Pourquoi un blog ?

Beaucoup voient le blog du communicateur comme sa vitrine personnelle, c’est-à-dire fourni, pertinent et construit. Personnellement, je le conçois comme un inventaire à la Prévert ou des miscellanées.

Soyons honnêtes, aucun consultant digne de ce nom ne vous donnera ses recettes toutes faites. Il n’en a pas ! Non seulement comme pour la recette un grand chef, c’est le détail qui fait la différence, mais comme un grand chef, le communicateur ne sait jamais très bien où il va avant d’y être : il ajuste son art selon les besoins pour exceller et se surpasser.

Profitez donc de ce pot-pourri pour y piocher humour, idées folles et inspiration. Bonne flânerie !

Star (Wars) branding

Ain,P20,28epsilon,P20Tauri,29.jpg.pagespeed.ce.e8qA1SMH5lWhen it comes to brand stars, Geogre Lukas seems to be at the zenith. But is the war really over? Not yet… The International Astronomical Union (IAU) is also picky and decided to enter the race of star branding using online democracy! That’s how Switzerland won the first star war. But let’s start from the begining.

Since 1995 and the first discovery, astronomers (not Jedi) discovered many exoplanets – so orbiting around other suns, but still in our not so far own galaxy. As we know thousands of these new worlds, some scientists felt the need to communicate about this with the general public. But let’s be frank… naming a new planet PSR1257+12 b is not very helpful when it comes to communication. So, being the only organization authorized to name objects in space, the IAU decided to name or brand its research.

As there are many exoplanets, only 31 of them where picked to be named by voters online. Propositions were sent by astronomical associations from all around the world and then submitted to the polls. The strategy seems to pay off even if Star Wars (the movie!) was going to be released in December, still many media picked up the news about these new worlds, which are really far, far away from us.

Marked in this Milky Way panorama are the 20 ExoWorlds that are available for naming proposals.

Marked in this Milky Way panorama are the 20 ExoWorlds that were available for naming proposals.

Wait, but how Switzerland won a war – even more a star war – while being neutral? Well the first exoplanet was discovered by a Swiss team and it seems that people decided to keep this fact on the sky, as the star nesting this first exoworld is now named Helvetios. The proposition came from Luzern, Switzerland, so well done!

Does it mean that the star previously named Cancri 55 and now Copernicus is a Polish national pride?!? Not exactly… The name was proposed by a Dutch association… As on the screens, the matter is not only about having the best name, but also about being well promoted.

If you still feel that there is a Jedi waiting inside you to be revealed by communication, take a deep breath and be inspired by the force:

So let the force be with you and don’t forget that if penguins can fly, you can also reach the sky!

Trucks are no longer for boys!

When it comes to technical jobs, girls are often seen as not concerned. Boys rule, or do they?

One more time, Volvo trucks are using a funny campaign to break the rules:

So driving a truck: easy, safe and… girly?! The next time you will drive nearby a truck, don’t be surprised if the driver is a woman and have a safe journey.

Visa for crisis communication with FIFA

visa_fifaUsing the momentum created by FIFA’s scandal many NGOs triggered campaigns for more transparency and implemented actions to highlight sponsor’s responsibility. Massive mailing campaign to the sponsor’s CEO was a tool used by some NGOs. Simple, but clever, when someone receive thousands of questions about his company’s CSR… When the mailbox is saturated in few hours, you can easily consider that you are confronted to a crisis management. But how to answer (or not) and to keep calm?

It’s interesting to compare some FIFA’s sponsors behaviors in this specific case. It reveals a lot about common mistakes. Let’s focus on three main archetypes of reaction:

1. The McDonald’s way

“Let’s stay silent, maybe they will not notice that we don’t care about them…” That’s how a silent answer can be perceived from the customer point of view. Silent isn’t gold in this case, as you are no longer involving with your customers and send a very negative image, being out of range for them. It hurts even more that a company like McDonald’s is usually looking for important social involvement. So whatever happens, be a manager and keep talking with your customers.

2. The Coca-Cola’s bubble

I am out traveling for work meetings until Friday, June 5. But just because I am working, don’t let that stop you from having fun–getting outside, active and THIRSTY… See, a good, cold, delicious Coca-Cola product can take care of that thirst, so stock up and enjoy!

Well… That’s a nice and funny out of office reply, but a bit out of the blue, when it comes to crisis management. Here the consumer doesn’t feel that the company is out of his range, but he can think that there is nobody to drive the company. A bad image for the customer, but also for business partners.

3. Visa efficiency

Thank you for reaching out to me regarding Visa’s sponsorship of the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA). As stewards of the Visa brand, my management team and I take seriously our responsibility to reinforce with Visa’s sponsorship partners the need to operate in a transparent and ethical manner. You will see that reflected in our public statement below, which we issued earlier this week. Please know that we greatly appreciate hearing your voice and perspective on this important issue, and will work hard to ensure that the Visa brand continues to reflect the core values that have fueled its industry leadership for nearly 60 years.

Finally! Here is a strong statement about customer’s involvement and their role in brand building. The press release goes further: “Our disappointment and concern with FIFA in light of today’s developments is profound. As a sponsor, we expect FIFA to take swift and immediate steps to address these issues within its organization.” Interesting. We can just hope that statements will be followed by steps in real life. Brand building is also a matter of trustworthiness, but that is another chapter.

Keep it fairplay and ask your favorite penguin if you have any doubts.

 

Break the 30 seconds to stimulate your target

storytellingWhen it comes to advertising, people often think about billboards and TV. The common challenge is to entertain and catch the attention on a small and delimited space or in a very short time, the famous golden 30 seconds. But with the new media wave and especially the new consumers generation – the famous Millennials – you have to think twice before you run it as usual. There is so much advertising around that you have to rise your brand/product/message above the noise. And here comes the key, content! So as long (sic!) as you provide something valuable, there is no limit to the format you can use.

The challenge is to provide a real content. Especially as there is no receipt. Storytelling is a good tool, but it is clearly not enough to catch the attention. Look at the picture above for example, you can get catch, but you are not going to spend a long time if nothing else happens. To do so, you can even get out of the road. Have a look on this Hyundai “short movie”:

Everything is there, in the background. Space technology, connexion with the target (parents, etc.) with emotions and of course the car. The world record mentioned at the end would not be enough to tell the right story and to catch with the right audience, it’s just a nice to have bonus to stress the good feeling. The great part of this technique is that even if it costs more, you can use it longer, e.g. showing what was done behind the scene.

Being out of standards can even be a part of your brand, as the 30 seconds to Mars band handle it pretty well. About every song is transformed into a short film:

With a very strong brand identity this band is fully exploiting youtube potential to advertise and strength its identity beyond the simple sharing of an album’s song.

Read more about this with the Euronews MIPTV 2015 report.

Keep telling and listening to stories and get your penguin to do so!

When marketing meets with neurosciences

NeuromarketingMany believe that today’s marketing and advertising strategies are fully driven by neurosciences and that leading companies are manipulating us. Of course, science is involved in this field too, improving our knowledge, as well as sales. Behind the conspiracy theory, there is a really fascinating field to discover about how our brain works and how we manage to focus our attention with efficiency in a world overloaded by stimulus.

Thanks to neuromarketing, marketers can learn how to enhance their products in order to be shortlisted by customers – mainly unconsciously – when it comes to realize a purchase. But what happen if you enlighten these processes to the customer? Are you going to loose its attention and even worst its interest? Czech carmaker Skoda decided to try this approach:

The intersting point with this mise en abyss effect about marketing tools, is that – rather than creating a rejection – it creates a kind of enchantment which spills over the car and the brand. Pretty smart, isn’t it? If you want to learn more about advertising methods (and read french…), have a look on Julien Intartaglia‘s book “La pub qui cartonne!

Stay focused and keep using your brain.

 

Publicité d’Outre-Atlantique

QuebecQuelle est la différence entre une bonne et une mauvaise agence? A cheval entre les relations publiques, le marketing et la création, le travail d’une bonne agence n’est pas facile à identifier. Car autant prendre parti, même si chacun a sa spécialité, ne considérer qu’un seul de ces aspects ne serait que se priver de tout le potentiel qu’offre chaque client.

Une agence québécoise illustre à merveille ce principe en se vendant grâce à une vidéo palindrome unique en son genre:

 

Renversant, n’est-ce pas?

Vous êtes à la recherche d’une agence ou d’un spécialiste? Alors n’hésitez pas à prendre le temps nécessaire pour trouver ceux qui sauront voir et utiliser tout votre potentiel, toutes vos facettes.

Vous êtes au contraire consultant et cherchez des clients? Lorgnez du côté de ceux qui vous plaisent, vous parlent et pour lesquels vous saurez vous projeter dans leur univers. Le travail n’en sera que plus efficace et plus agréable.

Bottle your design!

kikoman bottleKenji Ekuan was from Japan and a famous designer. He died this February 2015, aged 85.

You certainly own a piece of his art. Yes, really, look in your kitchen! He designed the famous Kikoman bottle. Yes, famous. Not only because you can see his bottle exposed in the MoMa (NY) and use it to cook, but also because his bottle is probably as famous as the Coca-Cola iconic one. Not so many people can pretend that their creation was produced more than hundreds millions times. Pretty impressive.

Beyond his personal history – he moved to Hiroshima after the WWII where he was ‘inspired by the devastated objects and spend a part of his life as a monk -, there is an important fact that Kenji Ekuan’s philosophy underlined: working on the democratization of goods and beauty, it certainly not the sole condition to have an iconic product, but it’s certainly a major first step. The second lesson of this small bottle is that a good design not only have to be beautiful, but also simple and easy to use. And last, but not least, connect your product to your brand identity. In this case, selling a Japanese product, keep the roots of the bottle in the asian culture, don’t look too far. Of course, for those how imagine that the penguin-like design for a bottle is obviously the reason of such a success, I have to admit that’s certainly not a coincidence…

You have a good brand and good product, but are you sure about your strategy, your design and your identity? Ask a professional.

kenji-ekuan

Kenji Ekuan (1929-2015)

National brand: rise your flag!

New Zealand Flag When it comes to national symbols, it seems to be a matter of national policy and/or national history. But nevertheless branding is not far, especialy for flags and other visual symbols. New Zealand is in a kind of visual identity turmoil since PM suggested that it could be necessary to change the national flag.

In the kiwi case the issue is that beyond the association with Lord of the Ring’s Middle Earth, people can’t distinguish – identify would say a brander – New Zealand’s flag, especially when it’s compared with the Australian one… Let’s be honest, we can’t blame tourists or color blind people for not seeing that the stars of the Southern Cross are red rather than white on the Australian flag.

In the business world it would be certainly a matter of a legal issue between two companies to have so similar logos. But here His Majesty The Queen and her former empire are more into a common (similar would say some people) identity. So if the Commonwealth and the Tolkien’s ring are no more eligible as New Zealand national symbols, which item can be used? A silver fern-leaf seems to be the solution. Why? This fern is not only endemic, but also the symbol used by the All Blacks, the national rugby team. Fair enough? Well… Looking on the global warming and the relatively young history of the international rugby, this choice can be criticized. Stars are certainly a more stable value in a long term vision…

As a brander, my question would be: are you sure that you want to use black as background for this new flag? Some other people are already using it for their “business”. A so called Islamic State… From the flying penguin point of view, a national flag should probably incorporate some coat of arms, like the one used by the British Antarctic Territory:

Coat of arms of the British Antarctic Territory

Branding: se faire entendre

Organiser un concert pour vendre des prothèses auditives, une blague? La société Neuroth semble ainsi avoir trouvé un moyen original de se distinguer dans ce monde peu glamour.

Dans l’univers impitoyable du branding, les marques qui proposent ce genre de produit se contentent trop souvent de l’image classique qui leur est assignée. Dépoussiérer cette image est une évidence, une nécessité. Toutefois, à moins de faire table rase du passé, il faut garder un minimum de son identité pour ne pas couper avec sa base de clients. Un exercice d’équilibrisme délicat.

Les prothèses auditives s’adressent en grande partie aux seniors, il fallait donc leur proposer un événement qui pouvait les intéresser. Le concert de musique classique est donc un outil tout trouvé. En plus de s’adresser au bon public cible, la méthode permet d’associer une déficience plutôt perçue négativement à un moment positif et agréable. Trop facile? Pas tant que ça. En mettant en avant sa démarche sur Youtube, la Neuroth vise la bonne clientèle: plus branchée, prête à faire le pas et surtout avec un pouvoir d’achat plus élevé. La cerise sur le gâteau? Un ancrage qui se fait aussi chez les plus jeunes pour garder une longueur d’avance dans le temps auprès de la future clientèle.

Gardez l’oreille tendue et n’oubliez pas que theflyingpenguin est à votre écoute.

Over-branding

Is IKEA going to sell iPads? Sometimes, to strengthen your brand, the best way is to use trends. But it’s even better to do so using some completely different brand to position your own company!

IKEA found a very nice way to get connected – without battery, sic! – with its customers’ centre of interest, improving in the same time its identity as a unique reseller. The challenging point at that brand stage is to keep your own identity strong, using your “partner-brand” clearly enough to initiate the reinforcement effect. Here the IKEA’s key element is humour and self-ridicule about his brand new technology: the amazing paper bookbook. Well done!