Here are all of the posts in the ‘News’ category.

We moved the earth, for Cannes

by James Nester in News

We Are Social’s Cannesogram, an interactive cartogram based on Cannes Lions wins over the last decade, has now been updated with results from the 2015 Festival. Here, James Nester, Creative Director at We Are Social and Cannes Lions 2015 judge, talks through the new patterns it shows.

2015 ALL

The dust has settled in the Riviera. I’ve finished all my judging and the infamous copulating couple has slunk away.

But did the earth move in terms of award wins?

Our ‘Cannesogram‘ skews country sizes and colours based on Lions success over the last decade – so the bigger and darker the country, the more successful it has been.

This year, the UK in particular has really bulged in Cyber (the category I judged). This is thanks largely to the stunning The Other Side. And no, I wasn’t pushing UK campaigns.

2015 Cyber

In Direct, Europe has done really well. France led the charge with seven Golds, magnifique.

2015 Direct

Outdoor is ruled by Brazil, with Europe also performing consistently. But this category is particularly notable for the frequent underperformance of the US. Does no one go outside in the US?

2015 Outdoor

Press – 12 golds for the UK (all for 28 Too Many) and 12 for France.

2015 Press

As for Radio – South Africa, yet again, you overwhelmingly own this category. It’s a mystery to me why you’re so good at radio. If anyone knows why, please let me know.

2015 Radio

The work that dominated the festival was, as always, the work that aims to make the planet a better place. So while the earth continues to shift in terms of awards success, I hope we’re also making a positive and sustainable impact too.

For a more detailed look at the global creative landscape, visit We Are Social’s Cannesogram here.

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The Future Of Social

by Simon Kemp in News

I recently had the privilege of presenting at the International Advertising Association’s ‘What’s Coming Next?’ conference in London, alongside Sir Martin Sorrell and a host of other inspiring speakers.

The conference focused on ‘the future of marketing’, so it seemed appropriate to reprise our Social Brands thinking around some of the most important changes and trends that we’ve been exploring over recent months.

You can watch my full presentation in the YouTube embed above (or watch it here), and you’ll find the full set of slides in the SlideShare embed below.

To whet your appetite though, here are the five key themes I explore in this presentation:

1. Contentment Has More Value Than Content
When it comes to ‘content marketing’, too many marketers are confusing the means with the end. Our job isn’t to create content; it’s to create value for our brands. You need to spend as much time thinking about the outcome you want content to deliver as you do on creating the content itself.

2. Create Value Everywhere
Most marketers seem to think that the only time their brand can create a value exchange is when they sell their products and services, but this misses a whole world of opportunity. Think beyond your products to identify your brand’s broader value proposition, and go on to identify new opportunities to create and deliver that value beyond your existing portfolio.

3. Stop Repeating Yourself
In a world where we (as our brands) can interact with audiences in real time whenever we choose to, there’s no excuse for repeating the same 30″ story every 20 minutes for three months. We need to evolve beyond an advertising model that was designed to maximise media buying efficiency, and move to one defined by greater communications effectiveness.

4. Listen And Learn
Your audiences are already telling you what they like and love – as well as what they dislike. We need to treat social as an opportunity to learn as much as possible about the people we care about, and not just see it as an avenue to broadcast the things we want to say.

5. Become More Democratic
Most brands still behave like autocratic dictators, imposing their views and ideas on the world. However, the future belongs to ‘democratic’ brands that co-create mutual value with their audiences.

Be sure to watch the video above for all the insights and context, and check out the full set of slides below:

You can also download the complete Social Brands book here.

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Five Steps To Putting Social Thinking At The Heart Of Your Business

by Mobbie Nazir in News

social thinking

When it comes to communications planning, brands look at social from an executional point of view, with a focus on building and maintaining a presence on specific channels and platforms. But they’re missing a greater opportunity; to put social thinking at the heart of their purpose and ambition as a business.

The value and potential of social thinking has been hampered by a focus on how we communicate, rather than why we deserve to be in the conversation in the first place.

Humans enjoy and seek opportunities to be surrounded by friends and share personal experiences. The popularity of social networking sites, and the explosive rate at which they’ve been adopted, clearly demonstrate this fundamental human desire. Brands that can tap into this at a deep business level, creating a unique and unassailable bond, can derive long term business benefits. But to make this happen, you have to start with the ‘why’ and then get to the ‘how’.

Ensure Social Thinking Is At The Core Of Your Purpose And Ambition
Much has been written about the value of purpose-driven leadership–business experts say it is the route to exceptional performance, psychologists describe it as the path to greater well-being. Brands also need to understand the role that social thinking can play in defining and driving them.

The key is to understand the greater role which people now play in building and maintaining successful businesses. Defining company purpose and ambition creates a focus based on why you do things, not what you do. Define this and then find ways to for people to take part. Seeing your brand as part of a wider ecosystem creates a stronger, more motivating context for people to engage with you and to support and advocate what you do.

For example, Coca-Cola’s mission is to “inspire moments of optimism and happiness through our brands and actions”. It has been exemplified in campaigns such as #OpenUp, which ran in the Middle East during Ramadan to encourage people to open up to each other and to different points of view, and Happy ID, which encouraged Peruvians to transform the mood of the nation.

Define Your Values And Beliefs As An Organisation
Many organisations have a dusty document somewhere defining what their values and beliefs are, but very few have made these meaningful and core to how they actually behave. Until this happens, values and beliefs remain internal, and consumers will have no basis for a relationship.

A great example of an organisation that has understood and externalised its core values and beliefs is Irish bookmaker Paddy Power. Its “mischievous irreverence” is at the heart of everything it does, from communications to recruiting. Its first interview question is “how weird are you?”

Find Ways To Create A Positive Social Value Exchange
In the social media age, sharing and liking content is a key means by which we define and explore our identity, our sense of belonging and our role in society.

But to put social thinking at the centre of marketing doesn’t mean just creating content and having a presence on Facebook or Twitter; it means developing ideas which involve and add to the interpersonal relationships that people care about, in a way that also adds brand value. This isn’t just limited to spending money; brands can harness assets such as time, effort, ideas, content, influence and distribution among others.

The way to do this is to change the way in which you understand your audience. Look for social insights; human truths based on people’s interpersonal rather than just individual motivations. Then use this understanding to generate social ideas that have the power to drive social behaviour.

For example, feminine hygiene brands tend to take a functional, product-benefit-based approach. Always turned this on its head with its #LikeAGirl campaign. It championed continued pride in being a girl at the critical time of puberty, when girls are at their most vulnerable to social pressure. The result is a hugely powerful brand campaign, which has social thinking at the heart of it and creates a new type of value exchange.

SPC Ardmona’s #SPCSunday used the social insight that people feel strongly about supporting national heritage and are willing to create communities to save a brand from extinction. Both campaigns were successful because they gave people something to care about and the means to share it.

Hold Social To A Higher Standard
When it comes to social, even business leaders can switch off their business brain. It is important to measure the impact this activity is having on your business.

Social marketing should be held to the same standard as any other marketing channel, particularly as investment in digital marketing continues to grow. Start with a clear expression of business goals, a clear definition of marketing objectives and a robust measurement framework. Measurement should go beyond social media analytics and include areas such as brand equity measurement, web analytics and attribution modelling to closed-loop ROI and media mix modelling.

When budgets can’t accommodate deeper measurement, brands can still focus on a clear expression of goals, objectives and targets and use more readily available metrics.

Be Brave
You don’t necessarily need to change the world, but you should think of how your brand can shake up the status quo. Competitive advantage stems from doing something new – and social is a great way to amplify this. Global brands like Lego champion a disruptive approach to digital and social marketing, with social head Lars Silberbauer stating their strategy is to “be relevant, be brave and do things that others haven’t”. Intermarché demonstrated this attitude with ‘Inglorious Fruits and Vegetables’ highlighting the absurdity of throwing away produce because it looked ugly. The risk resulted in a 24% increase in in-store traffic and a growth in sales of 10%. Stepping out of your comfort zone can be the best decision you’ll ever make.

Mobbie Nazir is chief strategy officer at We Are Social, Mobbie oversees social media strategies for clients such as Google, HSBC, Mondelēz and Tesco. She’d like to see more brands place ‘social thinking’ at the heart of their marketing strategies, because that’s the only way to build better, deeper relationships – and drive real business value. recently published this article. They’ve been kind enough to let us reproduce it in full.

We Are Social Asia Tuesday Tuneup #180

by Kristie Neo in News
Facebook Lite launches in India & the Philippines
The name says it all. Facebook has launched a “Lite” version of its social networking service, targeting users in emerging markets where user growth is expected to expand at a rapid pace. According to reports, India is set to be the largest Facebook user base in the world by 2017, so this is hardly a surprising move from Facebook, really.

In sum, Facebook Lite is a stripped-down version of the regular app while retaining all the original functions of the service. It is less than 500 KB in size, and works well on 2G, 3G and 4G networks.

Local communication apps, text are preferred modes of mobile communication in Japan, South Korea
That’s according to a report by Ericsson Consumer Lab, which surveyed 100,000 individuals in Japan, South Korea, India, UK and the US. The findings reveal some interesting insights. For instance in India, users spend nearly half of their time on smartphones on communication apps. In markets like Japan and South Korea, local communication apps are more popularly used as compared to those surveyed in the UK and US markets. Japanese and South Koreans also prefer text over voice calls. According to Ericsson, 1 in 4 Japanese smartphone users do not make traditional voice calls anymore.

You can read the full report here.

Taiwanese chat messaging app Pal+ secure $1.3m in funds
Taiwan chat messaging app, Pal+ has received all of $1.3 million in fresh funds to expand its growing venture. The funds came from Asiasoft, a listed game publisher in Thailand.
Pal+ is a forum-based app which invites individuals with common interests to participate in online discussions. Users get to share and discuss a wide range of topics from entertainment to animation and games, and share them with friends instantly.

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We Are Cannes Lions Winners

by Robin Grant in News

cannes lions

This week, many of the We Are Social team have been enjoying the sunshine, the parties and of course, the amazing creative work on display at Cannes Lions.

And the week got even better on Tuesday, when we were delighted to hear that our work joined the impressive roster of agencies and brands highlighted as the world’s best at the festival, with four shortlisted entries in the Cyber categories from our London and Parisoffices.

Last night we received even more fantastic news.

Hello Play! for Hello Bank!, BNP Paribas’ mobile bank, picked up two Bronze Lions in Engagement Platform and Financial Services.

It’s a simple idea. It allows Hello Bank!’s customers and non-customers alike to fund music projects, helping support the future of the music they love.

It’s a perfect example of the work that has been gaining traction in Cannes – ideas that make a difference, that make the world just a little bit better. It’s also a great example of social thinking in practice, recognising that those who stream music will be passionate about helping sustain its future.

As our blog post about the campaign explains, to get involved, people can visit the Hello Play! platform and connect to their usual streaming service. Then, by listening to songs, users collect a virtual currency called Hello Coins, which they can redistribute to a choice of music projects. Hello Bank! then transforms the Hello Coins into real money to fund these projects.

It’s already created a lot of brand love for Hello Bank! and has been incredibly successful in terms of results, too, with 35 music projects fully funded so far, and even more to come.

We’re incredibly proud of this work, as well as our Cannes shortlisted campaigns for adidas, #allin or nothing and @brazuca, which have picked up huge global recognition over the last year.

We’re confident that these Lions will be the first of many for We Are Social.

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