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The final Copeland post

18 Aug

Thank you for following the Copeland blog. We managed to write nearly 750 posts over 3 years, and were always appreciative of your support and thoughtful comments.

The company is now closed. However I am continuing to blog here on all those neat and irritating advertising developments you enjoyed on the Copeland blog.

Doug Brown's advertising blog

Be great to have you as a reader there too. See you in the blogosphere!

Doug

The Copeland Collective launches in Victoria

12 Mar
The Copeland Collective from Victoria BC

(L>R front) Asmaa Methqal, Kristin Grant (back) Jodie Carlisle, Doug Brown, Derek Ford, Michael Tension, Bryan Dwyer, Dave Wallace, Kris Hageland, Andrea Merson, Danny Prew, Matt Andres, Brandon Wells

When advertising people look at potential solutions to marketing challenges, we do so through the lenses of our trade: corporate strategic planning, research and data analysis, branding, marketing strategies, ads, promotions, contests, social media…you get the idea.

But bring an interior designer or a videographer or a multi-media artist into the brainstorming fray and you see the opportunities through remarkably different eyes.

That’s the idea behind The Copeland Collective, a brand new creative community of some of the most talented artists and professionals the city of Victoria has to offer.

Logo for The Copeland Collective in Victoria, BC

The Copeland Collective is a creative problem-solving machine, designed to revolutionize the way we look at how brands and customers interact, and move away from traditional advertising solves.

In addition to Copeland staff, the Collective includes:

But this is more than just a powerhouse group of creative minds: these are connectors and entrepreneurs with their own communities, and they’re wired into the city,  into culture and into the vibe on the street.

With these amazing talents taking our analytical and creative skills to a new level, we think we can do anything the other major Canadian urban centres can – and do it better.

We’ve got projects already in the works and you’ll be hearing a lot more about The Copeland Collective and the players within it as we roll ahead. Stay tuned!

(Photo by Derek Ford, logo by Michael Tension)

LEGO shows the way to true customer centricity

4 Mar

Smart companies know that they have to pay attention to their customers if they want them to hang around.

That can take many forms, from social media interaction, to research, to transactional data analysis.

The deeper your understanding of your customers’ attitudes, habits and needs, the deeper the engagement you can create with them. And the easier it becomes to get new customers.

Listening is critical. Asking your customers their opinions is even better.

Danish toy manufacturer LEGO has taken this a step further. They asked their customers to do their design work. The subsequent ideas and public vote on their website has led to the launch of a 369-piece replica of the Hayabusa asteroid explorer, the Japanese-designed space probe that collects samples from asteroids for study back here.

LEGO launches Hayabusa asteroid explorer

LEGO launches 369-piece Hayabusa asteroid explorer

It was probably not an idea that LEGO would have hit on, but their customers sure did. Imagine the kind of loyalty that will flow from LEGO’s openness to customer input.

One of the coolest features of this model is Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency mission supervisor Junichiro Kawaguchi recreated in miniature with two expressions: one for “everything’s great” and another for “%$&#*@!”

JAXA project manager Kawaguchi as a LEGO guy

JAXA project manager Kawaguchi as unhappy LEGO guy

Did the mad men of Mad Men deliberately provoke New Yorkers?

3 Mar

I was sorry to read that some families of the victims of 9/11 have been hurt by the latest out-of-home ads promoting Season 5 of Mad Men.

Falling man from controversial Mad Men Season 5 ad

As you can see, the ads depict a man in free-fall down the side of a building. This is a familiar image to fans of the show as it is essentially the narrative thread of the show’s opening sequence.

It is also a familiar image to people all over the world who watched men and women jump to their deaths from the burning towers.

9/11 falling man and falling man from Mad Men ad Season 5I do understand that people who had lost loved ones in that massacre would feel jarred by the sight of this on a building in New York. This is unfortunate for everyone involved, advertisers and audience alike.

The buzz out there is that the Mad Men promotions team was somehow looking to capitalize on New York sensitivity and could not have been unaware of the impact of this particular execution.

There are some ads out there that are deliberately designed to needle. This one for Benetton would fall into that category.

Unhate campaign by Benetton with Obama and Chavez kissing

But would the mad men of Mad Men feel it necessary to skewer the deepest sensitivities of New Yorkers on purpose like this? Or was this just an unfortunate miscalculation?

I’ll let you decide.

(Mad Men photos courtesy AMC)

An outrageous insult to fathers everywhere

1 Mar

Banned image of Piri Weepu bottle feedingThe image on the right, part of an anti-smoking TV ad in New Zealand, has been removed from the commercial after protests by a pro-breastfeeding lobby.

La Leche League pressured the New Zealand government into censoring the image, which they felt would weaken the argument for breast-feeding. Story here.

The dad in the spot is Kiwi rugby player Piri Weepu. He is doing what any dad would do…assisting with the feeding of his baby. It’s entirely possible that he is feeding pre-pumped breast milk, something fathers routinely do to allow mom some sleep time. But this was not material to the position taken by La Leche League.

It’s not mom’s breast, so it’s not acceptable.

I am anxiously waiting to see how this one plays out. A Facebook page has sprung up to bring back the images of Piri feeding his baby. They already have 3,300 Likes.

It’s bad enough that fathers have to sit through innumerable “Moms know best” positionings for children’s products (Vicks for example, which we blogged about here).

But the idea that an image of a loving father bottle-feeding his child should be deemed inappropriate should not go unchallenged.

 

Which of The Walking Dead characters would you want on your business crisis team?

21 Feb

Daryl is the coolest character in The Walking Dead

There’s always a lively discussion around the Copeland boardroom table on Monday mornings concerning the previous night’s episode of The Walking Dead.

Now that the TV series seems to be taking a welcome turn down a darker alley, the deeper natures of the main characters are coming to light.

Naturally that got me thinking how each would function in a crisis on your business team.

Who are the keepers and which ones should you best leave outside without a key?

Glen in IT

Glen is a survivor on The Walking DeadHe’s resourceful, ingenious and honest to a fault. But during the bar scene with Rick and Herschel – a quiet crisis that took maturity to spot – Glen was all set to give away the farm. His honesty and trusting nature would have spelled disaster for our castaways if Rick had not been there to moderate the discussion. Glen will panic. Yes he brings some interesting resources to the table, but he will bring disaster to you. Chuck him.

Rick, Managing Director

Rick is a survivor from The Walking DeadLike Glen, our Head Boy Scout is honest to the core. He is also growing a pair as the series matures. Does he make some woolly-headed decisions? He sure does. Leading those swamp zombies around like pets on a leash to appease Herschel? Poor strategy and no evidence of being quick on his feet. He wants to do the right thing and is ethical to a fault. But the business world is changing and he has finally realized he needs to change right along with it. Keep him.

Shane in Sales

Shane is a survivor from The Walking DeadAmbitious, unorthodox, disrespectful of authority (unless its his own) and a classic whack-a-doodle. He will do what no one else in your company will do to keep the business alive. He is the G. Gordon Liddy of the team. You turn him loose at your own peril. On the flip side, he will see the crisis coming while the rest of your team is playing kerplunk over chips and salsa around the boardroom table. He’s a survivor, but he will survive over your dead body. Your call.

Lori, Head of Marketing

Lori is a survivor from The Walking DeadYou can decry the lack of solid female characters until your throat is bleeding, but the smell will only attract the walkers. Lori – memorably nicked Olive Oyl by Daryl – has a big department to look after and often can’t see the forest for the trees. And she’s a mess behind the wheel. Yes, she’s loyal and has the MD’s back, but she also slept with Shane in Sales, so she’s not a pivotal person on your crisis team. Send her out to buy sandwiches. Don’t let her back in.

Dale in Accounting

Dale is a survivor in The Walking DeadHe’ll be tut-tutting everything that doesn’t line up with his own personal moral code, which makes him a bit of a negative-nelly-I-told-you-so irritant. He also has a smug satisfaction in being old school. The thing is, Dale has experience. He manages to keep his wits about him when all hell’s breaking loose and keeps his eye on the guns. He also knows a rat in the woodpile when he sees one: that kind of insight could prove useful. I say keep Dale, but keep him quiet.

Andrea, Research and Development

Andrea is a survivor in The Walking DeadShe sees that Shane in Sales is ambitious and gravitates to him as the future of the company, which has alienated others on the team. On the other hand, she is one of your superstars, growing by leaps and bounds, and crisis invigorates her. She is best utilized in a supporting role for now. Turn her loose on crisis management best practices and have her deliver a white paper to the entire team. Give her some responsibility that recognizes her forward progress – but mind her blinders when it comes to backing the wrong horse.

Daryl the general contractor

Daryl is a survivor in  The Walking DeadJust because he’s under the sink hooking up the dishwasher hose again for the hundredth time doesn’t mean he isn’t listening. Or learning. Who cares right? He’s not even on the team! He’s just some contractor who’s always there fixing things. Well pay attention to the working class guy. This redneck sees past the business bullshit to the true nature of a crisis. Is it a lack of intestinal heft on the team? Are you over-thinking the problem or over-reacting to it? Daryl’s your guy. He’s not a people person, but he’s a problem solver. He’s handy with a Bowie knife too and doesn’t suffer Shane’s ambitions. Just don’t expect him to hang around if a better job comes along.

Herschel, the Chairman

Herschel is a survivor in The Walking DeadCrisis does one of two things to people: convinces them they are not up to the task, in which case they turn to drink, or forces them to change and grow. Your old Chairman has been doing things his way for so long, it’s hard to imagine him changing at this stage. The technology scares him, he hates social media and doesn’t know what the hell you mean by cross-analyzing the data sets. But he didn’t get to where he is without entrepreneurial skills and a willingness to roll up his sleeves. Since Dale is such a wet tea bag, put Hershel front and centre on your crisis team as the voice of experience. Just make sure Daryl is standing behind him with a loaded crossbow.

Carol in Human Resources

Carol is a survivor in The Walking DeadAsk her to go outside and pick some flowers for the boardroom table. Lock the door behind her.

 

 

 

 

Ok great – the team is in place. Now throw open those boardroom doors and meet the crisis head on!

zombie hands coming through the door

(Daryl photo courtesy of tvfanatic.com)

Tunnel tourism: the next big thing for Victoria?

19 Feb

Victoria’s entrepreneurial management of its historical assets lies at the heart of the city’s success as a tourist destination. We do a lot with a little.

Tourists tend to move from the Inner Harbour down Government St. to Chinatown, then back. Small strip, but there’s a ton of history packed into those 6 or 7 blocks.

Of course that’s only the history you can see. There’s a whole different level of intrigue going on below the surface. Literally.

The Tunnels.

Tunnel tours

Whether coal chutes from the harbour up through Market Square, escape routes for opium users in Chinatown, or discreet connections between the Empress Hotel and the Union Club, everyone’s heard a story about the tunnels – and there is plenty of fanatical interest. Yet no one really knows the entire network for certain and the City sure isn’t telling.

I was personally introduced to one by the owner of the Pacific Design Academy on Wharf Street who stumbled upon it in his basement while doing renos.

Imagine the financial potential of upgrading those tunnels and creating under-city guided tours: Victoria’ amazing history told through the city’s original town planning.

People love tunnels. Think of the success of the Catacombs in Paris, or the Cu Chi tunnel systems in Vietnam. When managed well, tunnel tourism can be huge business. Seattle has been exploiting its own tunnel history since 1965 thanks to the efforts of legendary historian and promoter Bill Speidel. So the model is already there.

Victory’s history could be even more sensationally brought to life via an Augmented Reality app that you use when you’re on the tour.

Tunnel tourism would make a heck of a viability study for the Entrepreneurial majors in U Vic’s Gustavson School of Business, don’t you think?

Tunnel tours

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