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Posts Tagged ‘lauren luke’

  • The future of display is native

    9th September 13

    Posted by Mel Exon

    Posted in advertising, digital

    The final (for now) instalment in a series of cross-posts of some of the monthly tech columns we’ve written for Marketing magazine over the course of the year. This article on native advertising appeared in Marketing’s April issue.

    ***

    A wise agency head recently told me that, statistically, a person is more likely to die in an airplane crash than click on a banner ad. Not least because I’m writing this month’s column on a long haul flight to San Francisco (where I’ve been lucky enough to be invited by a client to spend the week immersed with them at Google’s Creative Academy), this is something I’m hoping not to be true.

     It is certainly the case that display ads are woefully ineffective, just witness the average CTR of a banner ad: at 0.2% in 2012 (from 9% in 2000, in case you’re wondering). Indeed, the death of display advertising has been declared so many times over the past decade or so, it’s astonishing it still has a pulse.

     And yet, it’s a sure-fire truth that when anyone declares the death of anything, it’s how often that thing shape-shifts and re-surfaces, alive and well, in a different form (check out one of my favourite articles of all time, ‘The Tragic Death of Practically Everything’ here).

     In the case of display, witness the inexorable rise of Native advertising.

    Most jargon makes my blood run cold, but this is a term I increasingly like for a couple of reasons:

    1.    The term evokes a sense of belonging and integrity; an opportunity for a brand to show an understanding of natural platform behaviours and a concern with user experience that isn’t associated with traditional display advertising nearly enough.

    2. It is one way publishers and media owners may manage to monetize their online platforms effectively, without sacrificing user experience.

    In short, the user, the brand and the media owner all stand to win. It’s that combination which makes Native advertising worth paying attention to.

     What native advertising is

    Relevant, paid-for content that appears within the editorial stream of a publisher’s site or social network. Current examples include: promoted tweets on Twitter, ads in search, sponsored stories on Facebook, Tumblr Spotlight, promoted videos on YouTube, paid-for editorial content. It’s where publishing, PR and creative content meet.

     What it isn’t

    ‘Understanding natural platform behaviours’ does not mean producing wallpaper. The very best Native advertising is thought-provoking, creative, even disruptive; witness BBH’s work for the domestic abuse charity, Refuge, featuring the YouTube star, Lauren Luke. Nor is it content that pretends to be genuine editorial. No user likes the brand that duped them by presenting commercial content in an editorial environment, with no demarcation from the publisher’s content or link to the brand involved.

    Some thoughts on briefing native advertising

    1.    Native advertising is a (paid-for) means to an end, not an end in its own right. Its role might to recruit new users or kick-start an offer or initiative. As such, it’s more a sign-post on a connected path or story, not pure branded content per se. Simple things like including a call to action or a useful link back to the brand can be overlooked, but are critical to progressing an interested user’s journey.

    2.    It’s equally important we make sure the team involved knows what constitutes natural behaviour on a given platform and respects it. Etiquette and UX, both crucial at the best of times, are disproportionately important here.

    3. Silo-ed organisations won’t fare well here. Look for the people who demonstrate they see the whole picture: they care deeply about user experience, have a strong grasp of your brand voice and the nuances of the different, constantly evolving platforms.

    Who knows, perhaps display isn’t dead, it’s just gone native.

  • A Lesson in Covering Up

    2nd July 12

    Posted by Jeremy Ettinghausen

    Posted in online video

    Authors: Claire Coady, Social Media Manager and Simon Robertson, Strategist, BBH London

    Want to find out how to get a great look under even the most trying of conditions? Let YouTube celebrity and makeup artist Lauren Luke show you how in this helpful tutorial:

    YouTube Preview Image

    If that wasn’t quite what you were expecting, you’ll know what Lauren’s many followers and their friends will be experiencing over the coming days, as a result of our partnership with Lauren and domestic abuse charity Refuge.  It’s a very different approach for a charity, but it’s one that we think is vital to help them adapt to a very different type of audience, and a different type of public conversation.

    The world is noisy. Everyone has something to say. But there are some things people just don’t want to talk about. And in a media landscape catering to our individual needs, people don’t have to talk or hear about things they don’t want to.

    People don’t want to talk about domestic abuse.

    MORE THAN JUST AN AWARENESS ISSUE

    When society doesn’t talk about the big important problems, particularly the ones that may cause fear or discomfort, a vacuum of knowledge inevitably forms, quickly filled with misinformation.

    People think that everyone “gets” what domestic abuse is. They’re wrong. Research shows that more than half of teenage girls aged 13-18 have experienced sexual violence at the hands of a partner – and considered it normal. 40% of teenage girls would consider giving a boyfriend a second chance if he hit them. A third believe that cheating justifies the use of violence.

    By not loudly and continuously reinforcing that domestic abuse is a problem, society sends a message that it isn’t serious.  By ignoring the issue, it is normalised, and creates a generation of  potential victims.

    In a very real sense, silence kills. Two women in the UK die at the hands of an abusive partner or ex-partner every week. Talking saves lives.

    That’s why Refuge’s call to action is “speak up, save a life”.  But speaking to teenage girls requires a different type of speaking up: one tailored to a fragmented media landscape, a group focussed on entertainment rather than weightier issues, and a subject that discourages discussion.

    A CASE FOR SUBVERSION

    A traditional disruptive approach wasn’t going to work. But we knew our audience wouldn’t come to use through choice. Our response has been to create a piece of communication directly tailored to the way that teen girls consume and communicate information. That encourages them to become part of the conversation on their terms. Not disruption of their experience, so much as a subversion of it.

    We knew we’d have to sneak our message into an existing channel that our audience were already interested in in a way that created maximum impact. Considering the role of subversion of expectation in viral spread – viral activity often takes the form of practical joking – we realised that the more that we could increase that sense of contrast between expectation and content, the higher the likelihood of spread.

    And we wanted to make sharing and commentary the call to action, because sharing is how teens conduct public debate.  It allows them to make a stand without rokettube exposing their own opinions and be part of something with a low risk of emotional or social damage. Viral behaviour is their version of the town square, the salon or the pub.

    SERIOUSLY UNFUNNY

    In effect, we were creating a practical joke with a purpose that couldn’t have been more serious: shocking people out of their complacency around domestic abuse, and allowing them to take a stand against it on their terms.

    What we needed to do was find a Trojan horse who would carry our message to young women. That was where Lauren Luke came in.


    Lauren’s relationship with her audience is paramount; every content decision and direction she makes is with her subscribers in mind. Her enthusiasm for the cause and participation in shocking her fans is, in short, the kind of unstinting bravery needed to tackle domestic violence as a subject.

    The film itself has been deliberately designed to maximise the shock of the contrast between the context and content: particularly Lauren’s chirpy demeanour contrasting with her appearance. But this wasn’t about forcing a scripted film into a social channel. We provided a general framework and direction for Lauren and allowed her the space and time to make the film her own: a challenge she rose to brilliantly.

    We then wanted to make sure the content was framed in a way that maximised the stunt aspect: the copy that appears alongside the film wherever it is shared is intended to draw people in without ever giving an indication of the content.

    Finally, our call to action is the most simple and natural one that our audience know:  share. And by sharing, speak out.

    Credits

    Copywriter: Jack Smedley

    Art Director: George Hackforth

    Art Director: Stephen Noble

    Film directed by: Wesley Hawes and Gary McCreadie

    Creative DirectorPablo Marques

    Strategists: Claire Coady & Simon Robertson