Why brands should put Gen Z’s emotional wellbeing first

It seems that rarely a week goes by without a new statistic showing just how low consumer confidence has dropped thanks to Brexit. This isn’t great for brands, but this issue seems fleetingly short term compared to the almost equally prevalent statistics about the fragility of young people. The latest report from the annual UK Youth Index calls 16 to 25-year-olds the unhappiest generation for a decade, revealing that almost two-thirds (61%) regularly feel stressed, and more than a quarter (27%) “hopeless”, while around half (47%) have experienced a mental health problem – symptoms of depression and anxiety are way up among this generation, as are reports of self-harm.

Rather than panicking about how to boost post-Brexit sales among quite understandably thrifty consumers, it would seem to make more sense to come up with a strategy to support the next generation of customers who potentially face a much longer term crisis of confidence.

By addressing the stress and anxiety prevalent among young people in the right way, brands will make a valuable contribution to society (purpose box ticked!), while also gaining the trust of the next ‘power generation’. The two possible approaches involve launching a wellbeing product or service, or weaving wellbeing authentically into your brand.   

Dealing with the second point first, a survey by Edelman showed it would be very much in the interest of brands to address consumers’ wellbeing. Some 85% of respondents indicated they would be likely to buy products and services from brands that they felt supported their wellbeing, with 84% saying they’d also recommend those brands that did.

As for launching a wellbeing product, well this market is currently exploding. Growing consumer fears over health, coupled with increasing interest in nutrition and sustainability has resulted in the launch of a host of new FMCG categories, including low-GI, Paleo, high-protein, gluten-free and other ‘free-from’ foods, beauty and household products, according to a recent report by Nielsen. It has also driven new products like avocado oil, kale crisps, protein snacks and paraben-free skincare.

The key here, though, is how brands approach young people. To make a positive difference to any group, you need to engage with them. The aim should be to encourage people to re-evaluate their lives and achieve long-term change. Sport England has shown with its ‘This Girl Can’ campaign that using advertising and marketing to push the right emotional triggers can actually drive a change in behaviour. It identified that the fear of being judged was stopping women from doing exercise. It went on to liberate women by celebrating the barriers, such as sweating, jiggling and falling over, making heroines out of those prepared to really go for it.

Although the brand has lost its way a little recently, Dove did a similarly great job by building female body confidence, inspiring people to have positive relationships with their own appearance through thought leadership, research and the representation of diverse beauty.

For those FMCG brands striving to build new ‘long term change’ health categories, authentic frontline connections will be paramount. Understanding the mindset of young people and the barriers they envisage is therefore key. Growing up during the recession, closely followed by Trump in the White House and Brexit, Gen Z feel the world they inhabit is one of constant struggle, where inequality reigns. Only 6% trust corporations to do the right thing, so authenticity and transparency is key when marketing to this group. As a result, while green issues inspired Millennials, social equality is the driving force behind Gen Z. So brands need to recognise this and reflect it in their values and messaging.

The good news is that young people are open to relationships with brands, but through experiences they can control, that surprise and delight, according to Kantar Millward Brown’s AdReaction – Engaging Gen X,Y and Z study. Brands also need to inspire their confidence, be relevant, honest and real. After all, they have grown up on the unfiltered, reality of YouTube.

They respond to emotional narratives. They are also used to two-way communications thanks to the interactivity of social media, so they want to take part and be hands on. Consequently, brands need to allow for co-creation. They need to give young people an opportunity not just to try things, but re-create them. They need to be invited to participate in new, fresh experiences to earn trust. A lack of community lies at the heart of their unhappiness, so brands that help them make social connections, both online and especially face to face, will be rewarded with their loyalty. And it’s vital that any experiences are built on equality, inclusion and acceptance.

Gen Z is still drawn to labels and influenced by brand messages – in fact, just like Millennials, they too suffer from FOMO – the fear of missing out. They love bucket lists, secret cinema, immersive dining, making memories – experiences that linger. They are very in touch with reality, but it’s a harsh one, so helping them escape once in a while and creating a sense of adventure will also resonate. A brand that supports them emotionally in the right way will connect deeply – and welcome on board a new generation of advocates. 

Sally O’Brien is a Director at Sense.

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Weber Shandwick Scoops Best in Show at the 2018 EMEA SABRE Awards

Last week, Weber Shandwick teams and clients across five locations were awarded a total of seven honours at the annual EMEA SABRE and In2SABRE award galas hosted by The Holmes Report at The National Maritime Museum in Amsterdam. In addition, the #toocoolforplastics campaign developed for Iceland Foods by Weber Shandwick in Manchester, which came top in the ‘Retailers’ category, was also named Best in Show with the prestigious Platinum SABRE Award.

In the agency categories, the Weber Shandwick MENA team, led by regional CEO Ziad Hasbani and headquartered in Dubai, was selected by The Holmes Report as the Middle East Consultancy of the Year.

Tim Sutton, Chairman, EMEA & Asia Pacific, Weber Shandwick, said: “We are delighted with this success; many thanks to the jury and to Arun, Paul and team for another amazing showcase of world-leading, inspirational campaigns demonstrating that the work being carried out in the EMEA region is amongst the very best in the world. Thanks also to our teams for their tireless focus, passion and creativity and to our clients, without whose vision and determination none of this pioneering innovation would be possible.”

Here are the details of the category winners:

Category: Retailers
Campaign: #toocoolforplastics
Client: Iceland Foods
Office: Manchester

Cat‎egory: Product Media Relations (Consumer Media)
Campaign:‎ ManFran
Client: Virgin Atlantic
Office: London

Category: Employer Branding
Campaign: Serve your Country
Client: McDonald’s Sweden
Office: Stockholm

Category: Best in Digital/Print Consumer Media (Earned)
Campaign: 72 Hour Cabin
Client: Visit Sweden
Office: Stockholm

Category: Best in Digital Marketing/Advertising
Campaign: Sleep to Snow
Client: Caledonian Sleeper
Office: Scotland


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Make it Instagramable; a new world of social selling

There is an area in Miami called Wynwood. Wynwood has been, for many years, a part of town that you don’t walk through, ever. Not even in broad daylight. Even most South Florida residents wouldn’t walk through Wynwood. It’s a rough area with high drug and crime rates, and there’s always a story of someone who just got killed in Wynwood. However, there is one main street in Wynwood, and maybe three other side streets that are safe to walk down and are known for their beautiful graffiti murals. It also houses the Wynwood Walls, an outdoor museum that came later, showcasing large-scale works by some of the world’s best-known street artists.

Just about every inch of the Wynwood Walls are an Instagram bloggers dream. Bright colours, incredible patterns, potent messages are fashion bloggers answer to dull brick backgrounds. Once a few fashion bloggers discovered the walls, word spread, hashtags were added and suddenly, Wynwood is described as ‘the most happening’ area in all of Miami. Artisan coffee shops have sprung up, whole food bakeries and every type of craft beer imaginable suddenly has a home in this particular, once avoided, part of Miami. Derelict warehouses have been turned into bakeries, art galleries and stylish bistros, not to mention late-night bars and craft breweries, while every new start-up is vying for real estate. Once upon a time you could easily drive down the main street, however, the queues of traffic and throngs of people have made driving through Wynwood a myth.

Of course, there’s multiple factors at play, but so much of the success of this particular area is down to its fame on Instagram and as the need for beautiful backdrops rises, the masses flock to Wynwood. As consumers spend more and more time on the platform, hoping to find cool spots, great views and recommended products from their favourite influencers, social selling on Instagram becomes more and more important for brands. People will look for holiday destinations on travel blogger pages like Gypsea_lust and Doyoutravel before deciding their next holiday. Interior design ideas are garnered from bloggers like Alyssa Kapito and young millennials get life advise from the likes of Caroline Calloway. No matter what it is, we want to see it on Instagram before we buy it, the social platform becoming the new try before you buy.

The coffee shops and areas of London that suddenly become Instagram famous because of a cool light instillation or a bloom of flowers around the door tell brands and businesses that if you want to attract crowds, make sure that your setting is Instagram worthy. Make sure the walls are painted, preferably in bright colours, the unattractive elements covered up and everything so picture worthy that it can’t help but attract hordes of people who are living that #gramlife.

It’s easy to roll your eyes and logically think it’s ridiculous behaviour, and it absolutely is, but that doesn’t detract from the fact that it’s happening every day. Entire areas of cities are making money, and having money poured into them in business development and real estate projects, and all because enough people on Instagram liked it.

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It’s About Time! Views from Time’s Up Advertising’s first community kick-off by, the Time’s Up Advertising event team

When Gloria Steinem has something to say, you listen. That was the first takeaway of many during the first Time’s Up Advertising kick-off event. Sixteen locations around North America gathered sisters of advertising agencies to simultaneously share experiences and discuss strategies for the future. It was a powerful moment and one that Jack was proud to shepherd, as the host for the Boston event.

After an inspirational Facebook Live keynote featuring THE Gloria Steinem letter and Nina Shaw, one of the founders of the global Time’s Up movement, each host city launched into an intimate panel discussion. An impressive group of women participated at our Boston event – Sandra Sims-Williams the Chief Diversity Officer for Publicis Groupe (also part of the Time’s Up Advertising steering committee); Kelly Fredrickson, President Mullen Lowe U.S.; Monique Kelly, SVP Weber Shandwick, and our very own, Liz Ha, Art Director at Jack Morton. Each shared their own POV as urged by our adept moderator Mia Roberts, Vice President of Strategic Partnerships at Big Sisters of Greater Boston. Our women discussed personal experiences with harassment and exclusion, the true meaning of a diverse organization and what today’s woman can do to set the stage for tomorrow’s women. The overall consensus was clear: IT’S TIME TO BREAK THE MOLD.

The inspiring discussion led to breakouts where attendees were encouraged to share stories and come up with a list of next steps – actions that will create change. We loved hearing the feedback because at Jack we’ve already established a task force of women to encourage more open dialogues and inclusion efforts. The more inspiration, the better our work as an agency can be.

A few key takeaways emerged that could benefit any agency:

  1. Women must speak up and find their voice. Many women on our panel and our audience shared the fact that women tend to blame themselves when they are harassed, discriminated against or not included. They don’t advocate for themselves or say how they feel. Two of our panelists provided examples of how they have started to normalize behaviors once seen as uncomfortable or unacceptable. Both cited examples of crying in front of their CEO. Another talked about confronting a team of male colleagues to demonstrate the value they could add to an account by offering a female POV. Conclusion: We can normalize awkward issues if we talk about them and bring them out into the open.


  1. Mentorship, genuine connections, and support networks are needed. Many women shared the need for a stronger support network, particularly in the form of mentors. Pairing females in the industry with those with similar experiences and challenges can be a huge asset. The breakout teams discussed the need for allies they can trust and rely on as advocates. Many suggested that HR can be helpful in this role – ensuring that everyone in an organization is matched up with a mentor. Mentors can also help women learn how to advocate better themselves too – for salaries, promotions, inclusion. At Jack, we’ve set up a specific Time’s Up Advertising task force that is looking at more ways to boost our mentor program. Conclusion: Mentor programs can add value to any organization especially in helping women advance and campaign for themselves.


  1. Agencies must demonstrate that they have women’s backs. Many of the women felt that management could take a stronger stance on harassment – reinforcing zero-tolerance policies – especially with clients. Some said they would like to see agencies take a stronger position to encourage women to have families. Kelly Fredrickson cited a statistic that said “79% of college educated women have children but only 39% in advertising,” and she added that we need to do more to change the perception that for women to succeed they must sacrifice family. Many women agreed that HR should take the lead on this but they also expressed the need for a liaison or advocate outside of HR – from management or their department. Our Jack task forces are working to bolster the support systems we offer our women especially new moms. Conclusion: Agencies need to create a cohesive support system for women across multiple disciplines.

It was a powerful afternoon to share insights from within our industry. Our business has the power to show the world what diversity and equality really is. We can change perceptions through our work. We can set the tone for our clients, we can create diverse teams that reflect the reality of today’s consumers, we can give our women more support.  This meeting was only the beginning – but our event attendees left energized and excited. After a glass of champagne to celebrate where we were headed, one attendee summed the day up by adding “now is the time to own our awesome.”

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Thought piece: 5 steps to success for brand partnership campaigns


Thought piece:

5 steps to success for brand partnership campaigns

Written by Laura Martin, Senior Client Executive, Capture.

There are several reasons why partnering with another brand is a great idea for a shopper campaign. Increased visibility, reduced media costs, out of aisle exposure and the potential to reach a new audience to name but a few. However, the implementation of brand partnerships is notoriously tricky, and various hurdles must be over-come to ensure a campaign is delivered successfully and with all brands involved benefitting.

Our vast experience in brand partnerships means we’re well equipped for bringing brands together collaboratively, and we’re true believers in the power of a partnership. Below, we’ve compiled our knowledge and put together a shopper brand partnership step by step guide.


#1: Choose the Perfect Partner

As apparent as it may seem, ultimately the success of a partnership rests on the idea and reason behind brands coming together. We’d always recommend partnering with a brand that has similar brand values to yours, or, when brought together becomes a natural pairing. Tea & cake, bacon & ketchup, or gin & tonic are all synonymous to a usage occasion. A partnership doesn’t always need to be as obvious as this, but always make sure you’d consider your brand to be in a similar market to your own, with comparable brand values, target audience, health credentials and price. This way, it’ll be an easier job to grow incremental sales for both brands. We like this pairing between Kleenex & Piriteze, two brands you wouldn’t automatically associate together, but, through a simple idea and clever creative the pairing makes obvious sense.

#2: Understand the shopper media guidelines

Understand guidelinesWith so much on offer within shopper, navigating the many options can prove tricky for just one brand, let alone two. Extra considerations must be made due to the rigid retailer templates and creative guidelines brands must adhere to; not all touch-points can feature more than one brand and we typically see POS only allowing room for pack-shots and minimal information. Choose touchpoints at relevant points along the shopper journey that allow for higher share of brand voice to effectively communicate a brand partnership. Tanqueray Gin & Fever Tree did exactly this with their experiential activity. And remember, online shouldn’t be forgotten either; bundle deals (online multi-buy promotions) are an option for partnering brands and some retailer sites offer fully branded touch-points too.


#3: Align on promotions

Capture would always advise aligning partnership activity to promotions, however with some retailers offering different promotional timings across different categories, this isn’t always achievable. If this is the case, price call outs aren’t recommended unless activating as a bundle. Initial partnership conversations should take place as early as possible to try and align promotions, with both brands engaging with relevant trading teams to get foresight of promotional plans. Lead times are key, and as a golden rule, brands should allow for more time than you would as a solus brand to get bookings confirmed.

#4) Use bespoke creative

Shopper creativeDeciding on creative can be the most turbulent part of a brand partnership campaign process, and so to allow for this, brands should lay the groundwork early. Creative vision and a single-minded message should be decided from the outset, and the actual uniting idea should take priority over individual brand values. With FMCG brands, the most popular messages often centre around meal solutions and usage occasions, although some clever creative has been seen to use the brand names as part of the campaign copy too. We’d recommend using bespoke creative which is designed from scratch. This ensures brands are more likely to have an equal share of voice, and the creative will sit independently of anything that has been done before. A good example comes from Homepride & Happy Egg’s recipe inspiration; the message is clear and concise, with both brands having similar feature.

#5) Understand effectiveness of the campaign

Here at Capture, we believe understanding whether a campaign has been successful is crucial for any activity that has taken place. But when brands have invested time and resource into a partnership, it becomes even more paramount. Where possible, evaluating touch-points is the most accurate and efficient way of understanding the full impact a campaign has made. One of our standout partnership campaigns achieved a total ROI of £1.85 across retailers, and because of this have had ongoing partnership activity since. With any of our partnership campaigns that are evaluated, we’ll always ensure we use learnings to optimise future activity with existing or new partners; understanding whether it’s right to repeat again, or whether improvements could be made.

Following these five steps is a great place to start when considering a brand partnership and we think it’s vital to consider each one carefully when managing a campaign through. Deciding on the perfect concept and clinching the ideal partner to share it with can be an exciting prospect, but unless key steps are adhered to a campaign may not land the way initially imagined. Creative and promotion aligning can be the most difficult obstacles to overcome, but with dedicated time, the right team, and a shared vision, partnership greatness can be achieved.

To hear more about landing a fantastic partnership campaign or even to work with a relevant FMCG brand within our network, please get in touch via hello@capturemarketing.co.uk or call us on 0203 553 5555.



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innocent on bringing ads to life in the real world through experiential

innocent’s latest experiential campaign for its Super Smoothies, produced by Sense, has been a first for the brand – a live surprise choreographed performance at two of the UK’s busiest commuter areas, based on the brand’s TV advertisement.

Talking recently to Standout magazine, Heidi McDonald, innocent brand manager – smoothies and kids, said she believes experiential campaigns can really bring an online or TV campaign to life in the real world.

“The new stunt-based experience forms part of our bigger Super Smoothie campaign, which has been on TV, outdoor posters and online,” she said. “The sampling activity and experiential stunt bring to life the energy we wanted to shine through the campaign in the real world.

“We are a brand that’s all about talking to people. We have found that experiential is a great chance for us to actually meet our drinkers, have some fun with them and just show that we are a very human and personable brand – we don’t try to hide behind other forms of advertising.”

Just like innocent’s TV and online ad, the choreographed stunt featured a group of dancers dancing through a fountain. The performance took place several times a day at Piccadilly Gardens in Manchester and King’s Cross in London.

“We wanted to give people a real boost to their day through watching something exciting and getting a free smoothie,” explained Heidi. “We always try to stay true to our roots and don’t make experiential events too slick or flashy. It’s about putting yourself in the position of the person who will experience the event and approaching it from their perspective.”

Find out more about innocent’s Super Smoothie campaign

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Jack Morton West Coast Creates Opportunity for First Generation Students

Born to two immigrants from El Salvador and Turkey, when you’re a first generation child like myself, you live in two worlds. The outside world is American – you speak English, you talk about American culture – you assimilate. But then you have your inside world where your parents don’t speak English, you’re the translator, you’re talking about the old country and your parents tell you what you should aspire to be because  you are the valued investment that your family doves “the American dream”.

Most recently Jack Morton did a cross-cultural diversity and inclusion event with the San Francisco Unified School Districts Chinese Education Center (CEC). With our diversity and inclusion team, our goal was to create an event that would require our office to step out of our comfort zone and into a different cultural mindset, one of an immigrant.  It truly was a social experiment since no one in the office had done an event like this before, and honestly, I was afraid what type of reaction it might spur. Luckily I enlisted the help of my Hong Kong colleague Cara Au who helped fill in some cultural gaps for me to bring this vision to life.

The Chinese Education Center has a special purpose: assimilate all new comer Chinese students into American culture and studies so that they can succeed in main stream schools. The principal Victor Tam said, “These students are uprooted from all that they know … As a consequence, many of the older students struggle, neither wanting nor feeling like they need a sense of belonging to San Francisco.   While our school provides an environment wherein the students can connect with and relate with their peers, even then, the relationships are fragile.”

When planning the Chinese Education Center event, I learned from my colleague Cara and Jane Ou, a teacher at the CEC, that in China, creative careers like advertising/marketing are mostly unheard of. Most jobs that you’re “expected to study” are medicine, engineering and business. Another interesting point was that in China, when you’re a student, you’re often expected to work alone. You’re told what to do and you do it.

Here in America, most school environments are centered on creativity and collaboration. However, for the CEC students, the idea of creative and collaboration is new, and can often times be a hard adjustment.  Jane stated,” the expectations in those (Chinese) schools tend to be teacher centered where one teacher lectures over forty students in rows. Therefore, our students find collaborative group work and project-based learning a challenging experience.”

Taking that experience to heart – the #jackwestside diversity and inclusion team had the approach to do an information “exchange” and teach the CEC about marketing and experiential work, and in return the CEC students would teach Jack Morton about Chinese Characters and make Chinese scrolls with us. Our hope was to illustrate to the students that collaboration and creativity is actually a good thing.

I realized quickly that having this diverse perspective in the office opens up different type of D&I dialogue –  not just speaking about race but really seeing how different communities react to the industry. On the day of our event, there was a child whose first day in an American school was coming to the Jack office. They were shown work we did in their own country alongside work in their new country. Knowing that our agency was able to impact a student, and make it known that they too, can do this – is the most impactful live experience our agency could create. Who knows, maybe we have a future Account Director in that classroom.

Not only are the CEC student’s first generation, most often the students will come from low-income communities where career options are slim. Most often, unless agencies go outside of the recruiting norm, underrepresented communities may never know that an advertising or creative career is an option for them. When asked about the importance of external partnerships, Victor Tam and Jane Ou from the CEC stated, “This experience was REAL. When the community connects with our students, it broadens their perspectives on where they can reach and how far they can go.  The experience opens up their vision of something more that they might be able to do in the future.  For our students who come from working class, low-income families, this opportunity is very significant.”

This event was so meaningful to me I was able to do this in partnership with my colleagues, locally and globally, we created an extraordinary event that was truly moving. As we continue to have diversity and inclusion as a pillar supporting our Jack Morton values, I encourage everyone to explore communities like the CEC and try to make an impact. Who knows, you could be the reason why in 10 years someone says “I am in advertising because someone took the time to show me that this career was an option.”

To learn more about our event and learn more about our D&I initiatives, feel free to reach out to me: Michele_Karakas@jackmorton.com

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