Commonwealth Games Marketing Masterstroke Puts Children First

By Kelly Gerrish

A unique fundraising initiative at the Commonwealth Games opening ceremony has raised £3.5m for children’s charity UNICEF.
A billion-strong global audience saw a host of celebrities including Hollywood actor James McAvoy and Olympic cycling champion Sir Chris Hoy appeal to help disadvantaged kids across the globe as part of UNICEF’s Put Children First campaign.

More than 700,000 generous Brits each donated £5 within 24 hours of the opening ceremony. The appeal was the first of its kind at a major sporting event.

McAvoy told viewers: “This has never been done before – this many people in a single moment all coming together to make a life-saving difference to millions of children.”

The already impressive tally is expected to soar in the coming days when donations from the rest of the Commonwealth are totted up, with money still rolling in.

This ground-breaking campaign is a perfect demonstration of how well-timed marketing can make all the difference. By featuring global celebrity brand ambassadors and pulling on the heartstrings of the millions of people watching the opening ceremony across the world, UNICEF has ensured its brand awareness is at an all-time high. Capitalising on that to raise money to provide food and vaccines to vulnerable children really shows the magic of marketing.

11 Things You Never Knew About the World’s Biggest Brands

By Kelly Gerrish

Starbucks, McDonalds, Apple and Facebook are some of the most instantly recognisable brands in the world. Most of us probably own at least one of their products, have eaten in their restaurant or visited their store in the last few months.

But did you know these facts about some of the world’s biggest brands?

Mobile Trends for 2014

By Kelly Gerrish

Mobile is a channel with potential for enormous growth. Mobile device users want access to the web anytime and anywhere. In fact, 54% of the UK population admit to suffering from nomophobia – fear of being out of mobile phone contact. With the introduction of smart watches, people who love devices need now never be without one. Many brands are now capitalising on this by placing mobility at the heart of their strategy for the first time. With this in mind, what are the key trends to consider for the rest of 2014?

1. Context matters
Mobile ads should be targeted to location and time, meaning content is more relevant than ever before.

2. Convergence of mobile and social
Different devices are better suited to different situations. 71% of social media accounts are accessed from a mobile device, so communications sent via Facebook and Twitter should consider this.

3. Always on
24/7 access to your target market means tailoring the right messaging to the right time.

4. Scannable content
With the average attention span only 7 seconds, mobile content needs to be bitesized and work harder to engage the consumer.

5. Instant gratification
Ads created for mobile need to reflect the social nature of the devices they are viewed on. Consumers don’t like mobile ads unless they offer something that is immediately actionable – a tweet they can share, a discount that can be instantly used.

6. Cross device targeting
With tablet usage growing and in many cases replacing the traditional PC and laptops, brands can now reach the same consumer across multiple devices.

7. New ad formats
Internet connection speeds are better than ever, allowing brands to test new creative formats. We will start to see more innovative rich media formats, moving away from the standard banner ads.

World in Motion

By Kelly Gerrish

Imagine a future when the World Cup is played on Mars. Sound far-fetched? It might not be too far away if a recent suggestion of future “inter-planetary competitions” is anything to go by.

You’d be forgiven for thinking that FIFA President Sepp Blatter’s remarks about football in space aimed to detract from the furore surrounding the 2022 World Cup being awarded to Qatar. Certainly, if a tournament did go ahead on Mars, it would at least be cooler.
But amid the controversy and allegations of bribery, Blatter did raise a serious question – how will football develop in our ever-changing, technology-focused world?

Professor Alexandre da Sliva Simões chairs the RoboCup, an annual football competition for robots. He believes there will be definitely be robots on the pitch in the future, but they won’t necessarily be playing. “Humans will probably be present as supervisors of an automatic referee that can be a software or even a robot,” he says.

Football has become a science since England won the World Cup in 1966. Technology is ever expanding, with heat-bonded footballs, free kick vanishing spray and, most importantly, goal-line sensors being debuted in Brazil.

But will future Worrobotsld Cups feature robotics? RoboCup’s mission is to have “a football team composed of fully-autonomous humanoid robots playing against the human winners of the World Cup” by 2050.

One thing’s for certain – they can’t be any worse than England.