Is Amazon still in Prime position?

A big question for a big retailer…our very own Rob Sellers took to Campaign to check in on Amazon, Prime and Prime Day:

“Amazon Prime encourages shoppers to sign up (for the cost of £79 a year) to get a raft of benefits ranging from faster delivery time, access to Amazon’s content platforms and online storage.

The first Prime Day ran last year as a celebration of Amazon’s 20th birthday, and was so successful that it looks like it will become an annual event.

But does this PR spin mask the dot com giant’s true priorities, namely driving subscriptions and reducing their exposure to stock levels of their own soon-to-be-obsolete tech products?

Retail and marketing experts will be watching Prime Day closely to see if this is a trend towards deep and drastic retail sales events, such as Black Friday, that prey on shoppers’ fear of missing out.

Flash sales and discounting “moments” will be advertised throughout

Instagram Stories—Great for Brands, Bad for Snapchat

Instagram announced on its blog that it’s adding “Stories” as a new format that will be rolling out in the next few weeks. Sound familiar? That’s because the functionality is nearly identical to Snapchat’s “Stories.” The content disappears within 24 hours, allowing users to share unedited moments throughout the day without worrying about over posting. Plus, there are no likes or public comments on Stories, so users can relax, have fun and get creative with text and drawing tools. What does this savage play by Instagram mean for brands?

The Good:

  • Lower content expectations. Brands that may not have a steady stream of real-time content for Snapchat now have an easier way to test the “Stories” format without the expectation of keeping a separate account active.
  • Less investment. Brands don’t have to spend time and money growing their following on Snapchat if they can leverage their existing audience on Instagram. This helps level the playing field for smaller brands.

The Bad:

  • Not free for long. Instagram is owned by Facebook, which means it’s only a matter of time before it becomes a “pay to play” channel, while Snapchat still allows brands to earn high organic reach and doesn’t use an algorithm to filter users’ feeds.
  • No way to measure success. Instagram’s blog post doesn’t mention any measurement tools for brands. Sure, brands can tap the new tool, but how can they analyze and optimize their content? Brands need data in order to justify new investments.

The Ugly:

  • Uncool, Insta. Didn’t their mothers ever teach them not to steal other people’s ideas? As an innovative, leading brand in the social space, could Instagram really not put a unique spin on the functionality of Stories?

Only time will tell whether Instagram or Snapchat will win over users with Stories, but the format is here to stay because users want to share both their highlight reel as well as their everyday moments. They want the social recognition that comes from likes and the carefree fun of disappearing content. With that in mind, when testing Stories, brands should focus on transparency and creativity to appeal to this audience.

How Pokémon Go can play into your marketing strategy

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past week, you will have heard the chatter about the revival of the Pokémon craze following the launch of the new augmented reality app, Pokémon Go. Now in over 26 countries and with over 30 million downloads, it has become a real phenomenon. It hasn’t taken long for businesses to realise that they can capitalise on it. With the first ‘sponsored location’ -which turns the location into a hub for Pokémon- launching in Japan yesterday, it is easy to see  how larger companies can pay to have Pokémon Go users flock to their establishments, but smaller businesses might have to get more creative with their marketing strategy to capitalise on the craze.

By offering free wi-fi and phone charging, businesses can allow weary Pokémon hunters to replenish their battery, and take the strain off their data allowance, and in doing so earning

The Truth About Pokemon GO: Gotta Catch ‘Em All!

Using augmented reality, Pokemon GO uses your phone’s GPS and camera to turn the real world into a massive hunting ground for iconic creatures.
Local landmarks and businesses are transformed in real-time into Pokemon Gyms (where trainers go to train their Pokemon and battle other teams) and PokeStops (where players can physically visit to stock up on free accessories and items).
With 1/5 people between the ages of 16-30 already claiming they’d be most interested in capturing their life with augmented/virtual reality (according to Truth Central data), it’s not surprising that Pokemon GO gained such traction. The app has lucratively paired augmented reality with geo-location technologies to ignite a whole new era of gaming. But it wouldn’t have been as successful without bringing in the much-loved franchise that has rekindled the passion of old-school Pokemon enthusiasts, as well as creating

Work: Life Insurance Made Simple, Affordable, and Digital for ValoraLife

Obtaining life insurance has always been an important step to help protect a family’s financial future, yet often the application process can seem time-consuming and complex. After interviewing families in Houston and across the country, MassMutual, one of the largest life insurance companies, discovered that a significant number of people thought life insurance was important, but that the application process was too complicated and they couldn’t afford it.

MassMutual, building on its 165-year legacy of leadership in the financial sector, approached IDEO with an idea for a new way to buy life insurance that would offer an easy, fast online experience and target the middle market, especially the Latino population. After more design research, MassMutual and IDEO created ValoraLife, a first-of-its-kind bilingual website that offers an affordable life insurance product that’s easy to understand. ValoraLife offers a quick application and approval process and is the first brand that provides a


An initiative from our very own female creative team – Holly and Charlotte, who after winning their first Cannes Lions for Honda ‘Endless Road’ in 2015, set-up Cannes Lionesses, a website designed to celebrate and champion female creativity. This year sees them broadening and expanding the site to get even more women involved in the conversation and embark on a mission to find best casino canada the first ever female creatives to strike Cannes gold, the original Peggy Olson.


Carmen Graf named 2016 Adweek Media All-Star

Every year for the past 30 years, Adweek’s Media All-Star award has honored the most trailblazing media executives in the business. And this year, with little surprise to us, Carmen Graf was named an Adweek Media All-Star. Ask anyone who has worked with Carmen Graf, executive director of GSD&M’s media department, and they’ll tell you why she’s one of the 12 executives in the country to be honored this year.

Adweek saw no oversight into her many achievements such as being named a Media Star of the Future by Newsweek, earning a Silver Effie Award, being named a media finalist at Cannes and being part of the BMW/Graffiti campaign, which Forbes named one of the best social media campaigns of all time.

With her intuitive and creative approach, Carmen exemplifies the quality of charisma required for her capacity of work, and in her 24 years at GSD&M, she has channeled that energy, creativity and forward-thinking to make serious moves for the media department. You’re an all-star, Carmen! Congrats. Learn more about the honor right here.


Artwork by GSD&M designer, Laura Guardalabene