It may come as a shock to many agencies but the tools which they relied on on pre-Corona may not be useful right now. People are staying home and are online, listening to the radio and watching TV like never before. They buy what's in the shop and only shop when they have to. They're not booking holidays or eating out. And desperately trying to avoid Covid-19. Marketers have their work cut out if they are going to connect to customers in 2020 and beyond.
MAKE THE NEWS
Be bold. Stick out. Stand for something. If your message is strong people will follow.
If it's really strong, the news channels will pick it up and do your advertising for you.
Amazon is worth 1.6 trillion and pays almost no tax. It's everyone's first thought retailer and by lazily shopping there rather than other sites or stores, we risk killing thousands of smaller businesses. This campaign for the American Booksellers' Association made news everywhere from Adweek to CNN. And a retweet from AOC didn't hurt! Created for DCX Growth Accelerator with Doug Cameron and Tommy Noonan.
WELCOME BACK TO RADIO
Radio is your new best friend.
Radio keeps drivers company on supermarket runs.
It keeps delivery drivers sane.
It keeps Spotify free.
Recently Anthea Turner recorded a usable VO for me on an iPhone in her cupboard under the stairs (it was the most soundproof room in her house).
Use what you've got and get your message out.
Here are some I did earlier.
Yahoo: Christmas radio
Justin Hawkins sings to passers by on Oxford St in a super relaxed fashion, as he has already done his shopping online with Yahoo.
Church Radio: 'Allo baby'
A young French couple debate whether to go to church one Christmas.
Puns galore employed to promote BAA's car parks.
Church ads: 'Commentary'
Sports commentators tell the Christmas story.
DM IS BACK
Never have more people been at home more often.
So send them books. Mailers. Money. Whatever it takes to get a response.
It's cheaper than TV and TV is no longer your friend.
Here's some DM that I'm proud of.
Domino's: "Psychic Duck"
Thanks to some amazing data collection, Domino's pretty much know who lives where, so can tailor their DM accordingly. Many British residents received some DM from Psychic Duck claiming to know them and their exact pizza needs.
BBC: Ladybird Book
Got a story to tell? finally, people have got time to read it. This book about the internet was written for the Beeb and signed by Sir Tim himself - we needed permission to include pictures of his early web pages.
Radio Advertising Bureau: Banknote
We sent advertisers Turkish banknotes to demonstrate that they need to know the value of money - and how much further that money goes on the radio.
MAKE A SPLASH ONLINE
With every brand acknowledging 'these unprecedented times', online is a land of opportunity. Strong words and powerful graphics have never been more useful. OOH needs to come to life on peoples insta, FB and twitter feeds, and many of the same rules apply. Be visual. Be arresting. And keep it simple.
Cut through online is hugely important if you don't want to blend in with the identikit ads that your competitors are putting out. And no, you DO NOT need to show your target market using your product for it to be a success.
Church ad: 'Che Jesus'
This image achieved worldwide notoriety, appeared in the National Gallery and the V&A and is now available on tshirts, mugs and tote bags. If you aim to make your advertising famous rather than tick boxes, it's already in a better place.
We are Ltd
This ad was created specifically to go on LinkedIn and is an attempt to raise awareness of the plight of advertising freelancers like myself whose agency contracts ended with the arrival of the virus.
SO WHAT ABOUT TV?
TV really lives in the old world. It is no longer safe to pull together film crews who will have to use the same loos and catering facilities. Only stock footage or animation really stands a chance of getting through and it's hard to animate fast enough for a rapidly changing market. Still, simple graphics matched with strong writing can still cut through.
Premier Travel Inn: 'Clarence & Archie'
Premier Travel Inn is now Premier Inn. we animated drawings scribbled by me and used Richard Briers and Hugh Laurie to voice the characters.
This is about as basic as TV advertising can get. Animated talking shapes. This shows a jealous square and triangle moaning at the success of circle. Thespy.
#WeAreLtd: 'Blackcurrant Tango remix'
Alternatively, take an ad which you made earlier and re work it for a completely different brand! For this project, we asked Ray Gardner to re-voice his 1997 Tango ad and even used the original sound mixer, Simon Capes.
OOH IS CHEAP
You'd think people would be staying home if they're working from home but the roads seem busier than ever. OOH sites can be snapped up for a bargain and they still guarantee visibility to thousands of people.
King Arthur's Flour
America has seen a resurgence in baking during the recent lockdowns. These ads talk to a nation that now stays in more than it goes out and ran in OOH sites in Portland and Boston. Created for DCX Growth Accelerator.
The Roadside Media Project
I've recently teamed up with OOH specialists Roadside Media to become their in-house creative director. Here are our latest 48 sheets