Branding

CVS Pharmacy: Walking the Talk

 CVS
 
Marketing is all about reputation, a notion that CVS Pharmacy embraced when it surprised the world by banning the sale of cigarettes in their stores - a bold move that may hit their revenue by US$2 billion, only in the very first year.
 
When it comes to building a brand, you have to practice what you preach. Within the scope of a “health-oriented" positioning, selling products that can harm said health clearly goes in the opposite direction. Which is why we can't help but conclude: in order to build a great brand, you must put purpose beyond profit.
 
 

A look back: The Campaigns that rocked Cannes in 2013

Cannes Lions Festival

In less than a month, the world of brands will come together for what is the biggest celebration in the industry of advertising. A place where everyone working in the field of communications - from agencies, to media specialists, to marketers - are inspired by a week of nothing but ideas. Or as Marcelo Serpa, Partner and Chief Creative Officer at AlmapBBDO once said: "Cannes is the worst enemy of indifference. It is here where we gather each year to share the only antidote we have for the indifference of consumers overloaded with information - ads, films and campaigns - creativity." 

Here's a review of the campaigns that rocked the 2013 Cannes Lions:

Channel 4 - "Meet the Superhumans"

Agency: 4 Creative London | Country: UK

Awards and categories: Grand Prix in Film Craft | Gold in Film


Procter & Gamble - "Proud Sponsor of Moms"

Agency: Wieden + Kennedy, Portland | Country: USA

Awards and categories: Gold in Media | Gold in Titanium and Integrated Content


Intel - "The Beauty Inside"

Agency: Pereira & O'Dell | Country: USA

Awards and categories: Gold in Integrated Content and Cyber (Best Copywriting) | Grand Prix in Branded Content and Entertainment, Cyber and FIlm (Internet Series)


Nike - "Find your Greatness"

Agency: Wieden + Kennedy, Portland | Country: USA

Awards and categories: Titanium in Titanium & Integrated


Google + Hangouts - "Same Sex Marriages"

Agency: Ogilvy | Country: France

Awards and categories: Gold in PR


Dove - "Camera Shy"

Agency: Ogilvy + Mather, London | Country: UK

Awards and categories: Gold in Film


Samsung Life Insurance - "The Bridge of Life"

Agency: Cheil Worldwide | Country: South Korea

Awards and categories: Gold in Promo & Activation (Ambient) | Gold in Promo & Activation (Public Health and Safety) | Titanium in Titanium and Integrated


Leica - "Soul"

Agency: Saatchi & Saatchi | Country: Brazil

Awards and categories: Gold in Film Craft (Cinematography)


Coca-Cola - "Share a Coke"

Agency: Leo Burnett Chicago | Country: USA / India / Pakistan

Awards and categories: Gold in Creative Effectiveness | Creative Marketer of the Year


Getty Images - "Life Cuts"

Agency: AlmapBBDO | Country: Brazil

Awards and categories: Gold in Film Craft (Editing)


Dove - "Sketches"

Agency: Ogilvy Brazil | Country: Brazil

Awards and categories: Gold in Branded Content & Entertainment, Integrated Content, Cyber, Film, Media, PR (Social Media), PR (Integrated Campaign), Promo & Activation, Titanium & Integrated | Grand Prix in Titanium & Integrated


Metro - "Dumb Ways to Die"

Agency: McCann Melbourne | Country: Australia

Awards and categories: Gold in Branded Content & Entertainment (Music), Integrated Content, Cyber (Music Sound & Editing, Video, Viral Advertising, Online Video), Direct (Digital Marketing & Social Media, Public Health & Safety), Film Craft (Music), Film (Viral Film), Media, PR (Social Media), Promo & Activation (Social Media, Public Health & Safety) | Grand Prix in Direct, Film, PR, Radio, Titanium & Integrated


This post is part of the Road to Cannes Series.

Re-defining Your Brand Through Corporate Events

corporate events

Corporate events are the perfect opportunity to really change the perception of your brand, not through traditional advertising methods - but by immersing your clients in a world that’ll really get people talking. Because more often than not, it’s not just a matter of getting attendees to show up. The best corporate events are those which manage to create a world of their own - one that’s fully immersive and makes your guests feel like they’re part of something unique.

Whether it’s to launch a new product, build upon your internal communications, or build a buzz around your business, creating a great corporate event really can be enhanced by having the right type of staff in place. We’ve seen this to be true across all sectors - from automotive, to telecoms, from utilities to banking - people are at the very heart of the event experience.

What Makes Corporate Events Different?

When putting together a corporate event, it’s essential to focus entirely on your guests. More than anything else, corporate events are an opportunity to create an experience that delights and inspires everyone in attendance - and to generate positive associations between the world, and your brand.

More often than not, they’re a closed space, for a limited number of guests - which means it’s important to make sure they’re innovative, but accommodating to your visitors’ requirements. By creating an event that delivers everything your guests expect from a corporate event, whilst managing to offer something that’s just a little bit unique, it’s possible to redefine your brand - and leave your guests wanting to engage with, and share, their experiences with a wider audience.

corporate events

Why Are People Important?

No matter the scope of your event or the brand you’re trying to promote, a great staff needs to be a constant. From the team of people behind-the-scenes trying to make things happen, to the hosts and hostesses greeting and assisting your guests, it’s essential to have people who understand the importance of your brand experience. From mixologists, to presenters and cameramen, every person at your event is a representative of your brand - and they have the potential to change the perception of your brand in a powerful way.

By investing in the highest calibre of a team, it is possible to re-define your brand and revitalise your relationship with your clients, consumers and internal staff. We regularly guide our clients through briefing and training to ensure that they’re making the very most of the opportunity, because it’s easily overlooked - but absolutely fundamental in achieving the brand awareness and respect that such events are designed to generate.

mashstaffing

Corporate events are a great opportunity to redefine your brand - and get people really talking about your business both at the event, and in the wider sphere. They can be immersive, powerful experiences for your guests - and with the right people on board, you can guarantee its success.

Matt Day works in the brand marketing team at Mashstaffing.com, were he helps companies create re-branding events. If you're looking for advice in re-branding a product, company or brand, look at some of Mash Staffing's advice articles

Photo credits: MASH Staffing on Pinterest

The Art of Design: Massimo Vignelli (Video)

Massimo Vignelli

It was a cool, crisp, New York afternoon. Amidst the quietness inside the taxicab, the air, the city, was full of excitement. An endless amount of cars stood between us and our destination. I checked my watch and read the time: 2:55pm. “Great,” I thought, “We’ll be late.”

I picked up my phone and dialed. Seconds later, a serene and sweet voice answers. “Hello?” “Mr. Vignelli , I mean, Massimo,” I said, as I remembered what he had insisted I should call him, “It’s Maria Elena. Just wanted to tell you I’m on my way. We’ve hit terrible traffic; huge jam on 4th avenue.”  To this, he calmly replies, “No worries, I’ll be here.” His voice was a soothing melody that juxtaposed with undeniable perfection the chaos that was the city.

Minutes - or what seemed as an eternity - later, we pulled up to his apartment. Bags, cameras, tripods and iPad in hand, we quickly made it through the building.

Massimo Vignelli, 83 and Italian-born, answered the door with a warm and endearing smile, wearing his signature color – black. It took us a couple of seconds to fully grasp and process the long- awaited moment. He immediately showed us in, gave us a tour of his beautiful home and led us into his living room office. A brilliantly-lighted double height black-and-white space with nothing but a massive window and a square table, evoked his bona-fide credo consistent through decades.

It seemed as though every corner of his home portrayed that distinctive Vignelli philosophy: simplicity and elegance. As Ernesto, More Than Branding’s beloved video director set up the cameras, I sat down with Massimo and reviewed the questions for the interview. His graceful manner during our conversation reflected the ease in which he, very graciously, obliged for an interview weeks before. I had always dreamed of discussing the world of design with a man responsible for the creation of so many iconic products – a man who has contributed so much to the field of branding and communications. Equipped with my massive notes and questions, we began. 

As a child who grew up in the design-driven city of Milan, Massimo knew he wanted to pursue a life in the field by the young age of 14. After attending the Polytechnic University of Milan, he worked in the Studio of Achille Casteglioni, a world-renowned Italian designer. It was here where Vignelli’s famous maxim started taking its shape. It was here where the concept of applying the fundamentals of design to everything in a minimal, simplistic way, became the essence of his ideology and his craft.

Massimo and Lella Vignelli

The incomparable duo: Massimo and Lella Vignelli in their New York City apartment. (Photo by John Madere)

He and his wife Lella founded Vignelli Associates more than four decades ago after moving from Italy to New York City during the 1960’s. With a vast formation in the field of architecture and design, they set forth on a journey that has resulted in an undisputable stamp on our visual culture. Their profession has encompassed everything from architecture, advertising, corporate identity, graphic design, packaging, interiors, product design, books, magazines (among them AAA), furniture and industrial design, as well as countless other products under their distinguishable and iconic aesthetic.

Within the corporate world, they were responsible for the creation of notorious brands such as American Airlines, Bloomingdale’s, Ford, IBM, United Colors of Benetton, Heller, Knoll and a myriad of others across the globe. During the 70’s, the Vignelli’s developed what became the legendary map and signage for the New York City Metro System.

New York City Metro

In an interview for Design Boom, he described his work as: “Spare, essential, intellectually elegant, strong, and timeless.” The Vignelli brand is the embodiment of the attitude that less is always more - ridding oneself of the unnecessary in pursuit of conciseness and sophistication.

In addition to practicing their profession, Massimo and his wife Lella both taught, wrote, served as jury and board members, lectured and contributed their talent to the field of design. It was this proclivity that led them to Dominican Republic in 2006, as visiting professors in the esteemed Altos de Chavón School of Design

Amongst the Vignellis’ many accomplishments, Massimo and Lella were awarded the AIGA (American Institute of Graphic Arts) Gold Medal in 1982 and were included in the Art Directors Club Hall of Fame in 1988. The AIGA medal —the most distinguished in the field—is awarded to professionals who have have excelled in the field of design and visual communication throughout the actual practice of design, teaching, writing or general leadership.

Perhaps one of the best definitions of the Vignelli design is found in an article written in 1983 by David Brown, Wylie Davis and Rose DeNeve published in AIGA Graphic Design: 

“It is not enough that something—a chair, an exhibition, a book, a magazine—looks good and is well designed. The ‘why’ and the ‘how,’ the very process of design itself, must be equally evident and quite beyond the tyranny of individual taste. The Vignelli commitment to the correctness of a design has taken their work beyond the mechanical exercise of devising a form best suited to a given function. They've always understood that design itself, in the abstract, could and should be an integral part of function. More than a process and a result, design—good design—is an imperative.”

United Colors of Benetton

Massimo Vignelli is the personification of a commitment to excellence fueled by an undeniable passion for the field of design – “Design that is visually powerful, that is intellectually elegant, and above all, timeless.”  I can’t help but admire this relentless approach to raising the bar of one’s profession, to the establishment of a legacy that interconnects with all areas of our daily lives. My profound respect stems from his infallible pursuit of relevance, to his keenness in observing everything and everyone – to reading life and contributing to it.

After two and a half hours, we were done with the interview. That same night I followed-up with a thank you email, to which he kindly replied including this last comment:

“There is no valid branding without an overall integrity of the company or products - otherwise is just empty styling - reflecting the company’s overall shallowness. And that is the kiss of death for any kind of company. I see this as a fundamental issue in relation to branding. It’s either real or it is phony. There is no middle ground on these issues.”

In a world so concerned with what is said and done, this moment during the video will forever echo in my heart: “The most important thing is to observe, keep track of everything and not miss anything…” accompanied by his enthusiastic smile - contagious and eternal. 


To watch the interview with Spanish subtitles, click here. / Para ver la versión subtitulada al español, haz click aquí.

Photo credits: John Madere / Massimo and Lella Vignelli.