and is found in your Oyster card, your contactless bank payment card, security card, and is used widely in logistics, storage, hospitals and many other industries.

All the major poster companies are installing it on their sites – Clear Channel alone have over 10,000 in high streets across the UK.

This simple technology is the key to making traditional media more responsive and driving an increase in sales.

Bluetooth LE, Apple iBeacon and Wi-Fi are different from NFC in that they broadcast a signal and are more for PUSH messaging. With BLE you first need to activate your Bluetooth  and then pair to the device.

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Proximity Mobile Marketing will be the catch phrase of 2014, and every brand will be seeking to spend their ad pound where the consumer spends their. Our experience and expertise means we can now helps brands get it right, and more importantly, engage consumers on their terms, reduce CPA and increase sales.

Comobi2 are thought leaders in NFC & PMM. They provide total campaign management – consultancy, strategy, creativity, media planning advice, proximity technology, data & analytics, mobile websites, payment technology and implementation.

www.comobi2.com

Infographic – visit http://www.comobi2.wordpress.com  –  feel free to pass to friends in marketing departments (but not ad, mobile or digital agencies please).

Screen Shot 2013-10-14 at 08.50.19

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The ethics of late & extended payment terms.

[FIRST PUBLISHED ON BRAND REPUBLIC]

It probably went unnoticed by most people at Cannes, but an interview with Martin Sorrell where he said, “We aren’t banks”, highlighted a problem that could dramatically change the ad industry and affect its suppliers.

Martin-Sorrell

It’s been brewing for a while, especially in the US, but is now about to hit a number of big and small agencies in the UK and could result in massive job losses, unless it stopped now.

Late payments and extended payment periods – up to 120 days after invoicing – could be the finally straw that breaks the economic backbone of the industry, and not just ours. That may sound dramatic, but it’s not only the ad industry that is concerned, the Government, and many organisations representing other industries like print and construction, are concerned too. We are one of many industries who are victims of what is being branded “unethical financial practices” and “morally bankrupt” and one that could soon result in consumer boycotts of major brands.

Big brands or big bullies?

Mondelez (the new name for Kraft and owner of Cadbury’s) have hit the headlines because they announced they will be paying all their supplies from July on 120 days (4 months) terms. This has created a massive backlash and angry comments, including “unethical,” “immoral” and “bullying”.

But Mondelez aren’t the first to move to 120 days, there are many other big brands already paying extended payment terms, from 90 days onward, and many looking to follow. Some small companies have reported having to wait up to 200 days for payment which is why the Government is starting to take the damaging effects upon the economy of this malpractice seriously. ”Less than a few dozen Financial Directors are threatening the livelihood of millions,” was the comment on one article on the subject.

As of this month, the government has given all businesses in the FTSE 350 one month to sign up to new rules on paying their suppliers promptly or face being “named and shamed”. The Prompt Payment Code (PPC), has been around for 5 years now, but ignored by most big businesses. Will it be now?

Michael Fallon, the Business and Enterprise Minister recently said, “Cash flow is the lifeblood of small companies. Poor cash flow is how small businesses go under. £35bn+ owing would average out at around £30,000 per small company.”

To quote Debbie Abrahams, MP, who launched the Be Fair – Pay on Time  campaign in June 2011, “SMEs across the UK are suffering acutely as a result of late payment, with many firms’ survival being put at risk by cash flow problems, and total outstanding funds owed amounting to £36.5 billion.”

Government initiatives, such as the Prompt Payment Code, was set up to encourage both public and private organisations to improve their payment terms and pay suppliers within 10 days. Yep, 10 days, which is 110 days shorter than some big brands pay.

 

“SME’s are the life blood of our economy, without them we have nothing and neither do the corporates, yet they continue with their smug bully boy culture seemingly oblivious to the fact that they are doing more harm to the economy than benefit cheats.” Comment on the Telegraph webpage by Brythonic.

So why the extended payment terms?

Well for all the spin big corporations try and put on it, it’s simply a way for them to make money from the money they owe. It’s all about profit, not about values, and demonstrates a lack of any respect for their suppliers. And because they are top of the food chain they know they can bully all their suppliers into accepting their terms. As one American blogger said, commenting on the similarities to gangster extortion, “At least the Mafia respects community, these corporations have no respect at all for people’s lively hoods.”

What they are in effect doing is using agencies for low cost loans. As Sorrell said at Cannes, “We aren’t banks”, but big brands are using smaller suppliers, and not just in marketing, as sources of cheap finance. But will Sorrell, and the bosses of the G5 agencies (WPP, Havas, Interpublic, Publicis & Omicom) do anything about it? Can they? Talk is cheap but real action is needed, and the worse thing the industry can do right now is to not stand up to a bully. Sorry, but “having a word with the government” is useless. Why not use the power of ideas and media?

 

Are laws the only real way to protect SMEs?

The Forum for Private Business (FPB) has been campaigning for years on this very issue, and has tried to persuade businesses to sign up to the Prompt Payment Code. However, maybe their more effective tactile is naming and shaming (see their Hall of Shame – http://www.fpb.org/page/531/Late_payment__Hall_of_Shame_.htm ). The FPB was instrumental in establishing the Late Payment of Commercial Debts Act, introduced in 1998, which granted businesses the right to claim interest on late payments, even if it’s largely ignore by big businesses. In fact they seem to ignore just about all rules, guidelines and legislation. Sadly they know that politicians are all bark and no bite.

The European Commission is organising the Late Payment Information Campaign in the 27 EU Member States from October 2012 to December 2014. The aim of this campaign is to increase awareness amongst European stakeholders, in particular SMEs, and within public authorities on the new rights conferred by Directive 2011/7/EU.

A study of almost 10,000 business from Swedish credit management firm Intrum Justitia has highlighted just how serious the problem is across Europe, firms lost an estimated €350 billion due to overdue or entirely unpaid bills. In short, thousands of SME’s are paying a big bill to allow a few big businesses to pay late.

The practice of late/extended payments is seen by almost everyone as unethical and many claiming it’s blatantly dishonest, comparing those responsible to the seedy bottom end of the banking industry. “The practice of late payments is destructive and debilitating and is threatening the survival of SMEs,“ commented FPB head of policy Alex Jackman, adding, “Late and slow payment amounts to little more than supply chain abuse, that is big business bullying small firms to boost their own profit margins.”

While a few financial directors and procurement heads make an extra few quid on the side, the real cost to the industry could be devastating – bankruptcies, a massive loss of jobs and a loss of talent. To quote Reuters, commented on the effects upon the US industry, “This blatant exploitation is damaging the small business economic engine that drives half of the US GDP.”

For smaller and medium sized agencies and suppliers cash flow is king and 120 days payments after invoicing – and remember you can be working for between 30 – 60 days on a brief before you can get a PO and can invoice – may well force agencies to borrow money at inflated interest rates. Or a move to equally expensive factoring agencies. As many agencies are working on tight enough margins already, this will only reduce it further.

However, one procurement head, who commented on agencies needing to run their finances better (obviously not living in the real world) has suggested they could help agencies get loans to cover the waiting period. This is not a joke but for real! Try putting that proposition to the tax man, “Yep I know I owe you £100,000 but you’ll have to wait 120 days and in the meantime I’ll help you get a loan at 356% interest.”

For suppliers like photographers, illustrators, production companies, etc, there will be a knock on effect too, and not a good one.

In the US, many States have laws that force companies to pay freelancers (those self employed) within 30 days, which forces businesses like film production companies (who usually only employ a few people but lots of freelancers) to have to find large sums of cash. If they have to wait 90 – 120 days because the agencies have to, many will go bust.

 

An ethical backlash from the consumer.

It’s unlikely that FDs of these big companies care about the social consequences of their actions, but there’s a more powerful group that do – the consumer.

I predict that as consumers come aware of these practices, which are as morally bad as using sweat shops as it’s exploitation of the vulnerable, consumers will avoid and boycott big brands. You may think there’s a big difference between using child labour in Asian and putting small local businesses out of business, but to the consumer it’s Goliath beating up David. It’s an emotive issue and big brands know all too well that issue like this, once they get into the consumer mindset, are very damaging.

Consumer do not like bullies, and they hate big brands that exploit anyone. Add to that a UK press that likes any excuse to bash big brands and loves a David & Goliath story, you have a serious enemy.

A great example of how one human concerned charity forced the big retailers to back down was ActionAid’s legendary ‘WHO PAYS?” campaign (created by us).

Acion Aid Posters

The situation was that big supermarkets were offering consumers discounts on produce like apples to drive sales. But the supermarkets didn’t pay for the discount, they passed it on down the line to the farmers and eventually the people who picked the apples off the tree. Disgusting or what?

The WHO PAYS? campaign signed up over 40,000 shoppers within weeks, gained loads of publicity and forced a massive U-turn. That’s the power of great ideas that engage the consumer. (See the video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QzaqfLmUUCQ )

FDs of big brands may pat themselves on the back for making a few quid in the short term but with politicians, trade bodies, industry heads, journalists and the consumer all saying “this is wrong, this is unethical and it’s bad for business and society” it’s only a matter of time before they will be forced to U-turn. And with that could come legislation that will chain them to ethical payment policies for good.

Thatcher’s era of ‘Greed is Good” has been replaced by ‘Greed is Bad”. We now live in an era where social and environmental ethics is essential to good business practice. And just because you have a recycling policy and avoid using Asian sweat shops, doesn’t matter at all if the consumer sees you as unethical in the way you treat people at home. It’s only a matter of time before “how ethical are your payment terms?” gets added to the conscientious consumers check list.

Because FD’s have little connection with ethical policies, they are unaware of the fuse late and extended payments has lit. Or the explosion that could set their company’s reputation back years.

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#extendedpayments

Read more: http://arnoldonethicalmarketing.brandrepublic.com#ixzz2YYkHnKm7 

Read more: http://arnoldonethicalmarketing.brandrepublic.com#ixzz2YYk6wNY0

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May and spring is here…

LEGAL, DECENT, HONEST AND TRUTHFUL?

CAN WE REALLY BELIEVE SOCIAL MEDIA NUMBERS ANYMORE?

Take part in our survey into trust.

Given the recent revelations that Justin Bieber (and many other stars) have ‘faked up’ Twitter numbers, plus the faking up of Facebook followers for brands, here is your chance to tell us what you think for a piece on Brand Republic.

It can cost as little as £5 for 1000 fans, so is it any wonder people cheat the numbers? Is it acceptable, dishonest or even criminal?

As an experiment we bought 5,00 followers for a Twitter account for just £25. Within 24 hours they were there, and 95% still there a week later.

At Creative Orchestra we think HONESTY is an important value, which is why we are conducting this survey.

Take the survey at www.fakebookit.com

Likes or Lies? (Video ad)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TfvpKT_c7aA

Followers or fraud? (Video ad)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t1a3bP9jl5k

Fakebook ad v2

 

 

Check out this article on Forbes. http://www.forbes.com/sites/tristanlouis/2013/04/27/fake-twitter-followers-a-dirty-marketing-secret/

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