Thursday, 31 March 2011

The New Capitalist Manifesto: Building a Disruptively Better Business

The New Capitalist Manifesto: Building a Disruptively Better Businessby Umair Haque  - 256 pages.  Publication date: Jan 04, 2011. Prod. #: 12794-HBK-ENG

Welcome to the worst decade since the Great Depression. Trillions of dollars of financial assets destroyed; trillions in shareholder value vanished; worldwide GDP stalled. But this isn't a financial crisis, or even an economic one, says Umair Haque. It's a crisis of institutions--ideals inherited from the industrial age. These ideals include rampant exploitation of resources, top-down command of resource allocations, withholding of information from stakeholders to control them, and a single-minded pursuit of profit for its own sake. 

All this has produced "thin value"--short-term economic gains that accrue to some people far more than others, and that don't make us happier or healthier. It has left resources depleted and has spawned conflict, organizational rigidity, economic stagnation, and nihilism. In The New Capitalist Manifesto, Haque advocates a new set of ideals: 
(1)Renewal: Use resources sustainably to maximize efficiencies, 
(2) Democracy: Allocate resources democratically to foster organizational agility,
(3) Peace: Practice economic non-violence in business,
(4) Equity: Create industries that make the least well off better off, and 
(5) Meaning: Generate payoffs that tangibly improve quality of life. 
Yes, adopting these ideals requires bold and sustained changes. But some companies--Google, Walmart, Nike--are rising to the challenge. In this bold manifesto, Haque makes an irresistible business case for following their lead.


♔ Volkswagen (Australia's) 'Boot Tetris' Campaign

Volkswagen launched the Golf Wagon in a tough climate. After the worst of the global financial crisis appeared to be over, most car manufacturers were still suffering from sluggish sales. 

 The challenge facing VW was that it core audience regarded sport utility vehicles (or SUVs) as the car of choice for growing families in need of space. VW wanted to establish the Golf Wagon as a viable, fuel-efficient alternative to the SUV that had just as much space inside. A target of 10,000 customer interactions was set as a suitable number from which to generate meaningful sales leads.

VW required a communications strategy that broke the established rules of car advertising. Rather than focus solely on the functional benefits by listing features in traditional one-way broadcast media VW wanted to capture the interest and imagination of its audience enabling them to experience the car and benefits first hand. 

Three insights shaped the communications strategy for the Golf Wagon: Category, brand and consumer. 

 The category insight revealed that the car industry had in the past focused on the communication of a car's functional benefits in traditional advertising. VW strategy had to defy category conventions by entertaining in non-traditional channels. 

The Volkswagen brand has an irreverent and playful image (See VW fun theory). Research indicated that people were more willing to interact with Volkswagen than many competitor brands. VW strategy had to leverage this untapped opportunity by creating a one-to-one brand experience.

target consumer
VW's target consumers possess a strongly entrenched belief that SUVs offer more space than other cars, so VW had to convincingly prove that the Golf Wagon was just a spacious, This idea not only had to engage the potential buyer, but also for the kids they were likely to have accompanying them.

One of the most popular games the target consumer (aged 35-45 years) played when they were young was Tetris. This shape tessellation game was made world famous when it was distributed free with Nintendo's Game Boy handheld gaming system.
VW chose to adapt the famous game and use it to showcase the size of the Golf Wagon boot: Boot Tetris was born, as consumers tackled the challenge of packing the Golf Wagon boot with giant sized Tetris pieces in the quickest time possible.

Once VW brokered a licensing agreement with the creator of Tetris in the United States and secured his approval for the creation of Boot Tetris, Boot Tetris took over VW dealerships and shopping centers. It ran in 71 Volkswagen dealerships across Australia as well as a number of shopping centers that were selected on the basis of their index against the target audience. 

A bespoke Boot Tetris installation accommodating a Golf Wagon was created at each location. Each installation had a timing clock installed which recorded the time it took for players to place all 22 pieces into the boot. 

The installation included large screen LED TVs that displayed bespoke digital creative and a number of promotional staff that acted as game referees and captured leads from interested consumers. There was also a leaderboard at each location that displayed the ten quickest recorded times from that day. 

The Boot Tetris campaign was extended online with the creation of a microsite that informed consumers of where the tournament would take place.  This site also hosted a regularly updated leaderboard with the fastest times at each location and overall. The idea was also supported on Volkswagen's central website. 

At the end of the tournament consumers with the fastest time won prizes, which included an all expenses paid family weekend away in a Golf Wagon.

The resultS
The campaign overtook its engagement objectives by 61%, engaging with 17,477 people. 

The microsite attracted 32,433 unique visitors. 

The activation delivered 155 brochure requests, 430% more than the digital component. 
Volkswagen exceeded its sales targets for the Golf Wagon by 25%.  The activity was shortlisted in the Festival of Media Awards 2011 in the following categories:  "Best Communication and Entertainment Platform" and "Best Use of Creative Media".

Don't forget, you can get many more Case Studies, Campaigns, and Innovation daily by following Goodbuzz on Twitter and Facebook.  Content is unique to each channel and we try not to overlap and keep it fresh.  If you have campaigns or examples you'd like posted or discussed, please feel free to post or send it to us directly

Wednesday, 30 March 2011


This socially activated Foursquare campaign installation (for GranataPet, Germany) is so clever even Pavlov would be proud. The pet food brand positioned a socially activated installation to capture the target group while they walked their dogs - Video 

Guy Kawasaki and Brian Solis discuss brands, vision, inspiration, and Guy’s upcoming book the 'Art of Enchantment' – Video 

Jim Beam's Live Music Series is connecting fans and musicians with live concerts, exclusive live tracks, artist interviews, concert videos, and more - Jim Beam 

Get the Insider’s Experience and watch the Louis Vuitton fashion show from the front row via their highly interactive microsite 

This clever Skittles 'Touch' video is funny, viral, interactive and definitely disruptive – Video 

EA's guerilla teams secretly invaded the streets of London and Paris with 3D Projection Mapping - letting bystanders be the first to play the Crysis 2 game – Video 

Levi's new Watertank application on Facebook is encouraging fans to participate in saving water by registering to play the online game and help distribute water to those in need - Facebook 

72andSunny make the mobile check-in coupon experience a bit more interesting with their Happy Star Rewards™ App for Carl's Jr. and Hardee's - App 

Buick's March Madness campaign includes sponsored content on NCAA official Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and Foursquare apps, as well as a series of mini films featuring former student athletes doing good works  - Advertising Age 

In an increasingly fabricated world of spun messages and concocted experiences it's tough to demonstrate a brand's authenticity--even for a 200 year-old brand like Altoids - Goodbuzz 

The new Facebook Questions feature allows you to easily create any number of different poll types to solicit feedback and recommendations from your fans – More. What FB Questions means for Marketers? - More.

TLC's new blog, Parentables, is creating a space for parents to learn and share everything from owning and decorating a home to raising a family and staying healthy - Twitter 

Ralph Lauren’s 4D Projection Mapping made buildings seem to suddenly opened up like a dollhouse to unleash a 3D parade of four-story tall models, a gigantic virtual polo match, and larger-than-life products - Video 

Silk is encouraging fans to participate in their "Silk for Milk 10-Day Challenge" on Facebook through Twitter, YouTube videos, and a new micro site following their sampling road tour  - KOLD 

Carlsberg's (Sweden) “Unbottle Yourself” engaging website and iPhone app (by Åkestam Holst) extends 500 challenges and instant rewards - Video 

State Farm is launching a Facebook sweepstakes that requires fans to tag themselves in pictures of Ford automobiles for a chance to win a Ford Fusion hybrid - DMNews 

How Toyota leverages Social Media to Build Brand Advocacy (and doubled FB followers in two months) - Video 

After their huge success with a virtual snowball fight on Twitter last month, Rayovac is expanding their social media outreach with content for their "Indestructible Tour" spanning across Tumblr, Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, and blogs  - 

To ensure you can be just as annoying as that jackass sitting next to you at the last sporting event you attended, Pereira & O'Dell have developed a Pocket Vuvuzela iPhone App – Video 

For their new "Mac & Cheese TV" initiative, Kraft Foods is selecting five tweets from fans about macaroni and cheese to air on several cable TV late nightspots - ClickZ 

The Cleveland Indians are revamping their social media strategy for the 2011 season to include the Indians Social Suite -- an entire suite at Progressive Field catering to social media users - 

Soccer team Manchester United boasts the team with the most Facebook fans (with more than 10 million). Check out the Case Study 

Dell's shares how they are harnessing the power of social media to connect with customers, build relationships, and be perceived as a valued partner - Vimeo 

How do you create a brand for a country like Kenya that reinforces and resonates with how the citizens feel about themselves?  Hyper Island and iAD, Mikael Näslund came up with this clever campaign - Video 

Adidas France - 3D Mapping Projection is all about creativity, and establishing an emotional connection with the brand – Video 

Neuroscience, Primary Research, and Empathy - Jeremy Rifkin investigates the evolution of empathy, communication, and the profound ways it shapes our development and our society - Video 

A web interface for Microsoft's Halo franchise (by AKQA and Autofuss) lets gamers manipulate a Kuka industrial robot to create a virtual monument to Spartan warriors in Halo: Reach - Video 

Nike Football's ‘Write the Future’ Campaign uses Facebook to reach and connect with global football fans - Video 

Ford’s ‘Edge of Progress Tour’ has a GOOD writer cross the country in a Ford Edge to meet innovators and develop branded content – More 

The 'Escape Machine' (for Voyages) experience developed by DDB (Paris) surprises (and coincidentally offers the best way to explain post-coital bliss to the uninitiated we’ve ever seen) - Video 

Graphic Design legend David Carson on doing work you really love (and surfing as much as possible) – Video 

Nearly two decades after changing the face of typography with his magazine Ray Gun, David Carson is back with a new glossy—in print, of course—titled simply, CARSON – More 

Branding 101- Exploring the fragile link between authenticity and branding - More.

Don't forget, you can get many more Case Studies, Campaigns, and Innovation daily by following Goodbuzz on Twitter and Facebook.  Content is unique to each channel and we try not to overlap and keep it fresh.

If you have campaigns or examples you'd like posted or discussed, please feel free to post or send it to us directly

Monday, 28 March 2011

♔ Altoids® and Branding Authenticity

For any number of reasons, despite constantly shifting trends, styles and distractions, the Altoids brand has remained curiously strong since the reign of King George III, (referring to the high concentration of peppermint oil used).  It stems to reason then that Altoids digital agency (Big Spaceship) might suggest that Altoids celebrate their centuries of authenticity. 

CelebratING Authenticity 
Big Spaceship's campaign focused on finding meaningful ways to "honour genuineness in the digital space". 
 Rather than boast their own confidence, Altoids would honor authenticity by spotlighting those who stayed strong and unchanged, despite pressure to do otherwise.  Each week featured a site on their homepage that represented a person or group who followed their own path. Altoids highlighted the site, allowed fans to share it across social networks, discuss it on Facebook, and explore past featured selections. Fans were also invited to submit their favorite authentic sites, groups and people. essentially became a compendium of the authentic.

Spotlighting groups of craft swappers, a jet-setting museum lover and even a man who builds robots in his garage, Altoids message "follow your own path, and stay true to yourself". In other words, remain “Curiously Strong.”  

Alongside their celebration of authenticity, Big Spaceship highlighted another facet of the brand's steadfastness with Tune Out, a mobile and desktop application that lets users tune out the noise and tune in to their favorite people on Facebook (and Twitter.)

Strategy REDUX
In an increasingly shiny, fabricated world of spun messages and concocted experiences, where nearly everything we encounter is created for consumption, elevating a brand above the fray requires an uncommon mix of creativity and discipline. And nowhere do you see the challenge more starkly illustrated than in the quest for authenticity. "Authenticity is the benchmark against which all brands are now judged," notes John Grant in The New Marketing Manifesto. Or as Seth Godin quips in Permission Marketing: "If you can fake authenticity, the rest will take care of itself." Playing the authenticity game in a sophisticated way has become a requirement for every marketer, because the opposite of real isn't fake--it's cynicism. When a brand asserts authenticity in a clumsy way, it quickly breeds distrust or, at the very least, disinterest.

Both the promise and the peril of "getting real" are, indeed, very real. "Authentic" is derived from the Greek authentikós, which means "original." And unfortunately, there's no recipe for originality. Each brand must build its own primary source code for the authentic. Still, there are some larger lessons (and pitfalls) that anyone charged with overseeing a brand would be wise to consider.  Driving authenticity may be deemed necessary, but it cannot be compelled.  And therein lies an authentic paradox: A brand doesn't feel real when it overtly tries to make itself real.

Authenticity also constantly requires reinforcement, and it can come from a number of sources: craftsmanship, timeliness, and relevance. But it is a brand's values--the emotional connection it makes--that truly define its realism.

‘Curiously Strong’ versus ‘Authentic’

Ubiquity might not be toxic to authenticity, but it certainly dilutes it. When a brand spreads far beyond its home turf, its branches almost invariably (though not inevitably) weaken.  Therefore, while extending consumers a message of ‘authenticity’ is not a bad idea per se (it’s all revealed in the execution), we suspect the ‘curiously strong’ message would have been much easier to demonstrate and reinforce.  More importantly, it’s a stronger somatic marker then simply reinforcing the brands two hundred year pedigree.

Certainly to maintain its integrity, Altoids must remain true to its values. However, to be relevant--or cool--the brand must be as dynamic as change itself.  Any authentic brand reconciles those two conflicting impulses, and finds ways to be original within the context of its history.
From a strategic standpoint both messages (authenticity and strength) are relevant, however, ask yourself whether Altoids is really differentiated in its space more by being authentic or being strong?  We’d suggest the later.  Therefore, any/all brand communications should strive to reinforce ‘strength’ and create an emotional connection between the strength of Altoids and the positive results.  One could further surmise that Altoids has remained essentially unchanged for 200 years because men have essentially remained unchanged for 200 years.  The need for a stronger breath mint has never disappeared.  Therefore, creating a campaign that allowed consumers to both evidence and reinforce the many ‘authentic’ situations where a stronger breath mint is still required today is likely more memorable, reinforcing and easier demonstrated. 

Why?  Simply because then the consumer is looking to emotionalize, reinforce, and evidence the products primary differentiation whether comforting or fearful.  As this engagement is aimed at the limbic brain it stimulates emotional reactions.  These feelings are then linked to the perception of the product. This is how emotional reactions influence attitudes and values (as they affect our attitude about the product being sold before the cortical brain even knows what is being sold.)  Reinforcing messaging as to what is ‘authentic’ in comparison is a broader and more convoluted expression ---as it means entirely different things to everyone, while not really paying off the brands core value. 

Can you be authentic when you're trying to be authentic? By definition, isn’t everything authentic? While certainly powerful in its meaning and association, it’s also a tenet that is being utilized and reinforced by so many brands today, its diluted immediately (by definition). With so many brands claiming to be authentic, all are seemingly discredited.  Any Altoids campaign or promotion should therefore seek to influence consumers without their conscious awareness of having been influenced.  The ‘curiously strong’ message is the perfect vehicle to do this.

What does it mean then to be curiously strong?  What is the real value of things that are curiously strong in unique situations?  Confucius said to never ‘use a cannonball to kill a mosquito’ - however there must be situations in our lives where ignoring this pragmatic wisdom is a lifesaver.  

Imagine a campaign that evidenced the other things in our lives that added real value that are curiously strong?  What are things in the consumer’s lives that are curiously strong yet necessary?  Bear spray, Shark repellant, a first-aid kit; essentially all the things in life that we may not always use, but should always have them nearby in case we need to use them.  By encouraging consumers to identify and evidence these things in their own lives, they are (subconsciously and repeatedly) attributing the same unique value to Altoids (while this attribution slips undetected under the radar of critical judgment.)  The value proposition is deemed real and associated.  Moreover, what also becomes real are the experiences and the connections that Altoids facilitate – like having the opportunity to talk to an attractive person even after we’ve eaten an entire garlic-laden Donair. 

Just our two-cents of course, however focusing on the ‘Curiously Strong’ message versus the ‘Authenticity’ affords a far more relevant, powerful (and sustainable) way to shape consumers perceptions.  What do you think?