Posts Tagged “Communications”

Early Observations of the ‘Can’ Campaign

The Commonwealth Bank of Australia recently launched its new brand position: 'Can'

Despite being half a world away, I’ve been paying attention to the big re-brand of Commonwealth Bank Australia (CBA) that seems to be the talk of the media and communications town in Australia at present – the biggest re-brand in the banking sector since NAB’s ‘Break up’ campaign.

(I recently interviewed former NAB Channel Development Manager Hillan Klein about this campaign that garnered international attention).

Following a teaser campaign around the word ‘Can’t’, the CBA unveiled its new brand position of ‘Can’; a campaign including print and TV advertising, social media across its Facebook and Twitter accounts, a dedicated website, a mobile banking app called ‘Kaching’ (previously launched), and a pretty cool augmented reality app launched in conjunction with News Limited newspapers.

Certainly a busy week for the organisation after last week being named as one of the top 100 global brands in the 2012 Millward Brown BrandZ report.

‘Can’ teaser campaign videos via Mumbrella.

A selection of the new ‘Can’ TV advertisements. The ‘ode to can’ commercial featuring Toni Collette is currently unavailable, but can be viewed on the CBA Facebook page.

While it’s early days for the new brand position and we’re yet to see the results, I was really interested to watch this video interview (not embeddable sadly) that Mumbrella’s Tim Burrowes posted – featuring CBA CMOO Andy Lark, Tom McFarlane (Executive Creative Director, M&C Saatchi), Tony Kendall (News Limited Australia Sales), Scott O’Brien (Explore Engage) and Neil Breen (The Sunday Telegraph).

Given the scope of the re-brand and the allocation of transmedia resources to bring it to life, I believe there are some early observations for marketing and communication professionals from the interview – even at this early stage.

1. ‘Traditional’ media are far from dead.

Yes, we’ve all read the posts from doomsayers claiming that the end is near for our beloved TV and print media. While traditional media are undergoing their own unique evolution and expansion into the social and digital spheres, dollars and creative strategy are still being utilised in the traditional spaces as part of integrated, cross-platform campaigns.

2. Hit all the touch-points.

Connected consumers want to engage in their platform of preference, and on their terms – and brands need to plan and execute their outreach and engagement accordingly. It was great to see CBA CEO Ian Narev blog about the new brand position and share it across the bank’s social channels. Communication is now transmedia – and you don’t have to be a traditional media monolith or gatekeeper to produce stories and play in the space.

3. Tell a story (or multiple stories).

Again, we’ve all read the posts about the importance of storytelling. It’s nice to see a brand the size of CBA come out and put “lifestage stories being told through Facebook” (Mumbrella quote) as part of its strategy. In a recent episode of his Six Pixels of Separation podcast, Mitch Joel interviewed Jonathan Salem Baskin about the importance of truth in marketing. In short, people relate to people – and I hope the CBA takes the opportunity to tell some real stories that add to the TV commercials that outline the products, services and calls to action that encompass ‘Can’.

4. Don’t be afraid to innovate (and measure).

While not all businesses will have the budget of CBA, the CBA/News Limited/Explore Engage collaboration is an interesting example of exploring new media innovation in the context of current media trends (in this case, second screen experiences) to reinforce and drive home a brand message and integrate with the traditional, social and mobile marketing and communication strategy and tactics.

That is, CBA ‘Can’ bring the newspaper to life, literally! More than that, it can measure just how much its consumers use this piece of innovation. As Scott mentions in the interview – hardcore innovation and ROI is no longer a gimmick – it has arrived.

Again, while we’re yet to see the figures and results of this piece of innovation, it’s worth observing how this progresses, and thinking about how your own brand can leverage innovation and trends to communicate your story and message, and measure accordingly.


So, while it’s still early days for Commonwealth Bank and ‘Can’, there’s plenty for marketers and communicators to keep their collective eyes on as this brand positioning evolves and the results start to come through.

I look forward to seeing the team at CBA prove to Australia that they ‘Can’.

What do you think?

Have you been paying attention to the launch of ‘Can’? If so, what do you think of CBA’s efforts to date? What have you taken from the positioning so far?

I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Image credit: Ariaski, via Flickr CC 2.0.




Community Consultation – Offline & Online

Communities exist offline and online.

Like most Liverpool Football Club fans around the world, I watched eagerly last week as the club unveiled its new jersey for the 2012-2013 season.

Thoughts on the design aside, what followed for the club serves as an important reminder for communicators and community managers about the importance and power of connecting with and acknowledging your community offline.

One of the most noticeable changes to the jersey was the switch of logo to the Liver Bird that adorned the jersey back in the club’s glory days of the 70s and 80s – omitting the twin flames of the previous logo which represent the memorial that burns in honour of those 96 fans that lost their lives in the Hillsborough tragedy of 1989 – one of the darkest days in the club’s history.

These flames and the number 96 have been moved to the back of the jersey for next season’s kit.

While the club promoted and followed buzz surrounding the jersey among the online community using the #LFCkit hashtag, it was the reaction of the families of the Hillsborough disaster that sparked anger offline, and threatened to envelop the club in a PR disaster.

It was claimed in this BBC piece that while the Hillsborough Family Support Group were consulted about the proposed changes to the jersey, no individual family members of those who lost their lives at Hillsborough were consulted, and neither were members of the Hillsborough Justice Campaign – who claimed the actions of the club to be “insensitive, divisive and deplorable.”

Although the club moved promptly and with transparency to defend its consultation process and reinforce its respect for the 96 who lost their lives and their families, the incident highlighted an important lesson for communicators.

That is, in a world of increased connectivity where we are all networked, it is just as important to pay attention to, and consult the community offline, as well as online.

In a panel discussion at Blogworld New York 2011, Gary Vaynerchuk called on brands and attendees to wholeheartedly embrace the feedback and voice of the online community. After all, if someone is saying something about you, wouldn’t you like to know, and wouldn’t you like the opportunity to address their concerns?

While I agree one hundred percent, this example serves as a reminder that brands need to remember and acknowledge that their communities exist in real life (IRL), as well as virtually.

Moreover, there are some scenarios in which consultation IRL is the appropriate way to communicate – and that failing to do so threatens to damage the reputation of the organisation in the domain of traditional and social media, with each potentially feeding the other.

Yes, brands and organisations now have the gift of community that comes with utilising the plethora of social and connected platforms available, but these communities and methods of communicating should not be at the expense of in-person communication and the maintenance and consultation of a physical community IRL.

Communities exist offline and online.

What do you think?

How do you balance connecting your community virtually and IRL? Are there any other case studies you feel add to this area and are worth acknowledging?

I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Image credit: Brisbane City Council, via Flickr CC 2.0




Worth queuing for?

Is your content worth queuing for?

One thing I was prepared for when I returned to New York recently was queuing – especially at restaurants and cafés.

Out in Brooklyn last weekend, some friends and I managed to score a spot at a popular local café with a wait time of an hour or more (yes, there was a crowd of people patiently queuing with take-away coffees outside), while right across the street another venue sat half-full on a bright and warm Easter Sunday.

Why? The popular venue had a better product (and no doubt better word-of-mouth marketing to go with it).

The same can be said for brands, organisations, consumers and content.

Just as consumers are happy to wait out on the pavement for a spot to sit and a good meal, so too are fans happy to subscribe to brands online, and interact with and share content they deem of value.

After reading this post from Jay Baer earlier in the week about the make up of users’ facebook news feeds and Americans’ distaste for receiving brand promotions in social media (according to this study from Exact Target they prefer good ole email), I started unsubscribing to a number of brands that were blasting away with the promotions.

Much like we all have a magic number for the amount of social networks we can maintain engagement with (hat tip Scott Monty), I believe we also have a limit to the number of brands whose content we wish to queue for and welcome into our news feeds – and we don’t need to wait an hour in line to join or unsubscribe.

The good news is that in general, I feel that the current content being produced by a lot of brands is falling short of what fans would like to see and genuinely engage with or share.

Why is that good news?

While it may sound pretty negative, I believe it equals opportunity for brands to step up to the plate and provide value in their online marketing and communication.

Doing a bit of an audit of the brands I follow, subscribe to and share, I identified only one brand that I would actually rave about, and whose content I actually look forward to receiving in my feeds.

That said, there’s still plenty of room for more brands to capture my attention and to be added to my list.

As Seth Godin put it – we live in an attention economy.

Just like I’ll always be happy to wait for a great café or restaurant, I’ll look forward to new content from those brands that I know care and are in tune with what consumers find of value in these online spaces (hint: it’s not coupons).

The question is:  Is your content worth queuing for?


What do you think?

Are the brands you follow producing content you deem of value? How many brands would you actually rave about when it comes to content marketing effort? Or am I being too harsh here as brands begin to learn these new channels and develop their ongoing content marketing strategies?

I’d love to know your thoughts.

Image credit: GoldMoneyNews, via Flickr CC 3.0

Getting the Edge with Des Walsh

Des Walsh

Before heading over to New York, I was fortunate enough to record a discussion with my friend and mentor Des Walsh about his new social media course – Get the Edge.

As a social media strategist and LinkedIn expert, I always find it incredibly thought-provoking chatting to Des, and was delighted that he was able to join me to explain a little bit more about this course aimed at professional services, and the current wider influences in human communication and social media that influenced in.

What we planned as a 10-minute chat turned into a half-hour discussion (in three parts below), during which Des and I cover a range of topics, including:

- The lost tribes of social media

- Social business

- Email vs social media

- Fear, business and the loss of control in the social space

- Social policies and parameters

- Agencies and social media departments

- Language and social media

-Reverse mentoring

-Reputation vs popularity

Thanks to Des for taking the time to share his thoughts and experience. I hope you find the discussion of interest, and look forward to seeing Get the Edge launch this month.

In the meantime, you can swing by Des’ blog to enjoy some of his great content covering not only LinkedIn, but social media and communication for business.

Get the Edge (Part 1)  - apologies for the audio-visual sync issue

Get the Edge (Part 2)

Get the Edge (Part 3)


LMFF & Social Business: It’s All the Fashion

The runway at L'Oreal Melbourne Fashion Festival

I found myself pleasantly surprised with a last-minute invitation to the L’Oreal Melbourne Fashion Festival (LMFF) last Friday evening.

Now I’ve not been to the festival before, and am not certain to what extent social media has been included in previous festivals, but as a communicator I admired the the work of those behind the festival to integrate social media content and communication to drive engagement, and more importantly, sales.

As noted by Mashable’s Lauren Indvik in her round-up of the recent Fashion 2.0 awards, the industry has moved forward with innovation since the latter half of 2010 when it  “was sincerely behind other industries in its adaptation of social media, live streaming, mobile and 3D (or, in some cases, “4D”) technology.”

The ongoing work of the team at LMFF this week is testament to that momentum and those strides forward made by the fashion industry.

To break it down for you, here’s an overview of the social and digital communication currently being executed by the LMFF team.


The LMFF website is the hub for everything festival related – including links to tickets, designers’ stores, images, festival highlights, news feed, city maps, seminars, sponsors and added social media properties. It also allows visitors to download their own festival planner, subscribe to the official newsletter (Swingtag) and receive the latest looks from the runway (not a bad way to build a nice database of fashion conscious consumers to communicate with, wouldn’t you agree?).

More than that, something about the site design almost has a bit of a Pinterest feel about it (or maybe that’s just me). Perhaps that will be the next platform to join the campaign for 2013?

Social Media

If that wasn’t enough, the home page also houses links to the festival’s facebook, Twitter, YouTube, blog and iPhone app – so you can be sure there’s no shortage of timely content for festival-goers and fashion fans to consume and share at their convenience – and no shortage of points and platforms on which to spark discussions, float questions or provide feedback (they’re also using Instagram through their Twitter and facebook pages, and integrating YouTube advertisements that I’ve seen on videos these past few days).

To add to this, the festival is also playing host to a plethora of fashion bloggers, with the crowds creating their own fashion show and playground for fashion writers to snap and interview fellow fashion forward individuals. In fact, I don’t think I’ve seen so many bloggers in one place since Blogworld New York in 2011! While I’m sure there are some bloggers receiving greater access to the shows and designers than others – the organisers clearly understand the rise of the blogger and citizen commentator in the industry. We are all self-publishers.

Shop the Runway

Of course, at the end of the day the consumer of this content is left with the burning question: Where and when can I buy these looks? Enter ‘Shop the Runway’ (video above). Allowing the consumer to purchase in-store or online, the site capitalizes on all the great content by giving them a portal through which they can take virtually immediate action with their designer(s) of choice (it’s available via web and the iPhone app). Each designer is allocated their own page, incorporating YouTube footage of their runway show, still images of their collection, and a map of the country with a stockist search by postcode.

The result?

Communication + Commerce

The team at LMFF clearly understand that with the connectivity and reach of social media, and the appetite and expectation of the marketplace to consume and share content related to products and brands they love and want, they are now communicating not only with a trade audience, but direct to consumers.

More than that, the LMFF are dealing directly with consumers who expect the ability to take immediate action and seek instant gratification not only in the form of sharing and dialogue, but equally (if not more so) in the form of purchase.

With their content marketing coordinated across an array of media, they are able to track engagement with individual designers, as well as clicks through to online retailers (measuring communication efforts). This connects community and content to commerce and sales, and demonstrates and positions the festival not only as an economic boost for the local economy, but also of direct value to the designers, retailers and exhibitors.

Yes, new platforms and tools will emerge, but with this latest initiative and communication effort, the LMFF has positioned itself as a bridge between this content and commerce for both consumers and designers – and with all the results and lessons from this year, I’m sure that the platforms and communication will only continue to get better as the fashion industry  takes even more steps forward in this field.

Kudos to the social media and communication team at LMFF on all their great work. Looking forward to seeing what you’ve got in store for 2013.

What do you think?

Do you have any favourite fashion or luxury brands employing social media marketing and communication? If so, what is it that you enjoy about their communication? Which platforms are they using especially well to engage?

I’d love to hear your thoughts.