“This represents an unprecedented experiment in hiper-individualizing a commercial print publication”
Nick Gillespie, Editor-in-Chief of Reason, in the June 2004 issue
Monthly libertarian magazine Reason pulled off the ultimate in customized publishing when its 40.000 subscribers received their June 2004 copy with a satellite photo of their own neighbourhood on the cover and their house circled in red. On the back cover readers found adverts customized to them and their neighbourhood. The stunt accompanied the magazine’s cover article about the power and importance of databases to customize information.
When the 40,000 subscribers to Reason, the monthly libertarian magazine, receive a copy of the June issue, they will see on the cover a satellite photo of a neighborhood – their own neighborhood. And their house will be graphically circled.
On one level, the project, sort of the ultimate in customized publishing, is unsurprising: of course a magazine knows where its subscribers live. But it is still a remarkable demonstration of the growing number of ways databases can be harnessed. Apart from the cover image, several advertisements are customized to reflect the recipient’s particulars.
Nick Gillespie, editor in chief of Reason, said the magazine, with an editorial mission of “Free Minds, Free Markets,” used the stunt to illustrate the cover article about the power and importance of databases.
“Our story is man bites dog,” Mr. Gillespie said. “Everybody, including our magazine, has been harping on the erosion of privacy and the fears of a database nation. It is a totally legit fear. But they make our lives unbelievably easier as well, in terms of commercial transactions, credit, you name it.”
Rodger Cosgrove, president of Entremedia, a direct marketing firm and a member of Reason’s board, assisted in coming up with a program that allows the subscriber list to be integrated with satellite photographs. He also worked with Xeikon, the manufacturer of the printer that made the endless customization possible.
“They were interested in showing what this technology could do,” he said, “and we were interested in demonstrating the power of databases to customize information.”
The cover article, written by Declan McCullagh, suggests that while databases can lead to breaches in privacy, it allows Dell to provide instant credit to computer buyers, grocery stores to stock goods that their customers want, and mortgage lenders to keep their rates down.
“It’s obvious that databases provide enormous benefits to modern life,” said Marc Rotenberg, president of the Electronic Privacy Information Center. “We could no more operate without computer databases than we could without electricity.”
“That doesn’t mean that there aren’t still some serious debates to have about government databases,” he added, “including the monitoring of the general American public under John Poindexter’s Total Information Awareness program and the passenger profiling that has gone on.”
In some respects, Reason’s cover stunt is less Big Brother than one more demonstration that micromarketing is here to stay. “My son gets sports catalogs where his name is imprinted on the jerseys that are on the cover,” Mr. Rotenberg said. “He thinks that’s very cool.”
In his editor’s note describing the magazine’s database package, Mr. Gillispie left open three spots – commuting time, educational attainment and percentage of children living with grandparents – so he could adapt his message to individual readers. Mr. Gillespie said that the parlor trick could have profound implications as database and printing capabilities grow.
“What if you received a magazine that only had stories and ads that you were interested in and pertained to you?” he asked. “That would be a magazine that everyone would want to read.”
Agency: Entremedia, USA
All adults know: healthy eating is important. The organic supermarket chain Fresh`N´Friends benefits from that situation. There is just one small problem: kids hate healthy food but they love sweets. Actually, that´s even a big problem. In Germany every fifth child is overweight. “Instead of calling attention to that problem with a traditional ad campaign we chose to solve the problem.”
The solution was a new product: fruit figures. “To make fruits as appealing as sweets for kids we designed fruit arrangements that suit children. Boring fruits were designed in shape of teddy bears, kittens, flowers – all the things kids love.” Just like ordinary fruit salads the fruit figures were sealed, put in a tray and sold in Fresh´N´Friends stores.
Additionally, they were promoted with advertising specifically targeted at parents and their kids – direct mailings, email newsletters and posters. In order to involve the kids directly in the campaign a contest was started. We placed cut-out sheets in every package. So the kids could make their own fruit figures by hand. They also could design them digitally on the Fresh`N´Friends website. All ideas were published and judged online. The figure with the most votes was added to the product range. Over 3,500 designs from children were submitted. The rabbit figure of five-year-old Dario got the most votes and was therefore added to the product range.
Advertising Agency: Scholz & Friends, Berlin, Germany
Creative Director: Martin Pross, Matthias Spaetgens, Wolf Schneider, Mathias Rebmann, Florian Schwalme
Art Director: Alexander Doepel, Sandra Krebs, Bjoern Kernspeckt, René Gebhardt, Loic Sattler, Jinhi Kim
Photographer: Attila Hartwig
Graphics: Peter Schoenherr, Simon Rossow
After fielding roughly 6,000 questions online about its food, McDonald’s Canada is taking the conversation “offline” with a new advertising campaign.
In June, McDonald’s Canada launched an interactive digital platform, “Our Food. Your Questions.” in an effort to be more transparent with consumers about where its food comes from and how it’s made. Consumers asked everything from calorie counts of certain menu items to why McDonald’s burgers and fries don’t rot when left out for a long period of time.
McDonald’s has now launched an integrated advertising campaign to reach even more Canadians and invite them to join the conversation online.
“The initial success of the program is a real testament to the power of creating meaningful and open dialogue with customers,” said Joel Yashinsky, chief marketing officer at McDonald’s Canada. “This level of transparency has resonated with our guests and has created the type of conversation we want to have with them about our food. We’re excited to see how far it can go.”
The campaign from Tribal DDB Toronto includes television, digital and various outdoor media. Since its inception the company’s response team has covered almost 6,000 questions at the site. Answers have been posted using text, photos and video.
“The program exceeded all our expectations and we learned from customer feedback that this is an important opportunity for us to continue and evolve the dialogue with our customers,” said Joel Yashinsky, chief marketing officer at Toronto-based McDonald’s Canada. “We wanted to broaden it so that the reach allowed all customers in Canada to be aware of the program and ask any questions they had about our food.”
The TV spot shows questions from the website with behind-the-scenes shots from McDonald’s operations, for example a burger getting prepped for a photo shoot after the question, “Why does your food look different in the advertising than what’s in store?” Meanwhile, video projections on buildings in urban centres will feature select questions and answers–some still and some full-motion with answers that were done on video. “It will [give] a surprise to people in those areas to see the projection of these questions that are very provocative and raise the awareness of the program,” said Yashinsky. Yashinsky said the platform “is going to run forever… We think this is a great two-way conversation for us to have with our customers that we don’t want to end.”
How McDonald’s Canada Makes their World Famous Fries
Did you know that McDonald’s World Famous Fries are made from whole potatoes harvested mainly from farms in New Brunswick, Alberta, and Manitoba? Watch and see exactly how our fries get made, from the farm to the fryer.
“What is in the sauce that is in the Big Mac?”
Christine H. from Oshawa asked, “What is in the sauce that is in the Big Mac?”
Where McDonald’s Canada Gets Our Hamburger Patties From
You’ve probably heard that every McDonald’s Canada hamburger patty is made with 100% pure Canadian beef. But what does that really mean? To find out, we visited Cargill’s processing plant in northern Alberta to give you an all-access look at exactly what our hamburger patties are made from and how they get made.
“Why don’t you guys grill the patties? Better than microwaves!”
“Why don’t you guys grill the patties? Better than microwaves!” Jeffry B. from Oshawa asked. McDonald’s Canada Manager of National Operations Drew Sadler answered.
Is 100% pure beef the name of a company?
“Is your beef actually 100% pure beef or is that just the name of the company?” That’s what John R., from Toronto asked. Our answer: a corporate title search to see if the company actually exists.
Behind the scenes at a McDonald’s photo shoot
Isabel M from Toronto asked “Why does your food look different in the advertising than what is in the store?”
The McNugget under the microscope
Sheri N. from Saskatoon asked, “Is the thing about the Chicken McNuggets true? They are made from a processed pink sludge of meat and bones ground up with chemicals?”
Real Egg Crackdown
“Does your Egg McMuffin use real eggs? They look to perfect” To answer this question our Crew Members were brought in to prove that McDonald’s® Canada uses real freshly cracked Canada Grade A eggs so often, they’ve got skills.
“Why is the food at McDonald’s so cheap?”
“Why is the food at mcdonalds so cheap?” Joanne S., from Toronto asked. McDonald’s Canada President and CEO John Betts answered.
Advertising Agency: Tribal DDB, Toronto, Canada
Creative Director: Louis-Philippe Tremblay
Art Director:Benson Ngo
Agency Producer: Melanie Lambertsen
Account Director: Miles Savage
Production Company: Family Style
Directors: John Weyman, Torey Kohara
Line Producer: Liz Dussault
Post-Production Company: School – Various
Editor: School – Various
Audio House: RNW
Talent: Real People (McDonald’s Employees, suppliers)
Usually, when someone sneaks up to a rich guy’s house and drives off with a Porsche, it’s a reason to call the police. This time, it might be a reason to call an auto dealership. In a clever spin on direct mail for Toronto’s Pfaff Automotive, Canadian agency Lowe Roche photographed one of the dealership’s Porsches in the driveways of affluent homes, then used each image to create an ad left at the home where it was shot. The headline: “It’s closer than you think.” The result, according to the agency’s case study video below, was a 32 percent response rate to a site where recipients could schedule a test drive. Direct mail is typically about hitting as many people as possible for as low a cost as possible, but this creative idea shows that for luxury brands, a smaller effort can sometimes go a long way.
Advertising Agency: Lowe Roche, Toronto, Canada
Creative Directors: Dave Douglass, Pete Breton
Art Director: JP Gravina
Copywriter: Simon Craig
Video Production: Motion Pantry
Director / Cameraman / Editor: Dean Vargas
Banco do Brasil, the Latin America’s biggest bank with approximately 23 million clients, rebranded 300 of their entrance banners in nine Brazilian states to include client’s name. The rebranding was part of a bigger campaign to celebrate the fact that people were free tp change to another bank without paying an additional fee.
Banco do Brasil has 15.000 branches, and only a fraction of those were personalized, but the symbolic gesture created the sense that every Banco do Brasil client is unique. The campaign doubled the number of new accounts and spawned spontaneous media coverage.
Advertising Agency: ARTPLAN, Rio de Janeiro
Creative Drector: Roberto Vilhena
Copywriter: Gustavo Tirre, Daniell Rezende
Art Director: Marcos Hosken, Sergio Carvalho
Lion Nathan wanted to find more occasions for young adults to drink Tooheys Extra Dry, so it introduced a longneck, TED696ml. However, the longneck market is crowded and not an easy one for “cool” brands like Tooheys Extra Dry.
Longnecks are traditionally sold in brown paper bags, covering the bottle’s branding. The bags represented an inexpensive medium that could be used to engage buyers and establish creativity.
Working with the insight that 18 to 24-year-old drinkers have a desire to express themselves, ZenithOptimedia worked with BMF to bring together the world’s best street artists and TED696’s target market to design brown paper bags around the theme 696.
Local designers were invited to submit designs in a competition that would be judged by the Luca, David Homer and Aaron Hayward at Debaser, Sydney artist Ben Frost, Murray Bell and Andrew Johnston at Design is Kinky, Colin Blake at MTV Sydney, and Tokyo/Sydney painter Numskull, the prize being a 15 ” MacBook, software and a framed set of designs signed by the three celebrity artists. The ten finalists would each receive a case of Tooheys Extra Day 696. The people’s choice, selected online by members of the public, would receive two cases of TED 696.
PR, events, advertorials, online seeding, search and a project website were activated, all with the humble brown paper bag at the core. The campaign created a new advertising medium, sending 700,000 paper bags with 696 designs to bottleshops. In the process, competitor longnecks were wrapped in 696-branded bags too.
The winner of the competition was Mike Watt, a Sydney based illustrator and designer.
In the first 8 weeks, over 500,000 longneck bottles of TED were sold representing $9 in sales for every $1 invested. The website received unique visits from 104 different countries, with each person spending an average of 9.5 minutes at the site.
During the 5-week competition period, we received a cutting edge design every 84 minutes.
MTV held a gala exhibition evening to announce the winning design. The exhibition is now touring nationally.
The bag design promotion was so succesful that it is now an ongoing project, with submissions being printed and distributed throughout liquor stores around the entire country.
Ironically, the brown paper bag that all longneck bottles are sold in, covers the branding of the product inside, yet it has never before been used as an advertising medium.
The 696 campaign won a Silver Pencil at the One Show 2009 for Point of Purchase and In Store Promotion, a Silver Lotus at the AdFest Awards for Direct Marketing, and a Yellow Pencil at the D&AD Awards 2009 for Printed Material in Branding.
Advertising Agency: BMF Sydney
Executive Creative Director: Warren Brown
Creative Director: Simon Langley
Art director: Shane Bradnic
Copywriter: Michael Canning