Monthly Archives: October 2012

What if we trusted our instincts?


“Instinct of Color”, is the first spot produced by DAN Paris (formerly known as TBWA\365), the Parisian arm of TBWA’s digital network. Created for OPI, the worldwide leader of professional

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nail products, and cult favorite known for over 200 colors with very punny names. The film puts four dancers and one stallion (trained by the famous equestrian Mario Luraschi) in a surrealistic dance battle set to the score of the French DJs C2C. Each dancer represents one of OPI’s most popular colors (Pink-ing of You, Red My Fortune Cookie, Need Sunglasses?, No Room for the Blues and Lady in Black for the horse). As Suzi Weiss-Fischmann, the artistic director of OPI reminds us “Nail lacquer can change your look, and your outlook. Today, nail color can convey feelings and emotions, expressing on the outside what the wearer is feeling on the inside.” Couldn’t have said it better myself! Enjoy!


What if this was the longest comparative ad you’ve ever seen?


Experience another way of life : this is what Morocco is allowing us to do.  As of last Monday, by clicking on you can watch the longest comparative ad of all time! In a split-screen video, follow 24 hours of a couple at home in Europe while watching the same couple on vacation in Morocco.  The videos allow you a choice between watching the action in Morocco or in Europe.  Switching from one screen to another has been made possible by a new YouTube fragmentation technology.  This spot required 2 separate teams from the agency BDDP&Fils (TBWA\ group)  to film in Europe and in Morocco during a 24 hour period.  The ad is currently under approval for the longest ad spot in the Guiness Book of World Records.

This operation comes on the heels of the “Movement for More Summer” that was launched this August. Various demonstrations to picket for “victory over winter” were launched in Barcelona, Berlin, Brussels, and Milan by some estival activists who’ve been fighting the good fight on the Facebook FanPage, which already has over 33,000 fans.

A banner campaign will be debuting on the 29th of October within all over Europe and will be linked to Morocco’s YouTube Channel.

What if indecision led to nowhere?


If you follow me on twitter, you know that yesterday I was at the press launch of the new site for, where they announced the changes to come for the paper version of the leading French finance daily. It was BDDP&Fils (one of the agencies in the TBWA group in France) which was chosen, after a pitch, to communicate the new vision of Les Echos. Because Les Echos is the brand preferred by decision-makers, the agency proposed to make the fight against indecision into a real combat. In a world that is increasingly uncertain, the risk of paralyzing indecision is everywhere, in all fields, from politics to society, including economics. Indecision undermines growth and progress. And the irony is that the more unsure we are, the more pressing it is to be decisive. The greater the turbulence, the greater the importance for a pilot to make the right decisions at the right time, and not be carried away by high winds. This is why the TV commercial (see above), print (see below), and radio (click here—French version only), signs off with “Les Echos — Place aux décisions” (Where decisions are made), has chosen to tell humorously how important and urgent it is to know how to make the right decisions without hesitation. One must be able to decide in the most informed way possible, which is the aim of Les Echos in its field.

What Arnaud Roussel, the commercial’s director, didn’t know while shooting the film was that it was going to launch the day after Felix Baumgartner’s historic stratosphere freefall. If like me, you saw last night’s press conference for the hero of the day, you will surely have noted that according to Baumgartner, the most difficult decision was not to jump into the void, but to not open his parachute when he started to spiral, to ensure that he beat the world record. Know how to decide well and fast—that’s when we’ll get to have the best in life!

I came, I saw, I thought about it.

I think, therefore I am, unless it’s the other way around…

It could be that I am your father.


What if we blipped Obama?

Blippar is an augmented reality solution that avoids scanning QR codes, which are usually not esthetically pleasing.  I’ve already blogged about its launch in 2011 (“What if Blippar meant the end of QR Codes?”) and of its partnership with Tesco in the UK (“What if coupons got a lot more exciting?”). After having successfully teamed up with Heinz, Samsung, and Cadbury, Blippar now makes it easy to say, we got your back, Obama!

Blippar | We got ur back, Obama!


Blippar puts its app in the service of the President to aid the National Democratic Committee to support Obama. If like me, you’ve already downloaded the Blippar app on your iPhone, all it takes is to scan a $5 bill or the Obama logo, and the app allows you to sign up to volunteer, gives content that helps everyone rally to the cause, makes it easy to donate to the fund, and lets you take an awesome picture of yourself high-fiving the POTUS. It’s a lot cheaper than what the Hollywood celebrities got at the Los Angeles fundraising dinner last Sunday night, where everyone paid, oh, a mere $25 GRAND a pop to have a photo taken with the man I keep hoping will remain the President of the United States. 😉


What if doing good were good for profits?

Ed note: This is a reprint of my LinkedIn “Thought Leader” post from October 9th. To follow me on LinkedIn, click here.

In Oliver Stone’s Wall Street 2, Gordon Gekko is no longer proclaiming that greed is good, but promoting Is Greed Good?—his book exploring the excesses of the financial industry. In my opinion, the answer today is that “Good is Good.” In fact, were I to give advice to any young entrepreneur, I would encourage him or her integrate sustainability and ideals into whatever they were selling—not just for moral reasons, but also for profits.

Over the past decade, CSR initiatives have moved front and center, defining brands, business models, and even products. I picked up on this trend in 2007, leading me to publish an op-ed in Le Monde on what I called Products with Social/Societal Added Value. I predicted that we would only see more products with an integrated CSR element in the coming years and with a stronger emphasis on ideals.

This phenomenon came to head during the London Olympics where for the first time in the brand’s history, Procter & Gamble aired a campaign promoting all their brands under a solid ideal: Proud Sponsors of Moms. Through a series of moving ads, P&G demonstrated that even market leaders like Tide, Duracell, and Pampers needed more than just product attributes—they needed ideals.


P&G’s shift towards a more corporate ideal-based communication must please Jim Stengel, a former Global Managing Officer at Procter. In 2008, Stengel left Procter & Gamble to do research with UCLA’s Graduate School of Management—his 2011 book Grow: How Ideals Power Growth and Profit at the World’s Greatest Companies is the result of this research. Grow posits that businesses that have strong ideals are and will be market leaders. This hypothesis is backed up with data analyzing the performance of 50 megabrands that are defined as having “created meaningful relationships with people” through brand ideals. Analyzed over a 10-year period, these brands were shown to be higher performing than the brands on the S&P 500. Grow’s great merit is that in addition to walking the walk, and lauding a few examples of socially responsible ideal-driven corporations, it talks the talk and shows that in terms of a bottom line, brand ideals help brand performance.

In addition to Jim Stengel’s excellent analysis of this phenomenon comes Who Cares Who Wins: Why good business is better business by Havas CEO David Jones. Jones adds to Stengel’s analysis stating, “In the coming decade, businesses that are the most socially responsible will be the most successful.” I was particularly in agreement with his case studies of the Pepsi Refresh

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Project and Gatorade Replay operations as examples of social media campaigns that had strong ideals at their core. I can speak for my agency when I say that TBWA\ was thrilled to work with such disruptive clients who were willing to take risks in the name of values.


Ideal-based companies continue to inspire and flourish. Patagonia, founded in 1972, continues to promote sustainability through their Common Threads initiative that encourages customers to return worn-out gear to the store to be recycled. Likewise, Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream has publicly taken a stand with the Occupy movement. What is most heartening is to see the influence that these ideal-based business models have, not only on today’s young brands (I am thinking of Innocent drinks and Method cleaning products), but also on market Goliaths like P&G, Unilever, and Mars. From the “Proud Sponsor of Moms” to Dove’s “Campaign for Real Beauty” to Pedigree’s Adoption Drive, major players are getting in on the game.

I hope that Jim Stengel will update the findings that he published in Grow in the years to come. We cannot predict the future, but in my opinion, the smart money is on the companies that combine good ideas with strong ideals.

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