February 27, 2021

Campaign Spotlight: 3M Says, ‘Go Ahead, Make Something of It’

The campaign, now under way, is for Post-it notes, sold by the 3M Company. The campaign, which includes television commercials, ads online, the brand’s Web site and social media, portrays Post-its as much more than sticky pieces of paper that are good for scribbling reminders.

The campaign, with a budget estimated at $10 million, presents Post-its as a vehicle for self-expression by depicting the unusual and unexpected ways that consumers use them. That is different from the typical top-down tack in campaigns when marketers offer consumers new ideas for using products, most often seen in food ads that are centered on recipes.

The change in tactics by the Post-it brand is underlined by the theme of the campaign, “Go ahead,” which cheerfully encourages consumers to come up with their own nontraditional uses for Post-its. The campaign is being created by Grey New York, part of the Grey division of the Grey Group, which is owned by WPP.

The campaign is based on — and recreates — examples of Post-it creativity around the world. They include how passers-by blanketed a window of an empty store in Cambridge, Mass., with Post-its that replied to the question “Who inspires you?”; the so-called “Post-it wars” waged by office workers in buildings in cities like Paris and Seattle, who covered facing windows with thousands of Post-it notes to duplicate the look of pixilated images; and the initiatives by teachers who use Post-it products to enliven their classroom lessons.

The Post-it campaign is the most recent in a series of efforts by marketers to take advantage of a trend known as customization, which is particularly reshaping pitches aimed at millennial consumers in their 20s and 30s.

Customization refers to the penchant among younger consumers to be expressive and personalize mass-market goods — having it their way, to paraphrase the old Burger King slogan — as they seek to have a say in the story a brand is telling them.

Another example in the field of office products is a campaign by Draftfcb, part of the Interpublic Group of Companies, for the Sharpie brand of markers sold by Newell Rubbermaid, which carries the themes “Uncap what’s inside” and “Start with Sharpie.” The home page of the Sharpie Web site asks, “What are you starting?” and prompts visitors to “join the Sharpie community” and “show how creative you can be with Sharpie.”

The Post-it campaign begins as 3M reports strong results in its most recent fiscal quarter for sales of Post-its and other products sold by a business segment the company refers to as consumer and office, which includes office supplies and stationery.

The Post-it campaign is “a component of our overall revitalization strategy with the business and the brand,” says Jesse Singh, vice president for the stationery and office supplies division of 3M in Minnesota.

“If you think about the product, it’s iconic, it’s been in the market over 30 years,” he adds, and until recently the strategy to sell it was by “taking a functional view of the brand.”

“As we did research on our customer base,” Mr. Singh says, the crucial finding is that people “had a much more emotional relationship with the product” than 3M executives had expected.

“They’re using it to communicate, using it to collaborate, using it to organize themselves,” he adds.

That led to a rethinking of how to market Post-it, Mr. Singh says, shifting from a “product-out” perspective to one that is “really consumer-in.”

“We were inspired,” he adds, by the “quirky and inspired uses of our product.”

That is brought to life in the initial two TV commercials in the campaign. One, which runs 60 seconds, is composed of vignettes. The spot begins with a man sticking a Post-it, which reads “Morning, beautiful,” and includes a pointing arrow, onto the mirror on the bathroom medicine chest as a woman brushes her teeth. “Go ahead, keep the honeymoon going,” a narrator says.

The scene shifts to what appears to be a college campus as young people affix Post-it notes to a wall outside a building that is near a sign reading, “What inspires you?” As that vignette, clearly based on the Cambridge store window, appears on screen, the narrator says, “Share on a real wall.”

Other vignettes include people adding Post-its to a wall covered with them, which is divided into categories like “App name” and “Features”; a woman sticking Post-its bearing tasks onto windows; a young man covering a wall with artwork created with Post-its of multiple colors; a young woman with a notebook filled with drawings of bridges and Post-its, who is posed between two bridges; and students with a teacher in a classroom.

Article source: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/28/business/mutfund/3m-says-go-ahead-make-something-of-it.html?partner=rss&emc=rss

Monks Embrace Web to Reach Recruits

So the monks, who for centuries have shied away from any outside distractions, have instead done what many troubled organizations are doing to find new members — they have taken to the Internet with an elaborate ad campaign featuring videos, a blog and even a Gregorian chant ringtone.

“We’re down in numbers, we’re aging, we feel the pressure to do whatever we can,” said Abbot Caedmon Holmes, who has been in charge of the abbey since 2007. “If this is the way the younger generation are looking things up and are communicating, then this is the place to be.”

That place is far from the solitary lives that some may think monks live. In fact, in this age of all things social media, the monks have embraced what may be the most popular of form of public self-expression: a Facebook page, where they have uploaded photos and video testimonials.

A new Web site (portsmouthabbeymonastery.org) answers questions on how to become a monk — one F.A.Q.: “Do I have to give up my car?” (yes) — and print ads announce that “God Is Calling.” Some monks will even write blogs.

“If 500 years ago, blogging existed, the monks would have found a way to make use of it,” Abbot Holmes said. “Our power is very limited. In the end it’s God who is calling people to himself and calling to people to live in union with him. But that doesn’t mean that we can’t do our part.”

For some, the technological approach to advertising and marketing may seem at odds with the image of an almost hermitlike monastic existence. Not so, say the monks. The use of technology and social media has been embraced even by the Vatican, which has its own YouTube channel and a Facebook page dedicated to the beatification of Pope John Paul II.

“We were going to do this no matter what, but we are happy that the pope thinks well of this kind of media for our purposes,” said David Moran, director of the monastic renewal program office at the abbey.

The campaign, especially on Facebook, presents the monks “as being open and friendly and totally accessible,” said Tom Simons, the chief executive and creative director of Partners and Simons, the advertising agency the abbey hired to oversee the new campaign. The Facebook page will allow the monks “to build out their fan base,” he said.

The Simons ad agency, based in Boston, typically has clients like health care and financial services companies. “This assignment from Portsmouth Abbey was intriguing because it’s the Lord’s work,” Mr. Simons said.

The day of the firm’s initial meeting with the abbey, Mr. Simons told his staff that a “holy person” would be visiting and recalled the sight of Mr. Moran and Brother Gregory Havill, dressed in his monk’s robe, entering the agency while electronic house music played in the background.

“I think Brother Gregory felt he had arrived in a brand/digital advertising theme park and he was alternatively bemused and delighted with the ride,” Mr. Simons said in an e-mail.

Once at the planning table, cultural differences faded and the agency and abbey quickly agreed to focus their efforts on the Web. “We knew from the outset that this wasn’t going to be solved through traditional marketing,” he said.

Partners and Simons collaborated with BPI, a film production company, to create online videos of the monks. The interviews were the building blocks of the campaign, Mr. Simons said, focusing on how the monks heard the call, what monastic life is like and inviting newcomers to visit. The goal was to capture “their warmth, their sincerity, their gentleness,” he said.

Brother Havill’s story, which revolves around a pastrami and Swiss cheese sandwich, plays a prominent role in the campaign both in print and in video. One of the print ads tells the story of a day 10 years ago when, while waiting for his sandwich to warm up in the microwave, Brother Havill says he heard the call to “go to Portsmouth.”

Having dabbled in genealogy, Brother Havill thought the Portsmouth in question was the port in England that many of his ancestors had traveled through on their way to the United States. But when he woke up the next morning, he said, he realized the message was for the Benedictine monastery at Portsmouth Abby.

“I didn’t have any plans to become a monk or anything like that,” said Brother Havill, who at the time was an art teacher and sculptor living alone in Cromwell, Conn.

The abbey is attached to a co-ed high school called the Portsmouth Abbey School, where two-thirds of the students live on the grounds. Some of the monks, including Brother Havill, who uses an iPad to teach art, work there. The monks can use technology to teach or for work, Brother Havill said, but “you won’t find monks out there playing with their iPads.”

In addition to providing an education, Catholic boarding schools like the one at Portsmouth also served another purpose.

“In the old days, they would just have kids there that they would educate, and every now and then some of them would join the monastery,” said Francis Russell Hittinger, a professor of law and Catholic studies at the University of Tulsa. “The number has precipitously declined over the last 50 years.”

Beyond recruiting from schools, the abbey placed ads in publications like the Catholic magazine First Things and Religious Ministries, a directory of Catholic communities. When those didn’t work, the abbey took the path of many major advertisers — hiring an independent ad agency.

With this campaign, Mr. Moran, who is a graduate of the Portsmouth Abbey School, said he expected the Facebook page to invite users to learn more about the abbey and the monks and to help spread the word about them. He will help some of the monks, including Brother Havill and Abbot Holmes, to learn to blog, which they will do between the five religious services they observe each day, although he has decided they are not quite ready for Twitter.

“Not yet,” he said. The social networking tool “requires a regularity in posting that we would find very difficult to maintain.”

Article source: http://feeds.nytimes.com/click.phdo?i=7ff1c4d7aa1fdd2c3c7b81027da79001