Why the San Francisco Giants Are Baseball’s Marketing MVPs

June 27, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

If recent history is any guide, it's the San Francisco Giants' "turn" to win the World Series this year. For the past six years, the team has won the series three times, every other year: in 2010, 2012 and 2014. But the Giants' winning record isn't the only reason fans have embraced them. The team's marketing efforts, including creating unique ballpark experiences and capitalizing on its players' personalities, have played a huge part in building one of the most successful brands in baseball. "The success of a baseball team comes down to two things: selling tickets and selling sponsorships," said Adam Lippard, head of global sports and entertainment consulting at GMR Marketing. "The Giants are among the best at both of those because of the team and the experience they've created at the ballpark." The Giants are MLB's fourth most-valuable team, according to Forbes , after the New York Yankees, Los Angeles Dodgers and Boston Red Sox. The team has sponsorship deals with brands including AT&T, Coca-Cola, Toyota, Anheuser-Busch, Virgin America, Levi's, PlayStation, MillerCoors, Oracle, Yahoo and Salesforce.com. Attendance at the team's AT&T Park rose from 2.8 million in 2009 to 3.3 million in 2015, and season ticket sales grew from 19,016 in 2009 to 31,424 in 2016. The Giants have sold out every home regular season game since September 2010, and TV ratings increased 34 percent from 2009 to 2015

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Inside ‘The Next Rembrandt': How JWT Got a Computer to Paint Like the Old Master

June 27, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

CANNES, France—Rembrandt van Rijn finished his last painting in 1669, the year he died. So it was enthralling, and a little unsettling, to step on to a boat at the Cannes Lions festival for a private viewing of the first new Rembrandt in 347 years. In a fascinating merging of creativity and technology, the humans at J. Walter Thompson Amsterdam taught a computer to paint like Rembrandt by having it study the old master's works for months. The resulting painting is a completely new portrait, not a replica, and it's indistinguishable—to my eye, at least—from the real thing.

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Harvey Nichols and Under Armour Take Top Film Lions at Cannes

June 25, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

CANNES, France—adam&eveDDB's "Shoplifters" spot for Harvey Nichols won the Film Grand Prix at the Cannes Lions festival here tonight, while Droga5's "Rule Yourself: Michael Phelps" for Under Armour took the same prize in Film Craft. Film Lions jury president Joe Alexander, chief creative officer at The Martin Agency, said his jury was looking primarily for new ideas—approaches that haven't been seen before. "Shoplifters" certainly qualifies, he said. "The Grand Prix goes to a new way to use security camera footage to sell a rewards card, of all things, for a retailer. It's just a phenomenal piece," Alexander said. "I think the best pieces now cross over. This one ran in cinema, it ran as an incredible viral piece. It's a very modern piece of film that lived in both worlds." "Most of us on the jury had seen this piece on a computer screen before," added Film juror Ana Balarin, executive creative director at Mother London. "When we got to see it on the big screen—this had never happened to me in a jury room before—once it was finished, the whole jury room spontaneously started applauding. That says a lot about it

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House of Cards, #OptOutside and McWhopper Win Top Integrated Honors at Cannes

June 25, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

CANNES, France—Frank Underwood is a man who gets what he wants. And today he clearly wanted a Grand Prix at the Cannes Lions. BBH New York's "FU2016" campaign for House of Cards' fourth season on Netflix took home the top award in the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity's Integrated category. The centerpiece of the campaign was a faux political ad that ran during December 2015's GOP presidential debate on CNN, where 18 million people tuned in to watch the Republican candidates spar. The ad for the fictional Underwood's campaign overshadowed conversation about the real candidates online and became a top trending topic on Facebook and Twitter during the debate.

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Advertising Leaders Say Britain’s Exit From the EU Is Disappointing but Manageable

June 24, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

CANNES, France—As the United Kingdom's decision to leave the European Union sent aftershocks through global markets today, the ad industry's top leaders were all in the same place to hear the news. Like thousands of their colleagues, the heads of advertising's largest holding companies are all in Cannes this week for the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity. Two of the industry's most influential corporations quickly released statements about the "Brexit" decision, with the recurring theme being one of disappointment mixed with optimism after the polarizing decision by British voters. The final result was 52 percent in favor of leaving the EU and 48 percent against, with young voters overwhelmingly casting their ballots to remain a member of the 28-state group. British Prime Minister David Cameron announced at a press conference this morning that he will be stepping down because "the country requires fresh leadership" after the vote.

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How Experience Marketing Is Becoming a Crucial Ally for the LGBT Community

June 23, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Right now, it's Pride Month across the world—prime time for me, my community and our supporters to celebrate, advocate and participate in creating greater change and equality for all. We are vocal and visible, two things that helped us gain the stature we have today. Michael Wood Last month, I attended and presented at the LGBT Advertising Week conference in New York, three solid days of info and insights about the LGBT market. Being part of an eclectic mix of professionals —from clients at companies like Google and Macy's to ad and media agency executives—was incredibly empowering and inspiring. As a marketing professional, the content was clear validation that the LGBT community, my community, is a valuable audience that matters—valuable to brands and businesses to the tune of well over $800 billion. As I look back at my own journey and observations over many years of Pride months and beyond, perhaps the most significant and impactful change I've seen is the surge of brands that have made it part of their core ethos to stand with us. That takes guts. They're not just talking the talk, they're walking the walk. And I mean that quite literally. Just look at your local Pride parade to see the array of corporate sponsors and branded employee groups marching in solidarity

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Iggy Pop Has Some Totally Insane (and Some Actually Pretty Cool) Ideas for Advertisers

June 23, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

CANNES, France—Note to Deutsch: Iggy Pop has some ideas for your Volkswagen advertising. But you're going to have to keep a very open mind. The punk legend had an entertaining chat with Grey chairman and chief creative officer Nils Leonard on the main stage in the Palais at Cannes Lions here Wednesday. (It was the latest installment of the annual Grey Music Seminar.) And it included a surprising amount of Iggy-as-creative-director, weighing in on advertising, which he clearly treats with a fair amount of skepticism even as he has no problem making a buck now and then off endorsements himself. "I don't know much about advertising, other than I've done six or eight fairly major ads as a subject," he said. "Volkswagen has had problems lately because they were naughty. They lied about the omissions, blah blah blah. And I thought, you know, when I was in college, there was a wonderful spontaneous gesture that swept the colleges all over America. Kids would try to see how many people they could get into a Volkswagen Beetle. A revival of that—something that's just fun—would be probably worth 25 corporate mea culpas." So far so good. But Iggy wants to spice it up a little. "You could do it naked on the internet!" he exclaimed, chuckling to himself as he brightened to the idea. "Have different kinds of people. How many tall people? How many short people? How many Armenians could you fit in a Volkswagen? People would forget about the emissions! Or maybe cover a Volkswagen with a sign on it that says, 'Naughty.' And have women in bondage gear whipping it. Punish that Volkswagen! Maybe a giant robocop comes in. Elicit sympathy for the Volkswagen! I'll bet people wouldn't 'Skip Ad'! " The reference to Armenians was an amusing callback to an earlier back-and-forth with Leonard about Kim Kardashian, whom Pop defended—mildly—as an inspiration to other young Armenian women, and a somewhat alternative vision of beauty amid the current Western ideal. "She's got a big old Armenian butt, and little Armenian legs, and is a nice-looking Armenian beauty," Pop said

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Is There a Formula for Success at Cannes?

June 22, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Cannes Lions, the biggest advertising event in the world, is here. Vive les ads! Brands and agencies are keeping their fingers crossed that their campaigns will win the hearts and eyes of the judging panel in the south of France. But just what makes a Cannes winner? Is there something in the DNA of an ad that makes an award winner? Is there a formula for Lions success? Unruly dug into the data to find out if previous Grand Prix winners had anything in common that helped them stand out from the crowd. We analyzed four previous Cannes winners—Geico's "Unskippable: Family" (2015), Volvo Trucks' "Epic Split" (2014), Metro Trains Melbourne's "Dumb Ways to Die" (2013) and Nike's "Write the Future" (2011)—to see if there were any key themes or insights to success at Cannes. Here are the results: Winning Critical Success Didn't Necessarily Drive Business Results While these videos undoubtedly are beautifully made, highly recognized in the industry and worthy of creative accolades, brand recall and brand favorability from our panel were surprisingly lower than the industry average. Geico was the only advertiser to exceed global averages, including brand favorability (40 percent), purchase intent (40 percent) and brand recall (89 percent). Global averages are generally 29 percent for brand favorability, 31 percent for purchase intent and 74 percent for brand recall. This was most likely due to the prominent Geico logo, which appeared at the five-second mark of the "Unskippable" ad and remained on screen while the silent family held their poses.

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Why Big Brands Are Suddenly Getting Cozy With Reddit

June 20, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Just six months ago, Reddit—whose famous slogan is "The front page of the internet"—was a dangerous place for marketers because of its reputation as a pool of trolling and harassment. Now, the viral-minded site is trying to flip the narrative and draw in advertisers with new ad targeting and buying technology and an in-house studio that specializes in creating custom content. And heavy-hitter brands including Coca-Cola, eBay and Procter & Gamble have all come on board in recent months. "What makes Reddit distinct from an advertising perspective are the same qualities that make it distinct in organic spaces," explained Zubair Jandali, vp of sales at Reddit. "We have 70,000 active communities—few places on the web have audiences that are as passionate as ours." Data backs up Jandali's claim. The publisher's traffic hit 51.4 million monthly users in May, up from 28.4 million a year before, according to comScore. It's the kind of stat that seemingly flies in the face of accusations that Reddit's audience is too niche—and sometimes too cruel—for brands to take seriously. But the goal is simple: capitalize on the massive momentum around native advertising with a specialized team to create content, much like the in-house agencies that have made big-name publishers including The New York Times, The Atlantic and Vox Media leaders in the space

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The Inside Story on J&J’s Revamped Marketing Mission Under Alison Lewis

June 20, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

In the brand-new and buttoned-up New Brunswick, N.J., corporate offices of Johnson & Johnson , there's a conference room whose glass doors are adorned with an aqua decal of a baby's head, plus a couch that features two decorative pillows whose pattern is a mishmash of J&J brand logos and packaging. One could easily mistake this conference room for that of any other billion-dollar conglomerate—except the relentless branding won't let you forget where you are. It's a warm day in mid-May and Alison Lewis , the first global chief marketing officer of the consumer packaged-goods giant's consumer brands, would rather be interviewed here. Her office is messy, she insists, and meeting in the impersonal space allows us to briefly focus on the interior design—specifically, the pillows. "We market everywhere," Lewis jokes. Indeed, the pillows represent an almost literal manifestation of the marketer's current mission. J&J does, actually, market everywhere—investing $1.12 billion in marketing in the U.S. alone in 2015, per Kantar Media, and an estimated $2.5 billion globally, according to reports. But how exactly the company markets everywhere has changed dramatically since Lewis joined. She has streamlined the marketing efforts of over 100 disparate brands—all of which had various marketing operations functioning simultaneously but not necessarily cohesively—into one centralized force. On top of that, Lewis says, she has been working to "globalize brands that in some cases didn't have as much scale in certain parts of the world." Top priority? The namesake, Johnson's, as well as Listerine, Neutrogena and Carefree. It's a gargantuan task—not only because of the scale of J&J's marketing but also because the consumer group's 2015 revenue of $13.5 billion was down 6.8 percent versus 2014, while first-quarter revenue this year was down another 5.8 percent. (J&J's other two businesses, pharmaceuticals and medical products, are not part of this story.) But by all accounts, Lewis, who turns 49 this month, is unphased and ready to tackle all challenges. Ask anyone to describe her and you'll get variations on a theme, and the message usually goes something like this: She's a pragmatic and inspiring leader with a bold vision who tries to empower her people (she manages over 400 employees) to deliver.

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