Friday Reading #94

Okay we’re going to call it, spring is here. The roof terrace might have been opened a tad prematurely, it might have a shadow cast upon it at the stroke of 1pm (thanks Centrepoint), but now its time has come. After a brief experiment with later arrival times, the arrival of sunnier climes heralds the return to the morning slot for Friday Reading – you’re all going to be at the pub or park over lunchtime now anyway.


Reality is not what it seems, according to a new article
from WIRED exploring the worlds of perception, objective reality and brain
processes. Optical illusions are always interesting, but we rarely stop to
consider what is actually occurring in our heads – our brains are constantly
processing new information, utilizing past experiences to make logical
assumptions and make sense of a situation as quickly as possible. What becomes
even more interesting is the concept of questioning these automatic assumptions,
and forcing our brains to operate in a different way
– the article even defines
‘genius’ as just questioning the right assumption in a bold, novel way.


Nike’s #Breaking2 stunt, which saw athlete Eliud Kipchoge attempt to run a marathon in under 2 hours, ended in a near miss of just 26 seconds short – but still over two and a half minutes faster than the world record. The stunt, which was broadcast live on Facebook and Twitter, was a huge marketing as well as sporting success for Nike. The athletes that took part were wearing a specially designed shoe called the Zoom Vapourfly Elite which will go on sale to casual runners now backed by earned coverage. A definite standout for Nike which will set the bar for other brands – Adidas is now determined to break the sub2 record and is designing their own specialist shoe for their version of the attempt.


Free food has the ability to get people to care about almost
anything, which is what Nikon have utilised in an attempt to get people to have
their eyes checked and market their range of glasses. The ‘Vision Food Truck’
was created to trick people into getting their eyes tested by only letting them
order what they could actually read from the menu
. The menu consisted of single
ingredients and starts with bread, lettuce and pickles at the top all the way
down to the best parts of a burger; cheese & the meat patty at the bottom;
but obviously only those that can read the ingredients get a full burger. For
those who couldn’t make it to the bottom they were directed to take an eye test
– clever.


From a tweet to the muti-million dollar blockbuster, the
internet loves a good bit of ratings. Whether thumbs up, thumbs down, out of 5
or 100, hearts or crying faces there are a huge range of systems that can work
with or against the internet’s desire to aggregate – you might be interested in
a four out of five movie, but might pass on a book with an 80% score. The
Ringer has helpfully rated all the big ratings systems
, showing the
explicit and implicit ways content across the range of human industry is
quantitatively understood. That said, probably best to actually read the review
to be honest…


Content marketing might feel all a bit 12 months ago in the rapid fire modern communications landscape, and to be honest this article is a few years old, but its thinking still rings true and relevant today. Faris Yakob makes the point which Naked were founded on and what Goodstuff continues to ring the bell for – “everything communicates”. Or as he puts it in an article for Campaign, all content is advertising something – be it native plugging a brand, or editorial seeking to push the agenda of the author, newspaper it’s written in, or it’s billionaire owner. Rather than getting worked up over the separation of Church and State, perhaps it’s best to accept that they never were really separated anyway.


Out of Home is a channel we love very much, open to a range of brilliant creative possibilities – but most are a bit…2D. Taking inspiration from entertaining greenscreen maladies, T-Mobile in Europe have created a campaign which uses the brand’s signature pink as a canvas for augmented reality. They have created an app which allows you to turn any magenta surface into a screen, via your smartphone. Working with their in house music and lifestyle programme, and appropriately, virtual band Gorillaz to kick off the campaign – pink posters are appearing all over Europe as a canvas for viewers. It’s an interesting idea, and certainly a lateral way to look at how an established media channel could be used.

Top 5 Brand Activations at Coachella 2017

Matt at Coachella

At Genuine, we take tremendous pride in the creative and innovative work we produce for our clients. And, when it comes to experiential marketing, our agency goes above and beyond to deliver unimaginable digital activations that drive the “ah-ha” factor, loads of engagement and a ton of brand awareness. When I booked my trip to Coachella, yes, I was excited to party and have fun. However, as a .Net Developer and self-proclaimed marketing nerd, I also was really looking forward to seeing how today’s brands were marketing themselves to the cool kids in the desert.

After taking some time to reflect, here’s a list of my top five activations ranked from least to most favorite.

1. Sephora

The What:

  • Get in-the-desert haircuts and/or hairstyling
  • Find your new go-to makeup look using Sephora’s latest products
  • Get your face artfully painted (think graffiti or splash paint vs lion or kitten)

Sephora at Coachella The Why: Sephora + Coachella go together like milk + cookies. It just makes sense, and the fashion-forward crowd loved it.

Did it work: I’d say so. Admittedly, I’m not really the target audience for this brand, but I had to fight my way in and out of a packed tent just to grab some photos. Lots of people walking around with face paint at the Fest, and there was a decent line for hair styling all day. Braids anyone?

2. American Express

The What:

  • Record your very own kick-ass music video. Utilizing a camera attached to a robotic arm, attendees were recorded busting out their best dance moves while jamming to some of their fave songs. *Note: you can catch my masterpiece below.
  • AMEX members were treated to VIP upgrades and free meals throughout the festival.

American Express at Coachella

The Why: AMEX provided an unforgettable experience for current cardholders while attracting some new ones, too.

Did it work: Surprisingly, their tent wasn’t as slammed as I expected, but I did visit this tent earlier in the day. That said, the activation was really innovative and cool.

3. H&M

The What:

  • To debut their limited-edition “H&M Loves Coachella” line for men and women, H&M created a pop-up shop with virtual fitting rooms that placed attendees in these cool new wearables. If you liked the look, attendees could purchase and walk away with their new digs.
  • Take photos on an enormous armchair
  • Recycle your old clothes for the new ones you just purchased
  • Fill up your water bottle for free!

H&M at Coachella The Why: What better way to cater to this crowd than with their very own limited-edition clothing line? There was a ton of buzz at the event regarding the fast-selling apparel, and purchasers who scored merch had bragging rights for life.

Did it work: Absolutely yes! In addition to the clothing line and virtual fitting rooms, the H&M water refill station (1 of 5 at the event), ensured their tent was constantly packed.

4. Marriott Hotels, Marriott Rewards

The What:

  • Take photos in front of various backdrops and imagine all the fun places you can visit while staying at a Marriott. Think hot deserts, gorgeous beaches and snowy mountain vistas.  
  • Play their Tinder-like quiz game to find your dream destination. Swipe as many times as I did (which was a lot), and win points toward your next Marriott vacation.  
  • For Marriott Gold/Elite members, get special VIP access to meal vouchers, a makeup touchup station and even a personal wipe-down service for your sunnies.

Marriott at Coachella The Why: Marriott was on hand to secure Rewards email signups, engage current Rewards members and promote their premier hotels in some pretty rad locales.

Did it work: Yes! The photo sets were engaging and the incentives were too good to pass up. What guy or girl crazy enough to travel to the desert for a weekend would want to miss out on a free hotel stay during their next adventure?

5. HP/Intel

The What:

  • Design your own custom bandana  — a fashionable AND handy accessory in that dusty heat — using a HP touchscreen computer, printed on site.
  • Demo HP’s VR display
  • Choreograph a light show projected on the ceiling of the dome using HP touchscreen computers
  • Take a near 360 degree “Kinetic Portrait” which created a super cool and very shareable effect.

The Why: Give festival goers a first-hand experience with the best tech HP offers.

Did it work: Hell yeah! This was my absolute favorite. There was a constant hour-long line for the bandanas all weekend long and the kinetic portraits looked perfect on Instagram. HP’s presence at the Festival was second to none and truly stole the show. All of the activities HP provided for attendees were creative, engaging and extremely popular. Throughout the entire weekend there was a constant line snaking out from HP’s activation tent, which is a true testament to its success.

Bonus Activation Located at Other End of Festival: HP, along with Intel, also presented a new experience at Coachella, “The Antarctic.” Situated in a large dome at the edge of the festival, attendees could recline on bean bag chairs in a massive dome and enjoy a psychedelic experience. Coachella has since published a 360° video on their Youtube channel for those who missed it. Note: I highly recommend watching using Google Cardboard or other VR goggles.

Final Thoughts

Overall, the brands on-site at the Festival did a great job captivating the Coachella audience this year. I’m looking forward to seeing what next year’s sponsors bring to the festival.

Click here to read more awesome-ness penned by Genuine. And make sure to follow us on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook to stay in-the-know.

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[Vlog] 5 Tips to Hiring an Agency

In this vlog we address an FAQ by CEOs, directors, managers, solopreneurs and university students after completing a deep dive into the many facets of digital marketing. “How do I hire an agency to help me?” These are our top tips. Heads up: These also work if you’re looking for a good agency to work for. #1: Look […]

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Jack Morton West Coast participated in National Rebuilding Day

On Saturday, April 29, a team of 16 from Jack Morton’s West Coast office took part in our third consecutive National Rebuilding Day in San Francisco. Once again, we partnered with the amazing organization Rebuilding Together, which facilitates the event every year.

This year, we helped remodel and overhaul two homes in the Bernal Heights neighborhood of San Francisco. While the rest of the neighborhood has gone through a process of gentrification and renovation, these two homes owned by two neighbors, Mr. Franklin and Mr. Rucker, since 1958 have remained pretty much untouched over the last 60 years. As such, they sought our help to modernize their homes and make them structurally safe for the neighbors to continue living in them.

The Jack West Coast team, comprised of colleagues and friends, gathered in Bernal Heights at 8:30am on Saturday morning. After introductions to the two homeowners, who were pleasantly surprised by the amount of people who showed up to help, we got down to business.

We were divided into small groups, each of which was assigned a specific task such as weeding and clearing the backyards, painting, clearing out the attics and disposing of junk, fixing the stairs, redoing the deck, and more. Under the California heat, the team worked tirelessly to rise to the challenge and get as much done as possible in one day.

Our efforts definitely paid off, and both properties looked amazing by the end of the day! It was made all the more worthwhile when we saw how appreciative both homeowners were with all of our hard work and how happy they were with their new and improved homes.

It was a great day, and the Jack West Coast team really enjoyed helping folks in the neighborhood.

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The Chief Creative Job Has a Murky Future at Big Brands

A crowd gathered in Minneapolis last week to watch a panel discussion on the rise of the chief creative officer. Creative had been making a move into the C-suite at big marketers including Best Buy, Target and General Mills in recent years. Planned since the fall, the event drew more than 120 attendees from both agencies and brands.

There was only one problem: By the time the program began, two of the three speakers had left their CCO roles.

In the last five years, the role of a top creative at companies has been gaining ground as a brand necessity, especially as the scope of CMO responsibilities have widened. Yet the last two months have seen the two high-profile departures in Tom Nowak, CCO at Best Buy since 2015, and Michael Fanuele, CCO at General Mills since 2014. As brands struggle for a balance between science and creativity and manage costs accordingly brand innovation jobs are in an uncertain place.

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