We’ve all seen the headlines on youth unemployment, that it has breached the one million mark. Imagine it. One million young people not in work and not in full time education. One of the lesser-reported facts is that even in the boom times, pre 2008, the percentage of 16-18 year old school leavers out of work was consistently on the rise. To explain that, you can pick whatever political stance turns you on, but the fact remains that our economy is not creating enough entry-level roles for non grads – and it’s not just because of the global downturn.
So what can we do about it?
Our industry body, the IPA, have been very busy working with Skillset, the skills council for the creative industries, to secure government funding for apprenticeship schemes, tailor-made for our sector. That work is almost complete. And as a member of the IPA’s Future of Talent Strategy Group, I’ve been part of an industry-wide steering committee tasked with helping Skillset to define the skills needed for those schemes. The final online consultation is now running until the 20th of March and all advertising professionals are being asked to have their say. Please do take a look and help us make the scheme as good as it can be.
As you probably know, last week was Social Media Week, with panels, networking events, and workshops taking place all over the city. Addiction London participated for the second year running, hosting a panel at the Charlotte St hotel on February 14th. Facilitated by Vikki Chowney, News Editor at Econsultancy, the panel included Joel Davis of Agency2,Roberto Kusabbi, Head of Communities and Social Media at the British Heart Foundation, and Andrew Wanliss-Orelabar, Head of Product at Echo-Echo, and myself.
It goes without saying that social and digital media are now one of the main business channels available to us as marketers. But one of the questions we are all asking is how do we use these platforms to not only gain trust from our fans but to convert them into advocates? The panel discussed the importance of social strategy, and the role that platforms play in shaping community.
After the pannel, I found myself thinking a lot about the potential of more social apps in 2012. App usage has already started to increase dramatically in the last few months. In fact Facebook’s most recent figures show that their users are now installing 20 million apps every single day.
To find out more about the potential apps offer brands, check out the full article I wrote for Brand Republic’s “The Wall” here
Posted by Laura Scott, Digital Strategist
Tune in here on Feb 14th 2012 at 9am GMT to watch our second annual Social Media Week panel
Social Media Week will be taking over the city next week, and we are super excited to be taking part.
This year sees the return of our always popular social media panel, who will be discussing the best ways to build your brand across social media, at the Charlotte St Hotel on Feb 14th.
The panel will be chaired by Vikki Chowney, News Editor at Econsultancy, and will include our very own digital strategist, Laura Scott, Joel Davis of Agency2, Roberto Kusabbi, Head of Communities and Social Media at the British Heart Foundation, and Andrew Wanliss-Orelabar, Head of Product at Echo-Echo.
Social media channels have undeniably become an integral part of many brands’ strategies. However, your social strategy should not just be about having a Facebook page for the sake of it. Not all social channels reach the same audiences or have the same benefits, so it is important to make sure you are using the right channels for your brand. This year will see a more strategic and sophisticated approach to social media marketing and brands’ allocation of social media budgets. This event intends to help brands and agencies understand how they can be utilising various social media channels, how different sectors might reach their audiences better.
If you would like to attend this free event please RSVP here
We’re looking for a Junior Web Developer to join the digital team within Addiction London. In this role you will be part of a small development team supporting the exciting projects that the digital advertising industry offers. You will create a mixture of outputs with the use of XHTML, PHP and MySQL. Attention to detail is a must. A keen interest in keeping up to date with latest web trends, technologies and social networks is essential.
Please see here for more information. Competitive salary on offer.
If you are interested please email your CV and covering letter to firstname.lastname@example.org
In the run up to Top Gear Live 2011 staged at the ExCel Centre in London the entire Custom House DLR station was taken over to co-promote the release of Jeremy Clarkson’s ‘Powered Up’ and Top Gear ‘At the Movies’.
We were tasked with the job of creating all the printed advertising for the station to promote the two DVD’s. Alongside several 6 sheet and double-sided vinyl posters we created a 36.6m wide cross track hoarding containing 1,736,405,000 pixels².
The cable television industry in the United States has been growing by leaps and bounds in the last decade. They’re currently expanding their reach into the mobile and tablet space. We thought it would be interesting to take a look at their social efforts. Click on the infographic to zoom in.
- Ely Rosenstock, Director of Social Media
Anyone with a smart phone can post an instant rating of just about every hotel, restaurant, museum, airport or building in the western world. If you’re an entrepreneur who looks for undiscovered ground in the social media universe, you may be thinking it’s time to put away your Y-Combinator application. There aren’t any more lands to discover out there. All the good ones are taken.
But there’s a next wave of web services that don’t concern themselves much with new ground, and instead go deeper into territory that’s already firmly established. Take Kevin Rose’s Oink, which brings the everyday restaurant rating to a deeper level by rating the individual dishes. You don’t just rate the restaurant or the dining experience, but any individual item on the menu—in other words, the actual food.
Similarly, a new addition to Google Maps allows you to view the inside of selected buildings. For now: airports.
We’re seeing the Deeper trend in marketing as well. While some companies are experimenting with Instagram and Pinterest, two niche social networks, most brands are diving deeper into their Facebook accounts and looking for opportunities to increase engagement there, rather than expanding out to uncharted waters.
Expect to see more of this trend as consumers and businesses stop looking for more ground to cover and start looking for greater depth in areas already well-established and reassuringly familiar.
- Ely Rosenstock, Director of Social Media
Not long ago, there was a clear distinction between online and offline retailers. Online sites like Amazon were considered the inevitable next stage in the evolution of holiday shopping—if only because they promised a way to buy stress-free, without the insane crowds and the seasonal crush.
Now past assumptions about the future of retail seem simplistic. Consumers want both mediums, and the smart retail brands have already interconnected their online and offline offerings. Major superstores have expanded their presence beyond just the physical store. The results are evidenced in data from a recent press release via Comscore.
Walmart, Best Buy and Target - companies that built their brands on their retail presence - are now leaders in the online holiday shopping market.
This is a teaching moment for companies that define themselves as mobile or social. It’s not the Consumer who’s stuck in the mindset that a brand has to live in a particular medium. Buyers don’t silo brands to a medium. Businesses do.
Ely Rosenstock - Director of Social Media
In this day and age we’re used to media-savvy street artists such as Banksy earning a fortune in the auction room or Shepard Fairey emblazoning clothing with Andre the Giant.
One particular artist though, has turned his notoriety to something quite different.
His name is BNE.
The eagle-eyed among you may well have seen his painted name or simplistic stickers in major cities around the globe.
He is well travelled, prolific and yet still remains shrouded in anonymity.
Like most street artists, the stickering and painting would at first have meant nothing more than having fun and leaving his mark.
He is though, a man who understands the power of a brand.
Upon realising his name was widely recognised, he decided to use it not for the good of his bank balance, but for the good of the world.
What at first may have been a feverish attempt at faceless, harmless world domination has now become a symbol of positive social change.
BNE has become BNEWATER.
BNEWATER is a registered, not-for-profit organisation dedicated to providing clean, safe drinking water and basic sanitation for those living in extreme poverty.
Funds are created by simple online donations, the sale of merchandise and crucially, the Artists4Water scheme in which artwork is sold with the proceeds going straight to charity.
BNE’s decision to do something as positive as this is I believe, a lesson to us all about not just what good can be done with a name, but what good can be done with nothing.
So, if you’d like to invest in a painting, make a donation or just get more information, visit: http://bnewater.org and follow him on Twitter
Tom Elliott-Mell - Art director
This week the popular music streaming service, Spotify announced the “new direction” for the company with Spotify Apps.
In the last few months we have seen numerous companies looking for ways to make the consumption of their product a more social experience. So it is no surprise that Spotify is now looking to extend the social listening experience beyond merely being able to show your friends what you’re listening to on Facebook.
Apps have the potential to really evolve the platform and may even help Spotify keep its edge over competition like iTunes Match and Google music. While the apps that Spotify chose to launch with were relatively underwhelming, there is definitely a massive opportunity here for content providers, curators and brands.
Spotify now presents advertisers with a more interesting way to reach consumers than the standard playlist or adverts – especially as more users move to ad-free premium accounts.
Personally I can’t wait to see how the entertainment industry utilizes this opportunity. For example, it would be great to see apps that will allow users to play the soundtrack to a new movie, while accessing exclusive trailers or teaser content.
The introduction of Apps is also an interesting move by the company, as apps are likely to see massive growth in 2012 as both new customer acquisition channels and new distribution channels. Many are even predicting that apps will be bigger in the next year growth wise than social.
It is obviously early days, but it we will be watching closely over the next few months to see if Spotify apps gain mainstream pickup.
By Laura Scott
Christmas is a lovely time. Food, drink, kids, family, presents, what’s not to like? A shame it comes but once a year! (Shush there, Scrooge at the back).
Another essential part of this wonderful annual bonanza of festive fun and frivolity is the compulsory one-minute-plus Christmas ad from every major retailer.
Presumably planned and conceived back in the sweltering, sultry dog days of mid-summer, these high-budget, low-concept pieces of the advertising art have taken on a stature and meaning out of all proportion to their likely impact on sales.
Charlie Brooker in the Guardian has already lacerated this year’s crop with his typically hilarious and coruscating prose. No attempt to match his professional wit will be attempted here. Instead, presented below is a personal creative review of some of the more high-profile efforts.
Tesco. 40 seconds of rather forced alliteration over slow-mo happy scenes followed by 10 seconds of a smiley member of staff delivering a stilted promise to ‘help keep Christmas special’ wins no prizes for originality or memorability. Tesco sells all the things you’d expect them to sell for Christmas. Including mince pies. Who’d have thought it?
Sainsbury’s. Jamie’s last hurrah. Bless his patronising little cotton socks how we’ll miss him. Our last view of the cheery cherub sees him laying on a lavish spread for the cast of a truly crazy pantomime. It’s all very colourful and wacky. Smash those garlic cloves! Some food product shots but thankfully nothing so crass as a sales message. No obvious message at all come to think of it. See ya Jamie.
Morrisons. Oh Freddie, where did it all go wrong? Professional Yorkshireman and sometime cricketer uses trustworthy no-nonsense accent interspersed with images of smiling kids and the occasional cheeky raised eyebrow to let us know that this particular supermarket sells all the same Christmas staples as all the other supermarkets. Only more jingly.
Waitrose. The unlikely couple return to offer more bespoke delights, from the classic to the conceptual. Christmas at Waitrose all about the food, which at least gives this overly-long and iconoclastically self-indulgent film a degree of focus. Stands out simply by being moderately classy amidst their rivals’ unimaginative fare, though that is something of a limited compliment.
Boots. An epic mashup of movie imagery sees Charlie’s Angels meet Mission Impossible in Matrix-style execution of Home Alone. Santa gets the elbow in this high-octane vision of devastating Christmas night planning efficiency. It’s quite fun and zany, certainly more visually interesting than the big supermarkets’ interchangeable smiley-kids imagery. And they have made something of a campaign rather than just one big statement ad.
Argos. Aliens come to Earth and are bemused at the bizarre things we humans do, wondering aloud why we don’t all just adopt the obvious and easy option. Hands up if you’ve heard this before somewhere. Also, hands up if you find a copywriter able to do more than repeat the client brief out loud.
Iceland. Celebrity(ish) singer drives home to multi-million pound house full of multitudinous family tucking in to a monstrous spread delivered moments earlier by a cheery Iceland delivery driver. While singing. It’s hard to conceive of imagery less relevant to the mum-heroes Iceland is trying to reach.
Matalan. Less an ad, more a creative device and mood film with a soundtrack. Manages to convey a little more Christmas magic than some, but cannot avoid offering much the same identikit cute-kid and all-around-the-tree imagery as pretty much everyone else. Sweet enough but forgotten in less time than the minute it lasts.
Marks & Spencers. Unlikely to win any creative awards. Or music awards. Doesn’t mention any products. Or make any sort of brand claim at all. But, this campaign stands out for its distinctiveness and for being more culturally relevant than those of pretty much any competitor. Whether you like the X-Factor or not.
John Lewis. It’s wonderful. But you already knew that. It has an actual proposition. It’s shot with a beautifully deft touch, strikes a perfect tone and communicates everything you could ever need to know about John Lewis. Work this good should make everyone else in adland look at themselves in the mirror and ask why they aren’t making stuff like this. John Lewis is just a shop after all, it’s not as if there’s any reason their rivals can’t make the same claims. The difference is not the product, it’s in the courage and ambition shown.
So there we have it. A depressing bunch of executions, if truth be told, with the one glorious exception. John Lewis’s effort is so much better than all the others that it’s like watching Usain Bolt turn up for the dads race at school sports day.
The supermarkets, with the exception of Waitrose, have produced work so indistinguishable that you could swap the logos, claims, products and endlines around without causing any obvious confusion.
Marks and Spencers have at least sought to give themselves some cultural topicality. Boots has the best gags and a coherent campaign message.
But they all cower in the shadow of the latest in a stunning series of ads from John Lewis.
Justin Clouder-Planning Director
The Campaign Media Awards were held at the Lancaster London Hotel Paddington this year. Black tie, drinks reception, three courses and a mingle-off. You know the drill.
We arrived just in time to be sat down at our table.The inevitable moment of dread followed, but fortunately we found ourselves sat amongst some lovely folks from the Haymarket group. One of which spent a spell working for ‘Packaging News’ so you can imagine the killer anecdotes that he had in his locker. A marvellous fellow.
We were happily chatting away and enjoying a micro herb and parmesan crisp starter when the announcer from the x-factor belted out that the award ceremony would be kicking off in five minutes. A lamby main quickly followed and then up stepped Austin Healy. Not the car, the ex-England rugby player. That said I did find myself wondering whether the car would’ve delivered superior gags. Perhaps he could’ve sat inside and beeped the horn repeatedly every time a new gang of winners took to the stage.
It was Carat’s night, who deservedly won the ‘Media Campaign of the Year’ award for their excellent work with ASOS for Nivea. They also won awards for Best Fashion, Beauty and Healthcare Campaign, Best Total Communications Programme and Best Use of Research. I must say, I thought the Foster’s Funny campaign probably deserved the grand prize in the booze category, but that’s just my opinion. Have you seen the recent Fast Show shorts?
Next it was henceforth and gung ho into the mingling part. Oddly, it seemed that we were the only people from a creative agency in the mix, so we grabbed the opportunity like a huddle of teenage girls who’ve somehow found themselves in a room full of free Bieber merchandise. Volleys of business cards, rounds of beers and jagerbombs followed. Well it was actually just one round of jagerbombs but who’s counting. All in all it was a very valuable experience for us and a great chance to see what’s picking up the points and for what in media world.
Robert Young Account Manager - Addiction London
The lucky 13 (with staff from every department) sampled a wide selection of short films, drinks, installations, like minded geeks & toys over a most enjoyable evening and it’s fair to say we all came away with a greater respect for the mighty zombie chicken!! thanks to Studio AKA.