Diversity in Advertising Award


We’re proud to be one of only five agencies shortlisted from more than 50 entries into Channel 4’s Diversity in Advertising Award, an annual competition with the important goal of improving diversity in advertising. Here’s hoping our idea for Panasonic, for this year’s theme of non-visual disabilities, can go one further and scoop the prize of £1million in free media.

For more on the awards click here

Read the full article on Campaign Live here

Immersive Tech Meets Sustainability

By Sheila McLean, NA Citizenship & Sustainability Practice Director, MSL Much has been said and written about how immersive tech will transform the communications industry, ushering in a new era of evolved storytelling. While that is true, it will also considerably impact – and transform – social purpose in sectors like food and beverage. Imagine, […]

The post Immersive Tech Meets Sustainability appeared first on MSLGROUP’s Blog Critical Conversations: Critical Conversations.

The Digital-First Creative Shop – Defined

RKN Brian Carley
Digital-first. You hear the term everywhere. Digital first campaign, digital first strategy, digital first creative shop. It’s a major buzz word lately, and everyone in the creative space is trying to own a piece of it. What does it mean exactly? Well, it means different things to different people, and its meaning continues to evolve.

So it might be easier to start with what digital-first is not: digital-first is not approaching a campaign from a digital medium right off the bat. In other words, it doesn’t mean coming up with a campaign for Instagram or Facebook before you do print or creative. It doesn’t mean seeing everything from the digital perspective, either. In fact, it actually means thinking of creative independent of medium. It means not being married to digital, print, or TV, but crossing boundaries and mixing and matching to fit the job.

Historically – fast forward past Mad Men and into the internet age circa late 1990s – campaigns primarily revolved around a TV spot. The rest was matching luggage – the print ad, which was a compelling still of the TV spot, and the banner ad, which was the animated version of the print ad, etc. If anyone in the world saw an ad from a brand, they knew it was from that campaign. That was the world we lived in ten years ago.

But now we live in a digital word, where we consume on our computers and our phones. We are constantly connected to and see the world through that medium. So what does it mean to be a digital-first creative shop in a world where everything is digital? More than anything, digital-first means being willing to break the rules around where, why and how creative is made and consumed – all with the goal of tapping into a collective human behavior, desire or feeling. In short, digital first means creating, connecting to or impacting culture.

It’s a philosophy of abandoning the old ways or prescribed creative process, of throwing to the wind a brand book or set of codes. It means breaking down the old rules of marketing and advertising and realizing that good ideas go beyond one medium. Digital-first means not looking at a brand problem or a client brief as solvable through one TV spot, two print ads, a set of banner ads and a social blast. Being a digital first creative shop means thinking about a campaign as an incredible idea.

Remember Fearless Girl? The most highly awarded work at Cannes? That’s digital-first creative. Why? The medium was not TV, digital, social or out of home. Instead, its medium was 250 lbs. of bronze. It broke all the rules and had a cultural point of view that, no matter if you agreed with it, was contagious. Hundreds of thousands of people took a picture of her. And we all heard about her digitally – online news outlets, our friends’ Instagram accounts, Facebook and beyond.

Being a digital first creative shop starts long before the campaign is even born. It starts in the meeting with the client, or, for brands, in the CMO’s office. It starts by questioning the brief that calls for banner ads or TV spots. Every CCO should ask – why do you need banner ads? Where do they go? Once I click on them, where do they take me? Being digital first means blowing up the brief and doing more than what’s being asked of you. We need ideas that are big enough to change culture, create culture and drive someone to act. That’s digital first.

In 2015, Honda broke all the rules around how video should work in their ‘The Other Side’ two-minute film. Only available in its entirety on a digital device, the film showcased the Civic and Civic Type R in parallel in two different scenarios, giving the user control to switch between the two. The original film features the Civic, in the daytime, driven by a man with errands to run and people to drive. Press R on your smartphone and you see the same man, alone, at night, driving the Type R, living more dangerously.

Always’ ‘Like A Girl’ campaign also rewrote the rules. Initially executed as a piece of digital film content, it became a TV ad and simultaneously started a movement on social channels that advocated for female acceptance. The idea of both rejecting stereotypes and embracing femininity moved the cultural needle. The ‘Love Has No Labels’ campaign by The Ad Council also broke the mold in going beyond the boundaries of one execution, offering a perspective on culture and generating vital conversation about equality, discrimination and love.

At Rokkan, where I lead creative, we are doing our part to stay true to digital-first creative. When we first started working with Cadillac on their Oscars spots late last year, our job was to convey an image of reinvention for the brand. So we did something risky that nevertheless felt right – we made an ad for Escala, a concept car you can never buy. We made a website dedicated to this vision and allowed consumers to see a future that couldn’t (yet) be bought.

So what is digital-first? It is a campaign that can only be viewed with a digital device. It is a sculpture of a little girl standing defiantly in the face of a bigger, more formidable foe. It is an ad for a car that will never exist. Most simply, it is work that impacts a digital audience both hungry for the new and nostalgic for the old.




Friday Reading #101

After a brief break following the publication of our 100th edition magazine, we’re back in your inbox! Who was lucky enough to get a copy of the magazine? If any email subscribers didn’t, and would like one, email us at hello@goodstuff.co.uk with your postal address and we’ll be happy to pop one in the post for you. Since we last spoke, we’ve had Campaign visit our (suddenly remarkably tidy) office – and thrown a thank you party for our media owner friends and partners to celebrate our first independence day as a fully, 100%, no minority stake in sight indie agency. Did anyone catch Big Bob on the hog roast?

We all read stories online about therapy dogs (and actually,
even a duck
found its way onto a plane once) but some airports in the US, including
Cincinnati/ Northern Kentucky, have introduced teeny tiny horses
as emotional support animals
for nervous flyers. Twice a month Seven Oaks
Farm in Northern Kentucky send 34 mini horses to trot around the airport in
order to sooth the stresses and anxiety of those flying nerves. Brands are
paying attention to the consumer interest in the importance of managing mental
health alongside physical health & initiatives and programs that are
addressing these emotional needs are likely to bring significant attention.
Just look at their little faces…

As more and more people personalise their news feed and
iPhone screen to hone in on how they like to read their news, a new app has
been developed to help people see the news from more ends of the spectrum. Read
Across The Aisle, born out of the American election, is designed to help people break out of their “filter bubble” – giving people a more hollisitic view of news and diverse point of
view. The platform has the ability to track a user’s reading habits to monitor
what their political stances are then find other, reliable news sources that
vary across the spectrum. Although it may be uncomfortable, it is important.

This one is sure to be music to the ears of Amazon, but flies in the face of everything we know about the power of brands in FMCG. The inventively named Brandless is a new e-comms business which aims to upturn the established retail model and sell directly to consumers in the same way Harry’s have done for shaving, and eve for mattresses. Selling a range of 115 food and household products for less than $3 each will undoubtedly win some fans, but it’s unlikely to have a major impact on the established commercial brands who already command significant price and share premiums over ‘unbranded’ supermarket value ranges. That said, as Amazon – with their powerful brand and distribution channels – continue to move into groceries, this is definitely one they’ll be watching closely.

Official portraits can tell you a lot about their subjects, the subtle symbolism building the wider picture of how that person wants to be portrayed. The election of Emmanuel Macron was seen widely as a triumph of centrism against the shifts to the right and left seen in the UK and US elections – and Quartz have had an interesting look at the signs of this in his recently revealed state portrait. from the balance of the EU and French flags, to the books and iPhone’s on his desk.

Instagram vs. Snapchat: Who’s Doing It Better?

Instagram has figured out a way to capitalize on existing ideas, and make them their own. But who’s doing it better? Instagram or Snapchat?

It’s no secret that Instagram has been making a name for itself as the “The Fat Jewish” of the social space in recent months. They’ve essentially copied others’ work, but are managing to do it better, or at least better than Snapchat.

How is Instagram Succeeding?

Much like the instafamous account, Instagram has figured out a way to capitalize on existing ideas, and have succeeded in making them their own by sharing them with their enormous audience.

What’s New?

This spring, Instagram introduced Direct, the uncannily similar tool that allows users to send photos and videos to friends that disappear after a few seconds, like the claim to fame feature of Snapchat.

Not to be outdone, Snapchat is rolling out Paperclip, a new feature that allows publishers to link to websites within their stories. This could be a game changer for Snapchat users who can now drive traffic to their sites without needing to buy an ad. And, for brands that don’t have large social media budgets, this will most likely drive large volumes of organic traffic. Lastly,  the update gives Snapchat a leg-up on Instagram’s “link in bio” system.

What Does This Mean for Advertisers?

As they say, competition breeds success, and that’s exactly what’s happening here. The ongoing rivalry between Snapchat and Instagram is making advertising easier and more effective on both channels. Now, with so many brands vying for the attention of their cherished viewers, advertisers have more placements for their ads and more options for creative.  

It’s clear, social advertising is the future. With the rate of brands advertising on social consistently rising every month, channels will have to continue to improve and create innovative options to stay at the top. Is your brand advertising on social yet?

Final Thoughts

So, with all these new features, who’s coming out on top?

With over 250 million users actively engaging with Instagram stories (100 million more than Snapchat), IG has clearly won this battle. However, with all of Snapchat’s new features continuing to roll out (voice filters, Snap Map, backgrounds, Paperclip), there’s no saying who will win the war.

Lauren Mello is a Social Specialist at Genuine where she assists in the strategic preparation and management of social profiles for Genuine’s clients.

Want to learn more? Check out our other blogs.

The post Instagram vs. Snapchat: Who’s Doing It Better? appeared first on Genuine.

Four Tips for Taking Delicious Food Photos on Instagram

By Gillian Stippa, Photographer

If you’re on Instagram, then you’ve experienced food envy. That conflicted feeling of desire and jealousy that whatever your friend is eating is more delicious than anything you’ve ever tasted before. Want to elicit the same reaction from your friends or followers? Just follow these simple tips for drool-inducing food photography:

1.    Use Natural Light

Shoot in natural light. This could be outside in the shade, or inside near a window. Avoid shooting in the same direction of the light. In other words, use directional light, make sure the light is coming from the side or the front of the product/food. Avoid using a flash, especially if using a cell phone to take a photo.

2.    Point of View

Overhead photos are received very well and are usually the safest bet. If you do shoot from another angle, try 90 or 45 degrees. Always make sure the background is blurred so that the product is the main focus. If using a DSLR camera this is done by widening the aperture (f/5.0)

3.    Take time to Compose your image

Overcrowding your image is a common mistake. Instead, play around with negative space to balance your image. Think about plating – does the dish complement the food? Is the surface distracting from the food? Style your food, but don’t obsess over perfectly placed parsley or pristine plate because keeping it real often makes for the best photo. Remember that you are creating art, whose function is “to present what the narrow and desperately practical perspectives of real life exclude.” 

4.    Tell a Story

Find your aesthetic niche. With each image try to answer the question, what is my story? Make sure your images look great as one cohesive piece. Think of each photo as one note of the symphony, and make sure you have a consistent finish or look.  

Interested in professional food photography? Contact us to find out more.

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