Keep your eyes… on the customer

Today, everybody is surrounded by prevention and security concerning messages. Some campaigns are trying to make fun in order to entertain people and to create good memories in order to keep the message in mind.

When some other are trying to have a traumatic impact on your brain, as these British add…

But at the end, the right way is probably somewhere in the middle, using a commercial approach, as VW figured it out:

Moreover, here the strength is that people are involved and can “experience” the campaign message. But the best performance is the hidden one, as usually. After you have been a bit scared, when you get back to your comfort in your seat, you suddenly realize that this comfort is linked with… a specific car brand! Well done, isn’t it?

Let’s get social (the branding world #2)

pinterestWhen it comes to social media, many companies are scared or simply copy the stuff designed for traditional medias. Please, don’t! To build a strong brand, it is essential to create a genuine relationship with your customers and/or partners. And to do so, use the proper communications tools for each channel. Can you imagine to promote a product in Chinese in an English speaking country? No, of course. Here are some easy tips to follow.

1. You don’t have the resources to manage your own ‘onliners’ team? Don’t worry, there is a plenty of amazing guys that can help you. For example, Lipton promoted its sparkling ice tea thanks to a well known youtuber:

The result is a not too expensive video and have created a small buzz online. But the main strength of this approach is that the brand identity can be customize. If in a store Lipton’s products are linked with your granny kitchen, here – online – they look much more younger and funnier, which is the aim for a sparkling tea can. If you have different market shares, don’t hesitate to adapt your strategy using social media.

 2. You can’t afford to manage your customers’ negative reactions online? Of course, social media can be ‘dangerous’. As in real life and even faster, customers can spread a bad opinion about your company. But the trick is that you have the same advantage to rebuild your image! For example, when a man criticize on Facebook your advertising for a menstrual pad:

Well done, isn’t it? Of course, not every CEO is ready to be involved… But, turning the weakness of being on Facebook into a strength is certainly a very good idea to show to your customers how much you care about their reactions. In that specific case, showing that you are funny enough to be realistic about your own products and their advertising is a perfect solution to create a kind of complicity with the customer.

 3. You can’t or don’t want to plan a complex online strategy? Social media are even more created for you! For example, Sephora created a really strong trend on Pinterest. People can share products’ pictures on their boards directly from the brand’s website. Nothing complex, just pictures to advertise. This ‘simple’ approach created a large community – some hundred thousands followers – which is an important provider for the online shop traffic.

Sephora's Pinterest

If you’re looking to show a broader image of your company or products, visual contents, as displayed on Pinerest, are an easy solution to do so. It can even lead to completely rethink your business, as for GoPro getting media.

So don’t be scared by social media, simple solutions exist for your first steps online and don’t forget to keep it cool and fun. If you need some advices, don’t hesitate and get in touch with your favorite penguin!

Congo is beyond the Irish brand

Saint Patrick's Day GuinnessSaint Patrick’s Day: Ireland, shamrocks, beers, Guinness and… Elegant people of the Congo! As an Irish beer, it would be very easy for Guinness to use all the symbols and the strength of Ireland as brand’s improvers. But – when it’s a about a stronger spirit than a cliché – it’s very hard to find something strong, relevant and creative enough to catch people’s attention and share the spirit. Guinness branders perfectly succeeded in that challenge, making a short film on the Society of elegant people of the Congo:


Promoting common values through people from Africa not using a cliché too is a real achievement (and the perfect way to buzz online). So, if it is not about the suit, but the men who wear it, it certainly not about the beer, but about those who drink it! And notice how the beer brand is not at all underlined, in order to keep the focus on the values and – even better – puzzling people about the origin of such promoting.

The Guinness involvement seems to be genuine, as the brand decided to withdraw its support of the Saint Patrick’s Day parade in New York, to support the LGBT rights to be a part of it expressing their LGBT pride. The New York Times reports.

Totally into elegant people from Congo? Have a look on the making-off – which is a great way to strengthen the first impact of the campaign.

Do you need new ideas and elegance (and a beer)? Get a penguin!

Rock you like a Huracan

Lamborghini HuracanChaque produit suit ce que les spécialistes appellent un cycle de vie. Les raisons peuvent être techniques – par exemple le VHS s’est fait supplanter par le DVD, puis le Blueray -, mais aussi purement liées aux besoins d’image de marque pour renouveler l’offre proposée, correspondre aux nouveaux besoins ou d’un point de vue du marketing pour simplement relooker le produit et maintenir son attractivité. Le fameux changement d’emballage qui justifie l’augmentation de prix…

Ces futilités peuvent sembler vaines lorsqu’il s’agit d’une voiture vendue à plusieurs centaines de milliers d’euros. Pourtant, il n’en est rien! Ainsi, la marque italienne Lamborghini déploie une stratégie marketing sophistiquée pour maintenir son ‘niveau d’exclusivité’ dans les différentes gammes qu’elle propose. Et oui, même à ces prix, il y a des entrées de gamme, comme des segments plus onéreux. La ‘moyenne gamme’ est ainsi souvent la plus intéressante pour un constructeur, car elle offre une meilleure marge que les premiers prix, tout en assurant un volume conséquent, soit quelques milliers d’exemplaires (à comparer au millions de voitures des marques traditionnelles).

Le problème du super luxe, c’est qu’on a vite fait d’entrer dans la légende… C’est ce qu’à fait la Gallardo de Lamborghini, qui achève son cycle de vie. Certes, pour devenir une légende qui se respecte, il faut s’éteindre, mais reprendre le flambeau est une gageure pour le successeur. Comme les équipes marketing ne manquent pas de ressources, la stratégie pour la nouvelle Huracan s’appuie fortement sur le story-telling ou capacité à véhiculer (sic!) une histoire en français. En effet, quoi  mieux que de raconter un bolide pour continuer la légende?!

Le clip de présentation de la Huracan a donc été élaboré en reprenant les codes d’Hollywood – les meilleures pour raconter des histoires à grand spectacle. Agents secrets et missions périlleuses sont convoqués :

Il reste un drôle de sentiment d’inachevé malgré tout. Non, ce n’est pas forcément le souvenir de la Gallardo (que vous n’avez peut-être d’ailleurs pas). Regardez bien le film… Au début, on vous prépare à suivre une histoire et finalement on n’y comprend rien, la tentation de montrer la voiture sous toutes ses coutures l’ayant emporté. Certes, les amateurs apprécient, mais la frustration de ne pas comprendre gâche le plaisir. Suivre le titre de la chanson des Scorpions ‘Rock you like a hurricane‘ ne se borne pas à mettre des effet spéciaux, il faut réellement emporter le spectateur. Un exercice plus difficile qu’il n’y parait, puisque même les meilleurs peuvent s’y fourvoyer.

Et si vous voulez qu’un vent nouveau souffle, n’oubliez pas que les pingouins en plus de voler, vivent dans les régions où sont enregistrés les fameux vents catabatiques de 300 km/h… Contactez-nous!

Don’t let youtube be a turkey!

Capture d’écran 2014-03-08 à 16.22.15Are Youtube and Facebook going to be banned in Turkey? It seems that it is the Prime Minister Erdogan’s wish. The pretext for the ban? Immorality and espionage… If those kind of initiatives are still topical, does it mean that dictatorial behaviors will no longer be denounced and no longer available online? Probably! So, before it is too late, please enjoy this incredible video about the situation in Turkey:

Seriously, from the communications point of view, trying to demonize the media or the people who already leaked critical information leading to a crisis is never – I insist – never a good way to muzzle a public scandal. Even worse, it often emphasizes the problem, a phenomenon known as the Streisand effect.

When it comes to manage a crisis from the communicational perspective here are some basic rules to follow:

– Avoid crisis before it is too late!

– Always be prepared for the worst, even if it seems impossible.

– Don’t cheat with media (especially journalists and Internet), they never forget.

– Ask professionals to manage the crisis and its consequences.

– Last but not least, if you are a politician, try your best to be honest…

If you have a crisis to handle or if you want to avoid it, take a penguin (not a turkey!) and contact us.

About Trojans (the branding world #1)

trojan_horseWhen it is about commercials, marketers have no limits to surprise you and to get your attention. Trojan strategies are as old as humankind, but still effective! As you can imagine, marketing is aware about this approach.

Here is my personal selection:

The DHL Trojan

A brilliant way to buzz, make laugh and discredit challengers. Smart, isn’t it?

The Cat Trojan

Who can blame an innocent cat to love a product? And here they can catch your attention and stay out of the trash for the few seconds they need to get into your brain. Well done!

The Coca-Cola Trojan

Probably the best Trojan. Yes, it is! You’re still trying to guess where is the Trojan in that commercial? Unclear? On what support are you watching this film? A screen of course! When the message is about real life! But thanks to that, Coca-Cola is trying to persuade you that they are on the same side, the good guys one. And of course the next step is: if we are on the same side, why drinking a sugar saturated drink would be bad for your health? It isn’t, because they encourage you to keep moving:

If you still have doubts about their good intentions, don’t! They are nice, friendly and even offer happiness… for free!

By the way, notice how their brand is strong enough to change the logo and they still can be easily recognized. So… To Trojan or not to Trojan? Keep an eye on the horses around you… maybe some Trojans are not so far.

Irn-Bru? WTF…

Unknown…the famous Scottish drink, as everybody knows… in Scottland. But don’t get mislead, this drink is also known – well known is probably a bit exaggerated – in many English speaking countries as Canada or Australia or… in Russia. How is it possible? Using a strong brand strategy of course! And what is better than a penguin to improve a brand? Nothing of course, especially in Russia:

What is the meaning of this brand building approach? There isn’t any meaning! And here is the point. Irn-Bru is used to have non-sense advertising strategy, in order to build and reinforce his identity. For many years their slogan was:

“Made in Scotland, from girders”

The aim is to be genuinely different to justify that you are not at all mainstream. A kind of Apple’s ‘think different’, but really stronger and which can be translated into something like ‘drink different (not coke), drink Irn-Bru’ – sorry for my poor Scottish skills… This strategy is interesting and good enough to create a certain fame. But there is a real challenge when the brand tries to get on new markets where it have not only to build this identity, but also have to be careful to not accidentally make a cultural faux pas. Penguins are certainly a perfect tool to do so, not being associated with anything negative around the world, maybe except in some far Antarctic locations…

Just for the fun and to show you how absurd Irn-Bru can be:

So enjoy your drink and don’t forget about your favorite penguin to build your brand!

PS: By the way, ‘Irn-Bru’ stands for ‘Iron Brew’ in Scottish…


Ukraine : la guerre des prépositions

L’actualité ukrainienne n’est pas réjouissante en termes politiques et chacun y va de son analyse historique, stratégique ou sociale. Dans le cadre d’un blog sur la communication, je n’ai pas la prétention de donner un avis autorisé et l’analyse des discours, même si elle est intéressante, ne révèlera sa portée qu’une fois les dés jetés. Pourquoi alors parler de l’Ukraine?

na-ukrainiePorté sur les langues slaves, les derniers événements m’ont fait remarquer à quel point les enjeux sont ancrés profondément en Russie, en Ukraine, mais aussi en Europe via la Pologne. En effet, dans chacun de ces pays, la langue véhicule la forte implication culturelle et historique des acteurs. Dans ces trois langues, lorsque l’on veut dire que l’on va dans un pays étranger, on utilise d’habitude la préposition ‘V’ (‘W’ en polonais ou ‘B’ en cyrillique). En revanche, lorsqu’il s’agit de se rendre dans une province de son propre pays, c’est la préposition ‘NA’ (‘HA’ en cyrillique), qui est d’usage.

Aussi bien en Russie qu’en Pologne, le terme utilisé pour parler de l’Ukraine est ‘NA’. Exception notoire – souvent incomprise par les étrangers qui apprennent ces langues – et qui reflète le fait que de grandes parties du territoire ukrainien actuel ont été autrefois le coeur de nations aux passés tumultueux. Mais comme le dit l’adage humoristique en Russie : “On ne sait pas de quoi sera fait notre passé dans le futur…” Slaves du monde entier oubliez vos querelles et unissez-vous… sic!

Pour les slavophones, plus d’informations :

Lorsque vous communiquez, n’oubliez pas le poids des mots et si la tâche vous pèse, gagnez en légèreté avec un pingouin.