You don’t need to be a market researcher to notice a shift in how products are marketed to women. While seeing less pink and weird blue fluids are well received in my book, I have noticed something about the way some of these ads are framed, particularly in think pieces from marketing and advertising newsletters that I wasn’t sure if I agreed with: hailing these advertisements as empowering to women. I fully support efforts that educate consumers and provide them with the necessary information to make best decisions for themselves. But I had to wonder what exactly does it mean for these advertisements to empower women and do they really hit the mark? Read More
Next week San Francisco will host the final Planning-ness as we bid adieu to an event that has become a staple in the Planning and Design community.
For those of you unaware, Planning-ness has been the “un-conference” for creative thinkers across the U.S. and Canada since 2009. Unlike other conferences, speakers don’t just talk at you, they teach you how to do things. That’s why each sessions has the words “how to” in the title, as well as a workshop component where you put what you heard into action.
As the founding sponsor, W5 will retire with Planning-ness’ under our belt. Each year the speaker line up, attendees, and social events (let’s not forget about the parties) make waves in the host city. The 2016 Planning-ness is no different. With a stellar speaker line up and trendy venue, 1446 Market Street, we are looking forward to closing out this chapter with a bang. Tickets are still available at planningness.com! Sessions announced include:
- Douglas Atkin, Head of Community at Air BnB – How to Build Community;
- Gareth Kay – How (and why) to Care Less about Brands;
- Ana Andjelic – How to Create a Modern Luxury Brand;
- Mark Barden – How to Embrace Constraints;
- Gabrielle Tenaglia – How to Create an Entertainment Brand;
- Heidi Hackemer – How to Build a Creative Company;
- Pamela Pavliscak – How to Design for Happiness;
- Blair Atkins – How to Plan for Virtual Reality; and
- Caroline Webb, best-selling author of How to Have a Good
You can check out Caroline Webb as she recently joined Talks at Google in London for a conversation with Matt Brittin to discuss what it takes for us to be at our best and make the most of every day.
Additional bios for 2016 speakers can be found below.
W5ers welcomed spring with open arms last week with a company picnic on the patio. While we thoroughly enjoyed the warm weather, light breeze, sweet treats and reggae music, the pollen intruded on our picnic within minutes. “Allergies” and “Pollen” are buzz-words in central North Carolina right now as our cars and porches are covered in yellow-green dust. According to the infographic below, Benadryl and Claritin are capitalizing on this and have pulled the trigger on millions of ad dollars at just the right time. This year’s allergy season is expected to be the worst pollen season in years.
Try a few of these tips to deal with allergies:
1. Clean your washing machine – washing bed linens and other surfaces can get rid of pollen, but washing machines are a breeding ground for allergens like fungi and E. coli
2. Dust regularly – avoid using a feather duster, use wet cloths to dust with or even a wet paper towel and wear gloves while cleaning
3. Protect your home – leave the windows up in your car and shower upon entering your home
Last week, W5 attended the 2nd annual Quirk’s Event in Brooklyn. The two-day conference offered inspiring sessions, fruitful networking and even a MR Jam Session. While we were unable to attend all the sessions, we wanted to share a few of our favorites. Here is our third highlight summary.
At Quirk’s 2016, Millennial insights provider Ypulse shared a few stats and insights gleaned from its ongoing surveys of Millennials and Teens.
If you are even remotely involved in the marketing world, you may feel you’ve heard the word “Millennial” so many times it has started to lose its meaning. Suffice it to say, Millennials make up a large portion of the population and hold significant spending power. The definition of Millennial seems to differ by source, but Ypulse defines this audience as those born between 1982 and 2004, putting them in the 12-34 age bracket in 2016.
The presentation described Millennials as individualistic, with a somewhat entitled mindset, largely influenced by Boomer parents, and a lifestyle of constant connectedness. Among the many social implications of a tech-dependent life, a key insight from Ypulse was that Millennials “crave moments of surprise and delight.”
Constant connectedness means instant gratification, predictability, immediate answers to questions, and a world at their fingertips. This leaves little surprise in life. Millennials are often unimpressed by marketing, in large part due to predictability. They not only recognize, but understand how and why an ad is following them throughout their digital day. According to Ypulse, 74% of Millennials say brands rarely do something that surprises them. Ypulse also hears from Millennials that they want brands to act “human.”
Below are a few examples that were shared, showcasing brand and company efforts to capitalize on this idea of “moments of surprise and delight,” thwarting predictability:
- SHIP YOUR ENEMIES GLITTER – check out this business of Glitter Bomb pranking here.
- SEAMLESS ROULETTE – this service has since been closed (at the request of Seamless), but it was essentially an online food order and delivery service with a twist: you don’t know what meal you are getting until it arrives…surprise!
- OREOS MINI DELIVERY – This campaign is also no longer live but the brand created a microsite for fans to order a tiny package of Oreo Minis for delivery to a friend/loved one, along with a personalized note. The catch to create demand was that only 500 boxes per day were available for order and the campaign was only live for a period of 11 days. The Ypulse presenter talked about her multiple attempts to order, which were always met with the ‘sold out’ message.
- DORITOS ROULETTE – Doritos Roulette chips have one extremely spicy chip per bag. You of course don’t know which it is until you get to it. The Ypulse presenter described groups of millennials sitting around a circle taking one chip at a time until one lucky person got the spice bomb.
All entertaining examples, but there may be ways to “surprise and delight” that aren’t quite as overt. Surprise and delight can also come from being relatable in subtle, unexpected ways. The quote about Millennials wanting brands to act “human” definitely resonates.
Today there are more than 115,000 English-language podcasts available on the internet. Not only are podcasts a great source for learning and entertainment, companies and brands see the untapped value of expanding into podcasting. Building recognition for certain SEO keywords, appealing to people who like to listen instead of read and offering a weekly reason for listeners to come back and engage with the brands are just a few.
With the holidays upon us and road trips, airport lounging and long flights on the horizon, we wanted to share a list of our favorite podcasts here at W5, along with a few others.
The Unconventionals is PJA’s award-winning podcast tells the stories of brands and business leaders doing business the other way
Radiolab is a show about curiosity. Where sound illuminates ideas, and the boundaries blur between science, philosophy, and human experience.
99% Invisible with Roman Mars is a Tiny Radio Show about design, architecture and the 99% invisible activity that shapes our world. Check out Mars’ recent Ted Talk, too: Why City Flags May Be the Worst Designed Thing You’ve Ever Noticed.
In the world of consumer technology, brands face constant pressure to be a step (or five) ahead of the marketplace. To anticipate the future needs, desires and expectations of consumers, marketers must have a tight pulse on culture and society. Successful product development requires a deep understanding of human behavior that goes beyond self-reported opinions and rationale. Most of us feel we have a solid grasp on our own motivations and reasons for action, but self-evaluation lacks objectivity.
This is where ethnographers come in. Ethnography is consumer research conducted within the context of real-world experiences. It creates an interpretive framework for understanding the consumer by determining what internal (emotional, rational) and external (social, cultural, environmental) influences affect perception and motivate behavior. W5 ethnographers are skilled at uncovering the underlying motivations that yield meaningful insights. So, when the advertising agency for one of the world’s largest consumer technology companies needed to understand how early adopters were integrating technology into their lives, they turned to W5. The following case study is a glimpse into W5’s approach for capturing authentic behavior to help predict future mobile habits.
This year’s 4A’s Strategy Festival was held in lower Manhattan, featuring gorgeous views of the East River and Brooklyn Bridge. We heard from a number of great speakers and workshopped through topics on content marketing, leadership, turning data into insights, agile planning, brand and social strategy and so much more. The 2015 Jay Chiat Awards for Strategic Excellence winners and case studies were showcased. Droga5 was awarded the Grand Prix for the Under Armour campaign “I Will What I Want.”
Check out the case study here and watch the video below.
My favorite takeaway came from the Mining Cultural Insights session where we learned to explore, identify and map cultural insights. As market researchers, it’s increasingly important to understand cultural nuances, especially when research targets specific markets or cultures. Sparks & Honey shared a few practices to help immerse ourselves in other cultures including: using Google to auto populate, following local newscasters, talking to picture framers, visiting independent bookstores, talking to real estate agents about neighborhoods, analyzing meet-up groups and checking classified ads and message boards in supermarkets. Practices such as these can strengthen ethnographic research to develop a real-world understanding of how lifestyle, culture, behavior, subconscious motivations, and social context influence product selection and brand interaction.
As always, it was a pleasure to sponsor the 4A’s Strategy Festival as it celebrates the strategist community inside agencies and features notables from the periphery of the agency world—academics, researchers, marketers and authors—for inspiration that will help hone our skills and make us better at our craft. We hope to see you again next year!
Thanks to recent developments in women’s sports – namely, women’s soccer World Cup win, Ronda Rousey, and tennis superpowers – female athletes are no longer an afterthought when it comes to athletic endorsements and spokespersons. Forbes recently published a list of the most high-paying endorsements of athletes. Tennis superstars Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova made it big but overall few women made top 100.
Metalworks, the research arm of WPP media agency Maxus, recently published consumer trends research and offered marketing tips to adapt to them.
Though not surprising, the study found a great consumption of craft beer. The growing movement, however, changes how consumers view liquor brands as they’re placing more value into the craftsmanship of liquor.
As tech finds itself more deeply entrenched in the industry, alcohol brands are rushing to update their reach. Everything from apps to password-protected speakeasies are becoming the norm. Read More