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Brand Experience: The Modern Narrative

Nike

Nike's strategy is cemented on determination: the story of a hero's journey, emerging triumphant against the odds.

When it comes to human connection, what good is your brand if it doesn’t evoke an experience? Campaigns may come and go, but in today’s world, brands should strive to focus on creating memories. Experiences are part of the things people carry for the rest of their lives. Brands such as Nike, for instance, base their vision on elevating the experience of the athlete. Authenticity is a key aspect when it comes to creating a brand experience. Ask yourself,  “Is there a real reason why the client is using the product at that particular moment?” Brands that will succeed in the future will harness this power and add the extra value to people’s life.

Media companies and brands are the same business: the business of telling stories that influence behavior and change minds. Understanding a consumer’s journey is key in order to leverage opportunities of having a voice during each step of the way. One way to approach brand stories is through the premise of having something interesting and creative to say. The news needs to be interesting enough to want to be shared.

It all starts with the user experience. After studying the consumer, think of what the person will take away from your brand and what this experience is translating into. What do you want people to think, to feel? Do people understand the story and what we’re conveying? Does the story adapt to the medium? And last, but not least, would people be compelled enough to want to share that information?

Digital platforms such as social media are excellent opportunities to ignite conversations revolving a product that often lead to one of the most powerful assets a brand could have: a community. Creating an environment suitable for user-generated content is the ideal scenario that not only provides a snapshot, but an ongoing story with people.

GoPro's Youtube channel features user-generated footage shot with their own cameras.

GoPro's Youtube channel features user-generated footage shot with their products, which has seduced viewers everywhere.

As a brand who creates stories worth sharing, what does it take for a person to want to share branded content? If you’re a brand and if you’re going to create content, you need a consumer centric approach that considers: the channels in which they consume content, the information they want to consume, a content that inspires credibility and that people might think their friends are going to like, and last, but not least, content that must add value.

We live in an age that demands constant reinvention. We can’t just do something and go “Phew, I’m glad that’s over.”

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.

Favorite players in the 2012 London Olympics

 

A week after the closing ceremony of the 2012 London Olympics, it's hard not to miss what was two weeks of great sportsmanship and brand coverage. For you see, I'm a sucker when it comes to this. There's a part of me that simply loves the celebration of man's achievements, while honoring a tradition that has been part of us over centuries. With London serving as a terrific host, brands pulled up their sleeves and made the best from an opportunity that arises once every four years. It was time to amp up the volume and turn up the heat. Especially when it came to new marketing platforms such as social media. (Read our post "Which brand gets the gold in the 2012 Olympic Games" for more.) 

So after all was said and done, here are my favorite brand performances all throughout the games. From ambush marketing, to traditional TV commercials, to brilliant copyrighting, these were the players who grabbed the gold:

VISA

Visa has been a worldwide sponsor of the games since 1986, and made a great effort in reinforcing the concept of "Go",  engrained in its positioning statement a few years back. "When we come together, to cheer as one, well... we know what happens." The ads' general tone, color and Morgan Freeman's unmistakable voice make the series unforgettable. 




 

NIKE

Who can leave out this phenomemon? Nike has always leveraged in the force behind the man, the strength and will to move foward towards greatness. What better way of commemorating the event by celebrating everyday heroes?



P&G

Hands down to my favorite campaign in this year's Olympics, by far. The emotional, tear-driven stories behind the athletes are only enriched by a fascinating insight on which the ads were cemented upon: mothers. (Honestly, you'll need a box of Kleenex for this, I mean it.) Indeed, who would have thought you could connect a laundry detergent and a dish soap brand to man's most celebrated sporting event? 



Besides these two vids, the brand also released a series dedicated to different athletes from all over the world in different sports - swimming, gymnastics, volleyball - the list goes on. It's a brilliant tribute not only to the Olympic stars, but also to the women who got them to where they are now.

Here are a few of them, but make sure to check out the complete "Raising an Olympian" series:




 

BEATS by DR. DRE

One of the most noted (and controversial) brands during the Olympics was none other than Beats, by Dr. Dre. The personalized headphones were strategically handed out to athletes, who in no time wore them everywhere. This technique, called "ambush marketing" is illustrated by Tom Fishburne in his cartoon called "The Power of Ambush Marketing."  Unfortunately, according to Pocket-Link, participants were banned from wearing them and were only allowed to sport headphones from Panasonic, official sponsor of the games. Who cares? The attention and buzz around the brand played out beautifully.

Google

Google's daily doodles honoring the games were a daily dose of remarkable. They ranged from tributes to athletes, to sports competitions - from simple illustrations to interactive games. With a total of 17, here are my top 4 favorites, two of which were interactive and hits in computers screens all over the world.

Interactive: Click here to play

Interactive: Click here to play

Honestly, four years seem far too long for another Olympics, but hey, what can I do? Maybe I can pick up a sport in time for Rio. Archery, perhaps?