Castrol Edge Titanium -Virtual Drift

Nice new piece from Castrol. Part of the Titanium Trials series.

Castrol have combined real world action and Oculus Rift Virtual reality.

Oculus Rift DK2 head mounted display worn by racing driver Matt Powers takes you on another world piece of driving action.

Credited to Adam Amaral & Glenn Snyder Castrol’s “Creative Technologists”

What I like about this is how a brand that has little customer connection in real terms has used something that does resonate and excite.

I wonder how many people actually buy oil these days rather than have someone else change it for you?

So who does this work for?

Do we now ask for Castrol Edge when we ( eventually) get an oil change? It will be interesting to see. Maybe for Petrol heads, their core market?

There has been subsequent criticism that the final video had some considerable post production which may taint the whole piece but only you can decide.

The other version.

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Persona Synthetics

A fantastic new piece of intriguing content.

An advert for new brand of highly developed robots.

A shop opening on Regent street, items for sale on Ebay, twitter and Facebook accounts….. superb.

All a teaser for a new Channel 4 show Humans.

Excellent multi layered connection beautiful execution, I would love to have seen the reveal plan and watched the results start to flood in.

Put together by their inhouse team 4Creative. Great work one of my favourites of the last few years. The look on my mates face when he first saw the TV ad was, to quote another brand, Priceless.

200,000 Google searches for Persona Synthetics by mid May before the reveal.

Excellent Work.

The store.

I particularly like this real world element extending beyond the online really makes it for me.

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Skoda Fabia Attention Test

Loving this new piece for Skoda Fabia.

Clever ideas and clever thinking will always win in advertising in my opinion and ideas like this deserve the attention they get.

The clip I watched has already achieved 2.8 million views.

Pick of the week by Campaign magazine rightly so.

Written by Ian Cochrane, art Directed by Jay Packham Directed by Luke Bellis at MindsEye

Possibly an Homage to the original Attention test from TFL Spot the bear but hey great all the same.


TFL Attention test

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Native Advertising!

A great piece on Native Advertising explained simply by Jeremy Rusling at Mapp Media.



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A brief history of branded content marketing – part 2/2 Unbranded Content #2 then and now

Restless legs and Danny Macaskill.

While working with DBM creative duo Lee and Dan had a brief from GSK.

In case you don’t know drug companies aren’t allowed to advertise drugs but they can make people aware of issues or ailments or in this case Syndromes, for which they obviously have a product to cure it.

In this case Restless Legs Syndrome no less.

I can’t lie we all raised an eyebrow when we first heard it.

It is however quite a debilitating issue and something that apparently is commonly miss diagnosed by GP’s as insomnia ( I think) hence why they wanted to raise awareness.

Of course in those days, some years ago, people or clients didn’t ask for Branded Content.
What they actually asked for was a viral?

We want to make a viral!

We explained that you can’t make a viral and that viral was just the process with which your content was shared if it was good enough or warranted being shared but we can make you a great piece of content and with the correct seeding it should generate that required viral spread.

At the time The Honda Accord Rude Goldberg commercial was getting critical acclaim and so Lee and Dan created an ‘homage’ to this and so “My Dad’s got Restless Legs” was born.

Unbranded all bar the tiny text payoff at the end sponsored by.



You Tube was relatively new at the time and the client insisted we put the content on Youtube.

We explained that no one would find it because no one knew what they were looking for.

Also the common insiders quote at the time was ‘if you want to hide a piece of content upload it to Youtube.’

However for them, and to prove a point, we uploaded it to Youtube as well as our seed sites.


The clip achieve 1 million views in 4 weeks and had lots of repostings across the web.

The client was very happy.

The Youtube clip we uploaded for the client got 7 views.

Another great result came about when one person made a quote on one of the seeded clips.

“Oh really” they said “Restless Legs GSK? What ever next Restless Penis Syndrome”

You had to laugh!

But then people who suffered from the issue/syndrome or knew someone who did started replying.

“I suffer from this and it’s debilitating” and other similar quotes.

The thread created exactly the dialogue and online buzz GSK wanted and everyone concerned was happy with the outcome of the activity.

Fast forward to today and Danny Macaskill. Unbranded content 2014.

I can’t watch this between 3 minutes and about 5 minutes but I love it.

Slightly slicker but I suspect slightly different budgets!

This is Honda Cog by Rude Goldberg if you haven’t seen it.


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A brief history of branded content marketing – part 1 Unbranded Content #1

Branded Content Marketing, Branded Content, Content Marketing, Branded Entertainment each are modern variations of Connected Marketing as it used to be called.

Before the term Social Media was coined there was Connected Marketing, Word of Mouth Marketing, Viral Marketing, Brand Advocacy, Community Marketing and many other skill sets.

The leaders and commentators in the industry now are generally agreed about what constitutes Branded Content Marketing.

Branded Content being more product lead and Content Marketing being more people lead stories.

Justin Kirby at Tenthwave recently interviewed Avi Savar on the subject and he described it as Show me/Sell me versus Help me/ Entertain me.

Arguably I would suggest it is nearly always about selling at some point so it is a case of are you the brand trying to sell it to me or are you trying to inform and engage me so I can decide that I want to buy it. Usually with the latter being a more satisfying process.

Unbranded content

So at what level does the brand need to be part of the story for the content to succeed?

While at DBM we completed a piece of multi level activity for EA where the client was incredibly brave by allowing us to have no branding or product placement at all.

It was for the launch of Need for Speed – Pro Street. There was the mention of Pro Street but by making it Pro Street Romania it created intrigue as it was not the EA brand.

To add to the intrigue the destination website for other content was built in HTML and not Flash to add to the story and the owner of that site was listed as one of the racers, Marek.

The client also denied all knowledge of the activity/content initially when challenged to the point where the Editor of De Speigel online sent an email to Marek asking for an interview and if they had other races organised.

Content creative                              Lee and Dan part of the DBM group

Content marketing                          DBM – seeded across the DBM site network

The activity was deemed a great success by the client with the story eventually getting out and receiving millions of views of multiple videos and huge buzz online. Resulting in increased sales year on year.

So by appealing to the right audience with relevent content in this case the unbranded content was successful.

I am not sure this could work for any brand or that many clients would be this brave.

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Could insight from Dove Real Beauty Sketches help us understand why we have too few women leaders?

Could insight from Dove Real Beauty Sketches help us understand why we have too few women leaders? And how do we use it to improve the situation.

I know I am late to the party on both these pieces, Dove Real Beauty Sketches from last year and Sheryl Sandberg TED talk from 2010! Why we have too few women leaders.

It was the piece this year for Always from Agency Leo Burnett that reminded me to catch up. #Likeagirl

If you haven’t seen the Dove piece where have you been it has had 64 million views?

This is such an excellent piece of work on so many levels. Instigated by Anselmo Ramos, Creative Director at Ogilvy & Mather. The casting was excellent both with Gil Zamora the Sketch artist, a forensic sketch artist in fact with over 3000 criminal sketches, but also the candidates in the piece.

Directed by John x Carey from Paranoid US.

Knowing the brevity of our attention span spent on sites and blogs this is definitely long form content at 3 minutes.
It was aimed at four key markets USA, Canada, Brazil and Australia, then uploaded in 25 Languages to 46 Dove Youtube Channels across the world simultaneously.

Apparently research showed only 4% of women think they are beautiful, the goal of the campaign was to convince the other 96% that they are also.

The piece has had it’s critics since but the question is still there surely.

Sheryl Sandbergs TED talk 2010 highlights other issues women face and why we have too few women leaders.


Finally, but by no means least, Always #likeagirl.

Fantastic work from Leo Burnett.

This demonstrates so creatively how the term “like a girl” is miss used or interpreted but also that somewhere along the way girls/women lose something themselves.

How can we use this insight? when added to the issues Sheryl Sandberg raises it seems there are even more hurdles to overcome?

How can we change that?

Who is going to grab hold of it and take control?

How can we help?

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