This page has links to material supplementary to the following lecture topic ’18. Earning attention’.

18. Earning attention

Leading marketing thinker Seth Godin explains how being cautious today in marketing is risky; how effective product and communication design aimed at early adopters, and segments that have or can have an ‘otaku’ base, is key to success.

It is a painful truth that one of the most dramatically successful instances of mobilisation through social media in contemporary times has been by the Islamic State. Please download and read this excellent study of Adam Hoffman & Yoram Schweitzer Cyber Jihad.

As social media platforms have come to present such a huge opportunity for getting audiences to share corporate promotional content if production standards and ideas are good enough there has been a shift in budget from bought promotional media to content creation. Even before the familiar social sharing sites such as Facebook existed some firms saw the potential in communicating their brand message to target audiences through viral marketing. An early pioneer was BMW, hiring actor Clive Owen and a number of up and coming film directors to create a series of remarkable short films in The Hire series. Here is one popular example from talented Taiwanese director Ang Lee:

Honda America took a gamble on teasing hipster would-be makers and tinkerers with those 2014 April Fool’s Day release that got considerable attention from other media, although the view count on this particular upload is not very high as it often taken down from Youtube and then repasted by interested persons (is Honda foolishly issuing take down notices?!).

One of the most shared in a sub-genre of classical music flash mob performances: an part of Beethoven’s Ode to Joy 9th symphony performed in a Spanish square.

A short nice example of content produced by Californian snowboard and skateboard enterprise Arbor (actually organised as a collective). Arbor were announcing that a legendary snowboarder Bryan Iguchi was joining them as a sponsored rider, and featured him riding one of their new boards. It was shared through various snowboarding blogs and trade sites and spread further afield through the usual social media sharing.

 A somewhat convoluted but interesting insight into the word of Erik Minkkinen, French musician who has organised a range of silent gigs – where participants listen through headphones – in both very small spaces and streamed over short and long distances. Some attribute the first ever cross-border silent gig to him, when he performed for a crowd of three in Japan from his cupboard in Paris.( The subtitles have him talking in the third person about himself).

On campaigns…

A very entertaining presentation by leading UK advertising executive Roy Sutherland:


A good presentation from more than a decade ago by Joseph Pine on the increasing importance of ‘authenticity’ as a consumer aspiration, the inherent contradictions in the pursuit of it, and a means to escape the seeming quandary.

Firms have a choice of global campaign concepts – and common copy in particular – and either a more localised or global execution. Firms might also go completely local in their commissioning of advertising. IN the car industry Toyota has tended to full localisation, Audi has had global execution and in the last decade Nissan has had a global concept, increasing global execution but with local characteristics.

Mcdonalds has long made use of global copy, and some commercials for global roll out (sometimes not having speaking parts so voiceovers can vary) but also some localisation through local commissioning of commercials. The ‘I’m loving it’, always in English and sometimes supported with local language graphics, is recognisable across many markets. Just one of many commercials, this one very localised but with a certain universal appeal..

Campaigning to defend branding of tobacco from proposed laws to impose plain packaging on cigarettes.

Australia has already introduced plain packaging laws, which complement existing compulsory health warnings on packages, including visually confronting images of disease associated with smoking. The UK has been considering similar laws, and key tobacco industry interests have undertaken various public relations campaigns in opposition. Japan Tobacco  International (JTI, international subsidiary of JT, and still one-third owned by the Government of Japan through the Ministry of Finance ) is a key player in this as it is has the second largest market share in the UK following acquisition of a large British tobacco firm. Please look at the tobacco tactics site on the campaign against plain packaging in the UK.

If anybody is interested in the legal issues involved in the Australian case this is a useful concise account of the failed challenge to the High Court.


Contentious campaigns

Italian fashion brand Benetton has a long history of confronting media campaigns. Here is a more recent instance, as part of their (unHate campaign)

And a media report about Benetton’s use of controversial faked images of various national leaders kissing.

A media report re early AIDS awareness efforts and Benetton’s involvement.