Alfa Romeo’s First Augmented Reality Experience

19 Dec

Knowledge sharing is good.


Because surprisingly, you might actually learn something.

And two months ago during a “Lunch & Learn ” session, I learnt something….. that Augmented Reality close up is really very cool. (P.S. Thank you Cityscape and Nick Gill for the introduction.)

With its ability to bring the physical world to life and engage an audience like no other medium, I was determined to put this technology in front of our clients and see it realised in one of our campaigns.

And that’s exactly what I did.

In a reasonably sized nutshell, while we were busy developing a national press campaign focusing on Alfa Romeo’s signature D.N.A. system, elite parkour athlete Ronnie Shalvis was focussing on it in his own unique style - by pitting himself up against an Alfa Giulietta and Alfa MiTo on both the road and on ice.

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Once we had a press ad and viral stunt,  all it required was an opportunity, a sheet of A4 paper and an iPad.

The Aurasma app worked its magic and the client was reeled in by purple swirls.

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Suddenly, the static image (sitting on the table) of an Alfa Giulietta driving through snow, was being hotly pursued by Shalvis through a car park. We watched on as the Alfa Giulietta’s D.N.A. system was put to the test and at the end the end of it, I got the words I was waiting for….

“Let’s do it.”

And so we did.

The results? Apart from maximising the ROI on the new collateral and gaining a wider exposure, the great thing about AR in press is that it brings the content to the audience. Instead of the video sitting on YouTube, it allowed our target audience to engage and interact with the brand on a personal level, whether they were at home reading the papers or on the go stuck in the Tube.

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Secondly, not only was it fun and engaging, it was educational too.

The AR allowed people to watch Alfa Giulietta’s D.N.A. system in action first hand and up close. Hopefully, this will help put the car on their consideration list this Winter when looking to buy a new vehicle.

Mission accomplished.

Don’t say: Alpha Julietta

Do say: More Lunch & Learnplease.

- Will Menko, Account Manager


Doner ADmires – #2

5 Dec

Advertising – we live and breathe it, but it takes a truly special campaign to make us say “wow, I like that”.

From brilliant cinematography showcasing story telling at its best to real-time media spotlighting how an airline never rests, here are the past month’s ads that DonerUK admires…

British Airways

The criteria for effective advertising is twofold : be distinctive; be relevant. Being one but not the other does not suffice. This does both. A stunning real-time use of media that stands out. And relevant: communicating worldwide destinations and regularity of flights. Brilliant. – Andrew Hawkins, Managing Director.


A lot of my degree course was about suspending disbelief in literature.  It was particularly important when revisiting some early Greek novels where the story remained largely the same (shepherd falls in love with village girl, pirates steal girl, shepherd rescues her), but the art is in the storytelling.  And that’s the echo here.  Particularly for those of us involved in digital media, this kind of Google based life-support can seem a bit farfetched, but we should ignore our own closeness to the technology and the medium involved.

What makes it easier to suspend disbelief however, is the brilliance of the direction and cinematography of the film itself.

It is, simply, a fantastic piece of storytelling, shot beautifully.- Nik Margolis, Managing Partner


I admire the ambition of this Sainsbury’s Xmas campaign, the planning and clear scale that it has, plus a serious embracing of UGC at the heart of the campaign not as an added extra. The tone touches just the sentiment we need at Christmas. It feels the only time in the year we can sit-back and be happy to just have a warm glow inside us. -David Amstel, Group Account Director

‘Tis the season of the Christmas advert. If the generic sofa emporium ones are making you want to run screaming from the room then I invite you to watch this refreshing piece of festive marketing from Sainsbury’s. There’s no models or actors, no in-your-face price message and no expensive canapés that end up looking nothing like the picture on the box. Just real people getting ready for Christmas. Well done Sainsbury’s, well done. – Holly Blake, Interactive Designer


The Volvo Van-Damme stunt video is a great example of creating interesting content that is guaranteed to go viral. In addition to the relevant choice of celebrity, there is a bit of a mystery factor of whether it’s real or not, which gets people sharing the video and talking about it.  Vicky Behun, Designer


Besides the humour, the Aldi campaign smartly uses the customer’s perception that Aldi products are often the same as branded products, just with their own label. – Andreas Ohlbach, Group Account Director


Once upon a time all TV adverts did their best to make you laugh. So has the world become more serious? Or clients and agencies less brave? Probably a bit of both. That’s why the Halfords campaign stands out on TV.  Based on a really good planning insight  -that favours aren’t always the best and easiest option – the agency and team have dramatised this fact in a memorable and funny way.  Not an easy job, as most people probably think Halfords are still stuck in the 90s, this campaign will get them noticed for all the right reasons. – Ian Crawley, Senior Creative



To Plus or Not to Plus

26 Nov

To Plus or Not to Plus

Google Plus (G+) has been around for 2 years. Yes, it was originally panned by critics and yes, you probably don’t know anyone using it (yet).

But it that a good enough reason for you to ignore it?

It’s hard to argue with the facts:

  • 359 Million active users
  • 1.5 Billion weekly photos uploads
  • 625,000 daily new users

Instead of regarding G+ as ‘yet another social network’, here is why its important to you, brands, and companies.

  1. This is a Google product, meaning it will be intrinsically linked to SEO and search. You can bet that Google will promote content from its own suite of products (gMail, YouTube, Google Drive, Adwords, Blogger and now G+) higher than anyone else. But again, most importantly, it’s linked into Search.
  2. G+ is just as much a content network as it is a social network. Have a look at how G+ is integrated into Google search results -content really is king here and getting the +1’s will help elevate the authenticity and importance of content rising you up the search results.
  3. UntitledWhether you like it or not, you now need a G+ account to comment on YouTube.
  4. G+ provides some pretty neat tools to assist in content creation:
  • Automatic Photo uploads and retouch tools create automated highlights and chooses the best photos to highlight.
  • Identifies objects in images and adds them to search results.
  • Auto Awesome movies: simply capture videos throughout the day and G+ automatically turns these into a short movie, making your videos much easier to share.

  • Hangouts – Google’s all in one video and messaging platform.  Think Skype/Goto Meeting, but add in SMS and mass distribution of videos. Hangouts allows Brands and individuals to participate in live chat with millions watching the stream. Content is then published to YouTube.

“But there is no one on it”  and  “none of my friends are on it” I hear you cry along.

Well, don’t forget that in the early days there was no one on  Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. And did I mention that G+ is growing quicker that Twitter?

As they once said on a Saturday morning kids TV Show “MIMO” – ‘Miss It, Miss Out’.

-Alastair Macmichael, Programme Director,+alastairmachmichael 


What Marketers Don’t Know

20 Nov

What Marketers Don’t Know

It appears that many marketers are labouring under false assumptions about how brands, and consumers, behave in the market, and what differences various schemes can make, and how brands can grow.

“How Brands Grow. What Marketers Don’t Know” brings statistical analysis to many years of collected marketing and sales data.

Among the potentially contentious, but statistically demonstrated points made in the book are:

  • Brand differentiation is not necessarily a vital marketing task
  • Loyalty is not a reflection of the strength of a brand, but its size
  • It can be more cost effective to go after new customers than trying to keep existing ones
  • Price promotions do not boost penetration
  • A brand’s positioning does not dictate which other brands it competes with
  • Mass (rather than niche) marketing is still competitive
  • Buyers do not have special reasons for buying many brands
  • Consumers of particular brands are not a distinctive type of person


According to author Byron Sharp, beliefs to the contrary mean that a great deal of marketing money is wasted on flawed marketing plans and initiatives.

In fact, he likens much marketing ‘knowledge’ to the belief in earlier times (by some of society’s brightest individuals) that bloodletting could cure various diseases, although it did not, and in many cases led to the death of the patient!

His stance is to replace long held, and often plain wrong marketing assumptions, with evidence based ideas. He points to new ‘laws’ which are derived from a vast amount of marketing data and which, like the laws of physics, can therefore predict the behaviour of brands and consumers in the marketplace.

If Byron Sharp is right, and some very heavyweight marketers are buying in to what he says, the way that our clients market their brands, and the advice we give them, is due for some serious re-evaluation.

Strong stuff.

Occasionally pompous in tone, but an interesting, thought provoking, and quite possibly a (marketing) world changing read.

Worth getting your hands on a copy.

And worth giving a copy to each of our clients, too.

- Nick Scott, Creative Director


Doner November Spotlight

15 Nov

November Spotlight


Doner’s Second Time Mum Takes on Luvs Second Time Mum Campaign

12 Nov

As a mother of two young children I can see a ‘first time’ mum a mile off. And the reason I can is because I was there not too long ago.

You worry about everything – germs (they’re on everything), sugar (must be avoided at all costs), number of trips to the toilet (have they done too many / too few?), how you can aid their cognitive development (must make sure to buy those Spanish memory cards) and so on and so forth.

And then you have your second child and everything changes.

You realise that you don’t have to run to them as soon as their lip wobbles. That the ‘3 second rule’ is ok as long as it’s under 20 seconds. And that – most importantly – there are things you wouldn’t do again second time round because you’re older and wiser.

Luvs’ interpretation of the little things we do, juxtaposing naive first-timers and savvy second-timers, will be met with staunch approval from the ‘motherhood’. The spur-of-the-moment things we do to get by are funny, ownable and really rather charming.

Yes, Sanitise & Music Lesson resonated more with me individually (I too have requested family members clean their hands before holding my newborn), but the beauty of having several video executions (displayed below) is there’ll be a truth in there for everyone.

And that’s why I’m a fan.

Because it’s based on a true consumer insight. A true Simple Truth.

Whether it sells the actual product remains to be seen (although consumer Facebook comments like this would suggest otherwise), but I have no doubt that Luvs’ ambition is to be seen as symbol of experience, camaraderie, and wisdom in the world of mums.

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And really, at the end of the day, parenting is hard, but laughing helps.

- Sophie Edwards, Group Account Director


Doner ADmires – #1

7 Nov

Advertising – we live and breathe it, but it takes a truly special campaign to make us say “wow, I like that”.

From the simplicity of no fuss fashion to an emotional video filled with Parisian passion, here are the ads that DonerUK admires from this past month…

Eurostar – #WhenInParis

“Brilliant, creative, inspiring ad made up of real memories and experiences. And makes me want to book a trip to Paris now. Lovely UGC element to win a chance to for your memory to star in the next film.” – Ali Zachar, Group Account Director

Google Nexus 7

“A huge amount of storytelling and emotion has gone into this 1 minute spot. For me, it seems quite humble that this product isn’t claiming to revolutionise the world, but help people with everyday, age-old problems. Credit to the little actor in it who I think does a really good job. And everyone loves a bit of Winston Churchill.” – Laura Pagani, Project Manager

Sky + Toy Story

“The link up between Toy Story and Sky is natural, funny, catchy (very quotable), and more importantly, it promotes both partners well. The Toy Story characters keep their integrity and Sky get to trade off the affection the audience have for Toy Story. Especially as ‘Toy Story of Terror’ is a Sky Movies special short film.” – Jane Tuffill, Account Manager

The Kooples

“It’s just simple. No fuss. Although a little portentous, I like the concept of togetherness.” – Joe Tipping, Project Manager


Pepsi Halloween

“Coke and Pepsi have gone head to head for years fighting for market share and dominance. Coke are obviously winning the war, but Pepsi/Coke dressed as a superhero makes you think who is the best? For Pepsi there’s no reason to go round the houses then you can get straight to the point and target your competitor. It’s simple, direct and if you are a brand advocate – of good humour. Good effort!” – Alan Mogford, Account Director


Google Stories

“This piece is both heart-warming and motivating, leaving me with that warm and fuzzy feeling knowing that the world is made up of people who do things like this – which I think we need to be reminded of occasionally. I must have had my consumer hat on when I watched this for the first time as I didn’t even realise until the end that it was for Google, which only goes to show how integral the brand is in our lives. With my AM hat on now, and being a lover of tradition, I also quite like the fact that Google sees sense in ATL advertising.” – Jenn Staffford, Senior Account Manager

Sony Playstation

“Sony have outdone themselves with a brand video for Sony’s Playstation consoles, taking the viewer through a seamless edit of all four generations from 1995 to the present. The attention to detail is crazy, from the London landscape, all the pop culture references and even the domino pizza boxes!” – Matt Chapman, Senior Designer

Sony 4K TV

“This ad takes yet another potentially boring new TV technology and shows it as something truly desirable. Not because it’s the latest gimmick, but because it makes watching TV a better experience.” – Phil Hobgen, Technical Director

Moustache Season Has Arrived

1 Nov


Movember kicks off today with a growing number of gents attempting to perfect their facial furniture for charity.

With eager, passionate, and <ahem> growing participation, it is no surprise that brands want to get involved. In fact, the likes of Gillette, HP Sauce and Byron Burger are all certified ‘Friends of Movember’.

In an effort to help you navigate the ‘stache market clutter, here’s your round up of Gen Mo brands.


The do-good shoe company are known for their positive impact on the world (‘One for One’ policy), so it’s no surprise they  designed a new limited edition Movember collection and developed a growth timeline, which reveals health advice as men progress through Movember.



A veteran partner of Movember, Gillette is making the most of the ‘stache growing month with their ‘Mo Gent United’ campaign.


HP Sauce

weekly Facebook competition, a ‘Manwhich’ van tour, and a new bottle design are all on the Movember agenda for HP sauce.


Mr Men

Mr Men have launched a new ebook with the introduction of Mr MO driving the story. Proceeds from the book will go to charity.



Discovery have launched Twitter and Youtube campaigns to raise awareness for the cause. ‘Grab life by the Mo’ ties Discovery’s adventurous credentials with the Movember cause.



P.S. In case you’re not in the know, here is a quick video explaining what this Handlebar/Pencil/Freestyle/Fu Manchu month is all about.

-Gavin Fullick

Making Banks Less Boring

30 Oct


I don’t know about you, but I’ve noticed more bank adverts on the TV lately. One of them stopped me in my tracks over the weekend.

I found this Lloyds ad really lovely. It’s simple, refreshing style really stood out – very different from any bank ads I’ve seen before. I guess simplicity is good when you’re partially owned by the taxpayer. Don’t want to be seen to be wasting money on flashy TV ads.

Other highlights are the HSBC ad (I think this is because I can see this scenario fast approaching) and the First Direct ad, although I’m not 100% convinced about talking animals (apart from ‘Creature Comforts’ of course).

Maybe the financial services have finally decided not to take themselves quite so seriously.

- Cam Brewer, Digital Creative Director

PlayStation – 4ThePlayers since 1995

24 Oct

This is a must watch, especially those who’s ever gamed / owned a Playstation.

Sony have outdone themself with a brand video for Sony’s Playstation consoles, taking the viewer through a seamless edit of all four generations. From 1995 to the present.

The attention to detail is crazy, from the London landscape, all the pop culture references and even the domino pizza box’s!

Oh the memories!


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