We get a lot of attention for – and questions around – our work for Coca Cola, so we thought we’d share our case study on the international pieces that helped break records for one for the most recognizable brands in the world. Enjoy!
THE CHALLENGE:Re-establish Coca Cola’s position as the leading brand in three distinct markets: South Africa, Japan and India
Bruce Alcock and team jumped at the opportunity to work with The Coca-Cola Company for their multinational television campaign. Coca-Cola needed to leverage their globally recognized campaign at the time to reestablish themselves in three regions where market share had been diminishing. The stakes were huge: media buy included the first minute of airtime in the New Year on every channel for each market. If you had the TV on, you were going to see the spot.
STRATEGY & INSIGHT:Uncover core market culture & values, and then connect those with the global brand
Bruce and his team were given lyrics and some guidance as to each market’s nuances. In order to uncover the true cultural identities of the three markets, Bruce enlisted the help of 25 artists in six cities. They cross-referenced imagery and techniques with local experts in each market, and once local visuals were systematically aligned with the right components of Coca-Cola’s global brand, it was time to sew the pieces together to form visual storylines.
EXECUTION:Authentic spots celebrating uniqueness of each culture’s identity
Bruce and his team took a unique approach to each region, nailing down the tone and feel of their cultures while appealing to aspirational sensitivities at the same time. The work was deliberately layered and dense to accurately depict the complexity of each region and stimulate the viewer. The spots built upon the strong brand recognition Coca-Cola’s global campaign already enjoyed.
The final product was a series of television spots for each market, including 17 versions of one for South Africa for all of its local languages. The execution was a masterful balancing of input from Coca-Cola, researchers and the artists – who constructed the thousands of creative elements that went into the final product.
RESULTS:Record Breaking Views
The spots’ success was attributed to their authenticity and ability to speak to the local audiences. Brand recognition and resonance was high, and especially so with youth in the markets, the largest of the waning segments. In India, the spot was the most viewed television commercial. Ever.
Will they have your back? The right creative agency will keep your brand’s best interest in mind.
When it comes to choosing a creative agency for your advertising, branding and design needs, personality fit counts for a lot. After all, you’ll be working closely with these people in high stakes, deadline-driven situations. The fit can be determined almost instantly when you meet them in person, but in the mean time, how do you narrow your search? Keep in mind the following:
1. Size vs. Value: The bigger you go, the more cooks you get in the kitchen. This can be a good thing: many of the large multi-service advertising agencies have a team of strategists and creative directors that can provide great ideas and insight. You’ll be paying for that expertise and it takes time to get your message heard by a large team. Keep in mind that even the large agencies usually still outsource the animation work, so you’ll be paying a mark-up on those services. You can go directly to an animator to get the work done, but generally you’ll be providing a lot of the prep work, from strategic planning to copy writing and audio. Medium-sized creative firms generally offer strategic branding and campaign services, experienced producers and a team of creative minds who are all used to delivering the whole enchilada quickly and to budget. Smaller agencies may impress you with lower pricing, but beware they have the adequate resources to handle the full project. They often outsource much of the work to keep overhead costs down, and can get caught if their go-to partners are busy with other projects.
Do you want to be the first? Your project could be a win/win or a big mistake.
2. Guinea Pig Pitfalls: It’s easy for creative companies to become experts in a particular style or step in the creative process. After all, doing good work leads to more of the same work. So when you’re shopping around for a creative partner, make sure they have a solid track record of doing the kind of work you need. They may lower their bid for the project because the work would provide a nice addition to their portfolio or could be a strong case study for them. Maybe this is a win/win. Or maybe you’re gambling with your limited marketing dollars.
The best creative agencies don’t just tell you what you want to hear.
3. Timing is Everything: Is your timeline realistic with the expectations you’re setting for the work? This question is valid when planning any project really, but in the creative world, a misalignment in timeline expectations happens a lot. A creative agency can turn around a really complex project quickly, but not if you need time for them to incorporate your notes and test it with a market sample. They’ll likely say yes to the project, but be open to considering any recommendations you get regarding adjusting the scope to maximize quality and effectiveness. The best of the best pride themselves on making great creative work for their clients – that also drives bottom line results.
Start shopping around early so you’ve already vetted creative agencies before your boss drops that fantastic ‘we-can’t-afford-not-to-take-advantage-of-this-opportunity!’ campaign idea on your desk. You’ll be glad you did.
(Now days away from launching our latest project, A Sweet Story, I thought it apropos to repost an interview our social media guru Vish did with the book’s author Jono Howard this past summer. Enjoy!)
We’ve been working away on our latest interactive ebook for kids, A Sweet Story, As we make our way through the workflow, I’ve had the pleasure of speaking to everyone who’s been working on it, including Kris&Brake (the coders) and now, Jono Howard, the accomplished writer behind this very sweet story about a boy and his relationship to food.
With most information (allegedly) just three clicks away in the digital age, the hours of painstaking work that go into a project can be easily forgotten. How much thought would you give to an antique circus poster in a second-hand store?
As it turns out, one such poster caught the eye of a musician back in 1967. It would serve as the inspiration – and most of the lyrics sheet – for the song “Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite!” on his then-upcoming album, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. That musician, of course, was John Lennon.
Flash forward to 2012. Peter Dean, designer and Beatles fanatic, decided he REALLY wanted that poster. And since the original was lost to time, what followed was a meticulous journey of perfectionism, all beautifully captured by filmmakers Nick Esdaile and Joe Fellows:
It’s inspiring to see such an effort poured into a labour of love. The grueling process included lots of trial and error at both the wood engraving and letter-pressing stages… especially time consuming when venturing back into the analogue age. But the end result is all the better for it – a limited press of the poster is now for sale and looks fantastic.
Makes you appreciate even the simplest designs. What items from life or art you would like to see made available for purchase?
Our reel brings together some of our best and most diverse work. You can find spots we’ve done for giants like Coca Cola and Smirnoff, as well as more local clients like Scotiabank and BC Hydro. One of my favourite spots – for The Globe and Mail – is also one you’ll find on our current reel.
The slogan that inspired the ad
Not only was it fun to work on, but it also encompasses a lot of we absolutely love: kinetic text, 3D animation, texture, and the clear expression of intricate concepts.
Here’s an exclusive look at excerpts from our briefs, storyboards, roughs and reference art, so you can get a better idea of the process and thinking that went into creating The Globe and Mail spot, “More Life.” Read more