Insights

Brand Dig: The Rewards of an Advertising Campaign that Celebrates Real Health

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In this blog series, we dig into the world of marketing and discuss brands, news, trends and examples that have made the digital headlines. In this week’s post, marketer Kyle looks at how creative is being applied to a industry that is usually very standardised, due to strict regulations. Health it’s the most important thing in a one’s life. This begs the question, why has the health industry lacked such creativity? From the “Don’t smoke or your skin will turn black and eyes will bleed” cigarette package warnings, to the “Get a 5% increase on your life insurance policy if you don’t die in the next 150 years” sleazy insurance ad, it seems to be a recurring trend of preparing...

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Planning and measuring sponsorships: what should you sponsor, and how do you know it worked?

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Should you invest in sponsoring Manchester United in 2017? But do Manchester United supporters even like power tools?   Imagine: you’re a brand selling power tools, and you’re looking to get some more visibility in the market through sponsorships. Great. But where to start? There are so many questions brands need answers to when they are considering using a sponsorship to align with their target audience. Every year, corporate spending on sponsorship reaches a new high, with brands increasingly investing ginormous amounts  in the influencer sphere. But when you’re planning – or evaluating –  the success of your partnerships, what should you look out for? Social media provides a separate universe for a brand’s identity to live in through these partnerships, and Pulsar provides...

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Brand Dig: Wendy’s, Pret A Manger and Sainsbury’s Find the Right Tone on Social Media

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In this blog series, we dig into the world of marketing and discuss brands, news, trends and examples that have made the digital headlines. This week, researcher Harry looks at how brands use their digital voice and start sounding more like human beings than automated robots. At a time when people are encouraged to review everything from their holiday B&B to the local cafe down the road, there’s no shortage of scathing critiques and flattering reviews online. But there’s a difference between review sites like TripAdvisor and very public social media platforms like Twitter. People use the latter to air their biggest frustrations (whether real or imagined) for one reason: it puts pressure on brands to respond. Yet not every brand...

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2017: #NewYearNewYou with the most popular resolutions

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With the first week of 2017 behind us, the Pulsar office is buzzing with conversations about New Year’s resolutions (which I estimate about 3% of us will keep). Whether you love it, hate it or perhaps you are completely indifferent to the turning of a new year, it is something that is widely discussed on social media. In fact, New Year’s Resolutions were mentioned over 1 million times between December 31st and January 1st on Twitter alone. As we can see from the graph below, which is tracking discussion around New Year’s Resolutions on Twitter, people seem to start thinking about these after Christmas, after perhaps over-indulging in turkey, pudding and two bottles of wine.   The visual below illustrates...

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Brand Dig: From Maltesers to Scope, brands are using the bravery of humour to approach disabilities

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In this blog series, we dig into the world of marketing and discuss brands, news, trends and examples that have made the digital headlines. In this week’s post, marketer Kyle looks at how brands move away from the norm and courageously use creative to change perceptions using genuine audience insights. When it comes to driving awareness for charitable causes, empathy has become the standard mechanism for brands to appeal to the public. The emotive music, soft lighting and dramatic reveal, all aimed to leave you sitting at your desk with a lump in your throat as you hold back those, unproductive, unprofessional office tears, feeling sorry for the characters in this doomed 30 second advert. The problem is as an...

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Start Driving Behaviour Change by Meshing Digital with the Real-World

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While it’s common nowadays for brands to reach out to audiences digitally, it may receive better effects with the help of an offline activation. The opportunity to interact with people and brand in the real world can be more attractive and authentic to the audience due to its personal and direct nature, especially with the lure of celebrities. Also, driving change in the public’s behavior, can be tough (if not nearly impossible) by shouting your messages out alone. The recent book-sharing campaigns that have caused a sensation in the UK, US and China, shone a spotlight on public reading habits and caught our attention. So we decided to have a closer look at the effect of these advocacy campaigns. Hopefully,...

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Brand Dig: From Chanel to American Express, celebrity brand associations are changing

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In this blog series, we dig into the world of marketing and discuss brands, news, trends and examples that have made the digital headlines. In this week’s post, marketer Kyle looks at how brands are steering away from unconvincing famous brand associations and are now calling on celebrities to be more hands-on in their roles. Peanut butter and jam, gin and tonic, night and day, Tom Selleck and a moustache: all these things have developed a near-perfect combination that is more than just the sum of parts. Of course, this is what brands can only dream of when it comes to influencers in their ad campaigns. With the right ambassador, brands can propel themselves to the next level. And although companies often...

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How the City Lodge Hotel Group found its audience through Pulsar

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Pulsar works with agencies and brands worldwide. This week, marketing agency DigitLab from South Africa shares how they use Pulsar to help understand their clients’ audiences and help make a positive impact on their business. Reagan Gasa, Head of Research at DigitLab, explains how they’ve successfully grown a more engaged social media community for one of their clients using Pulsar: “As a full service digital marketing agency, we often work with brands that operate in a highly competitive space. And when that happens, we need a tool that provides insights that can add value in real-time; to support the content creating teams as well as the community managers for that brand”. Reagan Gasa-Head of Research at Digilab A recent example...

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The Evolution of Fandom through Social Media

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One of the pleasures of being a researcher is that studying specific business problems tends to reveal a wealth of behavioural human insights, revelatory outside of a business context. These can be related in different cultural spaces, media types or interest areas. For example, a project about banking behaviours may morph into a study about digital security; or working on a communications strategy for a music technology platform may reveal larger truths about “fandom”. This qualitative project focused on “modern fandom”, and how that is expressed via media consumption. The trends we observed in this project and countless others reflect an increased appetite for participation, context, and education amongst the majority of music fans – not just music geeks. The...

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Brand Dig: SodaStream, TNT and American Greetings involve the public to generate amazing content

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This week, Pulsar marketer Kyle looks at how brands are developing content using the unsuspecting general public. SodaStream uses a bodybuilding Father Christmas in a current campaign to remind the public our planet needs saving, TNT entertains the locals with a bit of classic shock and awe, and American Greetings tugs at the heartstrings of stressed-out job seekers. SodaStream aggressively informs local shoppers plastic is bad We’re all tired of constantly being reminded what’s bad for the planet and how we need to change our ways and blah, blah, blah, which is exactly the problem. We don’t listen because we worry about personal issues first: it’s not our fault we’re born selfish according to a recent study. For some unlucky...

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