Crowdsourced branding, a disaster for Kraft?


When Kraft launched a spin-off of their uniquely Australian Vegemite spread, they turned to consumers for a name… and it was dropped four days later. Last week another name was announced, can Kraft make it right this time?

The year was 1923 when chemist Cyril Callister took out a newspaper ad announcing his new food invention, a salty yeast extract spread made from the by-products of beer manufacturing, and a £50 award for the best name. Similar to the British Marmite, the sticky brown paste has become a staple in the country, selling more than 22 million jars per year. Over 85 years later, Kraft Foods followed Callister’s plan to name a new milder variation—a Vegemite and cream cheese blend—with much less fanfare.

“Now all it needs is a name,” Kraft launched the new product with a TV commercial by JWT Australia.

iSnack 2.0

Kraft Foods launched an Australia-wide contest in June 2009, putting the product on grocery shelves with special “Name Me” packaging. Over 48,000 entries came in across the country during the three-month contest, (somehow) resulting in the name ‘iSnack 2.0.’
Announced September 26th during the 2009 Australian Football League Grand Final, the name was chosen by a panel of marketing and communication experts in an effort to market the longtime staple to the younger ‘iPod’ generation. Replacing the temporary packaging, the new labels were printed with the tagline: “iSnack 2.0, because it's the next generation Vegemite.”
The name was coined by Dean Robbins, a 27-year-old web designer:
It was all a bit tongue-in-cheek really, the ‘i’ phenomenon and Web 2.0 have been recent revolutions, and I thought the new Vegemite name could do the same.
Left: Original Vegemite spread (Photo: StephenMitchell, Flickr); Right: Packaging for iSnack 2.0 and the “Name Me” contest (Photo: avlxyz, Flickr)

Cheesybite, Vegefail

Within days, criticism was heard all over Australia, especially among the product’s tech-savvy target market who took to YouTube and Twitter (making #Vegefail a trending topic). “The new name has simply not resonated with Australians. Particularly the modern technical aspects associated with it,” Kraft said in a statement on September 30th. The controversial name was discontinued only four days after its launch.
Our Kraft Foods storeroom currently has thousands of jars of the iSnack 2.0 named Vegemite. This product will be distributed around Australia, and will continue to be sold in supermarkets for months to come – until Australia decides upon a new name.
Nameless once again, Kraft scrambled to short-list another six names and let the public decide. Polling more than 30,000 people, Kraft announced the product’s newest name on October 7th: ‘Vegemite Cheesybite,’ which captured 36% of the votes (although many chose ‘none of the above’ and were not included in the vote).
Left: Vegemite Cheesybite, Kraft’s third and (hopefully) last packaging for the new product; Right: Results from Kraft’s survey
The name ‘Cheesymite’ was never considered, due to its popular use for another cheesy Vegemite-based snack in Australia and New Zealand. However it has been reported the name Cheesybite might come with its own legalcan of worms (just what they need).
The new Cheesybite jars will replace the iSnack variation in the coming months.

What does this say about the brand?

Kraft assures us this is not a publicity stunt, “We are proud custodians of Vegemite and have always been aware that it is the people's brand and a national icon.” Regardless, the publicity has the remaining iSnack-branded jars flying off grocery shelves and making their way onto eBay as “rare collector’s items.”
Some have said this incident has damaged the Vegemite brand in Australia. No one can deny iSnack 2.0 was a terrible choice—it says nothing about the product, and even the thought of it makes anyone who’s ever used an iPod roll their eyes (who were these marketing “experts” that handpicked the name from over 48,000 entries, anyway?).
But after all this, one thing is very clear: Australians are passionate about the Vegemite brand (and that’s what every brand wants)

Scam Ad Crackdown: Are the Awards Shows Wussing Out?

Award shows are getting tough on scam ads, but is it tough enough? Especially if two recent scam ad policies mean different shows have very different rules for scammers

The DDB Brasil WWF ad that provoked new ad show policies.
The DDB Brasil WWF ad that provoked new ad show policies.

The Cannes Lions Advertising Festival and the Art Directors Club today released policies to deal with scam ads—work submitted to the shows without client approval or that only ran once in little-seen paid media outlets. Outlining how it will handle offenders, Cannes stated it will only ban the individual creatives responsible for the faked work from entering work in the future, not their agencies.
"We believe that banning agencies from entering on a wholesale basis is unfair on blameless individuals," the Cannes statement said. "There are many people who work in agencies who may not be involved with an erroneous entry and therefore should not be penalized." From there, the length of the ban will be determined on a case by case basis. Emails to determine just exactly how this statement differs from Cannes' previous submission policy were not returned.
The Cannes policy takes a decidedly softer position than that of One Show, which implemented new rules in September after DDB Brazil's incendiary depictions of the 9/11 attacks in its "Tsunami" ads caused public backlash. The print ad has received a One Show merit award that has seen been rescinded. (It's important to note that One Show and the British awards show D&AD are non-profit operations, while Cannes is not.)
One Show's harsher stance means a five year ban for agencies submitting ads made for fake clients, without client approval or ads that have only run once or during late-night TV. And for all instances of fakery, the responsible creative will be banned for five years, too.

The Art Directors Club scam ad policy does not include bans at all; it will only trumpet fake work to the other top shows, especially since its awards come early in the season. With entries often submitted to multiple show, the ADC will simply let the Andy, Cannes, Clio, D&AD, One Show and Webby awards know when it's found a fake.
"The decision was that we will disqualify the work," said ADC chief executive Ami Brophy, adding the show hasn't made a statement of this type before, but thought one necessary after recent controversies sparked by the likes "Tsunami." "With regards to banning, our decision is rather to promote the behavior we'd like to see. Our approach is to stand together with the other shows and we will do our best to search scam ads out." The ADC's statement also pointed to its "Playground" category, launched four years ago as the place for non client-approved ads. Ms. Brophy also notes that the ADC rules resemble D&AD's "name and shame" policy.
DDB is hoping to root out scams even before they get to the awards juries. DDB Worldwide chairman Bob Scarpelli re-circulated the network's ethics code and outlined that the multi-office creative council will redouble its scrutiny of awards submissions, according to people familiar with the matter. The review process will include more thorough and brand new screening methods for entries.
With renewed attention to scam ads and these new guidelines running the gamut of accountability, do creatives think that these new guidelines will actually work? Or that they go far enough?

BBDO's David Lubars
BBDO's David Lubars

David Lubars, BBDO North America chief creative and chair of the Cannes press and film juries, thinks even the strictest new rules are necessary. "It's the right thing to do," he said. "I think it'll be a successful deterrent. A lot of times scam ads are obvious, but for when it's not clear, these are good guidelines for jury members."

Conversely, Lars Bastholm, Ogilvy's chief digital officer and the 2009 cyber jury chair at Cannes, finds One Show's penalties too steep. "Five years banned for the ECD in question?" he said. "That could be the end of a career. You'd have a hard time getting an agency to hire you after that." Though, he does think the next scammer caught under these new guidelines will send a message to the creative community. "If someone somewhere submits a fake ad and it gets out, the repercussions will become clear," he said. "That's when people will get it."
Since careers can be made and now potentially lost as a result of awards, Rob Reilly, partner and ECD at Crispin, Porter + Bogusky and ADC's hybrid award chair for 2010, finds the shows' definition of "scam ad" too loose. "We need one sharply defined way to categorize fake work across all shows," he said.

Crispin's Rob Reilly
Crispin's Rob Reilly

"There isn't enough we can do to stop scam ads," Reilly said. "But what needs to happen is to determine what qualifies as a scam ad." Reilly points specifically to ads that only run once, which is an often used tactic for making ads created specifically for awards consideration eligible for entry. While the One Show has identified a scam as an "ad that has run once, on late-night TV, or only because the agency produced a single ad and paid to run it itself," other scam ad policies have not been as clear. Cannes, on the other hand, acknowledges in its statement that "there are many definitions of 'scam,' and the issue is rarely black and white." It simply specifies clients must pay for media for ads to be eligible.
"But what about virals, ads that you put up on YouTube to see if they generate interest?" Reilly adds.
Last month, during the Spikes Asia Festival in Singapore, Cannes Lions Chairman Terry Savage could not conceal his concern about the decision by One Show, and was openly seeking input from the top regional and global creative execs about where the Cannes Lions should draw the line for its three festivals--Cannes Lions, Spikes Asia and the Dubai Lynx award for the Middle East.
While Mr. Savage is opposed to scam ads, he also said he was wary of banning whole agencies from entering awards because of the misdeeds of a few bad apples. "There are a lot of good people out there who shouldn't suffer because of someone else's mistake."
Ironically, Singapore, the setting for the Spikes event, of which Cannes became a co-organizer this year, has had one of the world's worst reputations for producing scam work for over a decade — a sad fact that has helped build the reputation of some of the world's top creatives today.
The Dubai Lynx also suffered a major scandal this year when the Agency of the Year had to return its awards after bloggers uncovered that most of them had been won for scam ads.

We in the middle east have our own share of scam ads and ghost ads.. and it's been kind of a trend or basic practice by highly awarded creative networks. some samples for your reference: 

  • -http://advertiser-in-arabia.blogspot.com/2009/08/mbc-is-busted-ripping-off-tv-ads-ideas.html 
  • -http://advertiser-in-arabia.blogspot.com/2009/06/more-crapwe-had-to-tear-down-to-re.html 
  • -http://advertiser-in-arabia.blogspot.com/2009/09/good-bad-and-ugly-in-financial-ads.html 
  • -http://advertiser-in-arabia.blogspot.com/2009/08/tattoo-yourselflebanon-impact-bbdo-is.html 
  • -http://advertiser-in-arabia.blogspot.com/2009/08/tattoo-yourselflebanon-impact-bbdo-is.html 
  • -http://advertiser-in-arabia.blogspot.com/2009/08/new-dimension-of-advertising-is-simply.html

Discount Bank turns on its green credentials by turning off.

Discount Bank - Israel - Dim Thinking
Discount Bank in Israel declared itself a ‘Green Bank’ but rather than have this as a meaningless soundbite it sought a practical, long-term way to make a difference to global warming. Its solution was to create stickers reminding people to switch lights off and save energy.
Empty skyscrapers with their lights left on at night, consuming vast amounts of unnecessary electricity, are an all too common sight. Discount Bank knew that by taking simple steps it could make a big difference to the environment. It was also aware, however, that many campaigns of this type are over and forgotten almost as quickly as they are implemented, so it wanted to leave a permanent reminder for its staff to think ‘green’.
A sticker was placed over every light-switch in the Discount Bank tower – and in a financial skyscraper, that’s a lot of light-switches. At the top of the sticker was written ON, at the bottom OFF and in the middle, GLOBAL WARMING. The message being that when you switch on the light, you switch on global warming; when you switch off the light, you switch off global warming.

In just one day, the Discount Bank tower became a green tower. Every single employee is now exposed daily to the strong connection between electricity consumption and global warming, and can, using one small finger contribute to the effort to alleviate global warming.

BRAND: Discount Bank

BRAND OWNER: Discount Bank

CATEGORY: Financial

REGION: Israel

DATE: Sep 2009



Category Breaker


Crew of Freeborders take over an SF street to create a real life video game. http://www.freebord.com.

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