Aesop All Stars: Ben O’Connor

We often know an agency by its work, but what about the folk who make it happen? In this series we introduce some of the people behind the scenes at Aesop and find out what makes them tick. Here we meet one of our recent hires, Business Director Ben O’Connor.

After rising through the ranks to Director level at Ogilvy, high flyer Ben’s career really took off at B2B agency Gravity, where he led the Airbus account. Now living the highlife at Aesop, he’s working on brand strategy projects for blue chip clients including Shell at HSBC. The sky’s the limit…



Where do you draw your creativity from?/What fuels your creativity?
The beauty of working in the creative industry is that you’re able draw inspiration from all around you – a diverse mix of characters and eccentric personalities, joining together to form motivated teams, coming at problems from all sorts of different angles and producing great work off the back of an irresistible client brief. It’s this combination that gets me excited…

How do you employ narrative thinking in your role?
What’s special about narrative thinking is that it combines structure with flexibility, giving true freedom to explore. This makes it easy to employ in all aspects of your everyday role. It attracted me to join Aesop in the first place as it provides a fresh and unique alternative to more traditional approaches. Now on the inside, it’s clear to see that narrative thinking and storytelling are things that the agency treasures both in terms of how we apply it to our client challenges and to understand and appreciate what it means to work here. It’s something that clients (and partners) get immediately making it easy to inspire intrigue and opportunity which, in a world where agencies need to demonstrate value and a clear point of difference, is priceless…

What do success stories look like for you?
Success stories come in many forms but in short it comes down to motivated people and inspired/satisfied clients. The perfect combination.

Check out some of the strategic work Ben will be contributing to here, and stay tuned for our next Aesop All Star.

Why the WWE is a Multigenerational PR Success Story

As World Wrestling Entertainment comes off yet another successful pay per view event, Money in the Bank, there are rumblings in the media that this successful entertainment company is considering a brand consolidation. Industry watchers believe the brand can no longer support two different weekly shows, Raw and Smackdown, as well as a host of programs for subscribers to its streaming service.

Those making this assumption point to a recent announcement that the WWE will no longer host single-branded pay-per-view events. Going forward, Superstars from both the Raw and Smackdown rosters will be together in every PPV event. While this is a return to what the WWE did in its 1980s and 90s heyday, some are saying the consolidation rumors, if true, are a sign that the WWE is struggling to hold its audience.

That, based on the way the company is still able to pack in the fans and by how merchandise continues to sell in incredible numbers, seems a far-fetched prediction. Sure, the WWE may be consolidating TV programming (or they may not) but that doesn’t mean the brand as a whole is struggling.

From the very beginning of the run toward becoming an internationally known wrestling promotion, WWE (then WWF) understood how to market and communicate with three levels of fans: the true believers, the dedicated watchers and the casual fans. Better still, the company understood how to help casual fans transition to true believers.

This dedication to a targeted and multilayered PR effort has allowed the WWE to morph over the decades, to go through name changes and “eras,” and yet still continue to attract a dedicated fan base as well as media attention well outside the realm of committed wrestling fans.

WWE targets the true believer fans — those who never miss a PPV or a live event — with a network of insider only information, from magazines in past decades to a host of blogs, podcasts today as well as “leaked” information that diehard fans trade like currency. They go into the events “knowing” who will come out with the win, who might turn “face” or “heel,” and, in many cases, who’s favored to win the bigger matches and walk out of the arena with the title belt.

Another key element of building a diehard fan base is the creation and transmission of an insider language, complete with a vocabulary no one “on the outside” understands. There was a time when terms like “work,” “shoot,” and “kayfabe” were known only to the workers. These days, you can find them on Wikipedia. This is just one way that dedicated fans, and even some casual fans, can connect more closely to the brand. A shared language. That kind of transition is a key element of WWE’s success through the years. They grab attention, but also have an effective system set up to compel people to go deeper once they have their attention.

How’s that working? Well, like professional sports figures such as Michael Jordan, David Beckham, and Joe Namath, there is at least one WWE superstar from the last three generations that became household names. Consider how many people who have rarely, if ever, watched wrestling know the names Hulk Hogan, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, and John Cena. And, for every Hogan or Rock or Cena, there are several other names that countless casual fans can count off.

The takeaway here is the importance of preparing and executing a multilayered PR plan meant to connect with several different levels of prospect, and including compelling messaging that entices the casual consumer to become a diehard fan.

The post Why the WWE is a Multigenerational PR Success Story appeared first on 5W PR News and Updates, NY Public Relations Agency Blog.

Generation Z

For nearly a quarter century, the Millennial generation has been written about and discussed at length in management books, blogs, articles and conferences. We all know about Generation Y and its cultural touchstones; Twitter, Vice, Arbnb etc. They were the most tech-savvy generation in history – until the advent of Generation Z. These new kids on the block, who are just entering the work-place are the first truly digital generation. They are never known a world without the Internet.

Generation Z, they are the cohort of young people born from the late 1990s onwards, and are the next lot to come of age after the Millennials (Generation Y) who have dominated the media and marketing landscape, since, well the Millennium.

While Gen Z follows Millennials closely, these two generations are not entirely identical when it comes to the social media networks they visit, the devices they use and how much content they consume.

Get Z have grown up in a world where their options are limitless but their time is not. As such, they’ve adapted quickly to sorting through and assessing enormous amounts of information. Online, they rely heavily on trending pages within apps to collect the most popular recent content. They also turn to trusted curators to locate the most relevant information and entertainment. These tools help Gen Z shrink their potential option set down to a more manageable size.

What defines Generation Z?

It’s hard to define this generation and it would be remiss to attempt to ‘categorise’ them. For example there are young people who are lost, can’t find work and have no sense of hope. Then there are others who are thriving and making a substantial amount of money; selling their apps at 17, Youtube stars, Sapchatters, Instagrammers.

They are the generation of contradictions they seek stability but aren’t loyal. They are a generation who are hard to pin down across the board truths; the only one is they are all digital.

Historically, younger generations have always stirred new ideas into the corporate world, causing some expected ‘irritation’ for older generations,” says Erica Dhawan, a writer, speaker and consultant on next generation leadership. “Yet this time it’s not an attitude problem, it’s a transition in business where globalization and technology have radically changed the game.”

5 facts about Gen Z

  1. According to best-selling author and generations expert David Stillman, you won’t find those in Generation Z frequenting Facebook or Twitter as much as their predecessors. Keenly aware of software monitoring, they are more likely to share their worlds on apps such as Snapchat or Instagram. Often dubbed Digital Natives, Millennials are much more likely to share their lives in the open on platforms such as Facebook.
  2. According to Forbes, social entrepreneurship is important to Generation Z, a group that is driven to volunteer and choose a career in which they can make a difference.
  3. Influencer marketing has become a hot go-to strategy for many brands, and there’s no better generation for this than Generation Z. Snackable, unobtrusive content is key to communicating with them.
  4. The days of sending CVs via traditional formats are long gone. Compared to older generations, Gen Z are eager to use Instagram (59%, compared to 21%), Snapchat (56%, compared to 9%), and Tumblr (17%, compared to 3%) to get into employment.
  5. Ernst & Young ran a multigenerational survey of 1,800 people in the United States in order to gain insights into Gen-Z and found that the majority of them have a ‘do-it-myself’ mentality and a real entrepreneurial spirit. They have seen people their own age create successful companies, and this independent mindset is showing within their attitude to work.



The post Generation Z appeared first on Tonic Agency.

Savvy Launches New Live Brand Experience Division

Shift in consumer behaviour coupled with a change in consumer expectations drives the need for more memorable live brand experiences… In response to a rapidly changing landscape, leading creative, digital and retail marketing agency Savvy, have today announced the launch …
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The post Savvy Launches New Live Brand Experience Division appeared first on Savvy Thinking.

Savvy Continues Success – Scoops Eight Wins at the IPM Awards 2018

Leading creative, digital and retail marketing agency Savvy are delighted to share the news that the agency was announced winner of eight awards at the prestigious IPM Awards in London last night. These awards celebrate promotional marketing excellence across the …
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Colorado Ad Day 2018

Integer’s Media Supervisor Melanie Reagan joined a panel with MIQ, SpotX, Hulu and Samba TV on Home Sweet Opportunity Home: The rising might of addressable TV at Colorado Ad Day this year.

As large-scale TV buys continue to erode, the ability to show different ads to different households while they watch the same program is undeniably attractive. That’s addressable TV. Who wouldn’t turn down the chance to pinpoint audiences with more automated data-driving buying approach? In the era where TV and digital video are meshing and the ad buying process evolves rapidly, addressable TV proves to be a boon for media teams eager for a platform with far more bite than bark. The panel did a deep dive into this cross-device mechanism ripe with opportunities emerging left and right.

T. Marzetti Company selects Cramer-Krasselt as agency of record.

AgencySpy – June 14, 2018

By Erik Oster

T. Marzetti Company selected Cramer-Krasselt as its agency of record, following a review which included multiple agencies.

Cramer-Krasselt takes over for incumbent MullenLowe Profero immediately and will handle creative, brand planning, digital, social media, PR, media and programmatic media buying across the clients portfolio of 16 brands, including Marzetti salad dressings and dips, New York Bakery frozen breads and Sister Schubert’s homemade rolls.

“We want consumers to fall in love with our brands when and where they choose – C-K understood this naturally,” T. Marzetti chief marketing officer Bob Holtcamp said in a statement. “In our search for an agency partner, it was the authenticity of C-K’s work and their integrated approach, which focuses on creating value and connecting with consumers on their terms, that will help us share our story and drive growth in our brands. C-K has all the capabilities we need under one roof and we look forward to this partnership.”

“At the core of T. Marzetti and each of their brands is a great story,” added Cramer-Krasselt president and COO Karen Seamen. “The opportunity to further build these brands in consumer’s hearts and minds – and on their dinner tables — is huge. We are excited to get to work.”

Cramer-Krasselt’s first new campaigns for the client are expected some time this fall.

T. Marzetti spent around $113,000 on measured media domestically in 2017 and $30,000 in the first quarter of 2018, more than double what it spent over the same period last year, according to Kantar Media.

The post T. Marzetti Company selects Cramer-Krasselt as agency of record. appeared first on Cramer-Krasselt.

T. Marzetti moves 16 brands to Cramer-Krasselt.

Reel Chicago – June 14, 2018

By Colin Costello

Good news for the Cramer-Krasselt team.

After a review that included multiple agencies T. Marzetti Company, the $1.2 billion specialty food company that spans 16 brands, including Marzetti® salad dressings and dips, New York Bakery® frozen breads and Sister Schubert’s® homemade rolls named one of the largest independent, totally integrated agencies in the country AOR.

C-K will begin immediately, taking over duties from incumbent MullenLowe Profero. “We want consumers to fall in love with our brands when and where they choose – C-K understood this naturally,” said Bob Holtcamp, T. Marzetti Chief Marketing Officer. “In our search for an agency partner, it was the authenticity of C-K’s work and their integrated approach, which focuses on creating value and connecting with consumers on their terms, that will help us share our story and drive growth in our brands. C-K has all the capabilities we need under one roof and we look forward to this partnership.”

“At the core of T. Marzetti and each of their brands is a great story,” noted C-K’s President and COO, Karen Seamen. “The opportunity to further build these brands in consumer’s hearts and minds – and on their dinner tables — is huge. We are excited to get to work.”

New campaigns are expected in the fall. The agency’s services for T. Marzetti will include advertising, media, programmatic, brand planning, digital, social media, public relations and more.

The post T. Marzetti moves 16 brands to Cramer-Krasselt. appeared first on Cramer-Krasselt.

Sticking it to the man; deleting social and not shopping on Amazon

If you thought the rise of veganism was bad, you’re about to be bombarded by a new wave of social consciousness that demands you delete your social media, especially Facebook, and stop shopping on Amazon in a bid to be more mindful to local businesses. Perhaps the hipsters searching for their gluten free loafs was just the beginning and we are indeed entering a new period of enlightenment, sparked by the recent revelations from Cambridge Analytica and Facebook. The carelessness of Zuckerberg with our personal data has led to trending hashtags and moral dilemmas everywhere as we debate leaving Facebook and joining platforms that are built on the notions of privacy.

Perhaps leaving social media and avoiding Amazon’s easy consumerism is the new way to stick it to the man as creating start-ups doesn’t seem to be doing the trick anymore, but how realistic is it and what does it mean for the world of advertising? Whether we like it or not, our social media presence allows us to be part of communities in a world where physical communities are dying out and as humans, we have a natural desire to belong to things. As much as you might sometimes want to leave the grind and retire to a cabin in the woods, it doesn’t really work like that and our desire for human companionship would start to kick in at some point. Not to mention the huge sharing of information that happens across social media and our ability to be part of conversations that are not always accessible to us in our physical lives. The question is less should you leave it, but rather is our world set up to give us what we need without it?

The advertising world certainly isn’t and if more people leave, will we revert back to billboards and posters advertising our wares? The reality is that social media or not, online has a place in most people’s lives and Facebook’s recent blunder means that a group of techies are probably sitting in a room somewhere, building the next social platform, all with the USP of absolute and total privacy, with the promise never to share data. As long as those platforms exist, companies will find a way to be part of them and therefore to advertise their products. The job of advertising is to be where the eyeballs are, and whether it’s online or in that cabin in the woods, they’ll find a way to be there too. The arguments therefore aren’t so much whether this will affect the ad world, but rather how will it change us because let’s be honest, advertising and marketing isn’t going bust any time soon.

And should a new wave of socially conscious consumers really herald in a new dawn where Amazon is shunned and Facebook deleted, surely then it will bring about a new of advertising and talking to consumers. It might make us all a little bit more innovative and a lot less dry. It might make things more exciting for us all, and maybe, just maybe, it might be the shake up some companies need.

The post Sticking it to the man; deleting social and not shopping on Amazon appeared first on Live & Breathe.

Rebranding with a Side of Burgers

Ever heard of IHOb?

If not, you will soon. Last Monday, social media went crazy when IHOP, the International House of Pancakes, announced IHOb as its new name on Twitter.

And what does the “b” stand for?


This sudden identity-swap for one of the most popular chain restaurants in the United States took Twitter by a storm. Seeing an opportunity, other food chains latched onto the trend by coming up with their own ideas to get in on the publicity stunt. Burger King temporarily became “Pancake King,” Netflix hinted at becoming “Netflib,” and Wendy’s took a crack at IHOb for trying out burgers because pancakes were “too hard” to make.


And yet, IHOb’s name change has sparked renewed interest across the general public, with the limelight placed on their recently-released Ultimate Steakburger menu. Their seven basic burgers have already been reviewed positively by several food critics and customers.

But why the need for a rebrand?

IHOP was known for doing well in the early morning and late night hours, a time when pancakes and other breakfast foods are most attractive. This did not apply to their midday sales, which had been dwindling over the past 10 quarters. A revamping of the lunch menu to attract customers into their stores for good, quality burgers seemed like the logical solution.

The results of this gimmicky rebrand appear to be positive. Since IHOb’s social media debut on June 5th, Dine Brands Global (DIN) stock rose by +5%. DIN owns IHOP and Applebee’s.

The question remains, however, if IHOb will see an increase in actual sales.

That’s up to the customers.