Lessons for hiring, growing and sustaining in the digital age – Netflix CEO on freedom and responsibility in the workplace

So many lessons in here for any business particularly one looking to grow or transform in a digital age.

Preventing chaos, bureaucracy and allowing employees to take responsibility and act in the company’s best interests.


Catvertising – ‘LOL’

Bit old but still a winner…

Marketing manifesto for the 21st Century – Coca Cola Content 2020 (Part 1 & 2)

‘Holidays’s are coming, holidays are coming…’

…well ok, they’ve just been, but it seems an appropriate time of year to highlight the marketing feats that have come out of The Coca-Cola Company over the last few decades. The arrival of the Coke truck, the cuddly polar bears, the big red and white Santa have all been synonymous with Christmas or ‘Holiday’, evoking warm memories in consumers hearts ever since I have been born and long before.

The Company has managed to use it’s communications with consumers to claim ‘ownership’ of Christmas, to mark the start of it even (as several of my friends tweets/fb posts will testify), to sell their chilled sweetened beverages.

The Christmas Coke strategy hasn’t been the only great feat to come out of The Company’s marketing efforts, and across the range they are responsible for a great catalogue of interesting and successful work. However, as a brand with such a heritage they have, like other big brands, had to work out how to continue such success in an increasingly complex, changing, fragmented and uncertain marketing world. To do this they have set out their stall and formulated a recipe for marketing success in the 21st century in the below 2 films.

They attempt to answer the questions on every 21st Century marketer’s lips:

– How to get to grips with new technologies
– How to cope with moving away from reliance on the TVC and the core idea often encapsulated within it, adding layers to it with other channels
– How to leverage content and tie it back to unifying brand proposition
– How to be answer the demand of ‘always on’ comms
– How to use agency and content providers
– How to divide their budgets to ensure results and testing
– How to research their work and derive quality learnings and useable insights

In the spirit of transparency, they have shared their work with these ‘RSA Animate‘ style animated films, uploaded to YouTube and boldly open for all including competitors to see.

Here they are, hopefully much more coherent than my waffle. Erm… ‘Enjoy’

Part 1

Part 2

Video synopsis:
“The media landscape is a very different beast today than it was even 5 years ago. Then agency-led television commercials dominated how we channel our marketing. The very fact you are reading this here proves that things have changed. Coca Cola have always been at the forefront of innovation. In this video Jonathan Mildenhall, Vice-President, Global Advertising Strategy and Creative Excellence at The Coca-Cola Company is the person responsible for leading global creative vision and strategy for the Company’s portfolio of global brands. In this video he explains how Coke will leverage the opportunities in the new media landscape and transform one-way storytelling into dynamic storytelling hoping to add value and significance to peoples lives. Jonathan describes the challenge of content creation in an enlightening way, reminding us that “every contact point with a customer should tell an emotional story”.”

#hardandfast a summary of the @TheBHF Promoted Trend on @TwitterUK

Interesting use of Twitters ‘Promoted Trend’ ad product in the UK today from the guys @TheBHF 

Using the hastag #hardandfast promoted in UK trending topics, they have created intrigue and interest in their new ad, promoting the basics of CPR as demonstrated by Vinnie Jones. Drawing visitors to Twitter.com in to the conversation with the trend, they drove conversation and YouTube views for the online launch of the ad. 


Here are a couple of the examples of the tweets that masthead the conversation:


As far as I can ascertain (by 11pm on the 5th Jan 2011) they have gained about 5K clicks on the link http://bity.ly/hardandfast+ driving 38K+ views of the on the ad, (although I would expect this to be higher as YouTube views tend to lag), all in all a success for engagement based campaign for the charity.  


One particularly nice feature was this YouTube annotation driving to an auto-populated tweet to share the ad (including the hashtag obviously).


The hard working @TheBHF team even found in what must have been a busy day to reply to some of their mentions, including those from influencers and Z-List celebs


Slightly disappointing follower growth though according to TwitterCounter but I guess Twitter have always been explicit that this is not the point of this product…you’ve got Promoted Accounts for that! 


Vinnie is a perfect ‘social media’ star for the campaign and using his media friendly personality and story about his own wife Tanya’s heart transplant as a PR ‘hook’ to gather useful column inches although it might have been nice to embed the video in these articles or revisiting after social launch. 

All in all then a strong performance of driving conversation in social media, and premiering content online before ATL launch. It’ll be interesting to see what social calls to action are afforded on the above the line comms.

I guess the only thing missing is a tweet from the ‘Hard man’ himself who appears not to have tweeted for 6 months ;-( 


(image courtesy of TheSun.co.uk)

<script type=”text/javascript” src=”http://twittercounter.com/embed/?style=graph&usernames=TheBHF&height=300&width=500&data=followers&chart=weekly&type=line”></script><noscript><a href=”http://twittercounter.com/TheBHF”>BHF on Twitter Counter.com</a></noscript>

Music Trends – JWT Things to watch (music edition)

When I met Zia, a sales rep from Spotify, in 2008 I remember being completely in awe that a ‘new’ service based out of Sweden had managed to muscle in on the closed and rigid music market and had somehow convinced the labels that there was a new way to distribute their music. Most of us in the media department struggled to see how long it could last. It seemed ‘too good to be true’ for the user, and for the advertiser alike, targeting audio messages to a degree a radio spot never could, and offering a visual CTA at the same time.

I was working buying radio spots for Sony BMG at the time and had witnessed first hand the changes in the industry that iTunes and torrents had brought, and another of our clients, Zavvi, had gone into administration just before Christmas. The one constant, as the health of the radio listening figures was testament to, was that people wanted access to a lot of music and preferably for free.

Spotify has come a long way since then, a US launch, and Facebook integration among the landmark shifts and consumption of the service has exploded as it gains traction in The States. Functionality has increased to the point where you can now indulge pretty much any musical need, my own most recent fascination is creating a neverending recommendation engine out of the service by scrobbling tracks I play to last.fm and then creating an ever evolving Recommendations playlist with Soundmatch. I would strongly recommend it if you haven’t tried it and subscribe to Spotify premium.

Music consumption in the digital age is clearly an ever-evolving beat and it looks like the US might be nearly ready to share some of their other goodies with the rest of the world as services like Rdio and MOG come over, not to mention recently improved Deezer gaining some traction.

This deck from (tr)ad agency JWT spells out a few of the developments in the market form a global perspective highlighting new services (like shuffler.fm) exploring functional developments on existing mainstream services (like Shazam) and grouping them into trends…enjoy!

Getting guys to use condoms! The Durex Baby app

This is a great use of a mobile app to drive home the realities of what you are exposing yourself to when you have unprotected sex.

It hinges on the insight that what really worries guys, and would get them to use condoms more, is the fear of an unwanted pregnancy. Letting guys see what the consequences might be like to live with rather than hammering the ‘silent’ threat of STDs down their throats.

Here’s the case study:

It’s certainly not first time the tactic of exposing young men to the annoying/labour intensive realities children has been used to market condoms to guys but takes it to a whole new level of engagement compared to humorous attempts in the past, driven mainly in 30″ commercials (warning excessive sound levels)

Thanks to MEC’s James Caig for the erm, tip at the Google@MEC conference!

10 Facebook Tips – Slideshare

Some nice principles and examples here in this Facebook Tips deck

Courtesy of AlisonZarrella.com