Why Unilever are the greatest marketers (company?) on the planet right now . . .

Ok that may be taking it a little far I suppose but really they can’t be far off. Following the massive success of the Dove Real Beauty Sketches campaign that has been hailed as one of the greatest campaigns in living memory it has now started Project Sunlight. If you haven’t seen Dove sketches then firstly you aren’t on the internet access side of the universe and second you are missing out of stellar marketing, so just watch!


I watched the video for Project Sunlight last week and I must say it’s just another step further into marketing genius from Keith Weed and the Unilever marketers again. They really have found a place in the soft spot of real people and are now milking it for all its worth. Now if this were any other company I would be slating them, or praising them, for taking a piece of human emotion and profiting off of it, but this company is different.

Unilever is actually doing it, they are doing the good that so many company spurt out at press cons and conferences, Unilever are living a sustainability plan every single day no matter the cost. Paul Polman is leading the next generation of business models into a sustainable future. He is an example to those around him who tell us the good they are trying to do but actually all they are doing is making sure the PR looks good.

He has taken a stand in his business, with his suppliers and his products to focus on bringing us brand that are not only world class in quality but are from sustainable sources, are helping people stay safe and healthy and are creating a better future than the one we have now. I’ve heard him say it, I’ve seen his business actively living it and its why adverts like this are so powerful because for the first time we actually have a big business ‘walking the talk’

Watch this and tell me it doesn’t hit a nerve!


Now don’t get me wrong, this is no ‘for nonprofit’ organization. They make a lot of money, they have shareholders, they have a board and they have targets like everyone else. All of this marketing is design to sell more and to make more, BUT and the most important BUT is that they are actually doing it in a good way. They are the only business making a difference on this type of scale across the world.

Now if you’re standing at a shelf and you are going to buy a brand, surely, without question, you want it to come from a company like their and not the competition?

That ladies and gentlemen is a world class marketing business. Hats off to them!

Why I will always buy great brands . . .

There are some brands in the world who take their status for granted. Some brands that just suck on their past glories to fuel the current status just enough to maintain it without really giving a stuff about the people that matter – the consumers.

These companies are most guilty when it comes to advertising. They don’t engage, they don’t surprise, they don’t shock and they don’t excite. Hopefully they die out as new generations realize this lack of respect. Sometimes sadly they are so ingrained in our lives, or we have no viable alternative, the latter are the worst of the bunch!

There are some brands though that are the opposite of my little rant above, one of which undoubtedly is Heineken!


Sadly I don’t get paid in beer or money to write about them, if I did I would be rather wealthy at this point, but I cannot help but admire their approach to consumer engagement in all spheres. Whether it be a great song, the perfect advertising campaign (for men or women), sensational activationphenomenal factory in Amsterdam (of course) or best of all the sponsorship of the Champions League, they somehow manage to come out top of the pile for me over and over.

Hence I drink their beer as my preferred choice. I admit it with no shame, I am a consumer and they have ensnared me in their net of marketing brilliance. I am a brand over substance guy, I admit it. Then again so is 99% of the world, they just pretend not to be :)

So after a massive preamble, here once again is Heineken knocking it out of the park!!

Thanks to @jamesdey for sharing!


A trip back to my past to refocus my future . . .

I haven’t written anything really since New Year, I guess not much has inspired me or perhaps I’m trying to work out what I want to be this year.

Normally come a New Years eve I reflect on what I have achieved, learned etc the year before and then try and shape what I want to accomplish or experience in the year to come. Normally this is quite easy, the plan I’ve laid down for the year gets reviewed with one or two disappointment’s and so I set about planning for the new year – this year however I’m at a bit of a loss.

I’m not sure exactly what I want to accomplish in my career, personal life, travel and the list goes on. I find myself in some kind of experiential purgatory, which for me, is quite dangerous because if I’m not moving or have a grasp of some sort on what I want to do I generally tend to wither, and exponentially so.

Often I need a trigger, a meeting, an ‘AHA’ Moment, a song or even as it apparently can be, an advert, something that can fire something in my brain that will give me the vision to see the next step in this matrix plagued world and last week, I got it.

A good friend of mine @jamesdey posted the new Microsoft tablet (with new Internet Explorer) advert, the browser which I fucking hate with all my soul by the way, but that advert connected with something in me. It made me proud of the era I grew up in and not resentful for the ones I didn’t. It made me embrace where I came from and allowed me to remember so many memories that I could barely relive them fast enough.

Here it is . . .

I cant explain it and most of you wont understand it, but sometimes in life you get tired, drained and unfocused – this normally happens at the end of a year (which in China is right about now) and this video just hinted at the spark for next year.

At the end of this week I get to go home for a bit which will no doubt be difficult because i know I will have to leave again but hopefully now I have found some new inspiration to achieve in 2013!

Go beyond the expected . . .

By now most of you probably have seen this as it has seriously done the rounds.

As for me I picked this little gem up on the brilliant “Scribbling’s of Robs’ blog and could not let it go. As you know we at STM are absolutely infatuated with ADVERTISING GENIUS and I just could not help spread the word!

If you have not seen this it is probably the best example of taking advertising out of the ordinary sphere and extending the realm of creativity to a place that actually makes me want to go out and find the product just so I can be a part of it rather than the normal jam-it-down-your-throat style of marketing!




All I can say is . . . please sir may I have some more!

Advertising excellence from home!

So by know you should have worked out we LOVE creativity in pretty much any shape or form but mostly in ADVERTISING.

We get bombarded with so much ad crap nowadays everywhere we look that to get sent a piece of work like this is like finally seeing a slight hint of light in an otherwise very dark tunnel!

It’s even more inspiring when the credit goes to a South African agency, in this case Y&R! We are generally particularly critical on South African agencies, sometimes or probably mostly we are a bit unfair but that’s why when they exceed expectations like this they deserve serious credit!

This campaign takes the creativity of placement and adds to it the ingenious activation of the players inclusion to drive home a message and a product! This won a Gold Loerie and could not be more well deserved!

Watch and enjoy!


It’s World Cup. Learn the rules

If someone mentions women’s rugby I doubt many people would think of a field full of aesthetically pleasing females (in a conventional, socialised point of view of course). After all, it’s a game for strong, heavy, fit people who aren’t afraid to take a beating for 80 minutes at a time on a regular basis. The end result is you have people who look like Guthro Steenkamp, and in the case of women’s rugby, well they’re Guthro Steenkamp looking females.

Fortunately the lesson we’re posting isn’t given by the pros. It’s given by some good looking individuals who’d probably die on the rugby field (yes, death would be a real possibility). So it’s not an authentic lesson and it’s not going to teach you much about the game but it’s definitely a lesson in the beauty of the human form (in a conventional, socialised point of view of course).

Go you good thing.


Thanks Kyle

3D Mapping Projection

I got sent a video today with the message – “Very cool thing if you want to post – I know your writing brainspan only lasts 5 lines so this is a good one for you”.

You’re right.

It is very cool.

And this is only 5 lines.


Seriously though, there’s some amazing projection that gets done onto buildings. Check out some of the others on YouTube.

Sh1t, seven lines. Nine with these two. Ten with the thanks. Should I be counting spaces? On a bigger monitor are there less?

Thanks Mike

We’ve become super consumers . . . and I’m sad to say I LOVE IT!

So when I saw this I was truly caught between scylla and charybdas! Reason being I’m a consumer, I love to spend, have, buy, throw out, get new etc. etc. and the fact that I don’t need to whip out my wallet and give the nice person behind the counter 100 bucks, wait for them to work out my change, give it to me, then put the change away, makes me smile oddly enough!


I started to think how sick the people at VISA have made us. They have made me into exactly what I am, a super-consumer. Just swiping and signing and pin coding and spending, and why? Cause they’ve made it so easy to do so!

We have become just like this advert, consuming machines. The sick thing is, I really enjoy being a super-consumer. I like the fact that VISA have made me more productive by letting me flash my little card so I can get my latte without having to fumble around for cash! I am slightly ashamed of this admission but the fact is at some point you have to be honest don’t you!

Check it out, bottom line, sick but COOL!


Coca-Cola. Activated.

You may have noticed that we’re quite big on activations here at STM. As much as you may think, “Bleh, it’s just advertising”, the fact of the matter is we can’t really escape ads. They’re everywhere and as such end up playing a rather large part of our lives, whether we like it or not, or whether consciously or not. So wouldn’t you rather be exposed to some real creativity that’s essentially fun? And in so doing reinforce that we don’t want the crap that’s been forced on us from all sides for decades.

This is a great Peruvian activation that highlights a couple of things for me. Firstly it shows that you don’t always need to speak the language to get the message. The other is that people are generally good (ironically I had to find out that part of the message by using Google Translate – I’ll post the translation after the video).


All the people who saw the wallet returned it 70%

– that’s right, 70% of the time it happens every time!

Go Guerilla!

I talk a lot about marketing and advertising, I suppose it’s a massive passion of mine but also due to the fact that it is (in general) done so poorly by big brands.

They use massive amounts of money to plaster poor billboards on our highways, make shocking TV ads (thankfully we can fast forward through them) and boring radio ads that make me want to drive off a highway overpass!

The truth is GREAT MARKETING doesn’t need to be expensive – in fact the best marketing I’ve ever seen (and I’m talking personally and from an impact perspective) is some of the cheapest marketing – it just takes a little bit of SAVVY people!

I’m not saying these are the best examples of advertising I’ve ever seen, but at least they show some sort of creative out of the box thinking . . .

In fact more than that they have taken simple everyday things and created a story . . .

They have taken what most people see and have turned it into something that makes you smile, something that makes you think and most importantly something that gets you to remember the brand!

This is advertising!

Can someone please get the rest of the marketing world into a room and beat into them that we (I use the profound ‘we’ meaning our generation) don’t want to see crap TV ads or listen to annoying radio ads. We don’t want to see famous people washing their hands with your soap or their hair with your body wash or even using your fast food outlet!

We want you to be smart, we want you to engage us and we want to see creativity!

Here’s a few more great ones!

Morning ad agencies . . . WAKE THE #*$@ UP or die!

Now this is nothing new, well to most of us, BUT based on the previous post on STM, you can see where the world is going, what’s changing in the world and how targeting consumers is moving.

My generation, and I say this very proudly, don’t want advertisers and brand owners to push shit on us anymore! We don’t want to be force-fed a load of crap just because you have a lot of money to plaster it on TV, radio and billboards, because guess what – we just won’t watch it!

We want to interact with brands, we want to shout at them, love them and most importantly, we want them to interact with us! We want brand owners to understand WE, the consumer, in case you didn’t know, are THE MOST IMPORTANT thing in your lives and we want you to treat us as such.

Now you may be feeling a little narcissism, but why the hell not?

Are you not tired of brands trying to force you to buy crap that has no use or purpose in your life?

The truth is unless you engage us, interest us and challenge us – YOU WILL DIE and thank goodness someone like Saatchi & Saatchi has the brains and foresight to see this!

Whether the advertising world will wake up and change is still up for debate but this is certainly a start . . . enjoy!


As if Jay Z could be any cooler!

Jay Z is possibly the coolest dude alive. I mean who else could turn that pudgy bulldog looking gangsta kid into a Hip Hop global icon, billionaire and trend setting genius who gets to see Beyonce in any compromising position he wants – you have to give credit where credit is due!

So he recently released his autobiography and unlike any other mere mortal he teamed up with BING the search engine (for most of us it’s like the poor mans Google) to create something truly exceptional!

What they did, very briefly, is they used excerpts from his autobiography and posted them in thousands of different ways all over the world where the events he was writing about took place.

Have a little look  . . .

The results are absolutely amazing and probably one of the best activations / promotions I have ever seen in terms of ROI and market penetration – just watch the video!


Via @deanoelsch



Just cause I landed in Barcelona this morning I thought it would only be right to post an activation from their doorstep!

Now we all have seen the numerous activations that T-mobile have basically pioneered. They have without doubt taken activation to a new level through social media and live interaction and this is certainly no different – the question really is why?

Simply because we are bored – my generation is bored as hell with the ‘modus operandi’. It pisses us off that things have to happen the same way because they have been for years!

My joy in T-mobile activation is not what they do, and certainly not the company they represent – in fact when you say T-mobile all I think is that massive German Jan Ullrich puffing his way up a hill like he was cycling in hummus wearing that pink T-mobile uniform (and I never watch cycling). What I love is the way they challenge the way we do things, the way we play games virtual VS real, the way we greet people at the airport, etc.

T-mobile have found a way to let their consumer live in the virtual world while interacting in the real world – it’s a combination that companies have been trying to perfect for a long time and it is without question the gateway to marketing to generations to come.

Very simply, the time for TV, billboard and radio is quickly evaporating and while only a small percentage of the world understands it now, unless they start realizing it they will evaporate along with these archaic forms of media.

Just watch the video!


The MOST EPIC beer commercial ever!

These guys make great commercials!

I’d seen a bunch of them already and they just epitomize the perfection of being a beer drinking man – just have a look . . .




But these are the usual comedic enjoyable ads . . . and then I saw this one!

Never before have I seen so much nonsensical fun crammed into a short advert – it’s like Zoolander met the Anchorman and then got Zack Galifianakis’s stamp of approval before it went out!

Just watch and you’ll get my rambling!