Latest Posts

Selfless selfies: Millennials and social responsibility

ice bucket challenge by Anthony Quintano:FlickrThe summer of 2014 was dominated by the craze for ‘selfless selfies’. It can’t have escaped anyone with a Facebook feed (over 1.2 billion): #nomakeupselfie, #icebucketchallenge. They have overwhelmed social media, their online omnipresence reflecting their viral success.

#Nomakeupselfie raised over £8 million in six days, whilst the ice bucket challenge raised $100 million for the ALS Association in just one month, and £7 million for MNDA as of August.

Yet the latest incarnations of this trend, #Wakeupselfie and Dowe Egberts’ #NoOrdinaryTache campaign for Movember are prompting the inevitable backlash.

As we begin to tire of the same old format, much of the debate centres on whether or not all these campaigns are indicative of an inherent narcissism amongst participants. Read More »

For banks, going digital isn’t enough

lloydsThis week Lloyds announced that it would be cutting 9,000 jobs and closing 200 branches after predicting that visits to its branches will halve over the next three years. Instead of investing in bricks and mortar stores the bank promises that its customers will benefit from an increase in digital services – but what does this mean in terms of consumer experience?

By closing so many branches Lloyds will be taking away the local experience for many of its customers. Although this local aspect may not be as important to the modern, digital consumer, it is important to think about the benefits it afforded. It gave the bank an opportunity to have a very simple and effective one-to-one relationship with their customers.

For customers this also meant a place to go for bespoke advice, to rectify complaints and find solutions to their financial problems – so how do banks maintain this relationship in a digital world? Read More »

Industry reaction: Twitter and Facebook Q3 results

facebook mobileIn a week that saw Facebook and Twitter announce their Q3 financial results, we ask four industry experts to give us their bite-sized takes on the figures. Read More »

Science fiction may be retail reality – but why is it still missing the mark?

ocadoScience fiction has helped influence what we develop and how use technology in our society. As we look back at our favourite sci-fi movies, one common thread is the way that new technology is meant to change and enhance the experiences of those that interact with it.

Proximity technology (beacons), for example, drives advanced personalisation, interactive displays and magic mirrors, wearable technology and customer service driven by big data-crunching super computers are just a few examples of technology-driven experiences that have made the transition from science fiction to retail reality. Read More »

Nostalgic Christmas ads might be a thing of the past

bear and hareAnother year brings another fanfare as mid-Autumn ads from the big brands are rolled out to entice consumers to spend big both in-store and online this Christmas.

Last year we had Debenhams highlighting its elegant clothing, M&S taking us down the rabbit hole, and of course – who can forget – John Lewis’ Bear and the Hare. Christmas ads inevitably form part of the national psyche in the run-up to the festive period, so it’s crucial that brands get it right. It’s a huge opportunity to connect with and reach consumers at a time when their attention turns to budgeting for Christmas.

The best Christmas ads can warm consumers to a brand by harnessing the emotional attachment many people have with the period. However, get it wrong and you risk being remembered for all the wrong reasons long after the decorations have come down. So what do I think we can expect this year?

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Happy 20th birthday to the display ad

cakeThis week exactly 20 years ago, the very first online ad, by AT&T, was introduced to the world. It had a 44% click-through rate, and marketers were ecstatic.

This ad from AT&T that appeared on (now was simple, yet effective, and was enough to launch an entire industry over the next two decades.

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Clinique brings socially-activated art to Covent Garden

The OrbLook up if you’re passing through Covent Garden this weekend.

Beauty brand Clinique will be suspending a glowing orb eight metres above the ground from 31 October to 1 November – its first social media-activated art installation.

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Stop. Check. Post?

Why an unfocused social-media strategy is a waste of moneyWe are in an age of Too Much Information. The proliferation of social media, coupled with our desire to share every moment of our lives with friends and followers means we’re constantly exposed to (depending on how old you are) babies, weddings, foodporn, running routes, holiday photos and party pics.

Sharing is a huge part of being social, and keeping up to date with these events is why so many of us are addicted to checking social media, even if we don’t always want to admit it. However, we do have a breaking point. Everyone has ‘that’ friend on social – the one who takes sharing a step too far, spewing out updates on the most mundane aspects of their lives to clog up our news feeds. And it’s not just our friends who are guilty of this cardinal social media sin – brands are at it too.

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Johnny Cupcakes bakes a Linkin Park Halloween treat

slide-4This Halloween brand partnership made me smile. Two very cool brands coming together to create something unique, a great customer experience and a real word-of-mouth generating promotion.

Legendary rock bank Linkin Park have teamed up with innovative fashion brand Johnny Cupcakes to deliver a unique, limited edition Johnny Cupcakes t-shirt. Not only that but Linkin Park are giving away their fan club Linkin Park Underground membership with every t-shirt bought.

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Brand death: 6 reasons not to delete Twitter accounts

twitterbirdsIt’s becoming a fashion statement: “I’m leaving Twitter.” But, whilst indulgently retreating into the digital shadows is a fine attention-grabbing tactic for cosseted celebrities, brands should think twice.

This time last year, the pop group Girls Aloud had 109,000 Twitter followers. Then the band split up, deleting its Twitter account. Becoming what one follower called a “ghost band” deprived the girls and their label of any future opportunity to market still-available archive recordings.

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