As we wrote on Tuesday, this year PRISM has been shortlisted for two Masters of Marketing Awards. See details of the first here. Today we tell you about the second finalist, our work on the launch of Aston Martin’s DB11.

The DB11 was Aston Martin’s most significant launch since 2003, with CEO Andy Palmer describing the new car as having “all the ingredients to make it the best Aston Martin ever”. Against the background of a major 2015 restructure to turn the company into a sustainable luxury business, the successful launch of this car at the Geneva International Motor Show in 2016 was a key milestone in Aston Martin’s quest to become a great British company.

For the launch, the PRISM-led ‘Team AML’ worked alongside other WPP agencies, J. Walter Thompson, Mirum and Burrows, to help Aston Martin secure significant orders for DB11 ahead of a launch date on March 1, through cross-platform activity.


The second objective was to ensure all product communication deliverables were available for dealers and customers as the wraps came off the car in Geneva. This was to be a first for Aston Martin, as previously, limitations of time and resource within a small team meant marketing collateral would only be available post-launch.

The first element of the launch campaign was DB Confidential, a five-week series of VIP previews at Aston Martin’s Gaydon factory, which gave existing customers from around the world a chance to visit, meet the key team of designers and engineers and discover DB11 ahead of its Geneva reveal.


In the US, the team put together a similar preview programme called Meet DB11, where customers were invited to host small groups of friends to view the car at their favourite venues – anywhere from a luxury country club to customers’ homes or offices.

Digital campaign elements included a first-for-the-brand online configurator tool and a product microsite to sit alongside

To support these tools, Team AML created short films for digital and social channels as well as for event and showroom usage, including a heritage piece, interior flythrough film, ‘This is DB11’ model introduction and a series of shareable pieces highlighting the advanced technology within the car.

The result was the most successful digital launch of an Aston Martin production model since website tracking began. All press material and brochures were delivered in time for the launch and our Meet DB11 and DB Confidential events secured significant orders ahead of the March 1 target.


As for the configurator, more than 1 million configurations of the new car were created within 24 hours of its launch. And just check out what Top Gear said: “Aston Martin has probably just blown the competition clean out of the water with a dizzying, detailed and complex virtual showroom for the new Aston Martin DB11. Write off the rest of your day. Welcome to a whole new depth of feel-good procrastination.”

Take a look at the Aston Martin content here, the microsite here, and that configurator here.

The Masters of Marketing awards will be announced on October 4. For more on the awards and the Festival of Marketing that follows them, visit their site here.


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PRISM’s Masters of Marketing Nominations, Pt. I

Delta Lloyd Regatta 2016 © Sander van der BorchDorian v Rijsselberghe

It’s two weeks until the Masters of Marketing awards are announced in London and this year, PRISM has two projects on the shortlist.

The awards are held every year to celebrate creativity and innovation that sets new standards in all industries with a marketing function, from financial services to travel, leisure and transport, public sector and retail. They are announced on the eve of the Festival of Marketing, a huge meeting of marketers that takes place in the capital from October 5-6.

PRISM is shortlisted in the automotive category for the work the Aston Martin team did on the launch of the DB11, and in the PR category for the Amsterdam team’s continued work on the Delta Lloyd Regatta.

(c) Jasper van StaverenMarit Bouwmeester

The Regatta is one of the longest-running events PRISM delivers. It’s entirely PRISM’s event and self-funding, with Delta Lloyd as its main sponsor. This year between May 24 and 28, 191 boats participated in seven Olympic sailing classes and we also hosted the Para World Sailing Championships with 57 boats crewed with Paralympians competing in three classes.

To entice younger sailors to the event, PRISM also organised races in the optimist class, the 29-er class and the laser 4.7 class, plus a race in the up-and-coming “moth class”.

The objectives of the project were to generate at 2 million euros of media coverage, reach 175,000 people on Facebook and generate 1.6 million impressions on Twitter through a strategy of in-house content creation and by exploiting technological innovation.

Our in-house content team included one of the best sailing photographers in the Netherlands, a camera crew that specialised in filming sailing events, two international journalists plus an interviewer. The media team produced up to seven high-quality interviews every day with journalists composing daily stories to seed out to media and through social.

The team enlarged the scope of their coverage beyond the competition itself to encompass human interest stories, interviews with sailors, and the sort of background storytelling that we know drives clicks and engagement.

Delta Lloyd Regatta 2016 © Sander van der BorchRutger van Schaardenburg

The strategy worked, producing 12,000 views of our daily live broadcasts, a reach of 200,000 people on Facebook, 1.9 million impressions on Twitter (a 60% increase on 2015’s results) and a media value equivalence of 3.3 million euros – 106% up from last year.

As usual, the hard work and expertise of PRISM’s staff produced a fantastic event and ensured we delivered the goods for main sponsor Delta Lloyd, despite a tight budget, and it’s great to see the work recognised now at the Masters of Marketing awards.

We’ll post a blog about the launch of the DB11, and how it snagged us our second nomination, in a couple of days. And expect the results of the awards on October 5.

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The Perils of Opinion in the Age of Always-On

PRISM’s Asia Pacific PR chief comments on the political spat that bubbled out of Rio’s Olympic swimming pool

Swimming - Olympics: Day 1Olympic swimmers Sun Yang (left) and Mack Horton (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)

The Olympic Games throws up all manner of social media pitfalls for communications gatekeepers. Rio was no different.

While most athletes share their views and more on Twitter and Instagram as part of their daily routine, keeping those athletes on message when representing their country brings challenges for PR/media handlers in an always-on news cycle.

During the Games, where there is heightened public scrutiny of their performance, a stray 140 characters here or an ill-advised selfie there can do considerable harm to an athlete’s brand. Not to mention the doctrines laid down by the national Olympic body.

A nation expects. And a nation expects its champions to make a choice between tweet and compete. At least that’s what the Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) demanded prior to Rio.

Following a damning review of Australia’s performance in London which identified Twitter as one element of a toxic internal culture pervading the Olympic swimming team, the AOC warned of the kind of social media faux pas that tarnished the team in 2012. In Rio, the tweets were more sparing.

The inextricable link between traditional and social media and how what athletes say or do in print or on camera instantly finds its way to hashtagdom is a challenge for the communications chief or the chef de mission – and athletes.

Around the Games - Olympics: Day 9(Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

One case in point was the Rio 400 metre freestyle gold medallist Mack Horton. The lanky Australian initially made his feelings known on doping in an IOC press conference before the race.

The object of his ire was arch rival Sun Yang.

Against a backdrop of systematic doping among Russian athletes prior to the Games of the XXXI Olympiad, Horton chose to air his views on a Chinese opponent who had served a three-month suspension in 2014 when traces of the stimulant trimetazidine were found in his bloodstream.

Following his narrow defeat of Sun in the final, Horton reiterated his ‘drug cheat’ claims during a poolside interview. His justification was that he preferred to compete against clean athletes rather than those tainted by doping violations.

In Horton’s defence, he corrected the interviewer when the issue of doping and rivalry with Sun was posed. “I don’t know if it’s a rivalry between me and him [Sun Yang], just me and athletes who have tested positive,” he said.

While Horton contained his views to the TV cameras, his comments ignited a bushfire on social channels in China.

When Sun broke down in tears during his post-race interview with Chinese television, the backlash moved swiftly from traditional social soapboxes to the Chinese favourites Weibo and Wechat.

Sun Yang Visits His Old Sport School In Hangzhou(Photo by VCG/VCG via Getty Images)

Horton went from obscurity to gold medallist to an object of hatred and rabid nationalism in the space of a matter of hours.

Horton’s personal Facebook page was deluged with vitriol. Offensive comments on his Instagram account ran to hundreds of thousands. Many of the posters were Chinese students from western universities. His Wikipedia page was also maliciously invaded. Rest assured libel lawyers would be keenly interested if they had appeared in print.

Before we knew it, the spat had evolved from sport to foreign affairs, inflamed by Australia’s stance on the disputed islands in the South China Sea. Never let anyone tell you that sport and politics are not entwined.

The AOC issued a statement on Horton’s behalf. “Mack is entitled to express a point of view,” it read. “Under the team values ASPIRE the E stands for express yourself, that is his right. He has spoken out in support of clean athletes. This is something he feels strongly about and good luck to him.”

Meanwhile, Chinese state news agency Xinhua gave voice to Chinese swim team manager Xu Qi. “We have been noticing what has been said in the past two days by Horton, who launched a malicious personal attack [on Chinese swimmers],” Xu said.

“We think his inappropriate words greatly hurt the feelings between Chinese and Australian swimmers. It is proof of a lack of good manners and upbringing. We strongly demand an apology from this swimmer.” None was forthcoming.

The interesting aspect of the furore over Horton’s anti-doping standpoint, was that it was not triggered by a throwaway remark on his social channels unlike some of the more notorious celebrity Twitter spats of recent times. Far from it. It had its roots in traditional media.

The Horton-Sun scenario is symptomatic of this modern age of media convergence. Athletes should assume that what they utter in a TV or print interview will be seized upon in social media if their views run contrary to popular opinion in some quarters.

An even if Horton’s intention was not to single out Sun, that is how it was interpreted by the vast millions who inhabit the social space in China – as well as a slight on a proud nation.

One man’s TV sound bite, albeit a beneficent moral stance on doping, can be a red rag to a keyboard warrior.

Cameron Kelleher
PR Asia Pacific

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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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.

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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 

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