Creative Inspiration: Content We Enjoyed this Autumn

The internet is bored of graphs. Let’s show them what else we’ve got. 

Following on from our post this summer, where we talked through a range of exciting new content, from peace tributes to social adverts, we now turn to what has got eyeballs on a brand this Autumn.

There’s lots of talk in the industry right now about off-site ranking factors beyond links, and especially those related to brand. Take this post from Sistrix, this deck from Malcom Slade, or this post on Moz from our very own Tom Capper. At Distilled, we feel a combination of link building and social activity is what gives a brand its best chance online, and that’s reflected in the pieces I’ve selected below.

In addition, I’ve tried to look beyond the tried and tested format of interactive data vis, to some of the more exciting formats that SEO and marketing teams at successful brands are exploring right now.

Here are some exciting finds I stumbled across:

1. Can you spot the hidden egg? – Bloom and Wild

Source: Bloom & Wild

There seems to have been an influx of a particular type of picture quiz. Companies by the dozen getting mainstream press and social attention with a simple static image. No interactivity, no data, no research, no complex build, just one illustration. Work with an illustrator with a distinctive style (like in this Lens Store example), to create a memorable picture puzzle for your client.

2. Mo Farah, SmileNike

Source: Nike

It is great to see a poetry trend taking place in advertising. The rhythm and story that binds the concept together in this ad that came out at the end of the summer for Nike. Mo Farah stating that ‘Just because he smiles, it doesn’t mean it’s easy.’ The video starts with candid footage as though shot by Mo Farah himself, this instantly grabs an audience’s attention, we feel like we are viewing an Instagram story perhaps, it makes us inquisitive what glimpse will we get into this hero’s life. The stripped back shot depicting him up close and personal, joking around, this pulls us in. I have also seen poetry used for campaigning and more hard-hitting topics here with spoken word artist Hollie McNish, the rhythm and pace helping hold my attention for the full 04:40.

3. Lateness excuse generatorDave TV

Source: Dave

When you’re crushed up against another commuter on the arduous journey to work, anything that even slightly entertains you or helps you escape the reality of the daily grind sticks in your mind. Recently Dave’s lolz ads have been tickling me. Dave does a great job of understanding that what they sell is “being amused”, not TV shows.

4. Branded in memorySigns

Source: Signs

Banner printing company, have studied how logos we see everyday are remembered, by asking people to draw them. Over 150 people drew logos like Apple, Adidas and Burger King. The hand-drawn logos were then plotted on a scale from most to least accurate. It turned out that IKEA was the easiest to remember and Starbucks the hardest.

5. The Uber GameThe Financial Times

Source: Financial Times

The Financial Times created a walk through multiple choice game to test how you will fare in the gig economy. An isometric illustration style was used to create wonderful city scenes. You are given choices such as which type of car you will buy, what sort of phone plan you sign up to, with the decisions affecting how much money you are able to make.

6. You are what you listen toNicc Johnson

Source: Nicc Johnson

Medium launched this long format piece that looks at how the music you listen to can match certain personality types. This is a detailed study, with quite a lot of information to consume before you reach the reward.  I am a dance music fan, which apparently means – I am creative and outgoing but not gentle! Yikes! I feel the depth of research here helps to make the conclusions much more believable.

7. Beautiful goalposts from around the UKMichael Kirkham

Source: Michael Kirkman

Posted in the ‘sport’ and ‘football’ categories on the BBC, this photo series of goalposts around the UK, conjures up memories of simpler times. Sometimes white painted lines on cracked brick walls, or flimsy frames with scuffed holes dug into public parks, where the goalie has skidded over and over again.

8. This is a generic Millennial ad – Dissolve

Source: Dissolve

Sometimes advertising trends are so overused they become a cliche. Stock footage site Dissolve, has poked fun at clips of millennials riding bikes together into sunsets, Instagramming their food, and having rainbow coloured hair; whilst simultaneously demonstrating the wealth of on-trend imagery they have. Or perhaps challenging their clients to think outside the box with their ad narratives in the future.

9. Default ManGrayson Perry

Source: Penguin

To help advertise his new book ‘The Descent of Man’, publishers Penguin have created a game that highlights some of the books themes: that men are often so busy trying to achieve that they believe to be masculine success they often forget the important things e.g. friendship, love and compromise. The game is just the right length, and is easy enough to complete. It borrows well-known mechanics from Super Mario, means it is easy to pick up and navigate straight away.

Santa brand bookQuiet Room

Source: Quiet Room

As we head towards Christmas I’m always reminded of this piece from 2013 by branding / tone of voice agency Quiet Room. This tongue and cheek set of brand guidelines for ‘Santa’ mocks how pernickety and overwhelming brand guidelines can sometimes be. A great piece of content marketing for themselves.

What content have you enjoyed lately? Let us know in the comments.

Integer Expands Digitail, Launches Ecommerce Consultancy

Leading Commerce Agency Launches Ecommerce Consultancy in Sydney as Amazon Enters Australian Market

Digitail is a suite of commerce marketing and findability solutions rooted in a deep understanding of the retailer environment, how shoppers shop online, and the role eRetailers play along the shopper journey. Launched in 2008, Integer’s Digitail helps clients establish strategies and go-to-market plans to win in a complex ecosystem and to scale to meet the needs of the full channel. Headquartered in Denver, Colorado with significant regional hubs in Hamburg, Germany, Sao Paulo, Brazil, and now Sydney, Australia to service clients worldwide, Digitail represents over 110 brands in 27 languages and produces more than 18,000 ecommerce assets per year for eRetailers globally. The practice’s core capabilities help clients win search, the “Buy Box” and share of mind and wallet by being operationally ready, developing pages for the digital shelf, and using media and merchandising techniques that drive conversion and sales both online and in-store. As a result, Integer has been recognized as one of very few Amazon “Trusted Creative Partners.”

To read the full press release, click HERE.  To see what the industry is saying, check out articles on MediaPost, Little Black Book, Campaign Brief, Ad News, Mumbrella and more.

To learn more about Digitail, visit

Real-time Marketing and the Dynamic Customer Experience

An interesting paradox has begun to emerge. Our expectations grow faster than technological advances. Data defines us, but we want a personal touch. People are busier than ever, but we want one-to-one interactions.

How can companies meaningfully serve their customers under these circumstances, deliver real and thoughtful experiences all while serving business objectives?

Real-time marketing could be an option. Check out brandwatch’s Guide to providing real value at the right time, across the customer journey, featuring Integer’s VP, Digital Marketing & Commerce Integration, Dennis Wakabayashi.

The power behind clever product sampling

Whenever someone buys something, there is a process that they have to go through. It’s most commonly known as the buying journey and it’s nothing sinister – it’s just a normal path that we all follow whenever we part with our cash.

That process begins with the realization of a certain requirement or desire. After that, consumers normally do their research and judge their needs against all the objections that spring to mind. Next, we look at alternatives and then reconsider the situation.

Only after passing that final test will we actually make the purchase so, as you can see, businesses face a lot of hurdles to overcome. People can and do drop out of that buying journey at any time.

What product sampling does is help companies drastically reduce this process. It cuts out so much of the pain that it’s just not even funny. Clever sampling campaigns target a demographic that has a particular problem or wish. Then, because they’re given a sample, consumers don’t need to do their alternative research.

And whilst they might have objections, consumers are generally more receptive when they’ve been given something free. Plus, sampling campaigns give brands a chance to answer any objections there and then. Quite simply, consumers are able to race through this buying process quickly.

It doesn’t end there either. Freebies generate a feeling reciprocity, which not only could result in direct sales, but also in fostering brand loyalty. And let’s not forget about word-of-mouth recommendations that could yield long-term benefits.

Word-of-mouth marketing is the most powerful marketing strategy that there is. Research has shown that we’re far more likely to try and buy a product if someone that we know, like and trust has said is good.

If you think about it, there’s a good chance that you’ve bought or tested something on the basis of someone you know recommending it. What product sampling does is leverage the power of this kind of influence.

Ultimately, then, sampling campaigns are incredibly effective because they quicken the sales process. The human brain is strangely predictable and we all have to go through a variety of steps before we buy anything. That’s never going to change, so as marketers, we should concentrate on overcoming these hurdles.

Hotcow is a non-traditional creative agency that specialises in experiential marketing that goes viral. Our campaigns generate buzz through crowd participation, PR and content sharing. Contact us on 0207 5030442, or email us on

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Merry Christmas

Christmas is a time for good will, forgiveness and joy so this year we wanted to temporarily put professional rivalries aside and spread a little Christmas cheer in adland.

We sent the entire agency out carol singing on the streets of Soho, singing personalised Christmas carols to our competitors, friends and frenemies and handing out treats from our lovely clients.

Wishing everyone a very merry Christmas, love Quiet Storm x