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Creative Crunch #1: What's New?
22/01/2018

Here are a few things going on in the creative world at the moment, and what we think of them…

 

1. Coca-Cola creates their first custom typeface, Unity.

Coca-Cola have created their first custom built typeface in their 130 year history. The new font, Unity, was created by Neville Brody and Coca-Cola’s in-house team (TCCC). 
Jason Sommerville, Vice President of global design at Coca-Cola, said that Unity “encapsulates from Coca-Cola’s past and it’s American modernist heritage.”
In the past, they have used different fonts including Gotham and Proxima Nova, and they have regularly leant towards ‘Trade Gothic’ style fonts to support the brands American provenance. 
It’s remarkable that it has taken so long for the brand to introduce a typeface, considering the other design elements of the Coca-Cola brand are so recognisable - such as the ‘coke red’.
The intricacies of the font include the letter Q, which was designed to imitate the look of a glass with a straw; and the lowercase letter A was designed with a teardrop shaped hole to show liquidity… as if we would expect anything other than these small details from TCCC.
All in all, this is a long overdue update for the brand - but better late than never!

2. Ikea take interactive ads to another level... as they ask women to pee on their advert. 

Everyone is talking about Ikea’s latest pregnancy ad because it’s genius… and weird. In case you have been living under a rock for the past few weeks, Swedish agency Åkestam Holst have produced a magazine ad for the furniture store, which encourages women to pee on it - yes you heard right. 
Supposedly, if you are pregnant, when you pee on the ad it will reveal a special discounted price for one of their cribs using pregnancy test technology. This ad is currently running in Amelia magazine, a leading women’s mag in Sweden.
This isn’t the first time Ikea have run this kind of campaign. Back in 2013, they rolled out a valentines day advert which gave people a coupon for a free crib. The coupon could be redeemed if your baby was born exactly 9 months after the 14th February. 
Good job Ikea, good job.

3. Diet Coke is relaunched to target a new audience

More Coca-Cola news, but this time it’s Diet Coke. It’s no secret that Coca-Cola is facing tough times as people stray away from added sugars and mystery ingredients to switch to healthier alternatives.
So, to tackle this problem, Coke have targeted millennials. They have designed new slender, rainbow coloured, ‘Instagrammable’ cans with new exotic flavours. 
The modernisation of the brand is an attempt to capture millennials who live for social media and avocados… is this really what Coca-Cola have stooped to?!
This relaunch has placed Diet Coke back as a separate sub-brand as it is now totally different to other coke products, which will make marketing for the brand a harder and more expensive task. Let’s hope for Coke’s sake that 20-year-olds love the new design as much as pugs and yoga (…sorry for stereotyping, but as a millennial Instagram lover I think I’m allowed!).

4. Poundland have landed themselves in hot water after risky Christmas ad campaign 

The Poundland Elf Christmas ad. Yep, you know the one. 
This controversial ad has definitely been a talking point - where do we draw the line between risqué humour and offensive content?
It’s no surprise the level of complaints this campaign received - I mean, that will happen when you portray a child’s toy teabagging a doll.
There is of course plenty cause for complaint with these ads, they are offensive and inappropriate -  but is this a case of ‘no publicity is bad publicity’? 
Poundland have released a statement claiming that they are proud of the campaign, and that they are “proud that it helped deliver Poundlands best-ever Christmas.” 
It was a record festive season for the retailers who’s like for like sales in the run up to Christmas were up by 6%. 
The campaign is being investigated by the ASA currently, but I’m sure everyone will have their own opinions as to whether it was successful or damaging to the brand. Do the figures speak for themselves?

5. 2017 saw a rise in brands using personal data for advertising

Last year saw a rise in brands using personal data for advertising purposes. Specifically, Spotify and Netflix. 
At the end of last year, Spotify released a series of billboard ads called ‘2018 goals’ which included optimistic, comical goals for the new year using customers listening habits as content.
These ads read things such as:
“Exercise more conventionally than the 46 people who put ‘Slow Hands’ on their running playlist”
“Take a page from the 3,445 people who streamed the ‘Boozy Brunch’ playlist on a Wednesday this year”
“Eat vegan briskett with the person who made a playlist called ‘Leftist Elitist Snowflake BBQ”
Whilst obviously entertaining, Spotify’s intentions for the ads were to use recorded data to reflect how people feel about the year. They wanted to connect the customer to the brand, and make their ads relatable and enjoyable for consumers.
Netflix echoed this idea, and put out a tweet saying “to the 53 people who watched ‘A Christmas Prince’ every day for the past 18 days: Who hurt you?”.
Similarly to the Spotify campaign, this was generally well received - however, the tweet did face some backlash. The tweet provoked people to question whether the brand was exposing its customers by using information that they were entrusted with, to publicly ‘roast’ them. Of course, Netflix did not disclose any names, but that’s not to say those 53 viewers were not offended… or at the very least concerned over how much data companies like Netflix have on them.
These ads were generally well received as funny and good marketing - however there were also people who found them plain creepy. It is a fine line… but we liked them. 

Make sure to follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn for up to date posts on all things creative!

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