Intersect: Inspiring Imagination and Innovation

I've been working with a great team of innovators  for an organisation called Intersect.   

Save the date for March 7th  2013 as we are excited to announce 'Unleashing Risk -  The Innovator's Opportunity'.It's a brand new conference that wrestles the challenge of how to truly use risk as a growth catalyst for innovation.   

Speakers include top executives from Kraft Foods, Johnson Controls, GE Healthcare and Harvard Professor Carliss Baldwin.   More announcements to come soon....Check it out and register

Open Letter to Drew Brees (Lifetime Value vs ROI)

The New Orleans Saints  vs Drew Brees contract negotiation is a perfect metaphor for my frustration with marketing right now. This post is a rally call for marketers and brands to work on Lifetime Value instead of ROI.

The ROI limitation 
As Brees’ current $60M/6 yr contract ends, both sides are at an impasse because of a $6.25M overspend on the NEW contract.  Let’s look at the latest numbers reported by ESPN:
  • Brees demand:   $20.5M X 5 yrs  =  $102.5M
  • Saints offer: $19.25M X 5 yrs = $96.25M 

I’ve been here before, and I know right now that  no President, CEO, CFO, CMO would entertain a marketing plan to ‘overspend’  by 6%, (and if you were having a really bad day could trigger a request for  a 6% underspend!). So here’s an innovation for Brees....combine contracts, current ($60M)  + new ($102.5M) AND change the story:

Lifetime Value Rocks!
  1. Brees should reframe his discussion as LIFETIME VALUE, and use different language.  He MUST avoid referencing ‘current’ or ‘new’ contracts .  These contracts do not impact what he delivers to the Saints.  
  2. He needs to go in right now and TELL THE STORY that he’s only asking for $14.8M a year.  
  3. He should use these words in every statement “My lifetime playing and leadership value to the Saints is $162.5M over 11 years”. 
The lifetime value story is TRUE.  Marketers must be brave enough to tell this story about their strategies and plans. Those that do will be seen as leaders, and marketing will be rewarded as a respected growth driver for the business…..

Those that don’t, well you know who you are. Enjoy fighting with your ROI tools that still wont make the calculation work for you!


Breaking News - Landscape is the new Portrait

In search of marketing innovation for your brand ? 


This Kia car ad has an authentic picture of....well a Kia car (no-less), with a disruptive landscape placement that compelled me to rotate the page to look at it and share it (remarkable).


Innovate, disrupt, and become remarkable, seize the patently  obvious opportunity to be landscape in the portrait world !

How #OldSpice Rescued 30' ads

Old Spice has set new standards for  viral video making and delivered amazing stats stats yet the current YouTube campaign is under scrutiny due to  poor product sales...Leading to the inimitable question - does advertising work ? and is this campaign truly effective ? Here are 4 reasons why I salute Wieden and Kennedy + the folks at P and G, (also shared on the beancast  in response to topics for their podcast on 7/18).

1. Creativity and Context are powerful
I'm intrigued as to why a sales decline on the brand or product  satisfaction/relevance comments are thrown at Old Spice. As a marketer, I simply watch in wonderment at the magnificence of this phase of the campaign. It is truly immense on an insight, engagement, creative, intelligence, and context level. All this originating from the allegedly dead 30' ad !

2. Paying into the brand Equity
There should be no criticism from a brand or marketing perspective. If the campaign delivers against the brand equity and measures that were set - then bravo to all. I feel that effectiveness should be measured in a way that explicitly seeks to capture all benefits to the brand, irrespective of sales or market share change.
  • For example, lets quickly look at this from the Sales department perspective - they can now call their retail partners in the full confidence that their brand has been elevated, eulogised and is front page news. The call or visit will run smoother, the promo plan will be seen more favourably, the orders will be placed more promptly.

  • Now Imagine being the Old Spice brand management folks who are now able to show metrics that are transparent to product development, design, finance, customer services....they can now more easily demonstrate the value they can add, they can show engagement growth, viewers, new prospects, influence change, brand image improvement etc etc.

3. Marketing Innovation does NOT require a new product
For me the best part of all this is that it has happened on a low tech commodity product (compressed fragranced air). Clearly highly creative people re-envisioned the way to look at the category and how to communicate WITHOUT needing a new product ......sometimes we just might too quickly seek comfort in new products, when often there is a world of opportunity to simply stop, think and act differently.

4. Raising the Bar
The challenge has been set to every brand mananger and marketing/ad agency out there. What are you doing to get a consumer to care about your brand, that doesn't involve the easy option of maintaining the status quo or doing the same old thing?

That's the kind of challenge that makes me LOVE what I do.

Disclosure - despite being a former P and G employee, yet a competetitor deodorant brand user, the thoughts here are without any predetermined bias for or against Old spice.  

Persistent innovation at its best - Gorillaz (Stylo)

Gorillaz have nicely reinvented themselves and now launch their animated avatars into the 3D human universe in true hyper-real surreal and magnanimous fashion.

Just to take it to the next level - add Mos Def and Bobby Womack on vocals, and use Bruce Willis in the video and you have drama that rivals 24 and the Grammys combined.......take a look.