Category Archives: Remarkable Brand Work

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.

Tourism Australia 8D Experience Takes Off With Over 200M Views

At a time where people are craving travel experiences, but physically can’t, Connecting Plots along with our sister production house Infinity Squared wanted to create the next best thing…

And that next best thing has hit over 200 million views! Absolute insanity. But unsurprising considering how genuinely epic the work is.

‘Australia in 8D’ is a series of immersive films designed to transport viewers from around the world into the heart of some of Australia’s most breathtaking destinations and keep them dreaming of all of the experiences awaiting them when they are able to travel to Australia again.

Harnessing innovative 8D audio technology, the six films take viewers on a sensory journey, immersing them in the unique sights, sounds and textures of iconic destinations such as Uluru, Sydney Opera House, Fraser Island and the Daintree.

The videos have each been themed by colour – blue, red, magenta, green, black and white – to evoke a range of feelings and emotions, and showcase the visual diversity and vibrancy found in Australia, and provide inspiration for future holiday plans.

The immersive project was rolled out across digital, social & PR and has since garnered more than 200 million eyeballs across the globe.

Case Study Video

What is 8D Audio? 

8D audio is a sound engineering treatment that, when the viewer wears headphones, gives the music and sounds a three-dimensional effect for an immersive experience. This campaign was the first time a tourism body has utilised this technology for a video series. 

The videos are part of Tourism Australia’s renewed international content marketing program to drive traffic and engagement to its channels, and can be viewed on Australia.com/8DEscapes and Tourism Australia’s YouTube channel YouTube.com/Australia.

They are supported by a series of articles on Australia.com providing information on the highlight experiences and destinations to give further inspiration for travellers considering where they might holiday in the future.

ICYMI, check out the 8D videos on Tourism Australia’s website here.

Uncle Tobys Launches New Breakfast Bakes Campaign Via Connecting Plots

There’s no need to skip breakfast with Uncle Tobys Breakfast Bakes! 

Leveraging the new Uncle Tobys Oats big brand idea ‘For Goodness Sake!’, the new Uncle Tobys Breakfast Bakes work humorously shows how fulfilling the goodness of Breakfast Bakes is in comparison to fad diet options that leave you feeling unsatisfied. 

By leaning into audience behaviours in-channel, we were able to further dramatise that Breakfast Bakes can offer you ‘goodness on the go’, so there’s no need to skip breakfast… only the YouTube pre-rolls!

The work is currently live across YouTube, socials and out-of-home. Check out the work below.

YouTube

Socials

 OOH

Credits 

Agency: Connecting Plots

ECD – David Jansen

Art director – Matt Geerson

Copywriter – John Gault 

Designer – Joe Davies – Griffith 

Studio Producer – Bonnie Ledsam

TV Producer – Henry Richardson 

Director – Greta lee Jackson 

Project Director – Gwendolyn Jimenez

Business Director – Jack Blades

Connecting Plots Launches New Global Brand Campaign “Like No Other” For Peter Lehmann

Peter Lehmann Wines has launched a new brand platform and strategy devised by creative communications agency Connecting Plots which encapsulates the brand’s rich history and winemaking expertise in an uncomplicated yet meaningful brand platform, ‘Like No Other’.

The brand platform will be rolled out across global markets including the UK, Canada, and China to activate locally.

The launch comes as Connecting Plots expands its remit with parent company Casella Family Brands, taking responsibility for the creative, digital, social, and media for premium wines including Peter Lehmann Wines, The Magic Box Wine Collection, Brand’s Laira, and Morris Of Rutherglen.

The first campaign under the new platform launches in Australia today across out-of-home, digital video, social, and point-of-sale. The initial creative, developed by Connecting Plots, features a beautiful and striking key visual, highlighting the premium portfolio of wines before revealing the new messaging.

“Peter Lehmann Wines has such a distinct and rich story with a longstanding history of winemaking excellence. We identified the need for a creative springboard to communicate this to consumers around the world in a succinct and relevant way, in a category that can sometimes be quite complex” says Nicole Gardner Global Marketing Manager Premium Wines.

“It was important for the platform to celebrate the uniqueness of the brand, as well as paying homage to Peter Lehmann himself who was a trusted, one-of-a-kind character of the Barossa. We believe ‘Like No Other’ has the longevity and breadth to carry the brand well into the future”.

Tom Phillips, Managing Director of Connecting Plots says: “We’re delighted to be extending our relationship with Casella Family Brands working across a range of iconic, regional, and emerging brands within their portfolio.”

“The new brand platform we’ve developed for Peter Lehmann Wines really captures the essence of the brand’s rich history, culture and experience. We look forward to sharing our integrated expertise, helping the teams develop global strategies, and optimising their digital experience across the entire Casella Family Brands portfolio,” he adds.

Credits:

Client: Casella Family Brands

General Manager: Libby Nutt

Head of Strategy & Innovation: Michael Sergeant

Global Marketing Manager, Premium Wines: Nicole Gardner

Senior Brand Manager, Premium Wines: Adrienne Renton

Assistant Brand Manager, Peter Lehmann Wines: Shannon Reynolds

 

Agency: Connecting Plots

Creative Partner: Dave Jansen

Planning Director: Annabelle Rogers

Senior Strategist: Tim Collier 

Group Account Director: Gemma ap Geraint

Account Director: Gemma Barr

Snr Art Director: Paul Bennell

Snr Copywriter: Andrew Fraser

Design: Joe Davies-Griffiths

Producer: Melanie Reardon

Managing Director: Tom Phillips 

Stills Photographer: Craig Wall – Sam I Am

Stills Producer: Anna Morwenna

Director of Photography: Tony Luu

Production Designer: Loretta Cosgrove