The rise of Bothism in marketing

The rise of Bothism in marketing
Nov 17 2020

When it comes to marketing, contradictions are good. As long as we can successfully employ Bothism, that is, and find a valid middle ground between extremes. At least, that was the message at this year’s David Ogilvy lecture in the UK, named after the highly influential pipe-smoking advertising tycoon and founder of the agency Ogilvy & Mather. 

It was a very apt theme to consider as Ogilvy’s colourful life itself was a series of wonderful surprises as he unwittingly gathered experience to launch his own advertising agency. Born in 1911, he was an Oxford University scholarship boy, chef at the Hotel Majestic in Paris, a door-to-door AGA salesman, British Intelligence researcher, farmer in Pennsylvania’s Amish country… Read more…

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Christmas – a challenging gift for marketers

Christmas Blog
Oct 8 2020

Have you seen him yet? In shop windows, on TV ads or billboards? The bearded fellow with an optimistic grin, rosy cheeks and a distinctive red and white suit? If not, it’s only a matter of time, as Christmas will come early this year with brands desperate to market their festive-season products using Father Christmas, the ultimate symbol of generosity. And sack-loads of spending. 

Choosing the right day to give Santa his debut this year will be a tricky call for marketers. Get a jump on the competition as fast as possible? Or, in the fall-out of a serious pandemic that has had an appalling affect on so many people’s lives, is that tasteless? Should they defer promoting the frivolity and financial pain of Christmas? Read more…

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Bursting the marketing bubble

Aug 27 2020

Covid 19 and Greenhouse Gas Greta. Black Lives Matter and #MeToo. Digital disruption in general and the next unseen global shockwave. The world around us is changing faster and faster. And it’s mesmerising. All of us in marketing talk so much about our beloved brands that we can begin to believe the content and hype we have created. That we’ve got everything just right. But not any more.  Read more…

What matters… in black and white

What matters... in black and white
Jun 15 2020

Tweeting about serious issues like racism is easy. Creating content that positions a brand as ethical is also a (socially distanced) walk in the park. But making a real difference – the sort of difference that influences people’s day-to-day lives – is much harder. In the light of the George Floyd protests, it will be interesting to see whether or not brands follow up their social media excitement with real action. Read more…

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Don’t let marketing budgets catch a cold!

Ben Webb Blog
Apr 28 2020

It’s quiet on the local high street. Too damned quiet. The cash tills of the world’s greatest shopping streets – Oxford Street in London, Fifth Avenue in New York and Corso Vittorio Emanuele II in Milan – are eerily silent. Even the peep of approved contactless cards is a memory. It’s as though the credits are about to roll on the latest Zombie Apocalypse Netflix stream-buster… Read more…

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Communication today matters more than ever

COVID19 Business Continuity
Mar 19 2020

The natural temptation for many firms in a time of market crisis will be to batten down the hatches and wait for the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic to fade. The problem with this approach is that it is unclear how long the disruption will last and many firms will not have the resources or staying power to survive it. More importantly, if you lock down your activities – and strip out costs – it will be extremely difficult to restart the engine and generate momentum in the future. Read more…

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Top Tips for Winning Awards that Matter

Awards Strategy
Feb 3 2020

While PR firms like collecting awards on behalf of their clients, the industry has become saturated. To use an expression suited for the time of year, the golden goose of media companies is being killed off. So what should you look out for – and how do you separate the awards worth winning from those that are there simply ‘pay-for-play’? Read more…

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The Evolution of Communications

Sep 17 2019

In the early-1980s, I signed the Official Secrets Act and was shown into a room with a dozen middle-aged men and a secretary. My job was no more than a gopher but it gave me my first insight into how communication was about to change. For months we would secretly test the new cordless telephones, and I would take taxis back and forth to the laboratory to deliver blueprints and collect prototypes (too secret to be delivered by London taxi). In the end, the UK lost out to the US in the telecoms race and British Telecom quickly became the first true global privatisation under Margaret Thatcher, sparking a wave of government asset sell-offs whose legacy continues today. Read more…

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How to make a racquet!

Jul 17 2019

On the surface, little has changed at Wimbledon since Fred Perry first strolled on to the manicured lawns, but behind the scenes, it’s rebooting its image.

Read more…

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When it comes to content, size matters

May 1 2019

In today’s digital world, small is beautiful. Information is delivered in nuggets and bullets, listicles and soundbites, and tweets and snaps. Notifications buzz on our devices and divert us long enough to click and perhaps even like. But what if that moment of communication is just that… a superficial moment? Can bite-size content really do the job if we want to deliver authoritative and nuanced information? Read more…

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