Monday, 18 April 2011

This blog has moved!

Hey there,

You've arrived at The Lounge Group's old blog.

We have now moved home to our shiny new website that integrates our blog, tweets and latest case studies. Nice to have everything in one place!

The Lounge Group's new blog

Please go there for all our latest posts. You can read the old ones over there too if you fancy.

See you there!

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Death of the brand website? A Lounge perspective...

There's been a lot of discussion about this lately. Of course brands have been setting up camp on Facebook for years now, but to date a branded Facebook page has normally been as a side offering alongside a separate brand website.

However, the more sophisticated Facebook brand pages become and with brands like ASOS is championing Facebook ecommerce (allowing users to buy through their Facebook page as well as their site) it begs the question over whether there's a need for separate brand websites and how much longer they may last.

One of the latest discussions around this is The death of the brand website? on Brand Republic.

Our MD, James Layfield, offers a Lounge perspective...

Friday, 18 February 2011

Hendrick’s Refined Courtship Clinic

The Lounge recently ventured out to experience Hendrick’s Refined Courtship Clinic. The free pop-up was open for the second year running to offer etiquette tips to both singletons and couples looking to woo potential suitors and develop their relationships just in time for Valentine’s Day.

Thursday, 17 February 2011

Trend for 2011: Making the Mundane Fun & how brands are responding

We have identified 3 trends that we predict will be big for 2011. We will be posting each over the next few days with examples of how brands are already using them to engage consumers. Last week we blogged about Planned Spontaneity.

The second trend is... 

2. Making the mundane fun: As consumers increasingly seek new forms of escapism (as identified for nightlife in Planned Spontaneity), they are looking to make dreary day-to-day aspects of their lives more fulfilling and entertaining too. Brands are tapping into this desire by delivering creative, and slightly subversive, approaches to everyday life.

Branded examples:

Mentos ‘Try a Fresh Approach’ to commuting to work

Mentos Gum offered commuters in Glasgow an alternative to the daily grind of cars, buses and trains. Instead, the brand provided a fun "fresh approach" - the chance to zorb to work over the River Clyde! Mentos raised brand awareness whilst

. Mentos turned the grind of the daily commute into a fun and alternative activity, "a fresh approach" as an alternative to cars and public transport. The zorbing was alongside other guerrilla activity such as a spoof Metro story on the latest way to travel to work and sampling activity in major Scottish cities.

Caribou heated bus shelter

Caribou Coffee generously heated up a bus shelter for chilly commuters in Minneapolis, USA. The 'oven shelter' was was complete with real grill-shaped heaters and working clocks, created by Colle+McVoy for the launch of Caribou's hot Daybreaker breakfast sandwiches. There are various examples of outdoor campaigns that disguise bus shelters as other things (check out Norwegian Airway's 'sauna' bus shelter), however, Caribou's 'oven shelter' goes one stage further. Not does it make the mundane fun, it's a branded utility that responds to a consumer need in a relevant way (hot breakfast sandwiches = staying warm).

Monday, 14 February 2011

Ever thought which smells draw you in?

Either through one’s travels or simply from hearing about others' cultures you begin to build up a picture of what a country may be like. Therefore, if you were to stop and think about what a country might smell like, I’m sure it would not be that hard to pin point. Take Italy as an example, we all believe it to be the home of great pasta and pizza and for that reason if anyone where to ask us to imagine its smell we would probably say something along the lines of “pomorodi” (tomatoes), “warm bread” and “dashes of olive oil”. However, it could be more difficult to sum up other countries with a scent alone.

In the case of Lithuania that no longer needs to be a worry. Lithuania is pioneering a new type of national symbol to convey the character of the ex-Soviet Baltic state – perfume. The idea behind such ploy is to communicate a unified front to its public in a very innovative way. The perfume "Lithuania" is a blend of sandalwood, cedar and musk with the designer saying the smell of wood fires has been added, reminiscent of pagan rituals. Lithuanian soldiers in Afghanistan have also received it and it is soon to be rolled out in embassies, hotels and airports. However such forms of symbolism are not only left to those looking to unify their country.

Friday, 11 February 2011

Social Media Week London: The Future of the Social Web

There have been a lot of exciting conversations going on for Social Media Week #smwldn

Yesterday The Lounge got down to The Social Web: Have We Arrived? at the Design Council in London. It was hosted by Meebo, a social platform (already big in the USA) that allows users to share content with all of their social networks from any site on the internet.

Elaine Wherry, co-founder of Meebo, introduced her vision for a web that is inherently social: a people-centric, interest driven web where websites come to know users as individuals, connecting with the person beyond the user id.

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Trend for 2011: Planned Spontaneity & how brands are already responding

We have identified 3 trends that we predict will be big for 2011. We will be posting each over the next few days with examples of how brands are already using them to engage consumers.

The first trend is...

1. Planned spontaneity: Consumers are increasingly seeking exceptional experiences when they go out. Since the recession they are working harder and going out less often, meaning that when they do go out they want something different from the same old bars and clubs. Many consumers want to do something more memorable and imaginative, but due to time constraints they are looking to others to organise this for them. Brands are responding by providing consumers with fun, frivolous and immersive experiences.

Branded examples:

ABSOLUT Vodka: Limited Edition Experiences

Held in in Nov 2010 in London, Bristol, Manchester, Edinburgh & Leeds to celebrate the launch of limited edition ABSOLUT Glimmer, 'turning the ordinary into the extraordinary'.

I went along to the London experience at a disused warehouse in Shoreditch. Publicity had been primarily WOM and no one knew exactly what would happen, creating a feeling of suspense and intrigue. I ‘experienced the exceptional’; firstly with fantastic cocktails and then exploring rooms full of quirky installations (moving mirrors, a maze of string, ping pong tournaments, an office with a militant secretary typing away…)

Monday, 7 February 2011

Lynx angels fall to Earth

The Lounge Group's Lynx angels have fallen from heaven and are descending upon cinemas all over the country this month looking for 'the one'. Can you tempt them?

Meet the angels and experience the new fragrance Lynx Excite at the following cinemas this February & March:

  • Fri 11th, Sat 12th, Sun 13th February - Showcase Cinema Bluewater, Water Circus
  • Fri 25th, Sat 26th, Sun 27th February - Showcase Cinema Bluewater, Water Circus
  • Fri 11th, Sat 12th, Sun 13th March - Kingston Odeon, The Rotunda
  • Fri 25th, Sat 26th, Sun 27th March - Enfield Cineworld, Southbury Leisure Park
You can also pick up a sample at 75 menswear retail locations across the UK - look out for scented postcards & angels' feathers in order to gain access to exclusive online content!

Finally, check out the new Lynx Excite TV ad by BBH: Even Angels Will Fall...

Friday, 28 January 2011

The greatest ad BMW never made

We spend a large part of our lives connecting with our favourite brands. They’re a part of defining who we are. I’ve also spend a large part of my own life developing ways to create a connection between brands and consumers. However, this film says more about that connection than any advert I care to remember. It’s probably the most effective piece of communication never written.

- Martin Homent, Creative Director of The Lounge Group

Description of the slideshow by its creator, YouTube user 42bill:

This is a photo story of my father's 1958 BMW R50:

Boy meets girl, gets married, buys motorcycle. Rides it for 60,000 miles and has accident when wife is pregnant with 3rd child. (me) Wife orders motorcycle to be taken off road until all her children are grown and on their own. One day when bike is moved to a different storage location, son sits on bike and dreams of being a Jedi Master like his father. Couple grows old together and bike is not ridden for 40 years. Husband is now a grandfather of 7 and married for 50 years, when he dies of a stroke at age 71.

Son looks over the old rotting machine and finds note attached to it from his father to him. Son decides to restore the old 1958 BMW R-50 as a tribute to his father. With the help of many friends, especially Peter Nettesheim, world renowned BMW collector, bike is restored to look even better than it did when it was built in Germany.

Monday, 24 January 2011

Immersive gaming

Immersive games, also called Alternate Reality Games (ARGs) take place in the real world using everyday life as a gaming platform. Players work together to solve a puzzle or challenge with the adventure lying in the sense that the game's events could be real. From a marketing perspecitve, it's a great example of social media integration with offline marketing.

The first true ARG was created by Microsoft in 2001 to market the film A.I.: Artificial Intelligence. The game, 'The Beast', seeded a trail of clues across various media channels over 3 months, which players followed to reveal a secret related narrative. With the mantra “this is not a game”, The Beast achieved over 3 million active participants and an online community that was still active for years after the game had ended.

Immersive games can also be simple treasure hunts or day-long action games. Some FMCG brands are creating campaigns that involve aspects of immersive gaming; for example the M&Ms Find Red campaign in Canada that has just finished hid in three Toronto locations and challenged consumers to find him by following clues and using Google Maps Street View.