Archives for category: Marketing Campaigns

In a world of commodities, there’s a sea of brands. How are you supposed to remember all of them? How are you supposed to process which appeals to you? It’s got to be Heinz but it’s always Coca Cola – that’s enough to confuse anyone!

You will naturally find yourself drawn to certain brands. This is through recognition. You see a brand, either consciously or subconsciously, and if you acknowledge it, you remember it.

I have seen Derren Brown lead peoples’ thought trails through pattern recognition. It works in a similar way with brands. You see them, you acknowledge them, you remember them.

But which brands are top of mind and why?

It’s different for all of us. Try this question and see what brands are your top of mind…

In 30 seconds (no cheating) name as many Cereal brands as you can….

3…2…1…So, what did you come up with?

You’ll find that the brand that come top of mind are with you for a reason. You’ve seen them, your brain has registered them, and you’ve remembered them.

The brands that reside with you, more likely that not will mean something to you- good or bad. It could be preference, prestige or pizzazz – there’s a reason you’ve remembered that brand.

There’s lots of ways that marketeers tempt us to remember brands – be it catchy slogans, jingles, iconic imagery, or conceptual style. Try these out and see how much you know about brands…


Washing machines live longer with….

If you like a lot of chocolate on your biscuit…

Now hands that do dishes can feel soft as your face…

For bonzer car insurance deals, girls get onto…

Kids and grownups love it so….


Vorsprung durch Technik

No nonesence

I’m lovin‘ it

Every little helps

It’s a bit gorgeous

Iconic images

An orange box

A yellow m

A panda

3 lions

A man with a moustache

A tick

A swan

A lime green circle 😉

Colour – what brands to you relate to these colours?




Yellow and Black

Red and Blue

It’s all about creating ‘stick’. Something that makes you consciously take note of it. It’s remarkable how much we don’t realise that we remember. And if you don’t keep an ear out later and see if you’re singing about mild, green Fairy Liquid as you’re washing up. That sea just got a whole lot smaller…

(by the way, send us your guesses via comments or social media!)

Emma Dobson is a branding expert and Touch Point guru at Happy Creative, a full service marketing agency based in Blackpool, Lancashire. To learn more or contact us please go to

Imagine you have a big watermelon. Now imagine you’ll try and get the whole watermelon into your blender to make a nice watermelon juice. It seems like a good idea.  Ermm, not so much, unless you have a very small watermelon and a very big blender.

Now imagine you also have a knife, with which you can slice the watermelon, so it’s divided into manageable chunks. With some of it, you’ll make some juice, with the rest, you’ll make a dessert and with the peel you will feed your backyard animals. That’s good usage of your product and enables you to serve different ‘markets’.

Market segmentation is just like that.

You may think you have a big market, but you can’t be everything to everyone. You have to slice it into chunks that you can handle, that you can understand and that you can work with to concentrate fully on squeezing the juice out of each individual piece. Segmenting your market is the key to your success as a business. ‘No one can please everyone all the time’, someone once said, and nothing could ring more true when it comes to targeting marketing.

By going after segments instead of the whole market, there is a much better chance to deliver value to the consumer and, consequently, increase your profit margins. By segmenting the market, you will be separating groups of buyers with distinct needs, characteristics and behaviours, who might require different products and a different marketing mix to match their requirements.

To segment your market you have a very sharp tool in the draw: market research.

You need to ask, you need to observe, you need to read between the lines, you need to interpret it. And once this research is done and you have a few segments that look appealing to your business, how do you know which one to target?

Here is a test you can perform, 5 simple but extremely important questions that you have to ask about that segment, so you can decide if you should invest in it. Here you go:

1. Is the segment substantial?
The market needs to be large enough to be profitable.

2. Is the segment measurable?
We should be able to measure the size and characteristics of the segment through different data sources.

3. Is the segment differentiated?
We should be able to distinguish between this segment and other segments in terms of the way they respond to the marketing mix elements.

4. Is the segment accessible?
We should be able to reach the segment in terms of communication, media and distribution.

5. Is the segment actionable?
We should be able to develop ways to attract and service the segment.

Ok, so now you have 5 ‘yesses’ and you have decided that you have a brand new target market for your product/service.

Well done, great stuff. But, how do you position your offering to this brand new market?

Here’s how to start: go back to your research. Remind yourself about how this market wants to be communicated to. Analyse their answers. Again, read between the lines.

Positioning involves placing your brand and everything that is unique about it in customer minds. A product or service’s position in the market is a complex set of perceptions, impressions and feelings that consumers have towards what you are offering them. It’s how they see it and how they see it fitting into their lives.

To position successfully you must have thorough knowledge of the key benefits sought by the market, so the more time and effort you invest on the market research, the more equipped you will be to come to the USP, which will be the pillar of your communication.

The unique selling proposition is about what makes the product special and different to the competition and it’s what makes people buy and buy again.

Invest in it, communicate it and promote it through your marketing mix. But overall, if you do one thing and one thing only, make sure you have taken the time to segment your market and got to truly know every pip.

Without that, all your efforts might just follow the watermelon juice down the drain or splashed across the kitchen walls. And that is one big cleaning up job.

Marilia Spindler is an Account Manager at Happy Creative, a full service marketing agency based in Blackpool, Lancashire. To learn more or contact us please go to

I was recently browsing the internet and came across a site highlighting the “Top 100 Adverts of All Time” as voted for by viewers of Channel 4 and Sunday Times Readers (

A quick look through and many were familiar but what struck me was that a large majority (and many of the top ads) featured music. This got me wondering; along with imagery and subliminal messaging, how does music actually function in advertisements? It is obviously a powerful aid as many top brands use well known musicians and artists as well as top film directors to produce their prestigious adverts.

Historically, music has been an important component in advertising. Jingles, background music, popular tunes, and classical arrangements have always been used to convey selling points, set an emotional tone for an advertisement, and to influence listener’s moods.

Many advertising practitioners and experts in the field think that music performs a variety of useful communication functions. These include attracting attention, putting the viewer in a positive mood, making them more receptive to message arguments, and even communicating meanings about advertised products.

One of the main functions of music in adverts is to make them memorable by using a really catchy melody. Early advertising in particular, used music as a sort of mnemonic device with rhyme and repetition enlisted to keep a brand name in mind. But music can also be used to entertain making an advert more appealing and attractive to the viewer. It can have several other important functions: it can emhasise dramatic moments within the advert, create coherence and support an advert’s structure and continuity (David Huron 1989).

Interestingly, music doesn’t particularly need to have a special affinity with the product or service it is being allied with, to play an effective and useful part in it’s success. The best advertising campaigns always communicate a message that is effortlessly remembered though. That tune that gets stuck in your head and will not budge is a testament to the power of music when used as a tool to enhance the spoken word.

Music can help set the mood, inspiring human emotion, thought and act. Even if you watch a foreign film (or even a partially silent movie like “The Artist”) and don’t understand what the actors are saying, through the music chosen, you can usually make out what the sentiment of the scene is.

Music has the power to evoke desirable triggers of brand recognition, for example: trust, reliability, great service, friendliness…all these can be represented by a carefully chosen piece of music that fits the emotion the advertiser wants the viewer to feel about them.
So, music can be extremely powerful when used in advertising even when we are not aware of all the hard work it’s doing. But I guess that’s the whole point isn’t it?

A couple of my favourite adverts which use music effectively are: John Lewis, Never Knowingly Undersold who used “She’s always a woman to me” by Billy Joel and Twinings Tea advert.

Twinings produced both a visually stunning advert and married this with haunting, ethereal music by Charlene Soraia, “Wherever you will go” to promote the brand.

What are your favourites?

Debbie Lewis is a Customer Support Executive at Happy Creative, a full service marketing and creative agency based in Blackpool, Lancashire. To learn more or contact us please go to

When Marty McFly skateboarded onto the silver screen in 1985 to the echoes of ‘The Power of Love’ he set the bar when it came to time travel, skateboarding and Johnny B Goode.

The ability to travel back and forth in time has always excited scientists from the very early scientific thinkers to the modern day.
As business people and marketers we are dealing with a struggle everyday of how to change our future.  How we can win that new piece of business, or keep the customers we’ve worked so hard to get?

Once upon a time in a galaxy far, far away (wrong film reference I know) marketers would have turned straight to their trusty leaflets and got printing and delivering.  This utopia has long since hit the manure truck, and with good reason.

Four major factors have impacted directly on this form of marketing within the last 5 years.  The first is the obviously and seemingly unstoppable rise in the prices of mail.  Last years rise in the basic price of 1st and 2nd class prices, allied to the redevelopment of the mail weight and dimensions has undoubtedly had an effect.

Second, and linked directly to the first factor is the large squeeze on marketing budgets across the board.  As the credit crunch has hit businesses, the marketing budget has taken the brunt of the cost cutting.  Return on Investment has (finally) become the buzz word from the boardroom across the country.  Expensive large mailings are out unless you can prove where every penny has benefited the business.

Third is the large backlash against ‘direct mail’ that saw huge public campaigns backed by programmes like Watchdog very vocally turning ‘direct mail’ into public enemy number one.

Now those of us within the marketing industry, and particularly those of us who class ourselves as direct marketing specialists all know that the direct mail referred to in these campaigns was really not that.  The direct mail that caused so much outrage (quite rightly) is the unsolicited mass marketing machine gun approach based on simple numbers.  With mass mailings like those, the more you sent, the bigger the number of new customers/orders/sign ups.  This was purely down to using one measure…conversion %.  Not a bad measure, but when this is the only factor you are considering you will always come back to the conclusion that the more you send the bigger your return.  For us direct mail aficionados though, unsolicited mass mailings will always remain the preserve of lazy thinkers or huge marketing budgets.

The fourth and final factor has been the rise of digital marketing, particularly the (relatively) new kids on the block email marketing and social media.  These have undoubtedly changed the landscape and if used correctly can dramatically enhance any marketing mix.  As a huge advocate of these I could go on, but what these new kids have done is create a marketing DeLorean.
The real star of the Back to the Future franchise, the DeLorean, was the vehicle that paved the way for Marty McFly to travel across the fabric of time.  In the same way, the massive leap in digital marketing over such a short period of time has allowed direct marketing to re-define its place as an exciting hoverboard of marketing opportunity.

Let me explain.  For many people, digital and email marketing in particular has replaced many of the functions that some of the larger direct mailings used to do, with added brilliance.  Through correctly executed email marketing campaigns you can see return rates, click rates, create a ‘warm’ sales database, cleanse a huge list of contact emails.

An unfortunate consequence of the rise and rise of email/digital has been to create a certain amount of ‘white noise’.  Remember when your post box was full of direct mail, some of it unsolicited and it all used to get filed…in the ‘special’ draw (ie. bin) without being read.  It is already the same for many emails/tweets/updates.  White noise filed away in the recycle bin without even being opened.

It is these factors that have opened up the 88 miles an hour required for the direct mail DeLorean to come screeching back into the future.

Well crafted, developed direct mail has always played an important role in acquisition or retention strategies, and thanks to digital marketing, its part is now becoming ever more crucial.  Well developed direct mail can have a disruptive effect, essentially breaking the ‘white noise’ created by all manner of other techniques.  After all some marketing lessons remain constant whatever the techniques employed, getting your message seen being THE most crucial step.

Getting through the gatekeeper is the big challenge for many businesses, and it is increasingly a niche that direct mail can fill.  After all, when did you last receive and email?  Minutes ago, seconds ago?  Do you remember what it was?  When was the last time you received a hand-written letter?  Or even a package?  If you’d sent that last sales email in a box in the post (with a nicely developed message) do you think it would at least have been read (rather than auto filed into the recycle bin)?  Probably!!
Obviously once you’ve got your message seen, you need to be able to create all those other psychological factors associated with any great selling tool, as well as representing your brand in the best way.  And it is these factors that distinguish great disruptive direct mail from the average leaflet.

Some ‘flashy’ talkers will talk about distruptive marketing, acquisition and retention strategies being driven by a direct mail piece.  But any direct mail piece must be crafted from a position of understanding, about what you are trying to achieve and where its place is within your branding and overall strategic plan.

Allied to the digital media that are now available to direct marketers, it turns as direct mail piece into a central pillar in any acquisition or retention campaign.  Measurement, click-throughs and most importantly ROI (return on investment) become even easier to track through the use of emails, microsites and links.  Instant sales returns are no longer dependant on timing your follow up sales calls correctly.  The new kid on the block has turned the 1985 hero into a legend in 2013, and it is why the call to go Back to the Future are rising.

But, the most thrilling thing is that according to the Back to the Future franchise we are now only 2 years away from hoverboards.  Now that is exciting!!!



Simon Brooke is a Director at Happy Creative, a strategic marketing and creative branding agency based in Blackpool, Lancashire. To learn more or contact us please go to or @Happy_Creative

After a month of feverish activity, saying goodbye to Balotelli, and with a spend of £120m,  the footballing transfer window has drawn to a close. 31 days of speculation, hellos, goodbyes and media frenzy.

It’s the end of the first month of 2013, and the footballing fraternity already has one major campaign under its belt. As a big football fan, I’ve watched the campaign unfold over the month. I’ve seen, read and heard a lot of activity culminating in business deals and some happy and not so happy endings (sorry Peter Odemwingie). It reminded me of one giant marketing campaign (minus the multi-million pound budgets of course), and I believe there’s some great lessons to learn from our footballing friends in the way they conducted their own acquisition campaigns.

Be Focussed

All campaigns require a clear focus on the results required and the timescales involved. It helps concentrates the mind.  When there’s a definite beginning and a definite end – there is no choice but to do your business in this window. Being clear about when a campaign starts, when it ends, what you want to achieve in that timescale gives a real focus to campaigns. Being a great juggler helps; during the campaign window it is likely to be business as usual ; often campaigns are running whilst doing the “day job” . Set clear start and finish dates, and have a clear focus on the end result, with regular reminders on how you are performing against your target. Stay focussed on the campaign; even when you are doing your day job.

Acquire Well

This is how the most successful acquisition campaigns run … You’ve got your eye on the prize; the goals (sorry no pun intended) are clear. You’ve done your homework. You know who you want to acquire, you know which prospects will make a difference to your company, and your bottom line. You know how many customers the campaign is to acquire. You will be doing some courting, selling your company and its benefits, there may be a few different meetings required until pen is put to paper, not to mention some negotiation to strike a deal that works for both. The end result is that with the right customers on board, it will make a real difference to your company going forward.


£120m invested in new players. £35m spent on deadline day. QPR, Liverpool and Newcastle responsible for 50% of the spend. All vital statistics. All help measure the success of the campaign. Understanding your numbers and the impact they will have will guide you in making strategic choices. Measure return on investment; the number of meetings gained; the amount of business acquired; the cost of acquisition; the long term value of a new client. Record where your acquisition is coming from, understand who is converting, find more of the same. Work on the basis that you are only as good as your last campaign. It will give you great focus.

Be Targeted

It’s not about the scattergun approach, unless your name is QPR (sorry Harry), it’s about being absolutely specific about the acquisition you want to make. What does your ideal customer look like? What sector are they in? What is the size of the company? What do you know about them already? How much are you willing to invest in acquiring them?  What difference will they make to your business in the long term? Lean, bespoke, highly targeted campaigns with fewer numbers always turn in the best results. It’s about quality over quantity. Well worth the investment, and well worth considering when your database throws out 1000s of records.


The best campaigns are underpinned by everyone knowing their role. The team knows what’s coming, and when, they are aware of the aims and they are aware of their role in the big campaign picture. As well as the spokespeople and the frontline team, there’s plenty of people behind the scenes making it work like a well-oiled machine. All with one common purpose; to make the acquisition as efficient and profitable as possible. It’s a team effort; on and off the pitch.

Everyone’s talking about it

Use as many channels as possible to support your campaign. Integrating your marketing reinforces your campaign giving people the opportunity to hear, see and touch your campaign. Few campaigns attract the interest in the scale of the transfer window where there’s been tweets on which player is being seen where; “Messi spotted at Heathrow” claimed one tweet. The Sky Sports News transfer deadline team Jim White and Natalie Sawyer build up to fever pitch before the 11pm deadline; there’s roving reporters outside the grounds, and an army of pundits commenting on all that’s going on in “the window”. It may not be on the same scale, but if your campaign is different enough and grabs the interest; you’ll certainly know about it .. through a whole manner of media.

For your next campaign, why not create your own equivalent of the transfer window. Good luck. And let me know how you get on. 🙂

Karen Lambert is an experienced strategic marketer and Managing Director of Happy Creative, a strategic marketing and branding agency based in Lancashire, North West England. To learn more please go to

%d bloggers like this: