Posts by Plots Master

Our work for Fantastic Furniture has won an APAC Effie in the retail category.

Our Fantastic Furniture 'When it feels like home, you feel like you' campaign has won an APAC Effie Award in the Retail category!

We may not have been able to accept the award in person at the award ceremony in Singapore, so we did the next best thing, celebrating in style with a few cheeky beers and a victory meal at Harry’s Singapore Chilli Crab with the Fantastic Furniture team.

Congratulations to our motley crew of old school thinkers and new world dreamers whose clever thinking and creativity for Fantastic has left a lasting impression in people’s minds and helped turn shame to fame by growing consideration by 5%, reversing negative perceptions of cheap by -3.91% and increasing sales by 37% YOY.

We look forward to continuing our great partnership with Fantastic Furniture!

Fantastic Furniture launches next installment of ‘Aussie Made’ campaign

Fantastic Furniture has launched the latest iteration of their ‘Aussie Made’ campaign by Connecting Plots celebrating their Australian made story and showing how buying Aussie made furniture feels as comfortable as their sofas.

The first phase of the campaign, which launched in May, celebrated the Aussie made mattress range. This newest work showcases the Aussie made sofa range, with broadcast, YouTube and social executions drawing inspiration from the familiarity of sibling rivalry in Aussie homes, while the new audio executions for Spotify and radio borrow from the iconography of a Kookaburra.

“Celebrating our Aussie roots is one strategy that’s helping us to continue to shift the perceptions of the quality of our products” says Laurie Lai, CMO for Fantastic Furniture. “It’s a critical play right now as we, like all retailers, deal with the impacts of the current economy.”

“This continues to build on our ‘Find your Fantastic’ platform which is all about enriching Aussie homes with all of life’s little moments and the subtle but important role Fantastic Furniture plays in making that happen,” says David Jansen, Co-Founder and Creative Partner at Connecting Plots.

“Buying our Aussie made products not only gives them stylish furniture at a fantastic price,” adds Will Dance Head of Marketing for Fantastic Furniture “but it also adds comfort and assurance to our customer homes.”

The new Aussie Made sofa creative launched on Sunday 28 August and will roll out alongside Fantastic Furniture’s existing Aussie made mattress campaign.

Jägermeister have launched a ‘home bar’ promo so good they’ve put a legendary Berlin bouncer at the entry

It’s a well known fact that the best bars are the hardest to get into and always have the toughest bouncers on the door. And the new Jägermeister ‘win a home bar’ promo, valued at $10K, is so good, it only makes sense it too should have a bouncer on the door.

That’s the simple thinking behind the new campaign by Connecting Plots, who’ve enlisted Frank Künster, legendary Berlin bouncer to front the promotion. 

Frank Künster is a bouncer, club owner, film producer, and actor and is well known for his involvement in the explosion of the Berlin nightclub scene following the fall of the Berlin wall. 

In an interview with Complex, Künster was asked how to get past the toughest doormen in Berlin to which he replied “with the bouncers, it’s totally irrational. They look at you, and when they’re in a good mood, they let you in. And when they’re not, you’re going to be refused.” 

The promotion, which gives people the chance to win a custom home bar set-up worth $10K is aimed at increasing sales of Jägermeister classic and driving off-premise trial with consumers being encouraged to enter through neck tags on Jägermeister bottles as well as through digital and social.

“Your very own custom-built bar with a Jägermeister tap machine is the perfect excuse to throw a house party,” says Ollie Dickson, Marketing Director for Brown Forman. “With consumption habits shifting towards the home occasion, this is a perfect opportunity to reframe Jägermeister as the drink for these moments.”

“There’s a very timeless insight in this idea that everyone can enjoy” says Dave Jansen co-founder of Connecting Plots “ Frank make’s the promotion fun and interesting which will help it get the right kind of attention”. 

The campaign is now live across in-store, digital and social. Entries are open at jager-au-win-at-home.herokuapp.com

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries take air exploration to the extreme in new campaign via Connecting Plots

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Air-Conditioners Australia (MHIAA) has launched a new campaign with Connecting Plots under its brand positioning ‘The Experts in Air’.

The new campaign continues to build on its rich engineering heritage, constant innovation and high customer satisfaction and trust scores through the Canstar and Choice Awards.

The campaign, directed by Tony Rogers from Guilty, puts a playful spin on the simple thought that to truly understand air, MHIAA technicians take air exploration to the extreme. To keep customers truly satisfied they continually explore the air, in ways that go above and beyond pure engineering and science.

“Air conditioning isn’t a particularly exciting purchase for anyone and the way the category advertises is formulaic and incredibly rational,” says Dave Jansen, Co-Founder & Creative Partner at Connecting Plots. “Hopefully this gives people something different to think about so that when the day comes to purchase A/C, we’re the brand they think of.”

“This work continues our journey of pushing MHIAA to be more distinct in a category of sameness,” says MHIAA Executive Marketing Manager, Jenny Perello. “The Experts in Air platform has already delivered strong growth for the business with a significant increase in sales YTD.”

The campaign launched on Sunday 17 July across TV, online, social, print and POS, working alongside media agency Speed.

Jägermeister launches first NPD in seven years via Connecting Plots

Jägermeister has launched its first new product SKU in seven years into the Australian market via the Australian team at Brown-Forman.

The unique fusion of Jägermeister’s original recipe and the subtle Cold Brew coffee flavour is a strategic move for Jägermeister as they look to shift preconceptions around the brand and its consumption habits while increasing market share. 

The launch campaign ‘When the night is brewing’ by Connecting Plots positions Jägermeister Cold Brew coffee, with its unexpected coffee and Jägermeister flavours, as the catalyst to unleash the night’s potential in new and unexpected ways. 

“We all know that moment, where we have the opportunity to set our night in a direction that we’ll remember forever,” says Dave Jansen, Co-Founder and Creative Partner at Connecting Plots. “It’s often a question of choosing between the same thing we’ve done before or trying something new and unexpected. That’s the moment we want to own.” 

“Jägermesister wants to celebrate those epic nights that we remember forever,” says Ollie Dickson, Marketing Director ANZPI for Brown-Forman, who continues “Jägermeister Cold Brew Coffee is the perfect drink for this transitional moment when those unexpected twists and turns come to life. This new product will play a critical role in our portfolio and growing market share.”

‘When the night is brewing’ comes to life as an integrated campaign via media placements in OOH, digital, social and point-of-sale. 

At the heart of the campaign is a consumer promotion which offers the most unexpected night possible. In partnership with Time Out, Jägermeister Cold Brew Coffee gave one lucky winner and a mate exactly 48 hours to pack their bags and head overseas for the ultimate unexpected night out. 

The competition, which ended on Wednesday 22 June, received over 2000 entries, with consumers eager to win the opportunity to travel abroad and experience an unexpected change to the everyday.

Westinghouse voted most trusted retail brand in refrigeration, Reader Digest Awards 2022

Westinghouse has been voted as the Winner of Australia’s top three most trusted brands in the highly competitive Fridge category, as judged by Australians in the 2022 Reader’s Digest Trusted Brands Survey.

Now in its 23rd year, Reader’s Digest Trusted Brands survey asks everyday consumers to rank which products and services have the best reputation. The independent annual survey is carried out by leading market research company Catalyst, which surveys more than 3,300 Australians across 70 consumer categories from various industries and sectors. Features that drive Australians to consider a product trustworthy include being of premium quality at an affordable price, being reliable and cost effective, having a positive reputation and business longevity. 

We’re 5+ years into a great partnership with the team at Electrolux and are immensely proud to play our small part in helping them achieve this accolade.

Fantastic Furniture ‘When It Feels Like Home’ is an Effie APAC Finalist

Connecting Plots’ Fantastic Furniture 'When it feels like home, you feel like you' campaign is down to the final two in the Retail category of the 2022 Effie APAC Awards.

“We’re honoured that our first ever entry has been shortlisted for an APAC Effie,” says Connecting Plots co-founder and creative partner, Dave Jansen.

Within the 107 finalists for this year’s awards, 28 finalists were from Australia, including Ogilvy, The Monkeys, HERO Melbourne and Leo Burnett.

“This work for Fantastic Furniture is a demonstration of timeless creativity meeting modern connectivity. It proves when creative is rooted in a deeply felt and relatable human insight and the campaign is designed to get attention in every channel, it works. ‘When it feels like home, you feel like you’ proves that with everyday low-prices and on-style furniture, Fantastic enriches Aussie homes, allowing life’s precious moments to play out to the backdrop of our furniture.” 

The final round of judging was led by chairwoman, Nicole McMillan of Carlton & United Breweries and the eight Heads of Jury – Akira Mitsumasu of Japan Airlines, Dhiren Amin of NTUC Income, Fern Canning of Edelman, Jane Lin-Baden of Publicis Groupe, Karl Cluck of TikTok, May Ling Chan of KFC Malaysia, Siew Ting Foo of HP and Vishnu Mohan of Dept. 

“Across the board, we are seeing more diversity in terms of entries received – from non-traditional markets such as Indonesia and Vietnam, as well as submissions from independent agencies and clients, says McMillan. “I’m pleased that some of these entries have also made it to the finalist list, and I can’t wait to reveal the full results at the Awards Ceremony.” 

The full list of finalists can be found here, with the winners being recognised in an awards ceremony in September.

Westinghouse launches laundry range with new campaign via Connecting Plots

Westinghouse, part of Electrolux Group, has launched a new campaign to drive awareness around the brand’s official entry into laundry appliances after a 10 year hiatus.

With over 60 years of innovation behind them, Westinghouse is now offering a sophisticated and beautifully designed laundry range that brings to market innovative features for Westinghouse consumers.

“Laundry provides Westinghouse an opportunity to drive significant growth, leveraging the success of our recent kitchen campaign,” says Electrolux Group’s acting Marketing Director Christina Kumcevski. “Westinghouse has always been about making daily family life a little easier through innovation (in the kitchen), now that innovation can extend into the laundry, a room in our homes we’d all like to spend less time inside.”

The campaign is a continuation of the existing brand platform ‘Now You Can’, developed by Connecting Plots, which has helped Westinghouse achieve +30% increase in sales over those two years, and also elevate Westinghouse’s consideration up into 3rd in the kitchen category.

The new laundry campaign continues to break category conventions with a unique, stylised visual language and with playful characters who can now get their laundry chores done quickly, allowing them and their families to thrive, giving time for the more important things in their life, thanks to their Westinghouse appliances.

“Creative in the whitegoods category is bland, always focused on features. Our creative for Westinghouse keeps the message simple and drives home the relevance for the audience by showing how the innovation lets them focus on the things they love in life, not chores,” says Connecting Plots Co-Founder Dave Jansen. “Pushing the visual language into something more stylised helps to stand apart from our competitors and create long term brand impact.”

The campaign is rolling out across digital and social.

Fantastic Furniture launches ‘Aussie Made’ integrated campaign via Connecting Plots

Fantastic Furniture has launched a new campaign celebrating their Australian made story, showing how buying Aussie made furniture feels as comfortable as their couches.

“Fantastic Furniture are extremely proud of our history as a brand that was born over 30 years ago in Sydney’s west. We know that home is more important than ever, and we also know that our customers love our home-grown Aussie made products,” says Will Dance, Head of Marketing. “With 83 stores right across Australia, we believe all Australians deserve affordable and stylish furniture at a ‘Fantastic’ price. We’re excited to be giving our Aussie Made sofa range the focus it deserves, knowing the range is supporting Australian manufacturing and our local community, which we think our consumers will love too.”

The campaign by Connecting Plots is the next extension of the ‘When it feels like home, you feel like you’ platform, connecting the special role Fantastic Furniture plays in making homes more comfortable with the Australian manufacturing credentials of the brand.

“Furniture is a key ingredient in making our homes comfortable and welcoming,” says Connecting Plots’ Co-Founder and Creative Partner, Dave Jansen. “In our years of working with Fantastic Furniture we’ve explored how the brand helps its audience have the home they want regardless of their budget. With the new work we are adding proof to that comfort. This creative shows that by making furniture right here in Australia, Fantastic Furniture is helping Aussies feel comfortable in their homes and in their choices.”

The campaign features Fantastic Furniture’s Australian made sofas and mattresses and will be rolling out across television, OOH, radio, digital and social channels.

Connecting Plots Announced as Official AR Lens & Video Partner for Snapchat

Connecting Plots has been announced as an official AR Lens and Video Partner for Snapchat working alongside Snap Inc’s APAC HQ in Sydney.

With a focus on unleashing the true power of Snapchat as an e-commerce platform and marketing tool, the partnership will combine Snap Inc’s leading technology in AR and video with Connecting Plots’ creative and platform-centric thinking to create best practice creative and strong business results for Connecting Plots’ existing client base as well as new advertisers across the Asia Pacific region.

From conceptual design through to execution, this new partnership will see Connecting Plots create fit-for-channel AR lenses and filters and immersive video experiences in-house for the team at Snap Inc.

“We pride ourselves on both our creative work and our platform-focused approach to advertising” said Connecting Plots’ CEO, Tom Phillips. “This new AR and Video partnership with Snap will enable us to deliver first-to-market innovation opportunities for our clients as well as allowing new brands and partners to achieve better outcomes and reach audiences in more persuasive ways.”

Connecting Plots has been creating custom Snapchat lenses and video content for its clients since the beginning of 2021, refining its in-house augmented reality offering to ensure its clients are maximising the platform possibilities to achieve transformational results.

AR Lens Development

Snap Video Development

Connecting Plots Launch First Campaign as New Digital Creative Agency for Henkel’s Home Care Brands

Connecting Plots has been selected as the digital creative agency for Henkel’s home care brands.

The win follows a competitive pitch for Henkel that kicked off in February of this year and will see Connecting Plots design and execute all digital campaigns from now through to 2024. Included within this remit are the full range of Henkel’s home care brands, which includes Bref Toilet Care and Somat Dishwashing Products.

“We’re thrilled to be working with the team at Henkel,” says Connecting Plots’ CEO, Tom Phillips. “We’re excited by the huge potential that the brands have and love that the team at Henkel are so open to the bold and creative thinking that we pride ourselves on.”

As its first task, Connecting Plots has developed a new platform for Bref Toilet Care, named ‘Keep Your Happy Place Clean’, which celebrates the ‘sanctuary’ that is the beloved bathroom. The campaign will be rolling out in the coming weeks, alongside media agency Wavemaker and experiential agency The Live Agency.

“In partnering with Connecting Plots, we look forward to bringing innovative products and an exceptional experience to our consumers in the home care category,” says Melissa Sherry, Henkel’s ANZ Marketing Director for Laundry and Home Care. “Connecting Plots impressed us with their creativity and strategic thinking during the pitch process and we are pleased to appoint them as our new agency.”

Connecting Plots has also been appointed as the digital creative agency for Henkel’s Beauty Care Consumer portfolio.

Connecting Plots Appoints Leadership Team

Creative agency, Connecting Plots has appointed a new leadership team to help shape and accelerate the performance of the agency during a period of growth.

The new leadership team is made up of owners, Tom Phillips, Sophia Kang and Dave Jansen with the newly added support of senior members spanning the company’s strategy, creative, accounts, and studio departments. Included in the new leadership team are Gemma ap Geraint – Client Partner; Chris Johnson – Creative Director; Bonnie Ledsam – Senior Integrated Producer & Studio Lead; Mary Morrell – Creative Services Director; and recently appointed Partner, Tim Collier, Head of Integrated Strategy & Planning.

Founded in 2018, Connecting Plots has grown to approximately 30 people with the independent agency working alongside notable clients including Nestlé, Menulog, Tourism Australia, Fantastic Furniture and Electrolux. 

“We’ve been exceptionally fortunate to experience such growth over the past few years but our focus is firmly on the next three years,” said CEO, Tom Phillips. “We’ve taken time to establish the right mix of leaders who are driven by ambitious creative work and focused on delivering effectiveness for our clients. I am confident we’ve got the right people on the team. Each and every one of them are proven leaders in their own right, be it from large corporates, agile independents or network agencies – I’m excited about what we can achieve together.”

In this new role, the team of eight will build on the agency’s established foundations and culture whilst evolving the offering to future proof the needs of their clients and talent.

The leadership team is the next senior advancement for Connecting Plots, who have also been working closely with award-winning industry leader and business growth specialist, Chris Savage for the past 12 months. In his role as chairman, Savage has been helping the agency accelerate its growth and ensure it is delivering the highest value to its existing clients. 

“I’ve loved working with Tom, Dave, Sophia and the team at Connecting Plots over the past year,” said Savage on his role as chairman. “It is a great privilege to work with highly talented, energetic and entrepreneurial leaders and I’ve seen the company go from strength to strength in my short time working with them. This new leadership team will help accelerate the business to the next level of scale and effectiveness.”

Menulog Want You To ‘Treat Yo’ Self’ In New Campaign By Connecting Plots

Menulog has launched ‘Treat Yo’ Self, a new retail platform led by creative agency, Connecting Plots.

The initial campaign showcases Menulog’s wide range of cuisines, restaurants and meals fit for any occasion by celebrating the hundreds of ‘little win’ excuses for customers to succumb to their cravings and order from Menulog. And any old reason will do. 

Launched on Sunday 3 October, the campaign is rolling out across YouTube, Facebook and Instagram via a series of short-form films that spotlight different fun and timely at-home moments that warrant the need to ‘Treat Yo’ Self’. The executions range from having to wash a very cranky cat, pwning an 11 year old on a video game through to managing to keep a plant alive for longer than a week. 

“Who doesn’t love the anticipation of that burrito, burger or bhaji landing at the front door? Especially of late,” said Chris Johnson, Creative Director at Connecting Plots. “And with the added bonus of seeing a new face, albeit masked, then any excuse will do to Treat Yo’ Self with Menulog.”

“These last two years, more than ever, we’ve had to learn how to roll with the punches and treat ourselves to even the smallest of wins,” said Menulog’s Head of Brand, Fiona Bateman. “Menulog is all about delivering joy – that instant satisfaction that comes with having your exact craving arrive on your doorstep so this new campaign encourages our customers to embrace those moments, especially while they’re spending more time at home. You know you deserve it.”

“This is exactly the kind of work we aim to create for our clients” added David Jansen, Creative Partner at Connecting Plots. “Work that not only stands apart in channel but is also designed to get talked about and be popular.”

UNCLE TOBYS Launches into Plant-Based Milk Category via Connecting Plots.

Uncle Tobys is bringing their 125 years of oat experience to the plant based milks category in launch campaign via Connecting Plots.

In an already cluttered and fast-growing plant-based milk category, the campaign draws on the 125 year reputation of UNCLE TOBYS as a trusted oat brand to deliver a simple and concise campaign message – that Australia’s favourite oats are now available as oat milk.

The campaign rollouts across digital, social and out of home promoting the deliciously creamy product range which includes Original Oat Milk, Barista Style Oat Milk and Oat & Almond Milk.

“We’re delighted to have been entrusted with launching this new product for UNCLE TOBYS into the Aussie market,” says Connecting Plots’ Group Managing Director, Tom Phillips. “UNCLE TOBYS Oats comes with an incredible legacy – that red box has been a staple in our pantries for years.”

“Oat milk is the fastest growing emerging segment in the plant-based milk category,” adds Nestlé Business Manager, Anna Stewart. “There’s no denying we love and know our oats at UNCLE TOBYS so this was a very natural progression for the brand. We’re really proud of the result – it’s delicious and creamy and, just like our oats, Australian made.”

The UNCLE TOBYS Oat Milk range is available for purchase from the long-life milk aisle at Coles and select IGAs.

Connecting Plots launch branded AR lens filter for Schwarzkopf x TikTok

Connecting Plots has created a branded AR lens filter for Schwarzkopf and TikTok.

#Live Colour Change celebrates Schwartzkopf’s passion for hair, by inspiring their audience to create their own style and experiment with new and different looks with the bold and adventurous colours featured in the live colour range. 

This campaign was brought to life through a Branded Effect and Hashtag Challenge package (including 1x TopView and 1x One Day Max), and supported by InFeed ads. The purpose of the branded effect was to allow the TikTok community to ‘try before they buy’ and ultimately to drive purchase consideration once they have interacted with the branded effect and seen what they look like with different hair colour.

The campaign reached at least 4M Australian’s, by delivering over 32M ad impressions at a cost effective CPM of $6.78. On top of the incredible reach, the community embraced the interactive and fun branded effect, creating 3,739 pieces of UGC (more than 50% of which used the #, branded effect and official music, 17x vs benchmark). The combination of ad formats across reservation and auction drove a lift of 8.9% in ad recall, 2x vs Kantar norms for the personal care category. More importantly, the campaign delivered a lift of 5.02% for purchase intent, delivering on the campaign objective of driving consideration.

Some Bite-Size Brand Building For New Cinis Minis Churros

Some bite-size brand building for the new Cinis Minis Churros cereal by Nestlé. We were tasked with launching the US brand into the Aussie market and to quickly build familiarity and credibility with a notoriously cynical youth audience. By working with Google & Snapchat, we uncovered their core interest sets and leveraged those to create fun (and delicious) content that would entertain and get mouths watering – all in the slightly crazy and offbeat Cini Minis tone of voice.

For more of our work, click here.

Being Remarkable: Mayweather vs. McGregor – A Marketing Match Made In Heaven

In this month’s Being Remarkable, Connecting Plots’ Group Managing Director, Tom Phillips takes a look at the famous 2017 ‘Money Fight’ between Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Conor McGregor and pulls out a few marketing lessons that we could learn from one of the most publicised and profitable boxing matches of the 21st century.

I’m no boxing expert by any means, but I do love a good publicity stunt! I’ve been seeing Conor McGregor’s name pop up a lot after his most recent “leg-breaking” fight and it got me reminiscing about the infamous Mayweather vs. McGregor match.

To refresh your memory, the two professional fighters clashed in an unconventional boxing match on 26 August 2017 which saw the world of boxing and MMA coming together in a marketing match made in heaven.

So what are some of the lessons about remarkable marketing that we can learn from this event? I’ve broken out seven that really stood out to me…

1. Novelty Earns Interest

Consumers jump at content that breaks the norm and stands out as unique or different. This unorthodox match-up between the world’s greatest boxer and the world’s greatest MMA fighter was a huge draw in and a great way to grow an audience and capture different markets. The two worlds of boxing and MMA had never been merged in this way before which meant the fight appealed to two incredibly passionate groups of fans, as well as a whole new group of people who were drawn in by the pure novelty of this out-of-the-box event.

2. Be Single-Minded With Your Messaging

As the KISS principle says – keep it simple, stupid. In marketing that means knowing your key message and ensuring it’s reiterated at every point you can. In the lead up to the Mayweather vs Macgregor fight, every weigh-in, every interview, every piece of content or even every run-in on the street made sure to mention one very important thing: the date of the fight. Miss it… miss out!

3. Understand What Your Audience Wants

The pair’s feud dated back to 2015, when McGregor was asked whether he would fight Mayweather during an interview with Conan O’Brien. Soon enough, both sides started making smart comments in interviews and calling each other out on social media. Their fans became invested quickly and spent the next two years asking for a fight. But while audiences did, of course, want a great match between two talented fighters, what everyone really wanted was the entertainment and scandal that came with these two specific personalities and their ongoing feud. And lucky for them, that’s exactly what they got.

4. Don’t Be Afraid To Be Controversial

This leads perfectly to our next point – never be afraid to be a little bit controversial. Our Creative Director, CJ has written a whole article about Contentiousness, but in the case of Mayweather and McGregor, the main reason people became so invested in the fight was because of the war of words between the two of them, with neither fighter being afraid to be contentious or polarising. Not only does a narrative like this drive interest, but it offers a great talking point and publicity opportunities that increases awareness and audience participation.

5. Know Your Brand Identity

Both fighters have a very clear identity. McGregor is “Notorious” and outspoken while Mayweather is all about “Money” and his brands. McGregor was seen as the antagonist from the start, while Mayweather was pinned as the hero. However, they both seemed happy to play to their personalities and strengths and never wavered from that throughout everything.

6. Have Clear Objectives

There is no denying the fact that Mayweather and McGregor got a big payday, but that’s not all they earned. From a boost in McGregor’s profile to more publicity for Mayweather’s The Money Team brand, there were advantages for both competitors. Mayweather even chose to come out of retirement to take part, despite the risk to his 49-0 winning streak, a clear sign there were many factors at play. Someone had to lose but both teams were very clear on what they wanted to achieve that the benefits clearly outweighed the risks.

7. Make Your Marketing Authentic & Integrated

From the promotional interviews to the weigh-ins to the personal arguments and online rants, the campaign spanned PR, numerous media channels and both McGregor & Mayweather’s own personal social media channels. It was a cohesive marketing campaign that ran for months leading up to the fight, but was all the more special because it felt truly authentic.

Three New Promotions for Our Team at CP

Connecting Plots has announced three new promotions within its strategy, client service and creative teams, including a newly created Managing Partner role for strategist, Tim Collier.

Collier, who’s been with the agency since its inception in 2018, has been promoted to Integrated Strategy & Planning Partner, a newly created role that will see him help shape the trajectory, offering and profile of the company while also leading the strategic department at Connecting Plots.

“We couldn’t be more excited for Tim to step up into this managing partner role,” says Group Managing Director and Co-Founder, Tom Phillips. “Tim has been with us since day one and has played a huge part in the success of the company. He’s an incredible strategist and has a strong voice and vision in the company.”

Meanwhile, Account Director, Gemma Barr has been promoted into the role of Integrated Project Director, a new role that will see Gemma focus on integrated campaigns and clients including Fantastic Furniture, Tourism Australia, Menulog, Westinghouse & Mitsubishi Heavy Industries. Since starting at the agency in April 2019, Barr has had a proven track record of managing multi-faceted campaigns, including notable work such as ‘When It Feels Like Home’ for Fantastic Furniture and the new ‘Experts In Air’ brand positioning for Mitsubishi Heavy Industries.

Joe Davies-Griffith, a talented designer who has worked within the creative and studio team since September 2019, has also been promoted to Senior Designer. In the new role, Davies-Griffith will take on additional duties managing and overseeing more of the studio projects.

It’s fantastic to be able to acknowledge and reward exceptional talent with new opportunities,” added Phillips. “All three have delivered remarkable work over the past year and these promotions are just a testament to their talent and commitment.”

Being Remarkable: A Lesson in Leadership from Pablo Escobar

In this month’s Being Remarkable, Connecting Plots’ Group Managing Director, Tom Phillips takes a closer look at the infamous Pablo Escobar and why, despite his questionable career choice, he was a truly remarkable leader…

So I may have been a little late to the party but I recently finished watching Narcos. And it got me thinking about how a leader becomes a remarkable leader.

First things first, what do we know about Pablo Escobar?

He was a famous Colombian drug lord, whose cartel almost monopolised the supply of cocaine to the US – making him easily the wealthiest rags-to-super-billionaire criminal in history.

So, while Escobar was obviously a bad guy, and we don’t condone what he got up to, there is something that can’t be ignored. And that’s his success.

Undoubtedly a remarkable leader, he even crossed into the world of politics in the ’80s and was highly popular with the people of his home town Medellin until police shot him the day after he turned 44.

Perhaps the biggest lesson we can take from one of crime’s biggest ‘success’ stories – like him or loathe him – is the profile of a great leader.

So here’s are nine things I learnt about remarkable leadership from Narcos:

1. Think Big

In episode 1, when someone asks for help in selling cocaine at $10, Escobar replies: “You don’t have a vision, my friend.” Imagining what people would pay for coke in Miami, Escobar thought outside the box.

2. Lead by Example

Great leaders aren’t afraid to get their hands dirty and take risks. When police had checkpoints on every street, Escobar was still meeting with business partners and checking on operations from the back of a taxi.

3. Be Determined

Great leaders like Escobar don’t give up. His vision was to rule cocaine, amid strong competition, intense opposition from authorities, and even scepticism from within his inner circle.

4. Build A Network

Hardly any success story is the result of having ‘gone it alone’, and Escobar knew this well. Indeed, he fostered an intense sense of loyalty among his clan, which extended beyond the criminal world to government officials, police, politicians, journalists, and even his fiercest rivals.

5. Work Isn’t Everything

Great leaders don’t burn out because they get their work-life balance just right, and Escobar truly valued his family and friends. Amid the turmoil and danger of his daily life, he always sat at the family dinner table and spent time with his kids.

6. Have Passion

Success – whether it’s running a great business or a system-beating cocaine empire – is the result of an incredible amount of hard work and hours, and it’s just not possible or sustainable without passion.

7. Be Confident

All around him, people were either questioning Escobar or actively seeking to bring him down, but true confidence is the resolve to keep your eye on the prize without succumbing to the pressure to change that vision or avoid taking risks.

8. Trust Your Instincts

Great leaders are meticulous planners and savvy business people, but they’re also the captain of a ship who has a sense of what the next change of course should be.

9. Take Responsibility

Narcos depicted Escobar with those smart and shrewd qualities, but he was also someone prepared to use often a small amount of information, make a decision and stand by the consequences – good or bad.

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries are “The Experts In Air” in first campaign via Connecting Plots

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Air-Conditioners Australia (MHIAA) has launched its new brand positioning in its first major work by Connecting Plots since appointing them as lead creative agency after a competitive pitch in December 2020. 

The brand’s new positioning as “the experts in air” creates a white space for MHIAA by demonstrating that the brand’s high satisfaction rate and trust levels, as seen through the Canstar and Choice Awards, are a result of its mastery of air.

“We’re excited to work with CP because they’re pushing MHIAA to be more distinct in a category of sameness,” says MHIAA Executive Marketing Manager, Jenny Perello. “Our category is often dominated by cash-back incentives and celebrity spokespeople whereas this is something a little different that we hope will stand apart, put a little smile on people’s faces and get them thinking of us when it’s time to buy a new A/C.”

Connecting Plots Strategy Director, Tim Collier said “MHIAA represents a fun challenge. As a consumer, it’s a category that you find yourself in, not something you go out of your way for. So it’s a real opportunity for the kind of creativity that needs to earn consumers’ attention.” 

”We’re delighted to win the MHIAA brand and creative account,” added Connecting Plots Group Managing Director, Tom Phillips. “They are a true challenger brand with loads of history in innovation and rock solid products. We can sense a real appetite to push the work and challenge the category norms in order to help accelerate their growth.” 

The campaign launched Sunday 23 May across TV, digital and social working alongside media agency Speed.

Menulog Transforms Cadillac Lowrider Into The Ultimate Macca’s® Delivery Whip

Menulog has unveiled a series of new social ads, via Connecting Plots, showcasing innovative modifications to its ‘70s era Cadillac Lowrider, turning it into the ultimate Macca’s delivery vehicle.

The ingenious mods are part of the brand’s ‘Macca’s Delivered Menulog Style’ campaign. 

Modifications include ‘Frydraulics’, which uses the car’s hydraulic suspension to perfectly season fries, to ‘Hot Fudge FM’, which uses the car’s radio console to pour hot fudge sauce onto a McDonald’s® sundae. 

Menulog Head of Brand, Fiona Bateman said: “As we now have more McDonald’s restaurants on our platform than ever before, it was important to get the word out there, and do it in a way that is unique to Menulog”. 

The roll-out of the Cadillac mods series is an extension of the original Menulog Lowrider campaign where a branded Menulog Cadillac took Macca’s to the streets of Sydney.

Fiona added: “McDonald’s is a key Menulog partner so it was great to be able to work together to combine their iconic menu items with Menulog’s unique brand tone”. 

The mods series went live on Monday 26 April. The activity is part of a broader suite of assets running across Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and Snapchat, and will continue to roll out over the coming months. 

 

Being Remarkable: Contentiousness Cuts Through

Welcome to the second instalment of ‘Being Remarkable’ – short reads that slice, dice and celebrate remarkable creative work from around the world. This month, Connecting Plots’ Creative Director, Chris Johnson explains how contentious campaigns can play an important role in earning your brand amazing exposure and attention, without it having to cost the earth…

When I started out in the advertising business I was promptly told by an older, wiser adlander, “if no one notices your ad, then you’ve failed.” It’s sound advice, rooted firmly in principle. Yet in today’s world, quite literally drowning in advertising, I barely notice anything. You would think that simple principle would apply now more than ever, right?

Behind the Doors of Remarkability 

But why are so few ads standing out? I think it has a lot to do with a lack of appetite for anything marketers deem “risky”. But is there anything riskier than going unnoticed? As American creative director Dave Trott correctly states – “Contentiousness equals free media.”

This idea is exactly what lies at the heart of any really successful viral or earned media campaign. Think Nike’s Emmy-award winning ‘Dream Crazy’ Kaepernick stunt. Or more recently, Heineken’s dig at the ill-founded breakaway European football league. Or even our very-own 420 hijack campaign for Menulog, celebrating the role of food delivery for the munchies in a funny way. All embracing something contentious for maximum remarkability.

Vegemite’s Viral Ashes Campaign 

That’s why I particularly love the viral 2019 campaign from Vegemite. The full-page ad, which was placed in London newspaper The Daily Mirror, threw its support behind the Aussie cricket team and celebrated Australia’s victory against England in the First Test. The campaign was a direct response to a Marmite marketing campaign, which launched before the First Test and was an attempt to convert Aussie cricket fans to the rival breakfast spread. As part of the campaign, promotional staff branded as the ‘Marmy Army’ handed out free samples of Marmite at the cricket. This is when Vegemite decided to take matters into its own hands with a cheeky full-page ad. 

Whilst it’s not in the same realm of contentiousness as Nike’s Dream Crazy campaign, it still sits in the uncomfortable zone of taking a shot at another brand. But how uncomfortable is it really? Isn’t it just good old-fashioned fun? The kind that everybody in their busy, serious lives love? Obviously yes, when you look at the results.

Engineered to be Remarkable 

What’s truly notable about this idea is that it’s engineered to be remarkable. It plays into an already established rivalry. The creatives behind the campaign and people who wrote the copy could almost be certain it would get a reaction from its intended audience because it was cheeky and controversial. Not to mention the brands are so distinctly English and Australian they sit atop the rivalry beautifully. The stunt also worked well within a series – someone had to win the next game, and the next. This meant there were plenty of chances to create fun, remarkable content as the Test series drew on.

I also love the idea of utilising a simple, old-fashioned newspaper ad, knowing full well it would quickly infiltrate the social space. Overall, it’s a highly successful campaign that’s even more remarkable because it was conceived and executed without an enormous price tag, simply because it was built around a natural rivalry and topic of debate. 

The ad is a good lesson for all of us. Nobody is waiting for our ads. We need to be clever in how we grab the attention of our intended audience. And in my opinion, creating noticeably contentious campaigns is a sure-fire shortcut to remarkability.

Connecting Plots Set to Lead [yellow tail] Social Media Account Following Recent Win

Creative communications agency Connecting Plots has been appointed by Casella Family Brands to handle the social media accounts for [yellow tail] wine in Australia. 

The win follows an audit of the Casella Family Brands social activities, which led to [yellow tail] rethinking its approach to social media and how it aligns with its overall marketing strategy.

Connecting Plots’ Strategic Director Tim Collier said: “I’m so pleased to be working with [yellow tail]. Their business changed the face of Australian wine when it launched, and their brand continues to be an excellent example of what can be achieved when you subvert the norms of a category. We can’t wait to sink our teeth into the unique creative challenges they face and to start moving the dial on their business results.”

[yellow tail] Global Marketing Manager Anna Czarnocka said: “We are excited to be working with Connecting Plots on the [yellow tail] social strategy, content and media for Australia. We already had a successful presence in social media but Connecting Plots challenged our thinking and provided us with a fresh perspective. We feel confident this new approach will deliver great results not only for the brand but also improve our return on investment.”

The appointment expands Connecting Plots’ remit with Casella Family Brands, with the agency already running the creative, digital, social, and media for the wine company’s brands including Peter Lehmann Wines and The Magic Box Wine Collection.

Connecting Plots responsibilities will include planning, creative, paid media, and managing the [yellow tail] social media accounts and community in Australia.

Connecting Plots Group Managing Director Tom Phillips said: “We’re thrilled to be extending our remit with Casella Family Brands to include [yellow tail] wine. With three consecutive years as the World’s Most Powerful Wine Brand* we’re excited to help [yellow tail] further its presence in the market.”  

The agency’s newest recruits Chris Johnson (creative director) and Gemma Geraint (group account director) will lead the account. 

The win follows a significant period of growth for the independent creative communications agency.

* The Wine Intelligence Global Wine Brand Power Index 2020, 2019, 2018

Being Remarkable: Coke’s New Gen Y Targeted Campaign

Welcome to a new series of short reads slicing, dicing and celebrating remarkable creative work from around the world. These campaigns are great examples of how marketers are connecting with consumers in smart ways and have got us saying “well, that’s remarkable!” 

In the inaugural article, our Group Managing Director Tom Phillips dissects Coke UK’s latest “Open That Coca-Cola” campaign in collaboration with the highly popular artist Tyler, The Creator and discusses why he thinks it’s a masterclass in modern integrated FMCG marketing.

Watch the campaign’s full-length ad below.

Last year wasn’t kind to anyone, and a major global FMCG brand like Coca-Cola was no exception. As bars, restaurants and cafes closed around the world, Coke made the potentially risky decision to temporarily stop its advertising across the globe.

However, things look like they’re on the up for Coke after it recently launched its latest campaign in collaboration with the highly popular artist Tyler, The Creator. The ad came from Coca-Cola in the UK and is the work of creative agency Wieden + Kennedy London. The campaign is running across TV, online video, radio and interactive out-of-home, with audiences also invited to recreate the dance on their own social channels.

I believe this is a fantastic example of modern FMCG marketing. Here’s why.

The Taste “Hit” of Coke

The campaign is beautifully single-minded. It focuses on the refreshing first “hit” of flavour that Coke is famous for and beautifully dramatises how the taste is beyond-words sensational.

It’s Absurd and Attention-Grabbing

As an ad it grabs your attention. It’s out there, it’s a little bit weird and it plays on the edges, which is where remarkability lies. It gets extra points for aligning the peak attention moment (in this case the taste hit) with the consumption moment. Even more points for conveying the idea with the sound both on and off!

Social by Design

If we’ve learnt anything from the meteoric rise to fame of TikTok, it’s that dance is a universal language. It’s no accident that the Coke creative has leant into this exploding social behaviour and capitalised on it by creating a bespoke choreographed ‘Coca-Cola Kick Shuffle’ dance. The dance exploded across social channels with guerilla seeding through talent, leading into a huge dance-based social campaign including challenges and step-by-step tutorials.

Something for Everyone

The full version of the ad sits at over 2 minutes long and is representative of a wide range of demographics, cultures and interests. However, it also easily cuts into 6” and 15” iterations to be used in more contextual and personalised environments such as gaming, sport, music, dance and beauty.

The Impact of Collaborations

Coke collaborated with musician and rapper Tyler, the Creator to create an original song for the campaign that would appeal particularly to Gen Y and Gen Z. This collaboration will help Coke reach an additional market in loyal Tyler, the Creator fans while also giving the media something to write about, resulting in additional earned coverage.

Unleashing the Power of Creativity & Connections

The work is more eloquently described by Walter Susini, Coca-Cola’s SVP of Marketing in Europe, who said “What is brilliant about this campaign is how we have merged the power of creativity and connections to be able to increase our efficiency and effectiveness in our overall plan. We have developed a modular communication platform that enables us to have one unique message and tone of voice across the different moments and occasions of the year in all touch points to push the brand experience.”

It’s easy to imagine how this could be activated in a truly integrated communications approach with everything very simply pointing back to “taste” and the “hit” of Coke. You can see how a brand team and their village of agencies could get around this idea and really make it sing.

1 2