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Sunday, 06 December 2015 00:00

Demanding times call for on-demand brands

Simply put, we’re living in the ‘age of now’. The proliferation of smartphone technology has made us accustomed to always-on connectivity. We are frustrated when we have to wait one second for a video to buffer. And online shopping has transformed retail operating hours, allowing purchase at any time, any day.

This trend to ‘now’ is translating into how consumers are interacting with products and services. For instance, it’s no longer acceptable to take many hours to respond to a customer query; a delayed communication in respect of any negative publicity is viewed as an admission of guilt; and, if your stock is not replenished in time, consumers speak with their feet, thumbs or mouse pad.

These demanding times call for brands to be more ‘on-demand’. What does this mean? Well, Uber is a prime example of an on-demand service. . Prior to its launch in South Africa specifically, you would have to look up a cab service; call it; wait nervously for a driver to arrive and worry if you have enough cash to cover the journey. With Uber, all this is achieved through a cashless, location-based mobile app. It is not surprising, therefore, that Uber has received rave reviews. Uber has been particularly successful locally by addressing a true consumer need – an efficient alternative for those seeking to get around cities without having to rely on a public transport network fraught with issues.

But Uber is just one example. A whole range of new brands have tapped into on-demand trends and are gaining significant traction as a result. Any brand which is not ‘uber-fying’ part of its value chain is looking outdated and obsolete.

Consider Wumdrop, a new on-demand courier service operating in Cape Town and Johannesburg. With its alternative pricing methods, accelerated in- and out-bound delivery, and disregard for traditional weigh bills and bulky packaging, Wumdrop is designed to break down the complexity and hassle that often surrounds traditional courier methods.

Another on-demand example is SweepSouth, a local home cleaning service offering the services of a domestic worker without the homeowner needing to lift a phone. SweepSouth’s interactive website allows you to select the specific cleaning services you need and then calculates the time it would take and estimates the cost. It’s simple, clear and easy. Also, because SweepSouth does all the background checks and screenings, it’s designed to be a worry-free service every step of the way.

Further North West, Nigerian-based Washist has also gone on-demand. Like Wumdrop and SweepSouth, Washist offers a laundry service at the click of a mouse, taking the hassle out of mundane chores and changing the way people in Nigeria do laundry.

The impressive uptake of these services has to make brand and marketing managers sit up and take note. Fair enough, not all brands and services have the liberty to reengineer their business models to be fully ‘on-demand’, but there are some key principles to consider operating in this ‘age of now’. The fact that some heavily established brands have tapped into these principles is testament that on-demand is possible for all.

So then what does it take for a brand to be more ‘on-demand’?

· Cut out the pain. On-demand Washist’s appeal comes from its ability to eliminate the hassle of dropping off and collecting your laundry (or even doing it yourself!). Therefore, a brand needs to think about its customers’ journey in today’s demanding times – even if the pain has become convention! For example, iconic Ster-Kinekor has implemented mobile ticketing methods that can be sent to an app or printed at home, making it on-demand by removing the pain of a long queue.

·   Remove the time lag. On-demand denotes instant; and WumDrop is a perfect exemplar with a courier ‘hero’ literally appearing within minutes. Even Vodacom, South Africa’s largest mobile network, has become more on-demand by removing time lags. With its Online Live Chat system, it allows you to interact with a customer service consultant within seconds – truly defying what a customer would expect from such a large company.

·   Personal is power. Part of the strength of on-demand lies in the fact that the broader service connects people. How many people actually remember the name of the delivery guy when using a conventional service provider? Whether it’s your Uber driver, Saul, or your WumDrop Hero, Roy, you now feel personally connected to the person providing the service. Online retailer, Yuppiechef, employs the same strategy to a very positive consumer response. By employing dedicated staff to write special messages to customers for every order, they’ve brought the brand alive to the end user.

· New means of delivery require new means of payment.  Cashless is king with on-demand, and part of the hassle with traditional service providers often lies in their cash only solutions. Alternative, easier payments systems are necessary to become more on-demand. For example, coffee retailer, Vida e Caffé recently partnered with FlickPay, a cashless, mobile app-based system, to allow users to purchase their coffee even when their wallet may be in their car or desk drawer.

· Simple functionality. Whether it’s Uber or SweepSouth, a critical component of any technology-led service is simplicity and the removal of the overwhelming factor of technology. If you want to be on-demand, the order and purchase process has to be easy – complexity and confusion makes consumers close apps. Dstv has managed to stay fresh with its on-demand movie and Catchup offering which is simple for anyone to use.

As the world continues to innovate and the pace of life keeps accelerating, on-demand brands will continue to prosper. It’s imperative that brands, new and established, should think about their customer journeys and touch points, to make their brand more ‘on-demand’. Now is the best time to become an ‘age of now’ brand.

The Global Awards℠, for the World’s Best Healthcare & Wellness Advertising℠ announced the 2015 award winners today at ceremonies taking place at New York Academy of Sciences in New York City and at the X Studio Sydney Australia.

McCann Health was awarded the coveted titled of Healthcare Agency Network of the Year for the fourth year running. The network was in the winner’s circle earning 4 Global Awards and 19 Finalist Certificates.  Agency offices honored include: McCann Health South Africa with 2 Global Awards and 4 Finalist Certificates; McCann Health Japan with a Global Award and 5 Finalist Certificates; and McCann Echo North America earned a Global Award and 2 Finalist Certificates.  Global offices honored with certificates include: McCann Health India, McCann Health Dubai, McCann Health London, McCann Health Shanghai, McCann Torre Lazur and McCann HumanCare, USA.

“To deliver and be recognized for great work from one agency is an achievement in itself, but to win a prestigious award for great work coming from multiple offices in a global network is a testament to the strength of our agency and our valued client partners” said Jeremy Perrott, Global Chief Creative Officer, McCann Health. “The Global Health Awards represent what our industry strives for: innovative thinking, diligence, passion, and commitment to creativity as both skill and art. Winning the Global’s Healthcare Agency Network of the Year Award for the fourth consecutive time would not have been possible without our talented teams and our clients’ terrific support and belief in our work around the world.”

Langland was awarded the title of 2015 Global Healthcare Agency of the Year Award.  The UK Windsor-based agency was center stage, taking home 6 Global Awards and 7 Finalist Certificates.  Philip Chin, Chief Executive and Andrew Spurgeon, Executive Creative Director of Langland accepted the award on behalf of the agency.

Philip Chin, Chief Executive, Langland had this to say about Langland being awarded the 2015 Global Healthcare Agency of the Year. “We are thrilled that the work we do for our clients has been recognised internationally. The standard of creative work this year which reached shortlist and beyond was exceptional. Our congratulations go to all of the winners. To win Global Healthcare Agency of the Year for the fourth time is a brilliant achievement and testament to the hard work put in by the Langland team and the trust placed in us by our clients.”

“The Globals gives us the opportunity to see how we stack up creatively against the rest of the world. To once again receive the accolade of Global Healthcare Agency of the Year is both a huge honour, and a solid indicator that we are doing something right,” said Andrew Spurgeon, Executive Creative Director, Langland. “Making work that is well regarded by our industry peers, whilst demonstrating to clients that we are an agency that believes in the power creative ideas.”

Downtown Partners Chicago earned the 2015 Grand Global Award for “The Luck Plan” for client Get Covered Illinois - Illinois Health Insurance Marketplace. The campaign targeted millennials and encouraged them to take notice and sign up for health insurance through Obamacare. The award-winning campaign engaged the sought-after millennial target audience and resulted in enrollment rising 60% over the previous year.

“To see our work chosen amidst such competition is really incredible. We’re humbled and extremely honored to receive such a prestigious award.”—Dan Consiglio, Partner/ECD Downtown Partners

Agencies from the United States were center stage and led the pack with 11 Global Awards. Global Award winning agencies include: Area 23 New York with 3 Global Awards, 2 for “Killer Tan” for Mollie Biggane Melanoma Foundation (Mollie’s Fund) and 1 Global Award for “The State of Diabetes – Posters” for The diaTribe Foundation. In addition, the following agencies earned Global Awards:  Aetna earned a Global Award for “The 11 Initiative”; CP+B for “Taste of the Future” for client Aspen Dental; GKV for “In My Room” for client MJHS Pediatric Hospice; McCann Echo “Soolantra: Introducing a Tough Topical Animation” for Soolantra/Rosacea; and Saatchi & Saatchi Wellness for Crossroads Community Services “Street Fare Sanitation Truck Posters”. Starcom Mediavest Group was honored with 2 Global Awards for “Out the Monster” for Orexo; and Tribal Worldwide for “DXM Labworks” for Consumer Healthcare Products Association & Partnership For Drug-Free Kids.

Australia tied with the United Kingdom with each country taking home 7 Global Awards each. Saatchi & Saatchi Sydney earned 4 Global Awards for “Penny The Pirate” for client Luxottica / OPSM.  Additional Australian agencies earning Global Awards include: Saatchi and Saatchi Health Sydney for “Noodle Critter“ Vivaxim/Vaccine Awareness; H&T Melbourne (The Healthy Thinking Group) ”Australia's Top Foot Model” for SolvEasy tinea cream; and Showpony Advertising Australia “Hands Off Our Ambos” for client SA Health.

United Kingdom agencies earned 7 Global Awards. Langland was in the winner’s circle with 4 Global Awards for “Sniffers” for Confidante and 2 for “Jinarc MOA” for client Jinarc. Saatchi & Saatchi Health UK earned a Global Award for “The Nightmare Boss” for client NovoMix, Novo Nordisk.

Singapore earned a total of 5 Global Awards in this year’s competition.  Grey Group took home 3 Global Awards for “Life Saving Dot” for Talwar Traders. Talwar Bindis, in association with Neelvasant Medical Foundation and Research Centre, introduced The Life Saving Dot, Jeevan Bindi, an idea that transformed bindis into iodine patches.  Grey Group was also recognized with an additional 2 Global Awards for their entry ”Unfold the Child” for client ST. Andrew's Autism Centre.

Brazilian agencies earned top honors with 3 Global Awards this year. Vetor Zero / Lobo was honored with 2 Global Awards for “War on Drugo” for client Global Commission on Drug Policy and NBS Brazil earned a single Global Award for “Priceless Pets” Animal Health for client Purina / Quatro Patinhas NGO.

South Africa’s entries from McCann Health “Roadblock” and “Breathless Moments” for client AstraZeneca Respiratory were recognized with 2 Global Awards.

France, Japan, and the United Arab Emirates were recognized with a single Global Award.  Agencies include: HAVAS 360 France “Whatever Happens” for client Mercurochrome; McCann Health Japan “84 Stations of the Treatment Road Poster” for Sovaldi; and Mubadala United Arab Emirates “On the Shoulders of Giants” for Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi.

Canada and Germany were recognized with 3 Finalist Certificates; China, New Zealand, Sweden each were honored with 2 Finalist Certificates; and India and Portugal were each awarded a Finalist Certificate.

This year, several categories saw a robust number of award-winning entries including: Educational Awareness, Animation, Art Direction, Integrated Campaigns, Digital, Health Institutions & Services, and Over the Counter (OTC) Products & Treatments.

All entries submitted to the 2015 Global Awards were judged by the Executive and Grand Juries, headed by Global Awards Executive Committee Chairperson Robin Shapiro, President and Chief Creative Officer for CAHG. The 2015 Global Awards Grand Jury and Executive Jury honored winners from entries from 18 countries with one Grand Global Award, 38 Global Awards and 112 Finalist Certificates. To view the complete 2015 winners showcase visit: http://www.theglobalawards.com/winners/2015/

The Global Awards celebrated the 2015 winners with ceremonies in Sydney at the X Studio and in New York at The New York Academy of Sciences.  The second annual Creative Globalization mural was unveiled at the New York cerebration. This year’s mural campaign, sponsored by Guy Mastrion, Chief Creative Officer at Brandforming and Taylor James, continued the vision in celebrating creativity by illustrating the passion and energy of the global creative healthcare industry and its creators.  For more information visit the Global Awards at www.theglobalawards.com.

The Midas Awards® for the World’s Best Financial Advertising℠ announced the award winners for the 2015 competition.

The 2015 Midas Awards Grand Jury awarded 1 Grand Midas Award, 1 Midas Award for Innovation, 61 Midas Gold Ingots, 72 Midas Silver Ingots and 124 Finalist Certificates. The 2016 Midas Awards saw an impressive 23% increase in entries this year from 21 countries worldwide.

Leo Burnett Chicago’s “Allstate Social Savvy Burglar” was in the spotlight, earning the prestigious 2015 Grand Midas Award. The campaign, a live event that occurred during the Allstate Sugar Bowl, featured Mayhem, Allstate’s spokes-villain, targeting vacationing victims on social media and selling items from their home on an e-commerce site. The results: an unprecedented 15% uptick in home policy sales the first week after the event and carried through to an 18% increase for the month. “Allstate Social Savvy Burglar” earned 2 additional Gold Ingots.

“We continually strive to find the intersection between people, a problem and a brand. With the Mayhem Sale, we were able to educate football fans and many of their friends about a 21st century home vulnerability, in a way that was wildly entertaining,” said Charley Wickman, EVP, executive creative director, Leo Burnett. “It is an honor for Allstate and for Leo Burnett to be honored with this award.”

R/GA London earned the second-annual Midas Award for Innovation for “Akbank Direkt Mobile for Apple Watch” for client Akbank. This special award honors the highest scoring entry that showcases a leading-edge idea or execution. The award-winning campaign’s strategic objectives were to increase brand awareness by leading the industry with the most comprehensive and best-in-class wearable application, while building upon Akbank’s everyday banking mobile approach. The watch app notifies Akbank users about critical transactions (transfers, payments etc), enables them to take quick glances at the most prioritized information, and to withdraw cash from ATMs, even if they do not have their wallets/cards with them. R/GA London also earned a Midas Gold Ingot for this innovative campaign.

“While banks are gradually coming to terms with mobile, wearables are still uncharted territory—so we were very excited to have partnered with Akbank on such a brave and ground-breaking project. To have this innovation recognised with such a prestigious award is a fantastic achievement for both R/GA London and Akbank,” said David Jakes, experience design director, R/GA London. “Finding the balance between the smart watch and the smart phone is a choreography of simplicity, real value, context and utility. It’s a new medium to tell a different kind of story, that can help people and brands have a stronger relationship where it makes sense—and we’re delighted the judges have awarded us the 2015 Midas Award for Innovation for it.”

The Midas Awards newly launched Effectiveness category showcased the results of efforts used to creatively engage consumers and increase market share. Gold-winning entries include FP7/DXB (Part of McCann Worldgroup) Dubai for “Perspectives” for client Emirates NBD. The campaign changed people's perspectives of special needs children by using their strengths and showcasing their artistic talents. FP7/DXB also earned a Gold Ingot for “Don't Treat Yourself to Antibiotics” for National Health Insurance Company – Daman, an awareness campaign promoting responsible use of antibiotics. BBDO Toronto earned a Gold Ingot for “Fastest Face-Offs” for client VISA payWave. The campaign featured a series of videos starring NHL players that mimicked the NHL All-Star skills competition, with challenges that were speed-focused and “consequence” videos with a player paying a “price” for losing.

Creative use of events on behalf of brands to champion causes, enlist support, and increase consumer engagement resulted in multiple Gold Ingots. McCann XBC New York was in the winner’s circle earning 2 Midas Gold Ingots for MasterCard’s “Priceless Elevator Pitch” featuring a real elevator where a 60-second pitch could win you awareness, and funding. The agency also scored another Gold Ingot for MasterCards’ “Priceless Table” offering 14 transcendent dining experiences worthy of the word “priceless” to benefit Stand Up to Cancer. The Jupiter Drawing Room (South Africa) Johannesburg was honored with a Gold Ingot for “Art Needs You” for Absa / Barclays. The award-winning work created the world's first art robot—a machine that could read its subjects' emotions, moods and feelings and at the touch of a button, produce a beautiful piece of art. The true message of the campaign revealed that in a world being consumed by technology, now more than ever, Art Needs You.

The United Stated was in the lead this year, earning 25 Midas Gold Ingots. Agencies earning the Gold include: McCann XBC with 9 Gold Ingots: 3 for “Priceless Elevator Pitch,” 3 for “New Years Eve,” and one Gold Ingot each for “Priceless Table,” “Priceless Table Design,” and “#OneMoreDay,” all for client MasterCard. Publicis North American earned 3 Gold Ingots; “Double Cash Card” earned 2, and “Mr Met. Umbrella” received a single Gold Ingot for client Citi/Citi. R/GA New York was center stage with 3 Gold Ingots” “#RallyForGood” earned 2 Gold Ingots for client Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ); and a single Gold Ingot for “Goldman Sachs Future of Cars Infographic” for Goldman Sachs. Mullen Lowe U.S. earned 2 Gold Ingots for “SparkPlug” for client Capital One; and Prudential’s “2015 Brand Social Media Program” for Prudential - Bring Your Challenges.

US agencies scoring a single Gold Ingot include: DeVito/Verdi’s “Heart” for client New England Federal Credit Union; Fitzgerald & CO’s “The Bank of Here” for client Synovus; Havas Worldwide Chicago’s “Citi / AAdvantage In-Flight Video” for Citi / AAdvantage; Prudential’s “2015 Brand Social Media Program” for Prudential - Bring Your Challenges; and SapientNitro’s “DBS Chilli Paneer 2” for client DBS Bank Ltd.

South African agencies struck gold. The Jupiter Drawing Room (South Africa) Johannesburg was out in front, earning a total of 9 Gold Ingots for client Absa / Barclays including 3 Ingots for each of the following campaigns: “Smallest Announcement in Banking,” “Art Needs You,” and “Greatest Game.” King James Group Cape Town was in the spotlight with 5 Ingots for “One Rand Family” for client Sanlam. Joe Public received 2 Gold Ingots for “Nedbank Ideas for Change ATM” and “The Reins” for client Nedbank Business Banking.

FP7/DXB Dubai (Part of McCann Worldgroup) was honored with a total of 9 Midas Gold Ingots. “Perspectives” earned 3 Gold Ingots, and both “The Beautiful After” and “When You Are Gone.....” received a single Gold Ingot, all for client Emirates NBD. In addition, “Don't Treat Yourself to Antibiotics” for client National Health Insurance Company - Daman was honored with 2 Gold Ingots; and “Abba Ahmed’s Priceless Surprise” earned a Gold Ingot for client MasterCard.

A robust number of global agencies were honored with multiple Gold Ingots. POL Norway earned 2 Gold Ingots for “The Music Video Prospect” and “The House Hunters Journey” for DNB. Concept Turkey scored two Gold Ingots for “Sekerbank Tweet Village” for Sekerbank. Agencies from the UK scored 2 Gold Ingots: R/GA London “Akbank Direkt Mobile for Apple Watch” for Akbank and Rubber Republic for “The World's Biggest Football Fan” for client MasterCard.

The following international agencies were awarded a single Gold Ingot: Australia’s MercerBell for “Take control with ASX FlexClear™” for client ASX. Diamond Integrated Marketing Canada’s “#TDThanksYou2015” for TD Bank; Havas Worldwide Dusseldorf GmbH scooped up a Gold Ingot for “Melting Ice Project” for Deutsche Asset & Wealth Management (DWS Investments); Pristop Slovenia for “Living my life” for client Nova KBM - Youth Brand Ruler of the World; and Doe Blomberg Gottberg Sweden for “Office Baby” for Ikano Bank.

To View the 2016 Midas Winners Showcase please visit http://www.midasawards.com/winners/2015/

Tuesday, 01 December 2015 00:00

Landor releases 2016 brand trends

In 2016, consumers will crave more authentic interactions with brands on every level. Whether it’s customers returning to brick-and-mortar stores for more personal engagement or wanting to experience brands through multichannel, multisensory experiences, consumers are responding to storytelling and incorporating products and services into their lives in unprecedented ways. Landor, one of the world’s leading strategic branding and design firms, analyzed innovations, consumer behavior, the changing market, and attitudes from a multitude of industries and global locales to determine the leading trends for 2016.

Stuart Sproule, Landor’s President of North America, commented, “In today’s world, whether marketers put the latest spin on an established practice or develop a first-ever innovation to capture consumers, they face the challenge of keeping brands agile: continuously evolving the brand to be relevant while staying true to its essence. Many of the 2016 trends reflect ways to navigate this agility paradox by encouraging brands to be adaptive, principled, open, responsible, global, and multichannel.”

Here are Landor’s key trends for 2016:

Offline is the new online: Online shopping threatened to eradicate the traditional retail experience. However, customers once again want in-person interactions in the real world. Brands are responding by returning to brick-and-mortar stores, combining the service consumers expect from a physical store with the information, flexibility, and customization they get through digital. Even historically online brands are believers. Amazon just opened its first bookstore in Seattle, where customers can browse books and also read customer reviews.

Multichannel, multisensory brands: Brands will need to think about the entire customer experience as they craft brands. In addition to logo design and look and feel, companies will explore all the senses to create unique worlds for consumers. Four Seasons, for example, uses an air system to diffuse custom scents throughout its properties. Virgin relies on personalized screens, on-demand food and beverage ordering systems, and iconic purple lights to ensure its flying experience is like no other airline.

Employees as the new marketing campaign: Catchy slogans and entertaining commercials used to be enough for brands to make an impact. Now, customers care as much about employees’ opinions and how companies treat employees as they do about the services a company offers. In 2016, brands will place more emphasis on training their employees to be brand ambassadors. They will also strive to be more vocal about publicizing the efforts and services they provide to create a positive work experience for employees. REI recently announced #OptOut, an initiative where it is closing all stores on Black Friday and paying employees to spend time outside reconnecting with family and friends.

Life in the very fast lane: Today, consumers want convenient, seamless experiences faster than ever before. Brands will create quicker ways to serve customers. Starbucks permits customers to order ahead so their coffee is waiting for them at the counter, while Taco Bell’s app makes fast food even faster by enabling online ordering and pickup.

Packaging tells a story: Packaging will go beyond the logo, as it becomes an extension of the product, revealing its character, telling its story, and making a real connection with consumers. Scholz & Friends created a new packaging concept for watchmaker Festina in which Festina’s waterproof timepieces would come sealed in bags of water. Other concepts have been developed such as the much talked-about idea for the Nike Air shoe line, placing the shoes in see-through air cushioned packets that make them appear to literally float on air. We expect to see concepts like these become reality in 2016, moving from innovative ideas to engaging packaging that helps convey brand truths.

In addition to these overall brand trends, here’s what to look for in three key industries:

Big banks will rebrand: In an oversaturated market, banks have been unable to differentiate. Look for these institutions to reevaluate and restructure what their brands stand for as they strive to be more human and trustworthy. UBS launched a new business strategy focused on responsible wealth management; its brand identity—“For some of life’s questions you’re not alone. Together we can find an answer”— speaks to the bank’s approach.

Food as identity: Consumers are beginning to link their personal identity to the food they eat. They talk about food and post food photos online, using even everyday food experiences as a powerful expression of who they are and who they want to be. Brands will focus less on promoting calorie count and more on transparent manufacturing processes to tell an authentic story. Despite selling food with generally high caloric value, Shake Shack has been gaining new followers and reaping national praise for its sourcing of ingredients.

Hotel chains will create exclusive experiences: Continuing to capitalize on the desire for authentic and personalized local experiences to compete with Airbnb, hotel brands will offer adaptable and locally focused options for customers who desire a genuine, cultural experience. Marriott now has a series of smaller hotels under its Edition chain, providing a boutique, exclusive alternative. Hilton has established its Canopy collection of hotels in the heart of culturally significant areas, weaving the style and atmosphere of the locale into the design, energy, and feel of the hotel.

PepsiCo India, one of the largest MNC food and beverage businesses in India, has announced the appointment of Poonam Kaul as Vice President of Communications. Poonam would be part of the India Region Executive Committee.

In her current role, Poonam will develop and lead work to sustain PepsiCo India’s corporate image and reputation among internal and external stakeholders including media. She will oversee Internal and External Communications, Leadership Communications, Crisis Management and Consumer Relations in PepsiCo’s India Region.

Poonam has over two decades of leadership experience of driving integrated communications to build brands, influence policy, shape perceptions and manage crisis. Prior to her appointment at PepsiCo India, Poonam was the Director Communications at Nokia for India, Middle East and Africa and heading 90 markets. She was also with Microsoft India for six and half years where she was heading advertising and public relations for all business units of Microsoft in India. She started her career with Mudra Public Relations managing an integrated advertising and public relations campaigns for clients across sectors.

Poonam has an MBA with specialization in Marketing.

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