'A masterclass in marketing for brand builders' - Creative Hits & Misses of the Week

Kunal Mehta, global marketing communications lead at DSM Nutritional Products (Animal Nutrition and Health), offers his take on this week’s creative offerings.

'A masterclass in marketing for brand builders' - Creative Hits & Misses of the Week

Great marketing is more than a bunch of nice visuals overlaid with some cool music.

Great marketing happens when the message resonates with its audience, makes them ponder, act, or feel. The power of great marketing and communications is that it leaves an imprint in the mind of the audience and creates an emotional connection without appearing to try too hard—without the audience even noticing.

These hits do that for me.


NHS, 'Every Vaccine Gives us Hope'

The last 14 months have been topsy turvy for everyone across the world. There have been highs and lows, hope and despair, struggles and triumphs. Finally, vaccination campaigns are beginning to provide a ray of hope for a permanent end to the pandemic. Yet for some, getting the jab isn’t the clear choice as it has been for others, with concerns around its quick development mingling with fake news online to create an environment of doubt and fear. Vaccination seems like a chore, a dreaded affair.

Since the onset of the pandemic, the UK government has continuously invested in campaigning to change mindsets and alter behaviour, from ‘Stay home, protect the NHS, save lives’ last March to ‘Hands. Face. Space’ in September 2020. This week, they’ve kicked off yet another campaign to keep morale high and encourage those under 50 to get the vaccine.

It takes the powerful song ‘What a Difference a Day Makes,’ and sets it alongside visuals of health care workers and volunteers working to vaccinate patients of all age.

There are smiles all around. The entire process comes to seem like a ritual to look forward to. There is care, conversation, and collaboration reflected through those visuals. People who have received the vaccine feel proud to share it with friends and family. There is a celebration of diversity and a feeling of inclusiveness, leaving the viewer on a high and—most importantly—itching to go out there and get vaccinated. For me, it delivers on the task of behavioural change.

Cadbury, 'For the love of chocolate'

One for the books this week is Cadbury’s 'For the Love of Chocolate' campaign, which in my opinion is a masterclass in marketing for brand builders. As the high street reopens and Brits hit the shops, Cadbury is reminding us all to support local businesses, and it's partnered with six independent chocolatiers across the nation to help spread this message.

To bring the campaign to life, Cadbury re-surfaced one of its most popular campaigns for Mother’s Day in 2018, leaning on a sense of nostalgia whilst adding a contextual message to match the tone of today’s consumer landscape. This has the additional benefits of minimising risk in terms of shooting outdoors and reducing production costs for the brand.

While this isn’t the first brand we’ve seen supporting other businesses (for instance, Burger King’s call on consumers to eat at McDonald's) Cadbury has really put its money where its mouth is in an effort to support smaller businesses who have been closed for some time, and they’ve done so elegantly.

Guide Dogs 90th Anniversary

To celebrate its 90th anniversary as well as International Guide Dog Day, the sight loss charity Guide Dogs has come up with a heart-warming short film, Flash.

Much longer than a traditional short, the film celebrates the work of volunteers to train puppies to become guide dogs. The film highlights the challenges of owning a new puppy that will be familiar to any new owner, from night-time wake-up calls to working-from-home disruption. The owner’s hard work to train Flash eventually pays off, as he learns to be less fearful of the world around him, becoming the perfect guide dog—which inevitably means the pair have to be separated. However, the rewards of helping someone to live a full life means the volunteer immediately opts to raise another puppy—and in the last moment, she spots Flash helping his new owner along the street.

This campaign really pulls at the heartstrings in the right way, encouraging would-be volunteers to think about the long-term rewards of their hard work (and of course, the fact that they will get to enjoy the company of a cute puppy in the meantime). The idea of using animation instead of actual footage also adds to the cuteness and charm of the film. As we continue to tread through a trying time, it’s always a delight to see such an uplifting campaign hitting our screens. No marketer can go wrong with that!


Heineken Pit Wall Bar

Heineken was buzzing on social media last week due to its brilliant and cheeky advert around the European Super League. This time, it seems that it mistimed its kick.

The Heineken ‘Pit Wall Bar’ is a great experiential idea built on strong insight—many people have not actually been able to experience a Formula 1 race or a pit wall bar. However, the reason this has landed in the Miss section is that we all know beer drinking—especially when combined with watching sport—is a social experience that people long to share with their mates.

Whilst the sentiment is there, does this encourage people to stay distanced and local? Perhaps not.

Plus, in the current climate, with so many unique and innovative ‘at home’ activities launched by brands, I think the ‘Pit Wall Bar’ would fizzle out just as quickly as a glass of warm beer.

It is a wonderful time to be in the world of marketing and communications as the ecosystem is evolving so fast, and you have to be on your toes all the time. One mishit and you will be relegated to the Miss section!

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