Wednesday, 19 April 2017

¡Mira esa Pipa! Grefusa's Viral Sunflower Seeds, Pipas G

These days, given the overwhelming noise of our 24/7 mediatic Matrix and the serious obstacle of the Personal Cybersphere, it almost seems miraculous when adverts become viral.

Yet, that is exactly what seems to be happening with some humble sunflower seeds, a popular snack in Spain.

And not just with anyone, either.

The brand's catchy slogans, set to a rapping tone, are capturing the imagination of pre-teens and Gen X across the country.

The proof?

Fun fan videos like the one above, created in her spare time by an ardent Grefusa fanatic. Her video has already captured over a hundred thousand views on YouTube.

And there's even a Flamenco Remix!

Yet more important than that:

Those catchy, rhyming words of "Pipas G" are being repeated over and over and over and over ... across schoolyards this Spring in Spain!

And at the cash register, by fun-loving fans just like this one;-)

Tuesday, 14 March 2017

#MYFREEDOMDAY · Stop Human Trafficking Now!

Today, 14 March 2017 is #MyFreedomDay.

This short video is our agency's contribution to this CNN worldwide initiative, in order to raise awareness about human trafficking and combat slavery, sexual or otherwise. 

You can join us, quickly and easily:
We urge you to SHARE this video before leaving the blog.

You can also consult information below on how you can help free and care for enslaved girls in Cambodia.

Thank you in advance!

The BV Team · Ágape International Missions

Monday, 12 December 2016

The Personal Cybersphere | "R4": Relationship

We truly hope that you are enjoying our exporation together of the Personal Cybersphere; and that the series is giving you ideas for your own projects.

Since you have successfully passed the third level, the RESPECT that your brand has achieved in the minds of your most profitable customers now leads you to their hearts.

By reaching the "Fourth R", RELATIONSHIP, you are well on your way to establishing your Brand as a bona-fide "Lovemark".

To begin with, let's define the term, a ground-breaking concept that has revolutionised the New Marketing of this century.

Lovemarks are legendary Brands that are an intimate part of their customers' lives. They span generations, such as these household favourites of Lacasa, a leading Spanish chocolate company:

In the online store we've created for them, highly-personalised chocolates allow the Brands to be shared
by consumers in their most intimate moments: weddings, communions, birthdays, etc.

In the Twentieth Century, before we were all assailed by the data avalanche of Digital Life, it now seems that life was so much simpler.

Before the era of Always-On choices and the noise of hundreds of channels, it was enough for a Brand to occupy a (coveted) place on a consumer's mental "Short List".

"Brand Awareness" formed part of a very rational decision-making process by potential buyers. It led them from awareness through very few steps to the product purchase.

The "Purchase Funnel" has become infinitely more complicated in the Internet Age.
Today, as Kevin Roberts argues, it is not enough to be known. You must be loved.

A subtitle of the pioneer work of Saatchi's Worldwide Creative Director says it all: "loyalty beyond reason". Achieving Lovemark status for your Brand is the logical destination and "Final R" of your customers' Personal Cybersphere.

As Paul Fleming frequently quips: Take care of "Wally", the 20% that causes 80% of your sales, -- really spoil him and invest in the relationship -- and sooner or later, your Wally will introduce you to her cousin: ROI.

Reach the Fourth R and you have reached Nirvana.

This is an intimate space with your star customers, a treasured place where his purchases are not transaccional, but organic. In other words, your Brand is such a personal and important part of her life that she buys your products naturally, almost without thinking.

Average use of Lovemark Brands averages 119 days a year, versus only 26 days for "respected Brands", according to research. More importantly, Lovemark fans typically possess half of that Brand Knowledge: they know it, and they love it. They're fans, after all!

That is the perfect "insurance" against recessions, possible PR crisis, product re-calls and the like. Each Brand needs champions such as these. They are forgiving, engaging and your very best salespeople. They recommend you to friends and family, effortlessly.

Yet it is precisely here that you must be careful.

Every Relationship needs "TLC", as they say in the US: Tender Loving Care. If your "Wallys" know so much about the Brand they love, do YOU continue to invest in gaining more and more subjective information about THEM?

Does your Marketing, every product, every line, every touchpoint say to them: oel ngati kamei?

As we conclude, enjoy this moving video of Samsung Turkey about the relationship they are creating with deaf customers.

This is a new way of hearing -- and of seeing -- for Marketing.

Key Points
  • R4, the fourth and final level in the Personal Cybersphere, is RELATIONSHIP.
  • The ROI we seek in our Marketing strategies is born out of Relationship
  • Lovemarks, a concept created by Kevin Roberts, creates resilient, enduring Brands
  • Key: reaching "R4" is only the beginning of an ongoing commitment

"The Personal Cybersphere" and "The 4 Rs" are © Copyright Paul W. Fleming.

Tuesday, 4 October 2016

The Personal Cybersphere | R3: “Respect”

In this post, we continue our journey up the four levels of the Personal Cybersphere
to the “Third R”: RESPECT.

If you have managed to enter the Cybersphere of your most profitable customer, congratulations. It shows that your overall strategy is promising -- and that you possess the “Secret Password”.

You should also be praised for having passed through R1 (Recognition) on to R2 (Response). If you now stand before the third hurdle, it shows that you are well-entitled to enjoy the benefits of “Respect”.

 Still, it won’t be easy. Let me show you why.

A Social Media post we created for Unilever here in Spain using Facebook's new reaction Emojis
as a means of speaking fans' language on that social platform

“R-E-S-P-E-C-T”. Even before songstress Aretha Franklin literally spelled it out for us, we have known how difficult it is to gain – and to keep  respect. Not only on a personal, relational level; it’s a challenge for the most famous of Brands.

In the case of the Digital Citizen you wish to “convert” into a loyal and happy client, it is especially difficult. Not only because of the barrier of her Personal Cybersphere. Her adept use of media, her myriad product choices, and the constant roar of millions of messages in the “Matrix” clamouring for her attention only exacerbate the problem.

Your communication must be quick, clear and simple. You must not only gain her attention (R1), impress her with your reputation, service and speed (R2). You must also capture her imagination, her admiration. In essence, seduce her.

The easy way to do so is to place all of your messages in a very special place: The Magic Mirror”. This is my term for 21st-Century Advertising. Each potential customer you wish to win over must see himself in the mirror, along with a reflection of his needs, fears, and aspirations.

The “Ah-ha” moment you seek to create will open the “Third R” to you. If he sees that you speak his language and understand his Digital Lifestyle (DL), your Brand will increase in Relevance. And Respect.

One of my favorite campaigns of recent Digital Marketing shows a clear understanding of Advertising as a Magic Mirror. In a series of spots created to promote a new line of sandwiches, fast-food chain Wendys hiredscriptwriters and actors to create short “Love Stories” based on actual comments of Social Media fans about the new “Pretzel Pub Chicken” line. The result is fresh, fun and engaging.

“Speaking her language” in the case of a young Millennial customer is vitally linked to understanding her Digital Lifestyle: i.e., which devices does she use daily, even hourly? Her favorite Social Media? Her preferred channels of communication? How does she express herself? Using her tablet keyboard? Dictating orders to Siri? Or does she overdose on emojis using WhatsApp on her Android? J

Understanding where and how to communicate with your best customer is essential. One study (eMarketer, 01/2016) shows that B2B purchases influenced by Linked In have the highest value versus other social networks. And recent Carat CSS data demonstrates that 76% of Gen Z consumers (under 18) “cannot live” without their smartphones.

If you don’t understand their DL, you are neither where your customers are, nor do you speak their language. A very poor starting point for gaining their Respect, wouldn’t you say?

In Barcelona’s Mobile World Congress this past February, Marcus Weldon, CTO of Nokia and President of Bell Labs, went even further. In his view, a true 21-Century “Star Trek Existence” is already possible.

Key Points

  • R3, the third of four levels in the Personal Cybersphere, is RESPECT.
  • Respect is gained by “speaking their language”, understanding their “DL”
  • Advertising: I call it “The Magic Mirror”, where your consumer sees herself
  • Key: humor, empathy, authenticity, as well as excellent quality & relevant response

"The Personal Cybersphere" and "The 4 Rs" are © Copyright Paul W. Fleming.

Tuesday, 26 July 2016

The Personal Cybersphere | R2: “Response”

We hope that you’re enjoying this series on The Personal Cybersphere (see Introduction and R1: Recognition), and that you have embraced the challenge of penetrating this barrier erected by your potential Digital Customers.

Let's suppose that your Brand has successfully passed the first hurdle: it is recognised by the “Always-On” Consumer as a relevant, 21st Century Brand. She has entered your e-store, was intrigued by your Social Media advergame and is now considering signing up to receive your newsletter.

Welcome to your next challenge, the Second R of the Cybersphere: RESPONSE.

R2 is actually a double-edged sword, because it cuts both ways. The first imperative is to move your potential new customer to ACTION, to have him respond to your offer or message in some way.

Yet, once he has, the other side of the coin depends on YOU: it is equally as essential that your company respond BACK to him in the most revelant and correct way.

If you don’t the story will end there. Your Brand won’t proceed to the next “R”, Respect. And you might lose a potential sale – or long-term customer – forever.

RESPONSE is not as easy as it looks. To begin with, it is vital that you know about the importance of FLOW and to communicate to the right person, in the right way, at the right time.

In the 1990s, “Flow” was a celebrated theory about happiness, penned by Hungarian author Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. Paul Fleming later adopted the idea to Interactive Marketing, based on the ground-breaking work by Jim Sterne. In the first days of the Web, it was important to capture users’ FULL attention in a website that was fast and easy to understand. If they entered Flow, then they would click right through from the Home Page to more information and potential sales.

Of all the “Four Rs”, the second one, Response, is perhaps the most critical.
Today, Net users need to both FLOW and FLY. The inspiring song by R. Kelley, “I Believe I Can Fly!” is a great way to think of your Digital Customers. Thanks to 4G and fibre-optics, mobile devices and WIFI, they are literally flying: to information, entertainment and products they desire.

Don’t cut their Flow!

Amazon is brilliantly aware of Flow. In very brief TV spots during commercial breaks in the UK for Downton Abbey, they were careful not to traumatically “yank” fans of the series out of the 1920s into a hard-sell pitch of 2015. Their very short ads were customised to fit the series, in the engaging videos you see above.

Many other Brands are not as wise. They insist on using the Interruption Model and push their message in an unwelcome way via pop-ups, video pre-rolls and other means that actually creates Anti-Marketing. According to research, 94% of YouTube users skip pre-roll adverts within 5 seconds! The advertiser is cutting their flow (in a shameless way, we might ad). That Brand will not activate R2, Response, but rather another “R”: REJECTION.

It might seem that consumers who are always connected will be always available to respond to you. Not at all. They have their lives to lead, and innovators such as Google know that very well. In all of their advertising models, the new emphasis of the California giant is on seeking out (and satisfying) the “Micro Moments” that come up during each day of our lives (see video above).

This type of “Mindful Marketing” is an excellent way to get past the Second R of the Cybersphere and generate a sincere interest and response by your potential customer. Your message won’t cut their Flow and annoy them because it arrives for the right person, with the right solution, at the right time.

According to Tom Uglow of Google Creative Lab, we have moved from centuries of Static Information to a new paradigm: Fluid Information.

If your Digital Customers believe they can fly, do you flow and fly with them?

Key Points

  • R2, the second hurdle of the Personal Cybersphere, is RESPONSE
  • To obtain a response, you must understand the concept of Flow
  • Time your message to come at the correct “Micro Moment”
  • Never cut customers’ Flow. They’ll reject you immediately.

"The Personal Cybersphere" and "The 4 Rs" are 
© Copyright Paul W. Fleming.

Wednesday, 1 June 2016

Countdown to Cannes! Taming the Personal Cybersphere


-- Spaces are limited --
(20 people per session), so please come early on the 22nd!




See you there? :-)

"The Personal Cybersphere" & "The 4 Rs":
© Copyright Paul W. Fleming, 2001.

Tuesday, 10 May 2016

#CannesLions · Trailer Preview!
"Taming the Personal Cybersphere"

We thought you might enjoy this advance look at the short trailer for Paul Fleming's two practical workshops at the Cannes Lions festival on 22 June 2016.

It not only gives you a glimpse at some of the intriguing contents; it also features special music by Andy Hunter, international DJ and composer of themes from "The Matrix Reloaded", "Need for Speed" and his new mobile app, "Presence".

If you'd like to download it (it's free), here are the links:

See you in Cannes?

"The Personal Cybersphere" and "The 4 Rs" are © Copyright Paul W. Fleming, 2001

Tuesday, 1 March 2016

The Personal Cybersphere | R1: “Recognition”

If you have trouble believing in the existence of the Personal Cybersphere (see Introduction), just ask Hillary Clinton. I can assure you: not only does this US Presidential Candidate know that the Cybersphere exists. She is fighting for her political life because of it.

At the time of this writing, Mrs. Clinton has just lost, dramatically, in the first Primary Elections in the US state of New Hampshire. With her years of experience, and thanks to her powerful political “machine”, the ex-Senator and Secretary of State should be “cleaning up”. She is not.

The problem is, her messages are just not getting through to voters of the 21st Century. She isn´t even visible to many potential voters, because she is failing to activate the first “R” of the Personal Cybersphere: RECOGNITION.

To even gain entrance to a Digital Citizen’s Personal Cybersphere, it is essential to be recognised. Otherwise, the door will not be opened and your message will bounce right back to you, forming a dismal pile of “unopened” messages, in the case of E-Mail Marketing.

In other KPIs, you will see the evidence of a failure to activate R1 in the form of low visit numbers to your web or e-shop, high bounce rates, extremely brief time spent on your site, etc.

In the case of the American politician mentioned above (who is, of course, a Brand) Hillary Clinton at this moment of time remains unrecognised and hence, invisible to millions of people. Most especially, younger voters: Millennials and Gen Z.

If you read the introductory piece to this blog series on the Personal Cybersphere,
you'll already know the secret password: RELEVANT RELATIONSHIPS!

The key to activating RECOGNITION is quite simple: RELEVANCE. If your opening message or offer is relevant to her needs and lifestyle, if your Brand communicates as a 21st Century Brand, then perhaps your target customer will let you in. Those odds increase if she has the feeling that you know her: you “see” her, and therefore understand her life and needs.

The concept of SEEING is brilliantly illustrated in the blockbuster movie, AVATAR. When one of the occupants of the planet Pandora is asked by the American soldier how to say “Hello” in her native language, Nav’i, she responds: Oel ngati kameie. I SEE YOU.

Do you truly see your most valuable customers? Or are they only objects to you, mere short-term dispensers of Euros, Dollars, Yen?

In Barcelona Virtual, we focus all of our Marketing strategies on “Finding Wally”. The popular figure of the childrens’ books "Where's Wally?" (© copyright Martin Handford) is perfect for symbolizing the 20% who cause 80% of your sales (the well-known Pareto Principle).

Have you found Wally? Do you truly see him?

If you do, then he might open up R1 to you, recognising your Brand and welcoming you his Personal Cybersphere. Yet, only as a first step.

Key Points

  • R1, the first of four levels in the Personal Cybersphere, is RECOGNITION
  • A recognised Brand is relevant, 21st Century and truly sees its customers
  • Focus your strategy on “Wally”, your most profitable client
  • Oel ngati kamei, the art of seeing: an on-going investment in getting to know him

Read the entire series:
Introduction · R1: Recognition · R2: Response · R3: Respect · R4: Relationship

Download the Eurobest Presentation:
Free download of Paul Fleming's speech at Eurobest 2015 in Antwerp, Belgium

Photo credits:
- Avatar, Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation
- Wally, Martin Handford

"The Personal Cybersphere" and "The 4 Rs" are © Copyright Paul W. Fleming.

Monday, 11 January 2016

The Dangers and Opportunities of the Personal Cybersphere

The Always-On Customer has arrived. Now that she’s here, we are seeing the fulfillment of early prophecies about dangers and opportunities related to the 21st-Century Consumer.

One such “prophecy” is the model of the “Personal Cybersphere”. Developed by Paul Fleming in 2001 to explain Gen Xers’ initial resistance to digital campaigns, its importance has only grown with the emergence of Millennials and Gen Z consumers. This invisible, “protective” shield --  made up of four successive levels (the “4 Rs”) -- envelops your customers, blocking your Marketing messages. Destroying them, too, for they are never seen.

In this post, you’ll learn what these 4 Rs are, and we’ll even reveal the “secret password” to help you get started!

In early 2001, Paul and his team detected incipient resistance to Digital Marketing and Online Advertising campaigns by what Carol Samms first called “The First Digital Generation”. These initial “surfers” didn’t suffer the same amount of “Infotoxication” (Alfons Cornella) as we do today; nevertheless, they did begin to feel the stress and started to filter out information.

As a result, Paul developed the “Personal Cybersphere” as a way to explain diminishing returns in some of the first digital campaigns, along with solutions to optimise them. The 4 consecutive “Rs” of Recognition, Response, Respect and Relationship would guide the creative strategy of Barcelona Virtual from then on.

In September of 2001, he published further reflections about the Cybersphere in the Spanish trade magazine CONTROL in an article titled “La Ciberesfera, una teoría en plena expansión: la sociología, así como la publicidad, avala una nueva tesis sobre la Generación Digital”*. He developed the model in more detail over the years following, which was later adopted in articles about the Digital Generation by the Spanish government’s Instituto de la Juventud, INJUVE.

In a series of posts here on Día 1, we will examine each of the “4 Rs” separately and in detail. Our mission: to help you craft creative and effective communication with Millennials, Gen Y … and beyond!

Seeing the growing importance of the Personal Cybersphere, we presented the model
in Antwerp, Belgium as part of Barcelona Virtual's participation in the 2015 Eurobest Festival

Key Points

  • Developed by Paul Fleming, founder of Barcelona Virtual, in 2001
  • An invisible, protective shield that blocks your digital Marketing and Advertising
  • Made up of 4 successive levels of Recognition, Response, Respect and Relationship
  • The “password” for initial entry: “Relevant Relationships” with your customers

Read the entire series:
Introduction · R1: Recognition · R2: Response · R3: Respect · R4: Relationship

Download the Eurobest Presentation:
Free download of Paul Fleming's speech at Eurobest 2015 in Antwerp, Belgium

* “The Cybersphere, A Theory in Full Expanision: Sociology, As Well As Advertising, Validates a New Thesis about the Digital Generation”. CONTROL, September 2001.

"The Personal Cybersphere" and "The 4 Rs" are © Copyright Paul W. Fleming.

Thursday, 30 April 2015

Achieve Strong KPIs with Responsive Apps, Gamification

For the 2014 Christmas Promotion of Spanish chocolate leader Lacasa,
we decided to involve the Brand's fans virtually in "making chocolate".

For Spaniards, turrones are a beloved part of Christmas celebrations, a type of chocolate created by Chocolates Lacasa itself in 1852. Because we wanted to show that "turrones al corte" are made in Zaragoza in an artesian manner, by hand-cutting in the factory, we created a contest based around a mobile-ready, responsive game.

To win prizes, users need to ascend 9 different levels of difficulty, cutting their turrones either on the desktop PCs, or via smartphones and tablets. The Gamification elements of the app resulted in high engagement levels, as well as a broad sharing of the hashtag #CortaelTurrón in Social Media.

In Facebook, the number of fans rose by 28%.

Would you like to see what one of these turron tastes like?
If you live in Spain, order one right now,
at the Lacasa online store ;-)