The Superbowl ads have become a force among themselves. The ad breaks are something that viewers wait for and engage with as part of the entertainment of the big day – not just a 5 minute recess with the TV hastily switched to mute. At a reported $5million for a 30 second slot, the brands commissioning these ads need to get it right. And this year, as we watched the ads air, there was a clear and consistent theme among the best: they were genuinely, charmingly funny. From Tide gently teasing common advertising stereotypes (so meta), to Amazon Alexa poking fun at itself, this year the ads were about having a laugh. But why is it such a successful strategy? Light relief It’s no revelation to say that it’s been a tough year. Americans are politically divided across a number of fundamental issues, but what seems to be a universal truth is that people are tired. When they settle down to watch the Superbowl with their family or friends, they’re looking for entertainment, a break from the everyday, and for the only arguments to be about which team should win.
We all are aware of the stereotypes and biases with which women habitually cope. Even so, it was a reality check to see the current reality laid out so clearly by the 2017 social listening research from Havas which showed the extent to which women in the public eye are abused on social media every single day. The women on our power list – who included journalists, MPs, actors and activists - received an average of 238 abusive, demeaning, and/or violent tweets a day. The emotional toll these women pay simply to exist and excel in their respective careers is horrific. Equally appalling is the fact that so much of this abuse comes not from men but from other women. What underlies this tendency of women to undermine one another? More importantly, what can we do collectively and individually to combat it?
While I believe most marketers would agree that Apple is both a phenomenal business success and a great brand, does being a high performance organisation (HPO) always equate with being a high performance brand (HPB)? Is Ryanair a great brand? Is Primark? Is BrewDog really a high performance organisation when you compare it with say Carlsberg or Heineken? There has been a considerable amount of work done on High Performance Organisations, defining what they are, how you assess them and the key success factors. The HPO Centre based in Amsterdam has developed a framework based on five critical success factors. Quality of Management Openness & Action Orientation Long-Term Orientation Continuous Improvement & Renewal Quality of Employees Each factor consists of several underlying characteristics, 35 in total.
On February 6 the Society kicked off its 2018 New York programme with Being Brave about Gender Bias. Attended by over 40 senior marketing executives across a spectrum of industries, the evening was revelatory. Structured as a fishbowl, it provided a forum for open and honest conversation around a topic that is finally being discussed and debated in public. Gemma Greaves, the Society's chief executive, kicked off the evening setting the stage and putting it in context with one of The Marketing Society’s ideals: creating comfortable spaces to have uncomfortable conversations. She encouraged the group to tackle this important taboo and challenged everyone to have the bravery to discuss what others won’t.
Continuing its Brave Series, the Marketing Society hosted a theatre-in-the-round style of audience participation on the subject of gender bias in New York on Tuesday, February 6. The daily revelations hitting the newsroom and rocking boardrooms may make us remember a time when we were vulnerable, taken advantage of, or even accosted. These are uncomfortable and sometimes terrifying memories of shoulda/woulda/coulda scenarios. And in the current atmosphere of #metoo and #timesup, the Marketing Society’s Chief Executive Gemma Greaves kicked off the evening by saying, “It’s okay not to be okay.” The spirit of the event encouraged transparency, uncomfortable truths and failure, in all its glory. The speakers will remain anonymous so that their message and bravery can speak for itself. Of the 48 attendees, 16 braved the circle, including two men who were woefully underrepresented. Allies matter