Think Hard


Creative Industries Federation shares psychological boost for the UK’s Creative Industries.
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Well, Theresa May has one priority right.
“Monday‚Äôs announcement by Prime Minister Theresa May that the creative industries would be one of five named sectors in the new industrial strategy was a major step forward for a sector which has never been formally recognised in a national industrial strategy before. Only six years ago at the start of the coalition government, the creative industries were not formally acknowledged when it announced nine sectors of industrial engagement.” ¬†(Source: Creative Industries Federation)
  • The government has launched a Green Paper/consultation giving a blueprint for a national industrial strategy.
  • Five sectors, including the creative industries, were named in the consultation as having ‚Äėsector deals‚Äô.
  • Exactly how government support for chosen sectors will be offered is dependent on the result of the consultation process, although the key mechanisms for support are given in the 10 pillars explored below.
  • In order to attain its three goals, the government has identified 10 pillars that each sector deal should focus on. These are:
    • investment in science, research and innovation
    • developing skills
    • upgrading infrastructure
    • supporting businesses to start and grow
    • improving procurement
    • encouraging trade and inward investment
    • delivering affordable energy and clean growth
    • cultivating world-leading sectors
    • driving growth across the whole country
    • creating the right institutions to bring together sectors and places. (Like Creative Edinburgh)
As the CIF states in its recent circular, not only is this a growing sector (as we have known for several years) but jobs cannot be automated. ¬†Although I’m sure there are plenty of people trying to find a way.
Here’s a couple of efforts to prove my point.
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In Scotland we have been blessed to have a long term appointment in Culture, Tourism and External Affairs in the shape of the enthusiastic and understanding Fiona Hyslop so maybe things are looking up for the sector.
The point is the sector includes not just corporate businesses like design, advertising, film and architecture but also hundreds of thousands of start ups, SMEs and increasingly overlaps with the rapidly growing tech sector.
My role as Chair of Creative Edinburgh is to support our Director Janine Matheson and her team, alongside our enthusiastic board in realising the ambitions of this ‘new deal’ by creating a thriving and increasingly vocal network of exactly those businesses in Edinburgh that can benefit from the strategy.
We are deeply grateful to our funders and sponsors who have made this possible so far, and this initiative can be a positive step forward for a city that can benefit more than most from both Holyrood and Westminster recognition and support.


The Freddo Investment paradigm.
January 13, 2017, 9:09 am
Filed under: brands, business, creativity, effectiveness, marketing, politics | Tags: , , ,

Today Cadbury owners Mondelez announced that the cost of a Freddo Bar is to rise by 20%. ¬†The price hike is being blamed on the¬†rise in the pound in the wake of Britain’s farcical Brexit decision.

A spokesperson for Mondelez said in defence of the move;¬†‚ÄúIncreasing prices is always a last resort, but to ensure we can keep people‚Äôs favourite brands on shelf and look after the 4,500 people we employ in the UK, we are having to make some selective price increases across our range.‚ÄĚ

But this is a fabrication of Trumplike proportions as research by Think Hard has unearthed this startling graph that shows Freddos have been bankrolling Mondelez for years.

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(Source: Vouchercloud)

This startling revelation, unearthed in July 2016, revealed that the cost of a Freddo had outstripped inflation by almost 200% making it a massively lucrative investment.  Indeed, in the period Jan 2000 to July 2016 the FTSE100 had risen by a mere 9% making a Freddo 17 times more effective as an investment than stocks like RBS, Lloyds Banking Group and Ratners.

So it’s even more shocking to see that this 150% rise in value is to be ramped up to a return of 200% when Mondelez and Cadbury get their greedy fingers on the chocolate¬†Rana Temporaria.¬†

It’s clear that investment returns on the Freddo will be anything but temporaria.

Think Hard rating: BUY in large quantities immediately.



First great ad I’ve seen for the US presidential election.

OK, negative electioneering gets a poor reception typically.

But when it’s great, it’s great. ¬†Right?

Especially when your opponent is an odious, racist fascist.

Beautifully put by the Democrats.



Total respect to Mars and Channel 4 (and thanks to David Reviews for publishing)

As David Reviews says “This is one of three new commercials for Maltesers which won a competition launched by Channel 4 earlier in the year. The Paralympics broadcaster wanted to further its commitment to diversity by offering airtime to work which puts disability and diversity at the heart of a campaign.”

The commercial, one of three, is extremely “saucy” and ¬†as Bodyform did earlier in the year ¬†it has taken on a taboo subject (in their case menstruation; in this, disability) in a bold and confident manner.

Outstanding.

 



Taboos smashed to bits by Bodyform.

In this spot by AMV for Bodyform decades of taboos are booted right into touch.

A splendid and brave production,.  Well done all.

As Jason Stone says in his David Reviews piece on the spot it actually follows what is essentially the convention in the category by showing a bunch of women being active during their periods; the difference being that this is real, gritty and shows the red stuff.

Of course Bodyform has previous in this category with this hilarious spoof…



Brand Trump.

OK, so the Republican race isn’t over yet but Donald Trump is now three to one ON in the betting to win the Republican nomination, with Ted Cruz now 4/1.

Now, I’m not saying Cruz is an angel, because he sure is not, but it says an awful lot about the state of the American electorate that Donald Trump has been able to muster such a remarkable following under the auspices of a brand that I could only describe as toxic.

Most certainly it is toxic in the UK.

And for liberal America it too repulses commentators most notably in this MSNBC report by a visibly shocked Rachel Maddow. In the broadcast above Maddow creates a timeline of Trump speeches (you’ll have seen many of these snippets before so it’s not clever editing at play here) of the escalating call for an end to the toleration of protesters at Trump rallies and an increasing call for violence that led to the riots in Chicago.

It’s only one aspect of ‘Brand Trump’ that is so much the antithesis of Obama’s winning campaigns, that it makes me wonder if it can be the same electorate that is being addressed.

Now, sure, Obama’s dream is far from realised, but the quiet dignity with which he has presided over his office is a lesson in diplomacy for many leaders.

The tone adopted by Trump on the other (small) hand threatens to drive the US political system into farce.

But, like all good brands, the tone of voice is consistent.

One might also describe it as disruptive because it’s taking US politics and entirely reframing it.

In that respect it is as masterful as Obama’s Hope campaign.

But people, ultimately, are frightened of disruption.

Brand owners particularly so.

So, we can only hope that ‘Brand Republican’ sees, in time, that sub-brand Trump is about to kill its parent.

Perhaps forever.

I mean, is this¬†how you’d like your brand satirised on national TV and global internet?

 

 

 



Advertising ideas are “Non Working Spend” for marketers.
February 3, 2016, 7:54 am
Filed under: advertising, brands, business, creativity, design, marketing, politics | Tags: , ,

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I honestly thought I’d seen it all until I woke this morning to an email from a company called Percolate who have published a “White Paper”.

“Ooh, a White Paper – must be important¬†and true¬†because David Cameron has signed it off, what incredible words of wisdom does it hold within its shimmering virginal covers?”

These.

“As the pressure to demonstrate the value of marketing grows, one overlooked metric for¬†return on investment (ROI) analysis¬†is on the rise. ¬†Non working spend¬†[my emboldening]¬†¬†is¬†the cost of¬†producing marketing content, as opposed to media spend distributing it.”

Here it is in more detail. In case you think I made a dreadfully stupid assumption.

Yes, it really does say “Non working [spend) is EVERYTHING ELSE [my caps].”

So, my thirty year career, not to mention that of my planning friends, my creative buddies, my TV producers, digital content creators,¬†print buyers, secretaries (back in the day), studio managers and those scary guys that work for them but deliver such great work…they’re all “non working spend.”

A necessary evil.

Expensive grist to the media mill owners.

Jeezo. ¬†I’m gonna have to take a little minute here.

I’m a little shaken, I admit.

I mean it’s a fucking¬†White Paper. ¬†Not just any old made up shit.

Sorry Mum.

Sorry I let you down.  Remember I told you I worked in a reputable industry where I made a difference Рalong with Charlie, and Smudger and Jimbo and Will?

Yeah. ¬†That’s them.

And Gerry too and Raymond, and Roger.

Yeah, yes Victoria and Ruth.

All just “Non Working Spend.”

That guy at the government. Remember I told you about him?

The guy you liked off the telly?

No, not George Osborne, he’s a bad man.

The Scottish guy.

Remember I came home and told you he said advertising people were like “leeches’?

Yup, that’s him.

Well, he was right, ‘cos it’s in a¬†White Paper.

We’re all just “Non Working Spend.”

You don’t believe me?

Read it here.

http://tinyurl.com/zqnub9x