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What if you had the perfect excuse to watch the UEFA Champions League without your girlfriend? Watch the video to the end and find out. That’s the idea in Heineken’s latest ad stunt for soccer fans. One week before the UEFA Champions League Final in Milan, Heineken targeted a handful of guys out at dinner in São Paulo with their girlfriends. When the guys opened the menus, they were met with a surprising message:
Would you like to be free to watch the UEFA Champions League Final at a Heineken party? Gift your lady a weekend at this spa…

Creative Credits:
Advertising Agency: Publicis, Brazil
Creative directors: Hugo Rodrigues, Kevin Zung, Alexandre Vilela
Art Directors: Henrique Mattos, Cícero Souza, Guto Kono
Copywriters: Pedro Lazera, Mariana Albuquerque, Samuel Normando
Account management: Danilo Ken, Daniel Batista, Marina Roge
Planners: Eduardo Lorenzi, Alexandra Varassin, Rafael Fiorito, Leonardo Andrade
Social strategist: Tiago Martinez
Media: Gracieli Beraldi, Giuliana Barletta, Nicolas Lana
Production: Tato Bono, Dani Toda
Production Firm: Hungry Man
Film director: Caio Rubini, Fabio Pinheiro
Managing Partner: Alex Mehedff
Executive Producer: Rodrigo Castello, Renata Corrêa
Line Producer: Mariana Marinho
Photograph Director: Felipe Meneghel
Production team: Hungry Man
Post Production Supervisor: Rodrigo Oliveira
Post Productiona: Efecktor
Fitter: Thiago Ceruti
Color Granding: Psycho N’Look
Audio Production firm: Jamute

Blog: Disempowered.

By Cristi Hegranes, Founder & Executive Director

GPI HQ —Since the beginning, my goal has been the same: create a training-to-employment program that enables women in developing media markets to become the storytellers of record in some of the least-covered parts of the world.

That mission has long been communicated to funders, training recruits and staff in terms of “our three E’s.”

Educate, employ, empower.

GPI offers a training program that prepares local women to become ethical, investigative, feature journalists. In a 24-module curriculum they learn everything from ethics and interviewing techniques to photojournalism and safety and security protocols. (Educate.)

After completing the training, we offer 100 percent of our graduates employment, working as professional reporters for Global Press Journal, the award-winning publication of GPI. (Employ.)

Over the last 10 years we’ve opened 41 independent news bureaus and trained more than 150 women. We pay strong, living wages to all of our reporters to produce high-quality feature journalism from remote parts of the globe, offering greater access to information for local and global audiences.

It’s a system that has worked well.

A majority of our journalists also report extraordinary life changes – earning a living wage in a profession of literate leadership has propelled some of our reporters to win awards, earn greater respect in their homes and communities, improve basic life circumstances, even testify before their governments and attend international gatherings as experts. (One even ran for parliament.)

In our most recent annual report, 88 percent of our journalists reported being better able to care for themselves and their families thanks to their employment here. (More on the annual report next week.) What’s more, I am often the fortunate recipient of email messages from my team of global reporters that say things like, “We’ve moved to a safer part of town.”

“I got my son back.”

“My babies will have a wonderful Christmas this year.”

Or, “My husband and I are equals now.”

I used to think of these statements as evidence of GPI making good on its third E, empowerment.

But I’ve changed my mind.

And everything you just read was a long preamble to a simple decision to remove the word empower from Global Press Institute’s mission.

By definition empowerment is something given. And I used to believe that empowerment was something GPI offered, something that naturally followed successful training and long-term employment. But the truth is, the women of GPI have not been given empowerment. Those who have found it here, claimed it for themselves through hard work and tenacious commitment to a principled practice of journalism.

Of course, I do believe that journalism is an empowering profession. At GPI, it demands rigor and precision. Humanity. Dignity. Ethics.

Our particular brand of journalism is extra challenging, with its additional layers of local and global relevance, our lofty code of ethics and our commitment to accuracy at all costs (and time tables.)

So in fairness, I should add that there are reporters who don’t make it here. Just a month ago, for example, a promising trainee in India confessed that our standards of rigor were too much for her. The length of time it took to produce a story was oppressive, she said. She preferred to seek work in local media where her stories weren’t subject to scruitinous fact checks and quality-control processes. And she’s not the only one.

Then, we must consider the multitude of realities that our team of reporters, across 26 countries, exisit within.

Some reporters are proflific in publication, while others produce just four or six stories per year. Some really hustle and some just scrape by. Some have six children. Some have none. Some live in conflict zones. Some have family money. Some are victims of domestic violence. Some have higher education. And for many, local circumstances outweigh any positive gain that GPI brings.

So how can GPI promise empowerment?

It can’t.

So, last week, after 10 years, I deleted the word “empower” from our mission statement.

I announced the change in a year-end memo to my global team.

The three E’s of our mission are probably well known to you by now – Educate. Employ. Empower. The first two remain my commitment to you. But the third E, is up to you. I hope that you find empowerment here. I hope you feel empowered to tell exceptional stories. I hope you feel empowered to be leaders and to earn money. I hope you understand that this a truly limitless opportunity. But I no longer feel that that the third E is mine to give. Rather, it is yours to take.”

To my surprise, reporters and editors applauded the change.

“Empowerment is subjective,” Aliya Bashir, a long-time GPJ senior reporter from Indian-administered Kashmir wrote in an email.

Over the years, Aliya has produced some of our best stories. She’s also been outspoken when our editorial process has become inefficient or when we needed to staff up to keep up with editorial demand. I trust her opinion and I trust that she’ll tell me the truth. So when I asked her to expand on her opinion about GPI deleting the word “empower” from its mission she told me she was a big fan of the change.

“Empowerment is meaningful and special for us in so many different ways — economically, freedom of expression, growth, learning, decision-making power, being truthful, working on dream projects and much more,” she wrote. “In a nutshell, GPI is a powerful tool through which we liberate ourselves from being dependent on others to chase our dreams.”


“Reporters are given each and every skill and resource that they need to tell those exceptional stories,” she continued. “So I sincerely believe that we are active participants in our own empowerment.”

Responses from other team members were equally strong.

“It was not appropriate to consider education and employment at the same level as empowerment,” wrote Ivonne Jeannot Laens of GPJ Argentina. Ivonne started as a trainee in 2012, and fast became the country coordinator for GPJ Argentina before joining the GPI training staff for the Americas. “The empowerment is the goal. And to meet that goal one needs what is given from the outside and also what comes from inside. We can only offer the tools for the women of GPI to empower themselves.”

Congo Group Shot
The Global Press team in DRC with founder Cristi Hegranes.

And perhaps my favorite response came from Noella Nyirabihogo, a senior reporter and country coordinator from GPJ Democratic Republic of Congo.

“I know that with GPI my kids will go to a nice school. I know that they will eat well. I know that one day I will get my own house. And above all I know that one day I will be known as one of the most intelligent journalists in DRC, one who wrote life-changing articles,” she wrote. “But I am the only one who can achieve all of those goals. GPI gave me a field but I’m the one to cultivate it.”

So, just like that, I’m out of the empowerment business. But, I guess I was never really in it.

The act of offering an opportunity is not a promise of empowerment, I know that now.

In some ways, I regret t

he years when I assumed empowerment was part of the GPI package. But I am grateful to be surrounded by so many people who use the incredible opportunity that is GPI to tell brave stories, to speak truth to power, to invest in their own livelihoods and in their communities.

Most of all, I am proud to employ more than 100 women who don’t need an empowerment handout.





The post Blog: Disempowered. appeared first on Global Press Institute.

How Emotions Shape Brand Perceptions

A picture is worth a thousand words.’ Cliché, but true. In fact, it’s a cliché because it’s true. A battle between pictures and words is like one between Mike Tyson and Tiny Tim: the picture throws the bigger punch. Consider the following:

  • Two-thirds of all stimuli reaching the brain are visual (Zaltman, 1996).
  • Over 50 per cent of the brain is devoted to processing visual images (Bates and Cleese, 2001).
  • So 80 per cent of learning is visually based (American Optometric Association, 1991).

Marketers and brand owners, take note. Humans are extremely visual: we think largely in images, not words. What consumers and employees can’t actually see, or at the very least mentally envision, is most likely going to be lost on them. 
In ambiguous situations, most communication is non-verbal. Every day, we find ourselves in situations where the other party’s words and body language strike us as either opaque or conflicting. In those cases, what do we do? We rely more 
on non-verbal clues to evaluate the emotional state of the person speaking. Here are the exact statistics:

  • 55 per cent of communication comes through facial expressions.
  • 38 per cent of communication is through tone of voice.
  • Only 7 per cent of communication is through verbal exchange.

For anyone who wants to ‘get back to basics’, remember that nothing is more basic than non-verbal communication. Human beings have existed for over 500,000 years, but we’ve had the benefit of language for less than a quarter of that time. Moreover, because the rational and sensory parts of the brain aren’t adjacent neighbors, we’re not very good at verbally describing the details our senses detect. Ironically, that’s true despite the fact that our gut-level perceptions are largely shaped by sensory impressions.

Emotions Color Perceptions And Inhibit Change

We perceive matters in ways that emotionally protect our habits and biases.

The processing of ‘facts’ is, in essence, as much about the processing of one’s emotions as it is the processing of whatever external dynamics a person happens to be experiencing.

For instance, how do we ‘choose’ which brands to notice? Well, the first step in the perceptual process is that of screening, which often occurs subconsciously. We tend to screen out the unfamiliar (since paying attention to unfamiliar stimuli requires effort). Instead, we prefer to focus on what we already know and can relate to more easily.

Yes, at times people will analyze the ‘facts’ vigorously, but emotions are more basic and more dominant. Remember: we feel before we think, and those reactions are subconscious, immediate and inescapable. That’s why our reactions are often hard to verbalize. Our language skills reside in the rational brain, which may not even get invoked, because automatic reactions are primarily emotional in nature. As the psychologist Robert Zajonc notes, to say ‘I decided in favor of X’ often means nothing more nor less than ‘I liked X’ – and that’s good enough.

Why is instinctive preference good enough? The reason is that emotional judgements tend to be irrevocable. In terms of our basic emotional reactions, we’re never wrong about what we like or dislike. Zajonc notes, the factual reality of ‘The cat is black’ pales in contrast to the more intimate emotional reality of ‘I don’t like black cats.’

What’s the last stage in the sequence of perception? It’s retrieval, which is mediated by our emotions yet again. We tend to store and recall more readily those experiences that fit most comfortably into our existing mental frameworks. Therefore, memory is driven by preferences rooted in being at ease with our choice. Consumers and employees alike often defend their choices or actions based on details they previously deemed rationally irrelevant. Why? The explanation is that emotions are self-justifying and, therefore, emotional reactions can become totally separated from content.

Therefore, remember that what we’ve already seen will predispose us to what we can see the next time around because of our emotional investment in what’s familiar to us. While a company may believe it has a technically or functionally superior offer, consumers’ evaluations are in essence emotionally based. Objectivity doesn’t exist, because everything gets filtered and colored by emotional responses. The bottom line is that there’s almost always more commercial gain to be made by going with, rather than against, what people have already emotionally internalized and accepted.

Contributed to Branding Strategy Insider by: Dan Hill, excerpted from his book, Emotionomics, with permission from Kogan Page publishing.

The Blake Project Can Help: Accelerate Brand Growth Through Powerful Emotional Connections

Branding Strategy Insider is a service of The Blake Project: A strategic brand consultancy specializing in Brand Research, Brand Strategy, Brand Licensing and Brand Education

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The 2016 NBA Draft is coming to the Barclays Center in Brooklyn on June 23, and the league is celebrating with the launch of “Draft 16,” the latest installment in the ongoing “This Is Why We Play” campaign. “Draft 16” debuted during Game 4 of the NBA Finals.

The new spot captures the journey of 2015 Draft picks including the Timberwolves’ Karl-Anthony Towns, New York Knicks’ Kristaps Porzingis, Philadelphia 76ers’ Jahlil Okafor, and others and centers on the village of unsung heroes—the families, friends, coaches, and others—who’ve helped these budding superstars achieve their dreams. From driveway hoops to youth basketball league courts, it’s a powerful reminder that, when we make it, we don’t make it alone.

Creative Credits:
Brand/Client: NBA
Campaign Title: This Is Why We Play
Spot Title: Draft 16
First Air Date: June 10

Agency: Translation
Chief Executive Officer: Steve Stoute
Chief Creative Officer: John Norman
Chief Strategy Officer: John Greene
Group Creative Director: Matthew McFerrin
Group Creative Director: Achilles Li
Senior Creative, Copywriter: Katie Edmondson
Senior Creative, Art Direction: Katie Yoder
Director of Broadcast Production: Miriam Franklin
Content Producer: Kristen Cooler
Account Team: Stanley Lumax, Agustina Marcos, Craig Mitchell
Senior Project Manager: Matt DeSimone

Editor: Fafu Pfafflin

Telecine/Conform Company: Company Three
Colorist: Rob Sciarratta

Audio Post: Heard City
Mixer: Mike Vitacco
Executive Producer: Gloria Pitagorsky
Producer: Sasha Awn

Music: “When My Time Comes”
Artist: Dawes

Footage Search & License: Visual Catch

Felt, a free app that lets people create and mail handwritten cards from their iPhones and iPads, is trumping the competition when it comes to Father’s Day. Teaming with advertising agency Humanaut, it’s making America great again by launching The Dad Gift Collection, a set of mostly irreverent holiday greetings paired with a retailer gift card. This is Felt’s first foray into offering gift cards.

Dads aren’t always the best at expressing love, so Father’s Day can be an awkward time for many sons and daughters. Felt created the set as the perfect solution to surprise the man who gave us the gift of life yet still expects to receive nothing on June 19th. Each selection comes with a Dad-themed gift card and funny, honest message guaranteed to give him a chuckle.

“If I bribe you with this, will you please not vote for Trump?” pleads the note to dad that surrounds the Applebee’s gift card. “You taught me if you want it done right, you have to do it yourself,” is the sentiment expressed on a Home Depot card holder intended for that strong, handy, responsible type of father. “So buy your own damn gift, dad.” Plastic presents are also available for Macy’s L.L.Bean and several other stores. The sender can decide how much to apply to the gift card and should allow five days for delivery. Felt cards cost just $3 to send.

“American’s spend about 7 billion dollars more on Mother’s Day cards each year than Father’s Day,” says David Littlejohn, Humanaut and Felt Creative Director. “We figured it’s time we give something special for Dads this Father’s Day, mostly a good laugh.”

Humanaut is still reeling from Felt’s triumphant May 20 appearance on the TV show Shark Tank, ABC’s unscripted angel investor adventure. Since the episode aired a little over a week ago, the company has increased revenues by 10x and the app has been downloaded 100,000 times.

Creative Credits:
Advertising Agency: Humanaut, Chattanooga, TN (USA)
Creative Director: David Littlejohn
Strategist: Andrew Clark
Copywriter: Andy Pearson, Liza Behles
Design Director: Stephanie Gelabert
Designer: Coleson Amon / Carrie Warren

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I originally wrote this piece for the Harvard Business Review. It was published on HRB.org on April 23, 2014.

Licensing can generate big business for brands. The top 150 global licensors accounted in total for almost $230 billion, according to License! Global. Disney alone reported $39.3 billion in retail sales of licensed merchandise worldwide in 2012, fueled by the popularity of its Marvel Comics properties.brand protection

Brands in categories from apparel to automotive to sporting goods to spirits are licensed.  Even celebrities license their brands – Usher Cologne, anyone?

Licensing’s popularity makes sense. It can boost brand exposure and expansion without significant investment, helping companies enter international markets or play in new product categories without having to incur the usual product development costs and risks. Licensing can also be used to expand a brand’s footprint into adjacencies, as demonstrated by iPad cases, keyboards, and other accessories.

But the benefits of brand exposure and growth through licensing don’t come without risks. Counterfeiting and brand piracy have kept pace with the uptick in licensing. Legitimate companies aren’t the only ones who have benefitted from increasingly borderless commerce and improvements in the quality of manufacturing and materials in emerging markets. According to the Department of Homeland Security, 500 million counterfeit handbags, belts and wallets worth $1 billion were confiscated in just one year.

The prevalence of licensed products combined with the sophistication of knock-offs make it more difficult to tell the difference between what’s real and what’s fake.  It’s also easier for branded goods to get into the wrong hands. Anyone can set up shop online and pose as an authorized dealer.  And even offline, the once-underground black market has become quite visible. Inauthentic goods are now sold through unauthorized channels unabashedly, as the discovery of over 20 copycat Apple stores in Kunming, China, a few years ago revealed.

Another risk is old-fashioned over-exposure. When products with Nike logos or trademark Burberry plaid can be found everywhere, the exclusive appeal of those brands takes a hit. Market saturation of branded goods, genuine or fake, can lead to brand burnout – or even brand backlash. When Angela Ahrendts took over at Burberry, the brand had become so ubiquitous and watered down, with 23 licensees around the world each making their own versions of everything from dog leashes to polo shirts, that the company faced problems besides declining profits.  Far from being a luxury brand, its famous plaid had become associated with football hooligans and was even banned from some pubs.

However, when managed appropriately, even these downsides can actually benefit brand owners.  Authorized or not, brand awareness in a new market is usually a good thing. And increased brand exposure can lead to a migration from counterfeit to original goods when the economic climate of that market improves or discretionary spending increases. Brand piracy can also be considered an indication of a brand’s health; only compelling brands are victims of counterfeiting. On a recent trip to Shanghai, Italian designer Giorgio Armani purchased a fake Armani watch and explained, “It was an identical copy of an Emporio Armani watch…it’s flattering to be copied. If you are copied, you are doing the right thing.”

So companies must balance brand exposure with brand protection.  Your attorneys may advise vigilant trademark monitoring and enforcement — but chasing down unauthorized products and dealers can be time-consuming and expensive — and ultimately, counterproductive. Starbucks seemed to understand this when it refrained from lambasting the comedian who recently set up a “Dumb Starbucks” store in Los Angeles. The city’s Health Department ended up shutting down the store after just a few days, sparing Starbucks the expense and negative press it might have incurred.

Instead, take a different approach to protecting your brand — one that optimizes factors that are directly under your control vs. trying to manage those that aren’t.  Ensure that you set, communicate, and deliver on your brand standards clearly and consistently in everything you do. Even, and especially, licensed products should appropriately reflect your brand promise and shine brightly in the constellation of your brand offerings.

Consistently excellent brand execution will ensure that purchasers of counterfeit products know they are fakes and therefore won’t expect the same performance from it.  If the quality of your brand is so well-known, knock-offs may be compelling but they will never be mistaken for the real thing. Those who know real Rolex watches, for example, can point to at least 10 telltale signs of fake ones, including a magnifying bubble that doesn’t magnify all that well. Fans of the Tiffany & Co. brand know that a Tiffany product for sale anywhere other than in a Tiffany-branded outlet is not real, thanks to the brand’s tightly controlled distribution.

And since your authorized product may not be the only representation of your brand out there, monitor the totality of your brand presence. You may need to temporarily scale back your own licensing or promotional efforts if a market is being flooded by unauthorized product. That’s what Ahrendts did at Burberry by centralizing their product line – even though in this case, the licensees weren’t doing anything illegal. To reassert Burberry as a luxury brand, she decreed that all clothing would be made in Britain; all designs would go through one “Brand Czar;” and that the company would pull back from offering so many types of products to focus on outerwear. It worked.

The best way to enhance and protect your brand at the same time is to extend your brand value beyond the product. When your brand is comprised of a complete customer experience — including service, environment, communications, shopping experience, personality, and values — it is inimitable and far more valuable. A pirated product may mimic your brand but it doesn’t replace it.  It simply whets consumer’s appetites for more of your brand.

Trademarks are some of companies’ most valuable assets and legal actions are sometimes necessary to defend them. But when it comes to brand protection, the adage “the best defense is a good offense” applies — and the best offense is a clear, well-cultivated brand identity.


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