Friday, August 29, 2008


Last Friday the OMD Ignition team in Melbourne held an all staff trivia session to test the BRAVERY and CREATIVITY of our office members. I must say we were very impressed!

We put everybody's creative juices to the test by not only answering the trivia questions in a serious manner, but also allowing them to come up with a creative answer to score bonus points. In addition to the usual trivia questions we threw in some random dares to unleash the bravery.
The highlights of the night included one French Canadian man and a random dare called 'chubby bunny'. Dom won the challenge by stuffing about 30 marshmallows into his rather large mouth (one by one) and with no hesitation cleared the words chunny bunny. Sounds like an easy task but this clearly was not the case with the other contestants dropping like flies after their 10th marshmallow.

Another highlight was the PowerPoint karaoke session where the contestants had us all in stitches and made it all look too easy.

The event turned out to be a success and certainly was an interesting way to get every member of our OMD Melbourne office involved with a CREATE and BRAVE challenge.

Monday, August 25, 2008

The start of Think Fresh

Over the last few months we as a team invested hundreds of hours to create Think Fresh in Sydney and Melbourne. Our efforts involved organising 10 speakers across 4 industry events in 2 cities, running 4 internal events, 2 workshops and creating the gallery of freshness and bravery in our Sydney and Melbourne offices.

The blog already contains a review of our launch event where we heard from Kate Gunby, Mark Coad, Steve Sinha, Trudi Sampola, Amantha Imber and myself.

The second major event happened on Weds 13th in Melbourne and Thursday 14th in Sydney. OMD Managing partner Leigh Terry spoke gave an array of inspiring examples of digital campaigns. Hugh Evans, Young Australian of the Year 2004, gave a great talk on the path he has taken through life which exhibited masses of bravery and not a little creativity on the way. He has really made some amazing things happen, especially Make Poverty History and the Oaktree Foundation.

In Sydney we had Kate Bezar, editor and founder of Dumbo Feather magazine who spoke about how she overturned all the conventions of magazine publishing and created a successful magazine.

In Melbourne, the creative duo behind the Cannes award winning Schweppes Burst campaign, Jim Ingram and Ben Couzens (no not the drug addled fallen footy star) came and won the crowd over with a couple of great tales of bravery. In particular their salute of bravery went out to the Schweppes client who supported their creative idea against all the research testing results and pushed on through to launch this campaign. A great lesson about going with your gut, putting your balls on the line and the knowing when to look beyond the numbers.

Finally we ended the event with Powerpoint Karaoke where we had OMD'ers and celebrities battling it out to be the best at improvising to weird, wonderful and wacky powerpoint charts.

Three things we learnt from Think Fresh 08

1. The importance of having a vision and fighting for it.

2. The launch of OMD's Innovation Bank - the importance of putting some science (measurement) behind a good idea.

3. Ideas are empowering, and we should create a sense of urgency and importance around them

We would be interested in what everyone else took away from it so add your comments to this blog entry!

We've decided as a group to keep Think Fresh as an ongoing banner for pushing creativity and bravery within OMD, so watch out for upcoming workshops, client panel, a revised version of Checkmate. All part of our plan for follow up to turn words into actions.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

A Brave Marketeer

Yesterday I had the chance to see Joseph Jaffe speak at the Theaterette at News Limtited. Jaffe is part of a new breed of evenangelical marketeer who has made himself readily available to the communications world at large by extending his contact points across the gamut of what 2.0 technology permits - blog (listed top 20 blogs in the blogosphere) , podcast, twitter, text, email, etcetera, etcetera. South African by birth, ex-OMDer and based in the US, his latest visit to Australia, comes as part of his new book tour, entitled 'Join the Conversation'.

In his first book, 'Life After the 30 second spot', Joseph Jaffe wrote a no holds barred account on the demise of the 30 second spot and it's consequential impact on new media channels, or to be precise - 2.0 channels. His latest book 'Join the Conversation', discusses how the rate of 'change and innovation inside the communication industry is still less than the innovation outside it.' i.e. the relative gap between markeeter (sender) and consumer (receiver)." He pleas with us (marketeers) to listen what the conversation between brands and consumers is before setting the agenda. His book, blog and keynotes challenge us with the question 'Are you in the communication or conversation business?' and then leads us to his blog to fuel the debate.

Being part of the conversation to influence consumers and their dialogue with brands, seems like common sense to me and may not be that revelational. What i'd like to draw your attention to references one of the key themes of Think Fresh, and that's Jaffe's bravery. His bravery (or chutzpah) to continue his quest to plea to us and help us rethink how we do business.

In summary Joseph Jaffe is an example of someone who is trying to make a difference and sticking his neck out to ignite the conversation. Continuing the topical theme of Think Fresh 08 - being brave and doing something (anything) is better than doing nothing.

'Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly'
John F. Kennedy

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Come all ye Fete-ful

I love a good fete... especially when it has Morris dancing, welly wanging and alfresco dancing.

Innocent drinks in the UK have just celebrated their London Village Fete on the weekend and what a lovely weekender it must have been.
Innocent paved the way for Nudie in Australia and have a wonderful heritage for consistently doing cosy, community minded communications.
Check out the website to get a flavour of how big brands can think small.

A gallery dedicated to all things fresh and brave

As part of our Think Fresh month, OMD Melbourne have launched a Think Fresh Gallery to inspire and celebrate all things fresh and brave.

'Creativity requires the courage to let go of certainties'
Eric Fromm

The Gallery consists of 3 sections:

1. Fresh communication ideas (communication examples from all over the globe which have managed to stand out and impress)
2. Creative inspiration (brilliant examples from other industries where people have gone beyond the norm)
3. A salute to the brave (those who showed a tremendous amount of bravery and left their mark on the world)

Heres a bit of a taste of what is being showcased in the gallery.....

Tricom Peso Campaign (OMD, Dominican Republic)
Fifteen per cent of the population of the Dominican Republic live abroad making the telephone a vital tool for keeping in touch with friends and family. When Tricom reduced the price of international calls to the same price as a local one it needed to make a big splash with a small budget. The solution was to put its message on coins and distribute them via a range of establishments. In total more than 150,000 one peso coins were used with one side of the coin carrying the message “Start calling for less than this to the USA”. The coins and the message made their way into the public consciousness by stealth and ensured that the message couldn’t be missed. The coins were only distributed in the capital city but have found their way right across the country.

Puma Golf Collection Campaign
On March 17 in Antwerp, 2,000 golf ball shaped helium balloons attached to Puma golf items were sent to float down a busy shopping street as well as taxi stands, trains and bus stations. People were free to take the items. Labels were attached to the balloons that described the collection and directed people to the Puma website. The effort aimed to convey the "packable, portable and playable" qualities of the line.

'It is better to have enough ideas for some of them to be wrong, than to be always right by having no ideas at all'
Edward De Bono

World Naked Bike Ride
The 4th Annual World Naked Bike Ride was held on June 9, 2007 in San Francisco, California. Basically, the purpose underlying the event is three-fold: one, to promote a car-free lifestyle, and decrease our dependence on fossil fuels; two, to freak out the 'squares', and to force the public to 'step out of its comfort zone'; and three, most controversially, to get a sexual thrill out of being an exhibitionist.

David Blaine
David Blaine is an American world record holding magician and endurance artist. He made his name as a performer of street and close-up magic, revolutionizing the way magic is depicted around the world.
On September 5, 2003, Blaine began his 44-day endurance stunt sealed inside a transparent case suspended 30 feet in the air next to Potters Fields Park on the south bank of the River Thames, London. The case measured 3 ft by 7 ft by 7 ft and had a webcam installed so that viewers could observe his progress. During the 44 day period, Blaine went without any food or nutrients and survived on just 4.5 litres of water per day.

What's the message for us?
When you have a different approach to solving a business issue, sometimes it takes real persistence to see it actually brought to life.

Phillipe Petit
Tight-rope walker, unicyclist, magician and pantomime artist, Philippe Petit was also one of the earliest modern day street jugglers in Paris in 1968. Philippe Petit is a French high wire artist who gained fame for his illegal walk between the former Twin Towers in New York City on August 7, 1974. He used a 450 pound cable to do so and also a custom made 26 foot long, 55 pound balancing pole.
Other famous structures he has used for tightrope walks include the Sydney Harbour Bridge, the Louisiana Superdome and between the Palais de Chaillot and the Eiffel Tower. Petit currently lives in Woodstock, New York. A documentary film named "Man on Wire“ dealing with Petit's performance won both the World Cinema Jury and Audience awards at the Sundance Film festival 2008.

What’s the message for us?
There was never a brilliant business idea that didn’t contain the risk of failure.

'Man cannot discover new oceans until he has courage to lose sight of the shore'
Andre Gide

Thursday, August 7, 2008

We all got a little fresh this week

OMD Strategy Melbourne

After what seemed like endless months of planning, we finally had our maiden voyage into the world of event management with Think Fresh 08 kicking off in Sydney and Melbourne.We had the big guys in Sydney (Mark Coad) and Melbourne (Steve Sinha) ribbon cutting to let everyone know how important the area of fresh thinking is to OMD and how Think Fresh has been designed as a bigger launch pad for the year ahead.

Amantha Imber, Head Inventiologist at Inventium then gave a super duper energetic presentation on creativity. She ran a few live brainstorming exercises with the crowd and left everyone motivated and holding onto their very own 'creativity' glove to ensure no one lets their best ideas escape!

Our very own Kate Gunby, Head of Insights and Metrics then launched the OMD Innovation Bank. It's a compelling proposition to get clients to put their money where their mouth is and allocate 10% of their annual budgets to fresh ideas. That is, 9% to be allocated to running the ideas and 1% to measuring them. If we aren't making any calculated steps towards being brave with our future communications thinking.... we are sure to fail at reaping the big rewards.

Rob, OMD's National Strategy Director made a bold move at the Sydney session. After explaining the four areas of freshness that the OMD strategy team is focused on, he got the audience to allocate $100 across those areas. What was clear is that both clients and OMD staff are keen on Deliberately Thinking Differently in the year ahead so exciting challenges for us to get our tool box brimming for action with all our committed freshness partners.

Trudi, Head of Strategy in Melbourne wrapped up their session by revealing that the number of advertisers in Australia between Jan and June 08 was over 120k… Surely this is a motivation to get fresh and brave with our communications if you want to stand out. She then went on to bust a few myths around creativity and talk through action plans and suggestions for uniting our fresh thinking amongst OMD staff, our clients, our creative partners and media owners.

We're all looking forward to next week's event and in Melbourne we will also be launching the Gallery of Freshness and Bravery on Monday too.

For a copy of the presentations, drop us a line and we'll send you the goods...

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Rescuing the NYC education system with 1,000,000 phones?

This program in New York is an amazing fresh approach to trying to improve the educational results of students.

The Million program aims to offer short-term incentives and rewards to motivate students, increase classroom participation and contribute to their overall success in school. The Department of Education selected schools to be a part of a pilot program and has partnered with Verizon Wireless to provide a free Samsung U740 to every student.

Each student will receive start-up Million points, which can be redeemed for minutes and texts, for the first month. After that, the student must earn additional Million points by doing well in classes and exhibiting good behavior.
Rewards will be allocated based on attendance, behavior and three additional performance indicators (e.g., homework completion, class participation, etc.) aligned with academic goals in your school. Students will receive rewards every other week based on their performance in these areas.

As the program continues, though, exclusive content will be developed and made available to students on the Million phone (e.g., wake-up calls from celebrities, gift certificates to favorite stores, free tickets to sporting events, etc.).

Teachers will be able to engage students through the Million (e.g., homework reminders, homework hotlines, etc.). The goal of the program is to enable students to earn the necessary points for normal use. Therefore giving the students something that is so very important to them in reward to their academic efforts.

If the students don't perform they can run out of credit and not be able to contact their friends - their worst nightmare!

How brave of a government education system to take a giant leap to a reward system that would really mean something to (their audience) students.

Friday, August 1, 2008

The Curio - Celebrating Media Creativity

With Think Fresh ‘08 upon us, we thought we’d look back at the life of media creativity and celebrate 10 of our favourite examples of great creativity and bravery from around the globe that you may not have seen before.

San Fran Zoo - Bringing out the animal in you….grrrrrr

The San Francisco Zoo have produced a beautiful campaign using a series of local bus shelters adorned with horns, butterfly wings and oversized ears representing all the animals at the zoo. The idea is, you get your photo taken in front of the sites to upload onto the Zoo’s website. The best pictures will be chosen for the Zoo’s advertising campaign. This is a new campaign but already hundreds of people have uploaded their photos. We love this idea quite simply because its fun, it has people interacting with it, and it hits the mark with sending people to the website. Check them out here:

Making TV Advertising Event Viewing
Honda made TV history this year with 2.2M people tuning in to watch their TV ad in the UK. The 3 minute stunt took up an entire ad break in peak time on Channel 4 and saw sky divers jump from a plane to form, one letter at a time, the word Honda. The amazing thing about this is it was all done live. The media and creative agencies along with Channel 4 worked closely together to bring this great example of bravery to life. It could have been done as a pre-recorded ad, but they took the tag line, Difficult Is Worth Doing literally and did it the hard way. Garnering huge amounts of PR and discussion, before and after the airing, Honda’s UK media agency said: "It is the biggest, smallest campaign ever, just one spot but look at the impact.”

Dialing Up Creativity
When the 118 118 directory service launched in the UK, the brand was up against the category behemoth British Telecom. With two hirsute 70’s styled runners as the brand heroes, the campaign was truly brought to life through the unconventional comms: -Tens of 1000’s of 118 118 singlets were hung on washing lines in key cities for people to steal and wear -The runners travelled around the country for 8 weeks in a retro ice cream van entertaining consumers & giving away the 118 118 singlets -To make the shirts an icon in their own right, they were framed and hung in private health clubs throughout London. Within the year, 118 118’s prompted awareness was at 95% and the brand stole and has maintained the leadership position in the category.

These examples are a couple of our favourite Grand Prix winners from the Cannes Advertising Festival. Yes, one is from our very talented cousins across the Tasman…we’re not being biased…this one is GOOD! If you want to see more great media work that’s won at Cannes, visit the site:

Biomat Cleaning Religiously
To grow market share, Biomat washing powder specifically targeted the Jewish Orthodox sector in Israel, a market almost unreachable via traditional media as many don’t own TV’s or radios. Orthodox Jews have strong beliefs associated with aiding the weak, so Biomat connected their idea to this belief and developed a way to help the needy. “Bring your unneeded clothes to us, we will wash them with Biomat and distribute them to the needy” A Biomat-branded truck fitted with a giant washing machine was the main feature of the campaign. The details of the truck’s locations were communicated via street posters, at point of sale and in Orthodox press. Biomat's shares in the Orthodox sector, 15% of the Israeli population, grew by 50% after the activity, and the campaign has continued on.

Pago – A License to Print on Money
Pago is a virtual wallet linked to a bank account allowing users to text money to and from mobile phones. A great tool targeted at a young ad avoiding audience keen on innovation and technology. OMD NZ found that innovation and new media was the key to connecting with their target audience.
•The campaign used Hypertag and Bluetooth technology in bus shelters to give away free money vouchers, directly motivating registration.
• With permission from the Reserve Bank they created a media first by stickering $5 notes with the Pago image. The notes were then put into regular circulation, surprising the audience.
• An interactive billboard was made up of 30,000 post it notes for consumers to peel off so they could take the Pago message with them.
The campaign exceeded awareness results by 21% 2 months from launch. With a fresh and creative approach to out of home media as well as a coming up with a media first, this campaign was a great success in delivering a new brand and a complex message to a tech savvy target audience.

We couldn’t call ourselves advertising people if we didn’t showcase some of the brilliance from the OMD network.

Making a Tiny Budget Work
In a bid to increase their share of line rentals in the Dominican Republic, Tricom made the cost of phone calls to the US the same price as local calls, less than 1 peso. With only US$5K to promote this, OMD placed stickers on 1 peso coins delivering the message “Start calling the US for less than this”. They stickered 150,000 pesos and distributed them in busy supermarkets, circulating the coins at rapid pace. The coins spread throughout the country and within 1 year line rentals with Tricom grew by 260% with no other major activity in the period.

Breaking the Mould of Book Marketing

With the Disney’s adaptation of Narnia; The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe about to launch, this was the perfect time to reignite excitement about the book that started it all. OMD UK came up with a campaign to Read it before you see it. Copies of the 1st chapter were sampled extensively in cinemas and on public transport where the audience are looking for a read. Downloadable samples were also available online. This campaign broke the mould of book marketing in the UK and proved a success with the €145,000 budget increasing sales of the book by 800%.

A lot of great creative media work has been done with outdoor and as a channel it has been keen to showcase new technology and methods that deliver on creativity. Here are some great examples that we love showing how the outdoor medium has helped make the message stronger by encompassing the immediate surrounds.

Amnesty Brings Suffering to the Streets
Amnesty ran 200 poster sites throughout Switzerland to illustrate the Human Rights abuses that are taking place each day. Each poster image was matched to the surroundings and gave the impression that the victims were literally sitting on the streets of Switzerland. Orange-clad and hooded Guantanamo prisoners looked as if they were shackled and left on the Zurich pavements.
The campaign was discussed on over 400 blogs, triggered a editorial features about human rights abuse and achieved a twenty-four fold increase in traffic to Amnesty International’s website.

Making the Medium Fit the Message
TBWA in Brazil used one of the most polluted tunnels in one of the world’s most polluted cities to promote World Car Free Day. Instead of pasting a billboard in the tunnel, they scraped the grime caused by car fumes from the walls of the tunnel to write: “Walk. Ride. Bike. Take the bus. Use the subway for less pollution. 9/22 is World Car Free Day”. This idea won on PR by delivering $6M in earned media value and reached 4 million drivers in the city.

Heinz Souper Billboard
A giant 3D soup pot positioned on an outdoor site that faces three lanes of traffic heading out of central London for Heinz has been seen by an estimated 1.2m people each fortnight as they head home for dinner. The live pot is programed to emit steam and look like a boiling cup of soup. A great way to speak to hungry commuters on their trip home on cold winter nights.