Interns at Cramer-Krasselt create a Dyslexia Cafe.

The Chicago Egotist — July 31, 2017

To raise awareness about the difficulties individuals with Dyslexia face when ordering simple things like coffee and food, interns at Cramer-Krasselt created menus and signs meant to convey what words look like to those with dyslexia. They then took their creation to a local Cafe in Chicago.

The story was covered today in Creativity and was also picked up by ABC News in Chicago.

Read more at Chicago Egotist.

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Influencer Marketing Vs Celebrity Endorsement

It has been proven by many influencer marketing experts, influencer marketing and celebrity endorsement are two very different options for brands to include in their marketing campaign. The two do not operate or function the same and both options offer very different results.

“I’ve actually learned first-hand that brand advocates and micro influencers have the potential to recruit long-term brand advocates into your brand, which (surprise-surprise) is much more powerful than generating a one-off sale” –Philip Brown, Head of Influencer Marketing & Brand Advocacy at Come Round.

But what’s the difference? How will your brand benefit the most from one or both?

Celebrity Influencers and endorsements

It is no surprise that celebrities have more followers than influencers. Just because your favourite celebrity posted about the newest perfume or a festival, doesn’t mean that it is credible or a genuine post from them.

Brands continue to throw money at them, most recently the failed Fyre Festival. Models and celebrities including Kendall Jenner, Bella Hadid and Emily Ratajkowski, were paid $250 000 to endorse the event, while other high-profile Instagram users were paid $10 000 per post shared on the platform. The problem with that tactic was that they failed to disclose to the public that these were paid posts, all against Federal Trade Commission policy 16 CFR Part 255: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising. These influencers had legal action taken against them citing “Social Media ‘influencers’ made no attempt to disclose to consumers that they were being compensated for promoting the Fyre Festival. Instead these influencers gave the impression that the guest list was full of the Social Elite and other celebrities.”

In other instances, celebrities have outed themselves as being paid to post, sharing more than what they should. Remember when Scott Disick revealed all the details of his BooTea Shake product endorsement to his 15.9 million followers, before quickly deleting it?

It might be an exciting way to get people interested in your product or event, but the repercussions to your brand could far outweigh the benefits. Often the content for this paid endorsement or post comes across as forced and unauthentic but there is light at the end of the tunnel if your brand wants to go down this route. Work with the celebrities to ensure that it sounds like them. Let them tell it in their own brand voice ensuring that their audience will naturally engage on the post.

Influencers and bloggers

An exciting new area for brands to explore in communicating their messaging is with smaller, and at times, slightly more unknown influencers and bloggers. There are two types of influencers – macro and micro.

Macro influencers are not that different to celebrities, besides the celebrity title. These influencers have large audiences that they can push your message and brand out to, often at a hefty price tag. Unfortunately, the engagement on macro influencers posts are on the lower end. If you are looking for reach on your post then you’ll be in good hands.

Micro influencers are an emerging market. By using micro influencers over macro influencer, brands can communicate through real people, in an authentic voice. however, have a smaller following than that of a macro influencer or celebrity. Micro influencers have between 1000 and 90 000 followers.

Their audience is more engaged in the content that they post, which makes these up and coming influencers and bloggers more attractive to brands. These types of content creators are in it for the long haul and want to leverage off your brand as much as you want to leverage off their following.
There is something to be said for bringing in influencers and bloggers for a long-term brand affiliation, rather than just paying them one off. Together you can create bespoke messaging and content. You can also ensure a complete buy-in from the blogger or influencer. This translates into engaging content on their platforms for their followers and your future followers and customers.

There is no right or wrong way forward for your brand. Just make sure that the celebrity, blogger or influencer is right for your brand. They must communicate your vision and objective without sounding forced or fake. Get this right and your campaign will always win.

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MullenLowe Mediahub Does Comic-Con

Without fail each July, the most eclectic melting pot of geeks, advertising madmen and A-list celebrities descend on San Diego’s Gaslamp District for Comic-Con — the world’s biggest celebration of comic book culture.

This year’s was the biggest SDCC yet, touting over 130,000 paid attendees, which doesn’t even account for the thousands more who flooded the downtown Gaslamp District. The convention center extends across 460,000 square feet, with nearly 1,000 vendors showcasing their latest and greatest. Across the street, there were hundreds of activations put on by brands, similar to the scene in downtown Austin during SXSW.

MullenLowe Mediahub took a trip to SDCC this year to let our inner nerds out and provide an insider’s look on the four-day event. Here’s our recap of key trends and takeaways:


  • Comic book culture is more relevant to your business than you think

    There’s something for everyone at SDCC, regardless of whether they are hardcore comic book nerds or mainstream people. If there’s any strategic hook for your product, whether from a contextual or audience perspective, you should consider this event as a way to make an impact.

  • Find your nerds and get them to geek out

    If you can get a nerd fan base on board with your product, service or new TV show, they will be your biggest advocates. Dig into your brand’s data sets and see if there are any pockets of these people, as they could be a be a huge untapped opportunity for your business.

  • You don’t need a million dollars to make an impact

    Small things go a long way at SDCC, and you don’t have to spend your whole year’s marketing budget in one place. Whether it’s free pedicab transportation in the GOT throne, a bicycle bar with SYFY, Outlander men in kilts doing cosplay or giving out fun swag, there’s a lot of turnkey ways to reach the Comic-Con crowd. If you want to get your feet wet testing out the event, you can partner with brands that have a consistent, tried and true presence each year (e.g., Wired Cafe, Entertainment Weekly’s studio or IGN’s party). But if you want to do anything for SDCC 2018, you should start now.

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The Next in Augmented Relationships

Melanie Joe, Consultant, Research and Insights, MSL Exciting developments from the technology sector are in the news on an almost everyday basis; big data, virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), mixed reality (MR), artificial intelligence (AI) – these are terms that have, in the past few years, become everyday buzzwords. Technology has had a significant […]

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Cramer-Krasselt interns transformed the menus and signs at Chicago cafe Heritage Outpost to raise dyslexia awareness.

AgencySpy — July 28, 2017

By Erik Oster

-Cramer-Krasselt interns transformed the menus and signs at Chicago cafe Heritage Outpost to raise dyslexia awareness.

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Coffee shop serves up empathy, with ‘Dyslexia Cafe’.

CBS Chicago — July 28, 2017

By Roseanne Tellez

Customers at an Uptown coffee shop got a little something extra with their morning brew Friday: a lesson on the challenges of dyslexia, which affects some 40 million adults in the U.S.

CBS 2’S Roseanne Tellez reports on the novel wake-up call.

Something was amiss at Heritage Outpost Coffee Friday morning, where it was almost impossible to read the writing on the wall.

“I was a little confused by the signage. I was like, ‘Oh, maybe this is a new hipster thing,’” customer Sorah Kim says.

Welcome to the world of someone with dyslexia.

We want people to embrace this experience and just be open to supporting people who they learn have dyslexia,” says Lauren Dumas.

Dumas is an intern at Cramer Krasselt, a local ad agency that helped create Dyslexia Cafe. The summer project serves up a lesson on the challenges of having a reading disability.

Customers say it was more eye-opening than their coffee.

“I think what it does is really educate somebody in terms of helping them be more empathetic,” Kim says.

To someone with dyslexia, letters can appear upside down, duplicated, compressed, or pop off the page.

Dumas says 1 in 10 people struggle with this type of disability.

Some studies show as many as 20 percent of individuals show some characteristics of dyslexia. Early screening leads to effective intervention.


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Uptown cafe raises dyslexia awareness.

ABC 7 — July 28, 2017

By Jesse Kirsch

If you can’t decide what to get at a coffee shop, you look to the menu.

But at the Heritage Outpost on the edge of Uptown, that didn’t help Friday because the storefront and marquee looked like gibberish. Even if customers made it into the café without noticing the modified signs, they found menus with jumbled words they could not understand.

Welcome to the Dyslexia Café.

Sorah Kim says she knew about dyslexia, but the displays still surprised her.

“I didn’t realize all the different ways that it affected letters and numbers,” she said.

Interns from ad agency Cramer-Krasselt came up with this exhibit, designing the special signs to catch-and confuse the eye.

“The reactions that we’ve been seeing from people are exactly what we wanted. It was all about the shock value and really getting people to understand that dyslexia is very common,” said Account Management Intern Lauren Dumas, who worked on the project.

Jennifer Zvi from Everyone Reading Illinois says as many as one in 10 struggle with this learning disorder.

She hopes Friday’s awareness campaign will go deeper, teaching people that dyslexia creates other challenges.

“Difficulty spelling, there also may be some difficulties with short-term or long-term memory, and they may have difficulty with story problems in math,” she explained.

At the very least, seeing the words we know next to those we can’t recognize hopefully makes us understand dyslexia a bit better.

You can visit the Dyslexia Café inside the Heritage Outpost until 7 p.m. Friday.

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My Guess is Joseph George Could End Up in the Movies

Brand Equity got Alex Leikikh, Global CEO, MullenLowe Group to do an exclusive Quick-5 on the outgoing Group Chairman and CEO, MullenLowe Lintas Group India, Joseph George (Joe) and what his likely future plans. Excerpts:

This news from one of the most stable Indian ad-agency operations has taken pretty much everyone by surprise and shock. What was your first reaction when you got to know of his exit?

When Joe first spoke to me last year about his desire to quit this role and pursue his big dream, it did take me by surprise. A few weeks and several conversations later, we agreed that this was important for him. A man who’s given over a quarter-century to build our company, deserves to choose when it’s time to move on.
In true Joe-style, he’s planned his exit meticulously and we’ve spent the last eight months putting that transition plan in place. I can see why it seems shocking to the outside world, but having lived with it for some time, we’ve internalized it.

While the succession planning has been accomplished at the 3 agency brands under the group in India, the replacement for Joe’s role has not been announced yet?

Moving to the three agency structure is the succession plan for India. Each agency has its leadership, teams and client-portfolios firmly in place. Lowe Lintas led by Chairman and CCO Arun Iyer and CEO Raj Gupta, Mullen Lintas led by chairman and CCO Amer Jaleel and CEO Virat Tandon, and PointNine Lintas led by Vikas Mehta. This team will report directly to me. With regards to Joe’s regional responsibilities – we will be announcing Joe’s successor leading Southeast Asia in the next few weeks.

What could be the impact of his exit on the group’s brand in India?

I am very confident in the power of the MullenLowe Lintas Group brand in India – a brand that has such a strong identity, culture and set of values. The focus now, is to add more dimensions to the Group brand and the hyperbundled offering. We have three distinct agency brands – Lowe Lintas, Mullen Lintas and PointNine Lintas – each with a unique set of strengths. Together, they give us a lineup of offerings that can rival even holding companies in India. Joe’s transition marks the starting point of a new chapter in MullenLowe Lintas Group’s evolution in this market.

In your view what has been the single most important contribution made by Joseph George for MullenLowe Lintas Group?

Bringing 26 years down to ‘one’ contribution is a hard one. He’s made a deep impact on the organisation in every sense of the word. In my view, the most valuable of all, has been his role as architect of today’s MullenLowe Lintas Group with regards to growing the next generation of talent in the agency. Joe is a fantastic leader, and one of his greatest strengths has been his ability to develop world class business and creative leaders.

What has been your most quirky/funny memory of working with Joe in the last year and a half?

Not many people know this but Joe is a very talented dancer and singer – and I’ve witnessed this first hand! My guess is he ends up in the movies as a next career.

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Love Island: What Brands Can Learn

Just as audiences have flocked to the show – which peaked last night with 2.9 million viewers, beating BBC One’s 2 million at the same time – brands have been quick to get in on the action.

Superdrug, the main sponsor for the second year running, is the one brand that has perhaps benefitted the most. “It suits the tone of the show, they have the right products and it feels like they belong in the environment,” Mat Goff, joint chief executive at Adam & Eve/DDB, explains.

“Their sponsorship bumpers fit the mood and the tone of that show, so they feel like a decent start point every time we return to the action.”

The brand’s deal to push its advertising further than traditional TV spots with product placement – its sun lotion was often left on display in the show – is also a useful way to communicate to a younger audience, Abi Morrish, head of digital engagement at MEC, says.

There has also been a huge opportunity for brands not officially involved with the show. Social media has been awash with posts about Love Island, and the contestants dumped from the show have been quick to monetise their following.

“When shows like Love Island, the Oscars or the Olympics form part of the cultural zeitgeist for audiences, the opportunity for brands is to gain relevance and integrate their messages into the cultural agenda,” Anthony Svirskis, chief executive of Tribe, says. “It’s cliché to say ‘join the conversation’ but it is true of social channels.”

For many small brands social media is a low cost and “effective way of getting in front of lots of people quickly”, Goff explains. The brands featured on the accounts of some of the former contestants include online fashion retailers and

However, these brands need to be fast. “There’s a quick window of opportunity where [the contestants evicted from the show] are gathering lots of followers and people are really interested in what they are doing, but I don’t think any of those individuals are long-term strategies or will become celebrities in their own right,” Goff says.

“Their influence might burn quickly, but there’s a nice conveyor belt of those shows.”

But – even if the partnerships are fleeting – brands should still make sure reality stars are the right fit for them. “As always, the pairing needs to feel authentic, and this is going to limit the pool of brands that should be looking for this kind of relationship,” Jim Coleman, UK chief executive at We Are Social, says.

“They shouldn’t just look to ride on the show’s success just for the sake of it – an inauthentic influencer partnership that looks forced can be ineffective, or worse, detrimental to a brand’s reputation.”

Mike Clear, head of Mother Studios, explains that brands should stay true to the feel of a show like Love Island. “They shouldn’t fight the reason the show gains popularity – keep the superficial feel and you can’t go too far wrong. It is not there to cure the world’s ills, it is simply created to entertain.”

If brands fail to follow this advice, “people will just see straight through it and it will fall by the wayside, or worse a la Pepsi and Kendall Jenner”, warns Charlie Powell, senior business development manager at talent agency Talent Republic.

Despite the show being over, Laura Moorcraft, managing partner for ITV at Goodstuff, thinks there’s still an opportunity for Superdrug. She says: “Superdrug’s established brand association could seamlessly extend into style and beauty social videos, featuring products and techniques favoured by the show’s stars. Surely Kem’s hair stylist background and top-knot prowess could form a Superdrug video series in its own right.”

Looking ahead to the next series, Steve Parker, managing director at AllTogetherNow, explains that brands should think ahead about the different ways that they can get involved. He says: “Being able to make the most of a show like Love Island requires either good forward planning to find a way to get into the show before it starts, like providing the outfits contestants wear, or the ability to be very reactive, and brand relevant, like Primark have been with their Love Island slogan t-shirts.”

Lessons from Love Island’s social media strategy

By Kayley Almond, social strategist at MullenLowe Profero

1. Add value through intimacy

The show’s Instagram account regularly posts snackable behind-the-scenes content from the contestants themselves. The fan’s relationship with the show suddenly feels a lot more intimate when they’re seeing Snapchats and selfies from the contestants in the run-up to broadcast.

2. Create a members-only club

The unique lexicon that follows the show around, already available on t-shirts thanks to merchandising deals with Primark, acts as a membership card. It urges people to double tap whenever they see something that raises a smirk, pulling them back to their sofa every evening.

3. Keep up the pace

The show moves at such a pace that missing one of the hour-long nightly episodes leaves the viewer struggling to catch up. But what the show’s social content adds is making sure the sense that people are missing out is even more extreme since their feed is suddenly populated with a barrage of clips and reactions.

4. Shareability is time specific

Early first-looks teasing the evening’s content posted each afternoon are a difficult-to-pass-up opportunity to share content with friends as people dissect what might be happening later. As with the behind-the-scenes footage these also serve as the daily reminder that people need to be sat in front of the TV (or mobile, since 30% of live viewership happens through the ITV Hub app) at 9pm sharp.

5. Make the unmissable truly unmissable

The best parts of Love Island are truly impossible to miss thanks to the clips and GIFs which appear almost instantaneously with their broadcast, both from the official channels and the grainy videos of TV screens which viewers upload unprompted.

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Consumers Urge Brands to Push the Boundaries of Gender Stereotyping

According to research from Universal McCann, 65% of women and 59% of men like it when brands use traditional media to challenge stereotypes.

Speaking at a Women In Ads event in London last week, Michael Brown, insight director at UM, urged brands to throw out the template when it comes to women in advertising. He explained: ‘Humans are complex. So, for communications to be truly relatable, we need to move away from tired pen portraits that can be written before we embark on a project.”

Ditch the stereotypes

In line with this, the research suggests that brands need to ditch gender stereotyping. As Brown explains: “People look to brands to behave as moral guardians – you are under far more scrutiny than other platforms. Your role is to help them break free from the shackles of identity norms.”

Self identity in the UK is a pressured space

“I have felt pressure from adverts to be a certain way”
49% of women agree

“Adverts have previously made me feel like I’m not good enough”
44% of women agree

Speaking at a panel discussion at the event, Marina Haydn, executive vice president, marketing of The Economist, argued that diversity and inclusion need to become central to business. She said: “There are a lot of subtle nuances that are lost because women aren’t playing a bigger role in the creative process.”

According to Haydn, for many brands conservatism is the easier route to take and it, therefore, takes “a lot of bravery to step outside these gender stereotypes”.

Addressing the action gap

Addressing the action gap between rhetoric and reality when it comes to gender stereotyping, Lindsey Clay, chief executive of Thinkbox, warned the industry being stuck in the past would lead to consumer criticism. “There is a real urgent need and opportunity to take this seriously.”

Clay said businesses need to put in actual physical initiatives in place: “It’s ridiculous [that only 12% of creative directors are women]. You have to put quotas in place.” She pointed to the success of initiatives such as Free the Bid, saying that if clients demand more women work on briefs change will follow.

Many people are defining as feminist

46% of women self-define as feminist
22% of men self-define as feminist

Tom Knox, chair at MullenLowe London, added that the lack of diversity in creative agencies is clearly a big problem. “We will never improve the diversity of the output unless we challenge the diversity of the creative teams,” he said.

According to The Economist‘s Haydn, the conversation surrounding women and business is in danger of perpetuating a narrative in which everything is an enormous struggle. She believes instead we should move towards talking about when gender parity is reached and when gender neutrality in advertising is the norm. She added: “This can only happen when there is an agreement between men and women and we will move positively towards [change].”

Successful stereotypes

Ironically the ASA’s move to introduce new guidelines on gender stereotyping in advertising is a reflection of just how successful these stereotypes are. Advertising has leant so heavily on perpetuating stereotypes, the move away from them may not always be linear or simple. As Mullen Lowe’s Knox pointed out, Unilever’s research shows that when consumers see a man in a cleaning commercial the message that they see is that the product is easy to use.

Sarah Wood, co-founder and chief executive of Unruly, believes one of the key ways in which brands can move beyond blunt stereotyping is greater use of personalisation. She explained: “There is a shift to personalisation afoot and it is about treating employees as individuals and communicating to people as individuals”.

Pointing to the increased uptake of creative programmatic, Wood believes that the industry has the opportunity to move beyond producing mass-produced stereotypes and reach people as individuals.

Changing the conversation

The panel also addressed the thorny issue of gendered language with Clay sharing the example of a meeting she attended in which male executives talked about being “ballls deep”. While Knox shared experiences of being in meetings featuring an over-reliance on aggressive hunting analogies. “When that happens, call it out,” he added.

Clay pointed to the fact that whenever childcare issues are discussed it is always discussed as a challenge to women when childcare is an equal challenge for parents.

Sophia Durrani, managing partner strategy at UM London, added that equal paternity rights will help to change existing agency structures. “This is not just about women. It is something that will benefit all of us,” she added.

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