Bringing Rio to Our Clients’ Back Yard

Live race Dorian

See Usain Bolt win another 100m, watch Phelps win his 23rd Olympic gold, relax on Copacabana or head down to the bay to see some world-class sailing… All these things were on offer for those lucky enough to get over to Rio this summer.

Most of us, however, were confined to watching the action on TV or a mobile screen. Rio’s time zone further depleted its European audience, and the relative remoteness of the games may have contributed to all those empty seats we saw in the stadiums.

But how could you bring the atmosphere and excitement to this side of the world? That’s the challenge our client Delta Lloyd faced. A major sponsor of the Dutch sailing team, Delta Lloyd wanted to activate its sponsorship for fans who didn’t get the chance to travel to Brazil.

Waterskiën

If you can’t go to the sport, the sport must come to you

Delta Lloyd’s solution was to construct a watersports activation on the beach of Scheveningen in the Netherlands, as part of the Olympic Experience concept created by the Dutch Olympic Committee*National Sports Federation. The Federation’s Olympic Experience gave parcels of space to each major Dutch sports federation and its sponsors.

In the Dutch Sailing Federation space, combined with main sponsor Delta Lloyd, PRISM built a giant water basin with 3 million litres of water where kids were offered the chance to experience a range of watersports including a trip in an optimist dinghy, sailing experiences, water-skiing, surfing, and stand-up paddle boarding, but also learning more about water in the laboratory.

Waterlab

The activation was an extension of Delta Lloyd’s Optimist On Tour programme, which seeks to get more young people across the Netherlands involved in watersports, especially sailing. Our joint aim was to recreate some of the experiences and atmosphere of the Rio games but in a way that was accessible to the most amount of kids, helping not only to activate the Olympics in their own city, but help to get more young people into watersports and create a positive new legacy for the Dutch Sailing Federation through its partnership with Delta Lloyd.

The activation at the Olympic Experience lasted throughout the Olympic period and attracted almost 10,000 children.

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For the Dutch PRISMatics who helped arrange the event, it meant a beautiful couple of weeks at the beach making our client’s vision become a reality, with plenty of time spent enjoying sports and the action from the Games.

The highlight for everyone was the night Delta Lloyd threw its largest party of the activation, the Delta Lloyd Sounds, when the whole Olympic Experience was dedicated throughout the event just to watersports. The client invited its VIPs to visit the experience and watch the sailing action from Rio. The night culminated in the Netherlands winning gold in the sailing, which raised the roof, as you can probably imagine.

Ilse de Lange

Rio is 10,000km from Holland – 12 hours on a plane at a cost of at least €1,000. That’s not feasible for the vast majority of sports fans and consumers that brands want to reach. It’s only through clever activations of this sort that brands can bring the atmosphere and celebration of the Games to those they most want to reach.

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As we look ahead to Tokyo 2020 (9,288km from Holland), this is a strategy more and more brands must pursue to capitalize fully on the hype and excitement of the world’s greatest sporting event. With its expertise both in events and activations, PRISM is perfectly placed to execute that strategy.

PRISM Amsterdam 

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Premier League Shakes up Sponsors

The Premier League no longer has a title sponsor, is it a sign of the financial times that change is afoot?  

West Ham United v AFC Bournemouth - Premier League(Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

Barclays banking group has sponsored the Premier League since 2001 and, for many, the bank is synonymous with what has been regarded during that time as the greatest league in the world. Within England, what has been familiarly known as the BPL will now just be the PL.

The move brings the Premier League in line with the American model found in the NFL and NBA. The League will now have no title sponsor, only category sponsors – an Official Beer, an Official Timekeeper, and Official Ball sponsor, and so on. The move is designed to open up more financial opportunities for the league and its clubs.

However, did Barclays jump or was it pushed? Did the bank fear an unjustifiable escalation of its costs and seek to switch to this multi-tiered approach? Or did the league want to switch to this new model to raise even more sponsorship cash?

The financial status of the Premier League is seemingly untouchable, even amid general uncertainty in many other industries. Another huge broadcast deal has been brokered for the 2016-17 season, strengthening the Premier League’s bargaining position yet again. With larger TV revenue and bigger audiences, the PL could have justifiably argued for more money to be its title sponsor, so was this the determinant for the two changing their relationship?

Barclays now has status as the Official Banking Partner of the Premier League. This sees the bank join Nike as official partners in their own categories, alongside Carling and Tag Heuer. But despite the new structure, Electronic Arts Sports has secured the title of “Lead Partner”, so it’s not entirely a level playing field.

Manchester City v Sunderland - Premier League(Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

With the new era, we also get a new brand identity – more specifically, the face of the Premier League lion, which has been a proud symbol of the league since its inception in 1992.

Recent design trends have seen logos and brand visualizations shift towards minimalism. One only needs to look down at one’s phone for app updates to see this in action. The Premier League has followed suit with simple monotone colours, a cut-out logo and a flat image.

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The isolation of the lion is perhaps a reassertion by the Premier League that it remains at the top of the food chain amid speculation that Spain now has the world’s top performers.

No one can doubt the dominance of Barcelona and Real Madrid as two poles of a very powerful magnet attracting many of the best players. However, the recent success of Atletico Madrid, Sevilla etc. and the lack of English triumph in Europe’s two major competitions have certainly dented the Premier League’s stature. It remains to be seen whether the Premier League will indeed roar back to the top. With relatively inexperienced Leicester leading our way in Europe, we may have another year in Spain’s shadow.

In my opinion, the logo isn’t an instant hit. There is an entrenched heritage to the English football league. We like it that we were the pioneers, the “creators” of the world’s most popular game – and that’s an attitude that makes us anxious around change.

However, the lion could be a grower and it’s by no means dreadful. Change can be met with far more abject opinion than this – as Loughborough University’s logo change demonstrates.

Perhaps, as a Man Utd fan brought up with assured performances under Sir Alex, I’m just finding the whole new era of unpredictability a bit nerve wracking.

Our clubs themselves are a plethora of local, national and global sponsors and our cherished league, with a fresh new face, could be on the same path, which could be glorious… if a little confusing at first. 

Oliver Bridge
PRISM London, Creative Midfielder

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PRISM Designer Named Top Talent at Creative Pool

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PRISM London’s Creative Designer Annalisa Milano has been named one of Creative Pool’s top 25 talents of its Digital Creative Teams. She’s also in the top 25 of the site’s list of Advertising Creative Teams.

Creativepool is a digital network for agencies, brands and individuals to showcase what they do, connect with each other, collect inspiration, hire or get hired. Its members, from designers to journalists to creative directors, upload their work, where it can be viewed and shared by other creatives who use the site.

It also posts regular features on the week’s best ads and interviews with C-level industry leads. It’s a great site with loads of inspiration for anyone who works in a creative field -and that’s everyone at PRISM.

We checked in with Annalisa and asked what she’d enjoyed most at PRISM since joining the London office at the start of April.

“I deeply enjoy any project that involves creativity,” she said. “Especially if photo-retouching is involved. I like to embellish reality and make things look different, make a brand stand out of the crowd and highlight the product. It’s cheesy, but that’s the reason I moved from product and industrial design to graphic and digital design.”

Annalisa says she’s an ardent follower of creative advertising. “I’m an advert-addict so creating something that people will notice and then remember is the thing that pushes me the most. There is no advert in the tube that I ignore; everything gets analysed.”

Annalisa says the best thing about working at PRISM is (naturally) the fabulous people. “They’re multicultural, young and fun, and the fact that I wake up in the morning and I know I’ll work on something different every day – that’s great. New challenges push me a lot (in a good way).”

Check out Annalisa’s Creative Pool page here to see past work and track future projects, and sign up to the site here.

PRISM LinkedIn: http://linkd.in/1kdjyrg
#CreativePoolTop25

Gen Z: The First Truly Digital, Always-on Generation

It seems that most marketers, digital experts, and entrepreneurs have (for almost too long) been talking about millennials. But what about their younger siblings in Gen Z (born 1997-now), who appear to have taken a back seat in these conversations? According to Entrepreneur magazine, Gen Z already have a collective buying power of US$44 billion. That’s only going to increase as more start spending their own money, so understanding their consumption patterns is key to the future of marketing, and that’s why PRISM is already factoring Gen Z into its strategy and structure.

Let’s take a minute to explore how Gen Z differs from the millennial generation. Is it really true that they are, as a JWT Innovation Group Report has claimed, more sensible, more engaged and more ambitious than the rest of us?

GenZ Pie

Lucie Greene, Worldwide Director of Innovation at JWT, has called Gen Z “Millennials on steroids”. They are the first generation to be truly born into the digital age we live in. They are the first people to whom a smartphone is the standard and not a novelty. For them, multitasking means “digital multitasking” – being on email, Instagram, a dating app, and Spotify all at the same time, often while a second screen streams broadcast content from the other side of the room. But they also display a love of the analogue that sets them apart from millennials

Looking closely at their behaviour, this is what PRISM believes are Gen Z’s core motivations:

  1. Being Digitally Rational – They use digital tools to acquire practical skills – think “how-to” tutorials on YouTube or Google as their default source of all wisdom.
  2. Being Analog – They are not as stuck to their phones as millennials are, and enjoy board games, photography, and physical activities (or physical/digital blended activities such as the augmented reality of Pokémon Go!). Check this piece by Nate Davis on Medium for more on that.
  3. Being Authentic – They are the most likely demographic to pay attention to brands’ advertising, and are also the most likely to click through to purchase – if they feel the brand is genuine. It’s all about authenticity. If a brand is authentic, it doesn’t matter if the message is commercial.
  4. Being Unique – They want personalisation. And because they’ve crafted their own rich social media personalities, they expect to be treated with an individualized approach, more so than even Gen Y.

At PRISM, we see this generation as really knowing what they want and pursuing it. Rather than saying they have a short attention span, we believe that Gen Z are sophisticated experts at superior efficiency – efficiency to reach their goals through experiences tailored to them, and experiences they choose to live through, rather than experiences forced on them. As Kayee Cheung, Global Head of Trading at Spotify, says: “It is important to make sure the message is relevant – they have a high propensity to explore and flick through [their mobile phones], so having ad formats that cater to that is important because if it’s not interesting, they move on”.

This is one of the key ways we are striving to build relationships with this generation at PRISM. It’s not about mass content, it’s about delivering a personalized experience in the right medium on the right platform to add value to their lives.

This behavior represents a significant shift from millennials and other demographics. For Gen Z, we as marketers need to personalize content and engage with authenticity. It is highly unlikely that Gen Z will expect or respond to a one-size-fits-all approach. The more we align with their goals and lifestyles, the more valuable we become.

This is one reason why PRISM pioneered its award-winning division, the Global Content Network – our team of digital creatives, copywriters, film and video producers, and social managers who are able to create and distribute highly personalized content in real-time. The network has hubs in Asia, Europe and the West Coast of America, meaning it is always open, 24-hours a day, to create and send out our clients’ messages on the platforms that are most likely to capture their targets.

It’s an approach that PRISM pioneered and many have tried to follow. And, as Gen Z grows up and becomes increasingly important to brands in all sectors, it’s the precise approach that’s going to win their attention and engagement.

By Paul Szymanski
PRISM Digital Account Director, Santa Monica, LA 

PRISM LinkedIn: http://linkd.in/1kdjyrg
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Z is for… Zátopek

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We wrap up our celebration of the competition in Rio with a salute to one of the greatest competitors of all time, Emil Zátopek. The Czechoslovakian long-distance runner took home three golds at the 1952 games in Helsinki – in the 5,000 metres, the 10,000 metres and in the marathon. The final victory is the most startling when it’s considered Zátopek had never run a marathon before. He entered the contest at the last minute because his wife (javelin thrower Dana Zátopková) had taken two golds at the games and he fancied beating her tally.

Named the Greatest Runner of All Time by Runner’s World in 2013, he remains the only person to win the 5,000, 10,000 and marathon in the same games. Zátopek was nicknamed the “Czech Locomotive” and returned home a national hero, but he was cast into virtual exile by the ruling Soviet forces after taking an active part in the 1968 uprising known as the Prague Spring.

Zátopek was stripped of his honours and sent to work in a uranium mine, then as a refuse collector, and then a well-digger. Only in 1990 was he rehabilitated by Czech president Vaclav Havel. Zátopek died in 2000 at the age of 78 but his memory lives on at these games – every Czech athlete competing in Rio wore a Zátopek symbol on their vest.

#RioAtoZ

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Illustration by Audrey Manlot (Instagram:@a.mamlok, Tumblr:mamlok.tumblr.com)

 

Y is for… Youngsters

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Misty-eyed admiration surely welled in all of us watching a 13-year-old swimmer win her heat at this year’s games, or the 15-year-old Chinese diver demolish her competition in Thursday evening’s 10m final. But, it’s difficult too not to mix a tinge of jealousy into those emotions, when, at age 13, the majority of us were more concerned with Gameboys than smashing through 50 metre lengths.

There are no age limits at the games – in theory, you can compete at any age. However, governing bodies can impose age restrictions on specific sports. In gymnastics, for example, competitors have to be at least 16.

What’s remarkable to us is that this games marks the first time an athlete taking part was born after the millennium – these are athletes at the top of the world rankings who have only ever known the 21st century. Makes you feel a wee bit old, doesn’t it?

What an immense achievement it is for these tender-aged athletes to be competing, let alone winning, at the very highest levels. We look forward to seeing them again in 2020 – alongside an even younger generation.

#RioAtoZ

PRISM LinkedIn: http://linkd.in/1kdjyrg
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Illustration by Audrey Manlot (Instagram:@a.mamlok, Tumblr:mamlok.tumblr.com)

X is for… X-Rated

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Streaking. An act, in complete undress and usually at full sprint, that can be considered humorous or annoying, depending on how easily titillated, or indeed bummed out, the watcher is. While it can be liberating for the streaker, it’s certainly no free and easy matter at the biggest event in sport.

In London at 2012, there was controversy when a streaker jumped the rope to interrupt the torch relay. But, what’s more staggering is the fine that goes with the indecent activity. Reports suggest is was up to £20,000 (23,170, $26,250) during the London games.

This figure wasn’t plucked from the air to stop drunkards and their danglies taking away too much sand from the long jump pit, it’s an effort to discourage any thoughts of ‘ambush marketing’. Olympic sponsorship rights are enforced with an iron legal fist, so don’t think gracing the field with a brand’s logo painted across nature’s own bouncing billboards will escape punishment.

Should the penalty for birthday-suit-buffoonery really be this harsh? We’ll leave that up to you to decide.

 

#RioAtoZ

PRISM LinkedIn: http://linkd.in/1kdjyrg
PRISM Twitter: https://twitter.com/PRISM_Worldwide
PRISM Instagram: http://instagram.com/prism_team

Illustration by Audrey Manlot (Instagram:@a.mamlok, Tumblr:mamlok.tumblr.com)

PR, Sports Marketing

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