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products talk

When Products do the Talking: Volvo Life Paint Says it All

At this year’s Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity only one campaign won two Grand Prix Awards (in Design and Promo/Activation), and it wasn’t even what most people would think of as a campaign.  It wasn’t a commercial, print ad or slogan that a brand paid for consumers to see, nor was it an attention-grabbing stunt; it was simply a great new product that consumers themselves are paying to use: Volvo Life Paint.

Volvo Life Paint is a reflective spray that makes bikes and bikers more visible at night, and it accomplishes a rare trifecta for new products: it communicates a brand message more effectively than any slogan, it is easy to understand (and desire), and it will actually save lives.

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What Do Boomer Women Want From Cosmetic Companies? Not What They’re Selling

In our recent survey, Baby Boomer women told us that cosmetic and skincare companies aren’t telling her what she really wants to hear about their products.

Age 50: A Time to Capture Women Again

Ninety percent of our survey respondents told us that they use different skincare and cosmetic products than the ones they used at age 30 or 40. And only half said that they are still buying brands they bought 10-20 years ago. Brand loyalty among these women – and more than 10 million are in their late 40s and early 50s – is almost completely up for grabs. Cosmetic companies should be fighting hard to win this woman for the next stage of her life. Read more

cannes lionesses_sq

The 5 Hottest Topics at Cannes Lions 2015: Women, Girls, Girls, Women, and Girls

Last year Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg came to the Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity, and boy did she make a difference.  This year, there were more speakers, panels, awards, and new programs aimed at marketing to women, women in marketing, and empowering girls than any other single topic.

Whether it will have any lasting impact on the advertising industry and those who live with its work is unknown. But the industry is certainly trying hard to show that it will.

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Stories beat data

Stories Beat Data: And Other Marketing Insights from Cannes Lions 2015

For all the lessons technology teaches us, did you ever feel like it also ignores some of the most important lessons about what motivates us – and how we might motivate others?

I found myself asking that question more than ever after hearing over 20 impressive speakers at the 2015 Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity.  While it may seem like businesses of all kinds (including brand marketing) are relying on technology more than ever; it also feels like a time when thought leaders are recognizing its limitations as well.

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3 turn

4 Reasons Why Licensing Needs Digital Marketing

Five years ago many of our licensing clients (global CPG brands among them) weren’t even using digital marketing and social media to promote their own brands, and almost none of them were allowing licensees to promote their own products digitally.

At this year’s Licensing Expo I moderated a panel on digital marketing and licensing.  Our standing-room only crowd reflected how far things have come in just a few years.

The content my panel shared was so good that I’m counting each of the panelists themselves as an individual best reason you shouldn’t bother licensing today if you’re not willing to promote it with digital marketing.   Here’s what they shared:

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im no angel

Market to the Fabulous Her – Every Fabulous Her

Recently in New York I did the thing you are not supposed to do in Times Square, namely stand on a corner and stare up at a billboard with my mouth hanging open. I could not believe my eyes. Fabulous, curvy women in lingerie, rotating pictures on a slider, one after another – right where the guy in Calvin Klein underwear always used to be (on the billboard, not the naked Cowboy who plays guitar next to the TKTS booth).

Why was I staring? Let’s remember that the ONLY bodies up on those billboards for decades were chiseled, bronzed, perfect men and women. I was staring because these pictures were sexy! It was like seeing your niece or your sister or your cousin in her bedroom, at a moment when they are just themselves, having fun, feeling great, loving life and great lingerie, jack-talking about music and sex and still having it. At a moment just before walking out of the room, putting their game faces back on, getting re-sorted into the hierarchy of the marketing world’s expectations and requirements for them, for their body type, where they have to stack up against the ideal, and don’t measure up.

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Cannes Lions logo_blog post

What I’ll be saying at Cannes: Harness the Power of Peer-to-Peer Influence

I will be speaking at next week’s Cannes Lions 21015 International Festival of Creativity on a panel called “Whatever You Do – Don’t Call them Grey (or Silver), sharing actionable insights about women 45+ that we’ve learned from almost a decade of asking women questions at our Vibrant Nation division – and, more importantly, listening to them talk to each other.

I’m going to share some bad news and good news with the audience.  The bad news is that brands have generally gotten this opportunity so wrong that they have a lot of damage to repair.  The good news?  For brands that are willing to harness the power of peer referrals, women are ready to be part of the solution.

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Brand loyalty

Women 45+: Seeking New Brand Loyalties

One of the stereotypes that marketers apply to women 45+ is that they will continue to remain loyal to the brands they first selected decades earlier.  If this assumption were true, it would make sense for a brand to diminish its investment in aging consumers who are going to remain loyal to it anyway.

But there is little evidence that this brand loyalty remains permanent in this way. In fact, research conducted by IMC/Vibrant Nation and others has consistently pointed to the opposite: women are looking for new brands after 45, and the brands that engage them as newfound friends can win their loyalty for a long time to come. Read more