Monday, June 23, 2008

We Cannes

Last week, the 55th edition of the International Advertising Festival took place in Cannes. Like every year at the end of June, the whole advertising industry kept its eyes on Cannes to see what campaigns took a Lion home and who was the talk of the town.
Advertising is obviously evolving and changing as it is harder to attract the attention of the hard to get, hard to capture and hard to convince consumer of today. More and more, advertising is evolving towards entertainment, sometimes with a social message behind it. 3 strong campaigns as a proof.

One of the Belgian Lions was for the Music for Life campaign, made by mortierbrigade, where a thirsty black boy interrupted several TV shows. A simple idea made to practice to illustrate the shortage of water in developing countries.

Our BBDO colleagues in New York won a Grand Prix for the campaign for the TV channel HBO. They created the concept 'HBO Voyeur', online but also in real. See the concept and the images of the projection they did on a wall in New York, where it looked as if one could see everything that happened behind the walls of an apartment block.

The Grand Prix Lion in the category direct or one-to-one communication went to JWT India for the newspaper Times of India, which organized the campaign 'Lead India' to promote India from 'potential nation' to 'kinetic power'.

Common in these 3 campaigns is not only the strong 'think out of the box' idea, but also the high consumer relevance and social message. Advertising with a conscience.

Read all about it in this week’s column.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008


Do you also think your weekly shopping bill at the supermarket is higher then before and your fuel, gas and electricity expenses are rocketing?
HUMO and VRT questioned 1000 Flemish people. Seems that 96% feel life is (a lot) more expensive then a year ago. Even amongst the higher incomes, there's a feeling that buying power is declining. Reality or psychoses? Result of the 'spending power' campaign pursued by unions and media?
Also in the supermarket landscape, the effect of the spending power psychoses is noticed. Logically, discounters like Aldi, Lidl and Colruyt attract more shoppers with their low price positioning. But also premium supermarkets like Delhaize play on price. 'The price, quality included' was the headline of one of the ads Delhaize published in national newspapers last week. The spending power debate affects our shopping cart in several ways.

Read the column of this week here.

Search the 10 differences

The cover of the new album of Coldplay 'Viva La Vida' has a strong resemblance with the cover of my book 'Het Merk Mens'.

Both feature the painting 'Liberty Leading The People' by the French Romantic painter Eugène Delacroix. The painting dates from 1830 and shows Marianne, the symbol of the French nation.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Mom said: get a degree,...

...then a job...
These times might be over.
While son, daughter, or students in your entourage may be worrying about the upcoming exams, recent research has shown that many graduate students already have a contract in pocket. To them, exams are a mere formality before their careers take off.
The labour market has evolved, the youth as well, and companies must introduce themselves asap to the youth.

Learn it all in our weekly column.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Music to my ears

Some 6 months ago, Radiohead offered its new album on the internet at a 'free' price, from nothing till whatever fans were willing to pay for it. Did this strategy pay off?
It seems so. According to a source in Advertising Age, 1.2 million people downloaded the album and 32% paid for it, good for 6 to 10 million dollars in their pockets. Afterwards, 122 000 examples of the physical album were sold, good for another 25 million dollars. Not bad for an experiment.
It shows that marketers sometimes have to give before they can take. And it also illustrates that distribution models ask for an innovative and inventive approach.

Read all about it in this week's column.