Monday, 11 March 2013

Case Study - Campaign of the Year Finalist - Android Pin Badges

To be eligible for Campaign of the Year there were some key questions that needed to be answered

1) Have you supplied promotional products to a high profile campaign or brand?  If the answer is yes, then why not enter this award? 

Yes, Google (the client) is possibly the biggest brand in the world and the Android brand is world famous as the most used mobile operating system in the world with 500 million devices activated globally, and over 1.3 million added every single day.

2) Did your innovative product or product range help raise awareness among a target audience? 

Yes, in terms of raising awareness it actually went off the scale. There were film crews following our promotional campaign instead of the new phones and technology which is what they were in Barcelona to do! See videos such as below:

3) Do you or your client have anecdotal evidence that shows a positive impact on the campaign, product or service that you supplied promotional merchandise to? 

Yes, there are countless press releases, blogs, eBay pages, APPS, newspaper cuttings, videos, photos as well as testimonials from customers and the client to highlight what a resounding success this was. Google even used our campaign artwork in their own TV ads such as below:

All Yes, here is our submission for the Campaign of the Year award.

Android at Mobile World Congress

MWC is the world's biggest exhibition for those in the telecommunications industry, attracting 55 000 delegates over the 4 day event in Barcelona.

 Android's Objectives at MWC:                              
  • Demonstrate and accelerate Android's momentum.
  • Highlight openness, choice and innovation
First Steps:

Google set about trying to achieve this by taking a booth at the Barcelona based fair and working the creative of the Android character into a physical presence.

Google created life size models of the little droid, had a slide, a giant Android themed smoothie bar and Android themed PC terminals for developers to showcase their work.

A lot of fun in fact, but something was missing...

Our thinking...

Google wanted something quirky. Something people would want to keep. Something they'd warm to. Something they might even want to collect.
We landed on enamel pins that people get at fairgrounds as a souvenir of their stay.

And this related to Android how?

Android themed pins were perfect to showcase the momentum around Android: the fact that there so many handset and chip manufacturers were adopting Android.
We produced 86 designs to showcase the variety of Android devices and partners.

Showcasing the Android ecosystem of partners

Google gave each of their partners a standee’ to distribute their unique set of pin designs from.

Visitors to the Android booth got Z card maps of the trade show floor to find out where our partners were based if they wanted to learn more about Android and collect the pins

Mobile World Congress Opens...

  • Day One happens to be Valentine's Day...all Android staff wear the pin with the love heart.
  • Day Two, Google reserve the DJ themed pin for guests of their party (headlined by Basement Jaxx).
  • Next thing the horse trading begins.
  • People scramble to get the entire collection.
  • Suddenly it's this Android momentum that is the one thing on everyone's lips at MWC.

 PIN - MANIA takes off!

To quote the Android Brand Manager... 
Pin mania - the distribution of unique pins amongst partners spotlighted the Android community and drove a tremendous of interaction, including CEO’s and Director’s fighting over pins!

"MWC Android pins hit eBay. Complete set yours for £900”

Press Coverage went Global

2012...we did it all again, but better. A New Collection was released. 

The Momentum continued...

This year's designs were customised and reflective of the wealth of content on Android. Partners could design their own and submit them on-line for consideration in the final range.

+ We Brought the Experience Online!
Delegates also used the Android MWC app to trade and keep track of their collection. They were also prominently displayed on Google’s official Android pages

Delegates also used the Android MWC app to trade and keep track of their collection: &
At the following link you can collect your badges online and add them to your collector’s basket so you know which ones you still need to collect

2011 collector’s basket so you know which ones you still need to collect

2012 collector’s basket so you know which ones you still need to collect

The Impact

To quote our Google contact …
  • “This simple giveaway helped us immeasurably demonstrate (and accelerate) the momentum around the Android brand.
  • AND highlighted the openness, choice and innovation of the platform.
  • It drove tremendous engagement and interaction with C-level delegates, not to mention a few bun fights!
  • "Forget Disneyland. Android booth at MWC is the happiest place on earth." - I4U news
  • Here's a sizzle reel Google prepared to highlight our presence there:
  • 2011 click here 
  • Another press release here
  • 2012 click here 

The final full photographed 2012 collection is below and I'm proud to say I was involved in the design and production of every single one of them.

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Watering Down the Message: 3 Marketing Mistakes learnt from Maker's Mark

Bourbon fans across the country spilled their drinks last month when Maker's Mark announced that it would begin diluting its liquor in order to increase volume and meet demand. The company said it would add more water to the formula that has been unchanged for more than 50 years, reducing the proof of the spirit from 90 to 84 proof, or from 45 percent to 42 percent alcohol. An immediate backlash occurred, with nationwide press and die-hard fans saying they'd never buy the wax-sealed bottles again. A week after announcing the decision to dilute, the company recanted, backtracking on the move and saying it would resume producing the liquor at 90 proof effective immediately.
Bad business moves that lead to negative press are not new (critics immediately called this Maker's Mark's "new Coke moment"), but the Internet age allows those mistakes to spread exponentially far and fast, and gives users the ability to make their displeasure heard en masse. The bourbon producer reversed its decision quickly, but sometimes brands are permanently hamstrung after making the wrong call: in 2011, Netflix lost 800,000 customers and $9 billion in market value when it raised prices and launched the ill-fated Qwikster brand.
The success of both Maker's Mark and distributor sales hinge upon offering a premium-quality product or service, and anyone in promotional products sales can learn something from the liquor company's missteps. Here are three mistakes made by Maker's Mark that you can easily avoid to keep your, and your client's, reputation strong.
1. It's Not About Money
You aren't doing your job out of the goodness of your heart. For you it's about the money, but it shouldn't be for your customers, especially when it comes to a top-shelf product or service. Fans of Maker's Mark thought the company was dedicated to producing the highest-quality product; by diluting the bourbon to increase volume and sell more, the company told its loyal customers that it was driven by the dollar. The customers, in turn, were driven away. When talking with your customers, don't let bottom-dollar, commodity-based selling cheapen your image-insist on offering a best-in-class service. If you have standards and stick to them, and your clients will stick to you.
2. If You Want Loyal Customers, You Have to be Loyal
Would you call up a reliable customer who regularly ordered the same calendar/diary/notebook year after year and excitedly tell them that you were able to reduce the paper quality of the product, allowing you to sell more of the items to other people? That's what Maker's Mark did in the press release issued to customers and the media. It touted a change in the beloved formula as a benefit, because it would allow the company to overcome a shortage of product. The problem? The "shortage" wasn't locally in the USA, but a result of the expansion to India and other international markets. The company took away the steak then offered back the bone, expecting users to be grateful. The lesson here is simple: Don't sell out your most loyal customers for the prospect of new ones.
3. Don't Assume Any Press Is Good Press
Promotional products are a marketing medium: at their core, they exist to spread awareness of a brand. If those products are able to gain mainstream press and spread that brand awareness further, they are considered exceptionally successful... that is, unless they're in the press due to a gross misspelling or for injuring consumers. February's announcement and subsequent reaction is the most exposure Maker's Mark has ever received and it was entirely negative; someone just discovering the company is immediately left with a bad taste in their mouth. The press did more harm than good for the brand, and chairman Bill Samuels, Jr. has described the period as "the worst four or five days in my life." Listen to what your client is asking you for, and if you think it could backfire if it got out to the wrong audience, advise them to take a different path; what may seem like a smart promotion to your client could be seen as offensive to someone else.
The initial problem for Maker's Mark is that supply couldn't meet demand; the product was already selling out, so there's no way the company could gain sales from this debacle. The company's problem now is minimise damage to to its reputation and to try not to lose too many customers to competing bourbons, both more difficult challenges to overcome. Ironically, by manufacturing the second problem (losing customers) they solved their first problem (selling out of product), but I wouldn't call that a success.
In the end it is unlikely that the company will suffer too much financially as a result of the news: If the product was selling out before, it will continue to sell out. But the people buying it now many not be the same loyalists who made the brand a success, and those loyal fans have to go somewhere. That means increased competition for Maker's Mark and ultimately the potential for fewer sales.