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The Strongest Hospital Gowns

 

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Being hospitalised can be quite scary and intimidating, especially when you’re a young kid that’s battling a disease.

 

Luckily, new SuperHeroes Fede and Diego (in the true sense of the word!) came to the rescue with a groundbreaking initiative that has made quite the impact: The Strongest Hospital Gowns (original title: Las Batas Más Fuertas). To help children cope, to lift their spirits and get them through tough times, no matter what they’re up against.

 

The duo, who hail from Spain and Brazil, came up with the inspirational idea to get children out of their dull green hospital gowns and give them their own custom hospital gowns. Made out of football shirts. Clever huh?

 

Panenka, a Spanish football magazine, made it all happen and their efforts of spreading the word truly paid off – ‘The Strongest Hospital Gowns’ went viral! It has been picked up all around the world. Several football clubs and organisations, such as Adidas, Real Madrid, and the Argentinian Football Association (just to name a few), have made known that they’re eager to join the initiative.

 

Check out everything to know about The Strongest Hospital Gowns on www.lasbatasmasfuertes.com.

 

 

 

 

Marketing, the 2019 Way: How Glossier created a cult following with Gen Z and Millennials

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By: Kirsten Cave, Account Director.

 

 

How are my eyebrows always on fleek you ask? Introducing Glossier and their game-changing product: Boy Brow.

 

Glossier is a skincare and lifestyle beauty brand and I’ve proudly self-appointed myself as their brand ambassador because their products are the real deal. Not only do they have a badass female CEO ruling the game, their products last all day and their marketing is diverse and inclusive. In fact, if I continue to spam them with tags on my Instagram I could personally be featured in their feed – goals.

 

Maintaining loyalty within a cohort of consumers with fleeting attention spans is difficult, but Glossier has managed to generate a loyal following who have driven them to financial unicorn status in just 5 years. So yes, it’s not just me fangirling over their products.

 

The company has successfully surpassed revenues of USD$100 Million in 2018 and is now valued at USD$1.2 Billion. They’ve been named the most innovative company by Fast Company (2017) and their founder, Emily Weiss, won this year’s Webby Entrepreneur of the Year award. Now that’s a #girlboss.

 

Their belief in community challenges the traditional sales model – while most companies focus on sales figures in the short-term, Glossier understands their consumers appreciate authenticity and community. Focusing then on an evolved purchasing cycle with WOM at its core, as opposed to quick, short-term sales.

 

Obsessing over their boy brow D2C marketing model has shifted my needs from a brand:

 

Rehumanize marketing

Glossier not only listens to feedback but involves their customers in the product development process. They also consider any customer an influencer and feature them on their channels regularly, including a section of their website dedicated to super fans they appoint as brand ambassadors (sadly, not yet me).

 

DO: Invest in your customers as co-creators and acknowledge the power of user-generated content. Be authentic in your marketing. Don’t forget that fact-checking is just a Google click away.

 

Enrich the unboxing experience

My first Glossier package arrived in a plain cardboard box, with a big GLOSSIER logo on the outside. I took a picture. When I opened the box, the inside was flooded with a light pink colour and the words “YOU LOOK GOOD”. I took a picture (and they were right, I DID look good). Then, of course, the products were packaged beautifully (read: Instagrammable) and they even came with adorable Glossier stylized stickers to personalize my products. I took another picture and then I posted it all to Instagram. Get it? User-generated content = free marketing, people! And guess what, they liked my post! Dreams really can come true.

 

DO: Ensure consistency in your brand experience, transitioning from the digital to the physical world. Design products to encourage customer content, focusing on the customer at-home experience.

 

Speak their language

As an avocado toast-loving Millennial myself, I like brands to have a bit of charisma and to not read off a script when I’m engaging with them. Take a peek at Glossier’s Instagram feed and you’ll get an array of relevant, sassy and alluring content. They quickly reply to customer comments and engage in the conversation.

 

DO: Digital is great, but don’t be a robot. Consumers want to communicate in their language, your brand should emulate this. Meet your customers where they are, personalize their customer service on their preferred channels.

 

As purchasing power has shifted into the hands of a new generation of consumers, the landscape has changed. Customers are at the forefront of brand decisions, with the ability to drive the conversation both online and offline. As a brand, encourage conversation, let your customers be heard and then do something about it.

 

Basically, I’m just writing this post because I really want them to start shipping to the Netherlands…

SuperHeroes New York names Geoff Desreumaux as Head of Strategy

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We named Geoff Desreumaux as Head of Strategy of our New York office!

 

Geoff joins our Williamsburg-based agency (currently working with brands such as Dubai Tourism, Sixt Rent a Car USA, Canon, and Akzo Nobel) after notably launching snapr, the first decentralized content creation platform for brands and agencies. Prior to this, Geoff served as social media director for Zimmerman in Florida, Head of Social for Lexis in London and Senior Strategist at Cheil UK. Geoff led strategy and content creation for brands such as Samsung, Virgin Mobile, Harley Davidson, Diet Coke, Beefeater, Chivas Whisky and retail powerhouses such as Office Depot, Michaels Craft stores, and The Body Shop.

 

Geoff is also the co-founder of We are Social Media (WeRSM), one of the world’s leading independent sources of digital marketing news and insight, covering social media marketing and the connected lifestyle. Recently, for the second year in a row, Geoff was named as one of the top social media influencers to follow in 2019.


‘We are in the business of capturing attention’, Geoff says. ‘Never before has it been so crucial to integrate media strategy, planning, and buying in creativity. And while all agencies know they must evolve, SuperHeroes is already there. Our post-advertising mindset is key in making our clients famous and growing their business.’

 

The New York office has seen steady growth since opening its doors in early 2016. The ongoing focus for the NYC office is to work with brands with a hunger for fresh creativity, plus to serve the agency’s global clients. New York was the first step in an ambitious expansion plan for the ten-year-old agency, which is focused on stateside growth in 2019. It also just established a satellite office in Singapore due to its large Asian client base.

 

Rob Zuurbier, partner and managing director, SuperHeroes New York:

“It remains our ambition to retain the entrepreneurial, creativity-driven spirit of an independent boutique agency, whilst creating work that speaks to people both stateside and globally. With Geoff’s help in shaping the New York office, we’re in an even better position to further service our clients in the forward-thinking ‘post-advertising’ world.’

BUMA AWARDS NOMINEE: THE MOTORCYCLE SYMPHONY

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SuperHeroes’ The Motorcycle Symphony has been nominated for ‘Best Original Composition in Advertising’ in the Buma Awards for best ad music.

 

Out of the more than 150 commercials that were sent in, the jury selected 10 commercials that are nominated in the category ‘Original Composition in Advertising’ and 10 commercials that are nominated in the category ‘Best Sync in Advertising’.

 

The winner will be determined by the vote of the online public (50%) and the jury (50%).

So we need your help with getting as many votes as possible!!!

 

How can you help us win the award?

CAST YOUR VOTE for The Motorcycle Symphony and spread the word about our nomination!

 

Right now, we’re one of 10 nominees in total in our category. The top 3 will be announced at the beginning of May and will be invited for the Ad Music Awards ceremony in Amsterdam, on Tuesday, May 21, 2019.

 

About The Motorcycle Symphony

SuperHeroes created the world’s first motorcycle symphony. It pays tribute to men who have been dealt a tough hand in life. Conducted by Dominic Seldis of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam and created for the Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride in Amsterdam that was organised by Rusty Gold.

 

 

Read more info about The Motorcycle Symphony!

 

About The Ad Music Awards

The Buma Awards is one of the most prestigious award shows in the Dutch music industry. To reward the increasing importance of music in the advertising industry, the Buma Awards joined forces with Adformatie to officially make ad music a part of their ceremony this year.

 

Find the Buma Awards online here.
Find Adformatie online here.

 

Let’s fly!

HOW THE DUTCH (RE)TOOK MANHATTAN

global-headline-makers-superheroes-new-york_1554890211When Amsterdam’s SuperHeroes flew across the pond, they needed all their powers to succeed. Dutch journalist Gijs de Swarte recounts their adventures.

 

“Window dressing, fake it ’til you make it. It’s more or less a necessary evil,” confesses Rob Zuurbier, managing partner at SuperHeroes New York. “We might be confident that we can handle an account, and on our website we’re showcasing great work for global A-List clients, but that doesn’t necessarily impress anyone here in NYC.”

 

When a client brings their whole marketing team to your office, he points out, they want to see that you have a big, trustworthy operation. But at first, SuperHeroes was based in a shared workspace in Brooklyn with a bunch of start ups.

“So we rebranded the whole space SuperHeroes New York, from the front door, to the kitchen, to the meeting rooms. I then ‘promoted’ every other company to temporary SuperHeroes. The guy building websites three desks down became my creative director and the lawyer down the hall my CFO. It worked, we had a great meeting, the client felt confident and we landed the account.”

 

Rob remembers roaring home on his motorcycle that day with the Manhattan skyline to his right, thinking: “Yesss, we are actually doing this here in NYC!”

 

The three members of the SuperHeroes management team all see their New York adventure from slightly different perspectives. For co-founder and ECD Rogier Vijverberg, who started his career at Young & Rubicam, it has a definite romantic appeal. “Sinatra. It’s in my head, I can’t help it: ‘If you can make it here…’”

 

Django Weisz Blanchetta, managing director of the Amsterdam office, sees it as the ultimate test of entrepreneurship. “Establishing a viable agency in the Netherlands already commands a great deal of respect. But New York? Starting from here, in Amsterdam, with a different language and culture? You can’t help but wonder: Is it possible? Can we pull it off? Will it be fun?”

 

Zuurbier, who built his career within the Dentsu Aegis network, already had a sweet gig at 360i in New York. But he says: “I was ready to be more of an entrepreneur, more independent, less politics. I wanted to dive into this adventure with these guys and build something from the ground up. I knew I would be dropping in salary and perks quite heavily, but I honestly thought we’d be up, running and killing it in no time. That was a bit of a miscalculation.”

 

The US industry press reacted to the SuperHeroes NY office with headlines such as: “Can an Independent Amsterdam Agency Tame Gotham’s Many Challenges?” and “Expanding into New York is no stroll down Broadway.”

 

Almost three years in, Zuurbier can confirm that. Funding, he says, was the first challenge. “A decent creative team will cost you north of $300K a year here, and you want multiple teams, obviously, so do the math. Then you’re going to need strategists, account people, producers, media specialists and so on. You want to move on from the ‘one man and a desk’ phase as soon as humanly possible.”

 

Also, he says, the New York agency didn’t want to become a local agent for the Amsterdam office. It had to be self-sustaining. “But if you don’t have a couple of million at your disposal, and you need to earn every dollar before you can spend it, then you have to hustle, hustle and hustle some more. Hit up those new business leads and do everything you can to bring them in.”

 

No longer New Amsterdam

As he points out, the industry in the US moves at 100 miles an hour. Loyalty depends on results. You can present your best work on your best day and you’re lucky if you get a polite no. “This city will eat you alive if you can’t deliver,” Zuurbier says.

 

But delivering depends on talent. And, as Weisz Blanchetta observes: “Talent comes at a price.” It’s also working at competing agencies when you arrive. “So you’re always going to be a bit thin at the beginning. You want to scale up as quickly as possible.”

 

Despite the fact that this city was once called New Amsterdam, there are cultural differences. A major one is between Dutch frankness and American tact. According to Zuurbier: “If an American says ‘very interesting’ he means he doesn’t like it much. If he says, ‘I’m sure it’s my fault’, he means, ‘You messed up.’ So you need to be on your toes.”

 

Then there are the usual bumps in the road: clients who pull out at the last minute, others who can’t decide, still more who baulk at a brilliant idea in favour of a safer concept.

 

For one tech giant, the agency made a film whose goal was to juxtapose the product’s authenticity with the “fakeness” we’re confronted with every day. Vijverberg says: “It was a great campaign and it would have been hugely successful. But in the end the client didn’t dare to run it.”

 

Bad for agency morale, not to mention a missed opportunity to generate spin-off clients from the buzz around the campaign. “That hurts.”

 

All these stories are reluctantly told. After all, dwelling on the negative will set you up for failure. But the rationale behind the New York adventure was and remains positive: it will bring growth to SuperHeroes. “In our business the US is still a major trendsetter: what happens there happens in Europe a year later,” says Weisz Blanchetta.

 

One example of a US learning is the use of a concept called “Long Ideas and Sequential Storytelling”, which is also being implemented among European and Asian clients. The method is comparable to the way TV series are being made. The idea is not to make one big tent-pole commercial that’s shown on a loop, but a number of connected short stories, all with different storylines, expressed across many platforms.

 

“This is a completely logical format to us,” says Vijverberg, “especially when you look at our motto: ‘Saving the world from boring advertising.’ It forces us to think much more deeply about how the various content pieces can add up and enforce the core message.”

 

“Free Thinking” sessions are another concept born in New York. Creatives and strategists are given time to come up with concepts independent of any brief. The best ideas are matched to relevant brands, products or services, and only then are potential clients approached. “It’s also the perfect way to keep positive energy flowing,” says Zuurbier. “Setback? Alright guys, let’s do a session and keep on acquiring.”

 

But the setbacks are becoming scarcer. A big advantage when opening the NY office was that Amsterdam had already worked in the US for big clients like LG, Converse and ASUS. But SuperHeroes also brought a crucial differentiator with it: the agency was known as digitally disruptive and slightly irreverent.

 

Adweek upped the ante by placing SuperHeroes on its list of The Most Engaging Brand Content Makers. And then the founding trio’s core plan began to fall into place: more international clients started waking up and noticing them. Suddenly – boom! –an out of the blue call from Dubai.

 

Zuurbier: “Did we want to pitch agency of record for the Dubai Tourism Board?  An extremely complicated multi-million dollar account aiming for Asia, Africa and the Middle East. 14 markets, 9 languages, 12 industries and three audience subgroups per industry. Pitching for two months straight against mostly big network agencies.”

 

SuperHeroes won.

 

“This confirms the gut feeling we’ve had since starting this crazy journey. We made the right call. So far, it’s totally been worth the fight.”

 

Gijs de Swarte is a Dutch journalist, writer and filmmaker. He worked in New York for a number of years.

 

Originally published on Adforum and Epica Awards

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