We put consumers in therapy…

A client and its creative agency needed help overcoming rejection – why was a campaign not landing with the target?

We thought Ummm rejection eh?’ and decided to bring a psychotherapist into the research mix.

With her help, we developed a more sophisticated understanding of the target’s relationship with the category.  We identified how they were left feeling vulnerable and in denial by a challenging and paradoxical campaign message.  We then applied psychotherapeutic principles to suggest how to reframe communication.  The result was a clear new creative brief designed to overcome resistance and build credibility and motivation.

A gender equalising approach…

We’ve been pondering gender to help clients communicate with men more meaningfully.

We’ve used developments in neuroscience to suggest men and women have more in common than previously thought – it turns out that successfully connecting with men is more about gender similarities than differences!

Men and women share core fundamental drives.  A combination of neuroscience, societal and generational factors reinforce these drives so that, whilst all are present in both genders, some are emphasised more than others  in each -  a bit like a gender graphic equaliser setting.  This lies behind gender stereotypes. It’s an holistic way of thinking about gender that gives a framework for appreciating similarities as well as differences, and how these are formed and ever changing.

Talking of changes, the internet is a major recent catalyst that has reset the gender graphic equaliser, changing the nature of masculinity and femininity forever.   Its social, connected and inclusive nature is the domain of drives traditionally associated with femininity.  In using the mainstream internet (Facebook, Twitter etc), men are learning to use this ‘more feminine’ side of themselves.

It’s not that men are becoming feminised, instead they are becoming more confident flexing this side of their psyche and assimilating it into their own behaviour, in a male way.   Perhaps this is most beautifully exemplified in the self mockingly competitive, yet highly supportive and affiliative, nature of the Movember campaign.

So what does this mean for brands wanting to speak to males?  Well the lesson is that thinking holistically to recognise a male take on traditionally female traits and speaking to this, so far largely unacknowledged, side of their mental makeup is likely to resonate and build emotionally meaningful brand relationships.

Fall in love for a week…

Our client team were down in the mouth –  they told us no one loved their brand, they were the ultimate in disposability, they felt used and on the scrap heap

We decided to push the boundaries. We asked consumers to rekindle the flame by spending a romantic week living with the brand – blogging, writing love letters  and looking for mementos to help them remember how great things used to be

And the flood gates opened and fond memories poured out

Like a Gok Wan makeover the brand team emerged confident and feeling valued again – they had rediscovered a heritage of fun and innovation and an emotional switch from being all about disposability to the more positive space of being both needed and available

Technology for technology’s sake…

A technology brand needed to bring a new tech savvy segmentation to life for its agencies and senior management.

Taking the target’s lead, we used a mobile self ethnographic app. as the gateway into their lives.

We asked participants to use the app to blog about their lives, technology and brand experiences in words, pictures and film.  And we and our client used the blog platform to follow up and drill down on points of interest as they arose.

We filtered the best participants into workshops to explore attitudes, beliefs and behaviours around key topics in a dynamic, creative way, alongside our client.

And then we met with them again, back in their own worlds to gather more targeted material to further bring the story to life for a senior team.

Giving a new idea a chance to fly…

A brand wanted to develop a ground breaking and challenging new service proposition.

The problem was, how to ensure participants remained open and constructive to give the new idea its best chance to fly?

The solution was simple, we gave participants the bare bones of the idea and encouraged them to ‘run with it’ and see where they took it – just nudging them occasionally with more information when necessary.

This way we could judge the raw potential of the idea without narrowing it down and overburdening it with unnecessary executional details.   Then we started to co-create how it could work with participants.

Findings showed the potential of the raw idea (and the parameters of that).  It identified the ‘sweet-spot’ target and the needs met, and it showed how to refine the idea to reinforce and broaden appeal.

And it should be leaving the nest anytime now…

Living La Vida Loca

The brief was ‘Glamour’:
To immerse the client’s ‘female task force’ – and bring them out the other side dripping in glamour. The intention was to experience high end glamorous extremes… for a new perspective on their target and brands
The team for the job: local stylists, fashionistas, a fashion journalist, a photographer and a chauffeur
The task: A competition, use our expert team’s inside knowledge of the hottest trendsetters and boutiques to create the ultimate high end party bag
The locations: London & Miami
The end of the night: hit the bar for a ‘show and tell’ judged by our local experts… followed of course by cocktails

Stepping back, right back, to gain perspective…

A brand needed deep understanding of the online and offline media and social media lives of different communities living in the UK.

The key to really unpicking a complex picture was to take a large step back to look at the bigger psycho sociological context.

With this wider perspective we were able to more fully appreciate where each target was coming from – their goals and motivations, strategies, support structures, need for connectedness, and what that all means for how they use media.

Our client found the insight we unearthed invaluable in developing a finely tuned, exciting new offering.