Enjoy!

Aoife

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Enjoy!
Aoife

So we all had a great night at the Radio Advertising Awards on Friday, none more so than our sister agency Cawley Nea who took home the Grand Prix.  Having a discussion later about the quality of radio creative, one of the party commented that the only way to forward the case of radio advertising, is to make it part of the culture. Strategy is all well and good, but it doesn’t impact much wider than management meetings. If you have a culture of creating great radio advertising, that’s what everyone does. Because when culture meets strategy, culture wins every time.

This is equally true in thinking about how businesses perform generally, in creativity, innovation, client service and any other desirable trait you’d like to promote.

Company culture is the sum of all the “this is the way we do things around here” type behaviours. It is the combination of leader personalities, the type of people they choose to hire and the relationships they have with each other. Strategies are a top down management product which can be developed and announced overnight. Culture is a collection of habits. It takes time to establish and time to change.

Our increasingly transparent world where companies can be exposed and embarrassed by vigilant bloggers and rogue tweeters, makes it even less feasible to separate company culture and brand identity. In our most recent wave of ID, we looked at the brands perceived by Irish youth as ethical and unethical. The results were telling. They were clearly drawing on much wider impressions of these companies to inform how they felt about “the brand”.

In the new order, marketing needs to be inbuilt, an intrinsic part of your company culture, to be credible. Everything about your company – how you treat your employees, your customers, your partners – defines your culture, and therefore defines your brand. As in life , as always, if you want to influence outside perceptions, you need to look inside first.

Neasa

Now That’s Advertainment!

September 14, 2009

Product placement on American television

Product placement on American television

With product placement to be introduced into UK television, the Irish media community has been live with debate on the prospects for product placement here. It raises some very valid questions on editorial integrity and separation of creative and commercial interests – but will programmes really be compromised and more importantly, do people actually care?

In the last wave of ID, we tested out concepts such as brand created content with young Irish consumers, to find out how they felt about blurring the lines between advertising and entertainment. One of the examples we used was the series of BMW films starring Clive Owen and a rake of other stars from Madonna to Ray Liotta.

Granted, we’ve found throughout ID that the younger end of Irish youth in particular, are much less cynical than the generation before them, when it comes to embracing brands and advertising without guilt or resentment. But overall, there was quite a clear acceptance of content which was funded by brands. The catch, as always, being that this content would need to meet the high standards of any other media creator, in order to grab their attention.

Ironically, the main qualm they had with the BMW films, was that they were too subtle to be an effective advertisement vehicle – they felt the product placement could have been more obvious. However we found throughout our testing that there was a very fine line to be walked between effective explicit branding and gratuitous overkill.

A recent example of an advertiser who has walked this line perfectly (literally!), is Johnnie Walker (thank you Ignition 5 from Phillipa & Vanessa). Johnnie Walker have created a superb piece of branded content to celebrate their 100th anniversary. In this five minute short film, Robert Carlyle walks through the Scottish Highlands, telling the story of the local whiskey brand and how it rose to global fame. Not only is it a hugely enjoyable piece of filmmaking, but the content is completely focused on the unique brand and product benefits. Art that sells.

Neasa

 

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