In many countries dictators are trying to silence people by putting them behind prison walls. Walls have become a symbol of violence and oppression. For the past 50 years Amnesty International has campaigned for people who have been wrongfully arrested. Now the organization focuses on the walls themselves to draw attention to the fate of eight prisoners and to free them.
Therfore the organization “transforms” walls in the Frankfurt area using “Wailing Walls.”
Dan Witz, a prominent street artist fromNew York city, has been drafted to create the visuals for the project. He has created illusionistic paintings of barred windows and doors with dimly perceived images of detained people behind them. Installed discreetly on the streets of Frankfurt, these interventions transform the urban environment into an experience of prison.Every painting reflects eight real stories from eight different countries.
Stickers with QR codes and URLs demand justice for the imprisoned men. The Internet addresses (eg www.justice-for-amadou.com) lead to a site where the action is revealed. We learn more about the eight people, the circumstances of their arrest or why they are being threatened.
Virtual visitors to the website are invited to leave messages on a virtual “Wailing Wall”. There is space for wishes and expressions of hope and for more justice in the world. By leaving messages one becomes part of a large petition that will be forwarded at the end of the action to the relevant government officials.
On the website you will also find an overview map showing all the locations of the installations in Frankfurt. Amnesty International was supported in this action by the Frankfurt-based agency Leo Burnett.
About Dan Witz
Dan Witz is a Brooklyn, NY based street artist and realist painter. Witz, consistently active since the late 1970s, is one of the pioneers of the street art movement. His motivation: „My goal is to make obvious in your face art that ninety-nine percent of the people who walk by won’t notice.”
Dan Witz’s paintings have been shown in galleries throughout the US and Europe. In June 2010 a monograph, “Dan Witz. In Plain View. 30 Years of Artworks Illegal and Otherwise”, was published by Ginkgo press.
In summer 2010 Dan Witz started a new street art project, installing his imagery on highway interchanges, in heavily trafficked bottleneck locations. The idea is that each day, thousands of people stuck in traffic, captive in their cars, roll by the pieces at 2 miles an hour. Almost to a person, the immediate reaction to the pieces seems to be, “WHAT THE FUCK?”, so I’m calling the series, WHAT THE F***.
Dan Witz was born in 1957 in Chicago, Illinois. He lives with his wife and his son in New York.
Well, it’s embarrassing, but we all have been too busy to post recently. Together with our colleagues in the USA and across Europe, we have been working on a landmark framework study called PeopleShop. It is an empiricial behavioral research endeavour with over 20,000 interviews and observations about how people shop in over 40 product categories, in 7 markets, 48 touchpoints/channels across the entire path through purchase. We will share more with you end of September.
But, in the last 2 days, 2 great TV/Viral videos came across my Facebook Stream that gave me the idea to demonstrate a small part of our PeopleShop thinking. I am not even sure who made these spots, and the point isn’t to analyse or criticize other people’s work, but I will try to use them to demonstrate our Risk/Reward(TM) model that came out of the PeopleShop study. I will try to demonstrate how we gauge the effectiveness and the role of communication in different product categories.
1: Kiefer Sutherland likes cupcakes
2: Hair is the first thing girls see
Okay. Looking at these spots: what’s the difference? Both spots are very entertaining and funny. Okay, one is action-funny, the other more subtlely so. But both in some way put a smile on people’s faces and entertain the prospective buyer. Both have the chance to be extremely viral and create awareness for the respective brand quite efficiently. Both have high production value. And, they probably even have a very similar “target audience” that share the same values, socio-economic situation. So both targets should be very convinced by both brands and go run to the store and buy them.
But which one will really sell? And which one is effective for brand building? And which one actually addresses people barriers and motivations to shop in the respective category?
My bet on which one will achieve more strategic objectives is Axe and not Acer, at least not sustainably in the long run. Why?
Part of the research we did with PeopleShop reveals product category dynamics, i.e. how people generally shop for different categories and what behaviors, expections, barriers and motivations they exhibit in a specific product category. Through factor analysis and correspondance analysis we have mapped 120 product categories into four Quadrants.
People don’t shop for Laptops the same way the do for deodorant. Laptops are high risk (i.e. the time and money you need to spend) and fairly low reward (the reward you associate with the purchase process itself). Our qualitative data reveals Laptops as a Burden Category in Risk/Reward(tm). This means people have to spend time in this category researching and are confused by the choices and options they have. The shopping journey they are on isn’t exactly fun. Generally, most advertising in the Burden Category is seen as boring, irrelevant or just not enjoyable. And advertising that tries to change this by being fun is seen as not credible. Kind of a catch-22 for brands. Also, it is a very difficult to navigate category because it’s hard to differentiate the different brands. Most communication and USPs or benefits are generic,interchangable or extremely artificial (”We make stuff so Kiefer can go about his Passion”). And on top of all this, the risk associated with picking the wrong brand is perceived as very high. Being stuck with a bad insurance or computer is a serious issue. That being said, there is little potential to build brand love through traditional communication. The point is: the most prominent thing people want from brands in this area are services that make it easier for them to make a decision, help them with the purchase process, and get exceptional personal help and support. They do not want advertising that entertains them.
The Acer spot does not address this fact. It may be an entertaining spot and would have been great, for say a Sports Drink, which is a category in the Entertainment area (high reward, low risk). However, this commerical makes the attempt of making a burden category about fun. It’s like your geeky programmer friend trying to be hip and hang with the creatives because he has a new cool T-Shirt. It’s just not credible. He would be more credible and a welcome guest if he stay true to his roots. The same is true for brands. In fact, it’s almost as if Acer is trying to actively avoid the burden topic: it gives no guidance, brand navigation POD, and has a weak, tacked-on and artificial USP. Hence, it cannot actively pursue a purpose that can address the category dynamic of burden brands. Effectively, this leads to the brand doing advertising for Kiefer Sutherland and his “24″ persona, not vice versa. And all this expense just to get a brief spike in your awareness and likeabilty trackings? It’s a shame, because I really like the spot. Kiefer with Cupcakes is, without a doubt, a great creative idea, and, again, it will create awareness quite cheaply and probably even lead to a sales spike. In the long run, it’s just the wrong strategy because the brand isn’t addressing the category dynamic. Maybe Acer is up to more to do that using different channels, but right now I fail to see how exploding cupcakes will improve their service design overall or enable people in their path through purchase.
A Shampoo by a well known Deodorant, on the other hand, is usually a routine purchase, i.e. very low risk and also low reward. So, it is quite a good idea for routine category brands to morph their brand expressions into an entertaining and fun space, especially for category challengers, because it makes the purchase process more rewarding for people. This can be done without losing credibility, because, hey, it’s just deodorant (or shampoo). It’s not a complex product that needs lots of explaining or justification. Being and looking interesting is a good idea, because people will give the new product a chance - risk is low. In fact, AXE (like other typical routine categories) have established themselves in the Fun Category by consistently making it fun for people to watch their commericals. The opportunity of communication to make a low risk and unrewarding purchase fun is fulfilled. Axe, job well done, as usual.
I hope this explained, albeit only roughly, why idea to look at category dynamics and people’s behavior in a systematic empirical way is benefitial. If you are used to a process of briefing agencies and creatives using just target traditional target audience descriptions with socio-demographic and attitudinal insights, please reconsider. Investigation of people’s behavior and category dynamics can get you to insights that do more than create messaging, but rather messaging and experiences that help in defining the role of communication and channels more strategically overall.
Because, if you want to transform human behavior, you also gotta start with actual human behavior.
If you are interested in knowing more about PeopleShop and what it can do, let me know at email@example.com
It’s always a special treat when your work does more than talk at people, but rather hits a specific nerve of a Zeitgeist. Now, after a ton of articles in German newspapers, Arte TV also felt compelled to air a special on our Generation Maybe.
Wow. Thanks everyone for your continued interest in our Blog. Even though we’ve had 2 slow months on the blog, Edelman Bloglevel gave us good marks for your visits and interest in our monthly newsletters, making it the 2nd most influential Agency Blog in Germany right now according to NeueWerbung.org.
SocialShop is a deep dive study into the social media usage behavior of shoppers.
The study has confirmed Shopper Archetypes and unearthed specific social shopper needs based on product category and social channel.
More than just yet another social study with statistics and numbers, I believe the Leo Burnett / Arc research team has managed to create an empirical but strategic framework for how to define the role of social media channels depending on people’s needs, their shopper archetype.
This focal study is a derivative of the larger PeopleShop quantitative study of 8000 shoppers, examining over 40 offline and online touchpoints, local shopper archetypes, shopping occasions, shopping trip types and channels in over 20 product categories. PeopleShop helps build qualitative shopper journeys that offer deeper insights into shopper behavior than previously possible.
This study is currently underway in 4 European markets and we expect to be able to share it with you in September.
I’ve written a number of rants here on the accomplishments of the User Experience Practice. Not only in terms of being a practice that has always had he focus on the user and human behavior, but, as a result, having a complete view of people’s journey; a view that gives creative solution a visceral understanding of human behavior, as opposed to merely attitudinal consumer insights laced with flat helicopter-macro trends that ad agencies had to work with in the old days. As advertising agencies have had to learn how to go from creating ads (messages) to acts (experiences), not only was having a UX background a great asset personally, but also a key ingredient to the betterment of the communication industry overall.
However, at the same time, I also had been asking myself what the UX community is really up to. say. The last 5-10 years, it has been my impression, that, in terms of the toolset used by Information Architects, Information Designers, Interaction Designers, etc. not much has changed. Sure, UX people have adapted to doing what they do for new devices that have entered the market, but fundamentally, the process of how we go about unearthing user insights and defining and testing experiences, not much seem to have changed, including who UX people work with and how they position themselves in a larger organization.
So it is with great interest that I came across an article by the godfather of UX Jared Spool, who basically poses the question if a new way of working with new sets of skills is required. I found it interesting, but it also sounded like a late wake-up call. In the article I find a confirmation of my previous stance pure-play UX shops have been stagnant for too long. The question Jared takes on and shares with us is one that agencies (digital and fullservice) have been dealing with and solving for quite a while. While the proposed team constellation he describes makes sense, it really isn’t really news to teams in full-service and digital creative agencies that have been dealing with overlapping job descriptions, disciplines, almost unmarriable structural problems for like 10 or so years already. Those who have had the source of business, have made changes to their team structure in similar ways as Jared proposes already.
To be fair, many have failed and had to try again, and many seem to have given up, going back to an old-school model, hoping Armageddon won’t come after all, and I don’t think many figured out the magic bullet. So the article still does the job of heating a debate that needs more action, more trial and error.
Still, I think it is a great Jared shared the state of thinking on the UX team in a larger context. For, a) it shows that while there might be a (somewhat outdated) acrimony between the “ad” agencies with the UX agencies, there are actually things that keeps us from realizing full potential on both sides that we can join forces on, and b) it’s nice that even thoroughbred UXers got their wake up call to start innovating again, and maybe once more be the subject matter force behind fundamental rethinking the role of the communication industry.
That said, after realizing the potential of a new team skill structure and opening the gates to more “collections”, my dear hope is that UXers will join forces to use their skills and knowledge of micro-behavior to find new tools to create overarching behavioral insights that can be more easily used for a differentiated brand experience strategy as opposed to just user experience strategy, regardless if they are pure play descendents of the library sciences or connections planners from a reformed traditional agency world, or social media ninjas who come from the concept development area.
We are all probably damaged somehow, doesn’t mean we can’t all be good.
“What if everyone was given free access to the sum of all human knowledge?” … This and the fact the world needs a source of free knowledge for the information age that is free of commercial interest is reason enough for Leo Burnett Germany to propose Wikipedia as the first digital, first global and youngest UNESCO’s Cultural World Heritage.