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Social Change / xxx
Contagious is ten. Welcome...
2 / 3
THE CONTAGIOUS DECADE
A Primer
Log off, lean in and pore over Katrina Dodd’s attempt
at imposing neatly alphabetised...
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  1. 1. Social Change / xxx
  2. 2. Contagious is ten. Welcome...
  3. 3. 2 / 3 THE CONTAGIOUS DECADE A Primer Log off, lean in and pore over Katrina Dodd’s attempt at imposing neatly alphabetised order on the chaos of the Contagious zeitgeist. WELCOME TO CONTAGIOUS X Brands for the next decade Application instructions for this special dose of the magazine. Side effects may include broad inspiration, brand bravery and a healthy dose of disdain for the status quo. STRENGTH STUDY / Disruption By Emily Hare Landscape How can brands make disruption work while protecting themselves against challengers? Brand Spotlight Tesla Opinion Jonathan Mildenhall, CMO, Airbnb CUT OUT AND KEEP A brief history of (Contagious) time / The ten commandments A crunched-down illustration of the major tech, social and business developments on one side and Contagious’ non-denominational lessons to live by on the other. Hang it proudly. STRENGTH STUDY / Purpose By Lucy Aitken Landscape What’s meaningful is magnetic, and great brands understand their calling Brand Spotlight Chipotle Opinion Paul Polman, CEO, Unilever STRENGTH STUDY / Design By Ed White Landscape From decoration to business imperative Brand Spotlight Apple Opinion Sue Siddall, partner, IDEO WHAT WE GOT WRONG To err is Contagious? Our role as a handy instruction manual for the future isn’t as easy as we make it look, ok? But we’re big enough to admit a few of our mistakes… STRENGTH STUDY / Experimentation By Alex Jenkins Landscape Test, measure and learn in a rapidly-changing environment Brand Spotlight Google Opinion Sir Martin Sorrell, founder and chief executive officer, WPP STRENGTH STUDY / Services By Patrick Jeffrey Landscape Service design thinking has radically reimagined marketing in the digital age Brand Spotlight Uber Opinion Russell Davies and Louise Downe, director of strategy and service designer at Government Digital Service STRENGTH STUDY / Empowerment By Arwa Mahdawi Landscape The tool-makers shall inherit the earth Brand Spotlight Safaricom Opinion Ethan Zuckerman, director, MIT Center for Civic Media 06 31 69 119 129 138 140 77 86 89 99 109 40 47 57 66 68 14 19 28 STRENGTH STUDY / Collaboration By Georgia Malden Landscape Better together? Partnerships characterise today’s high-achieving brand landscape Brand Spotlight LEGO Opinion Blake Mycoskie, founder and chief shoe-giver, TOMS STRENGTH STUDY / Culture By Dan Southern Landscape Company culture galvanises employees and delights customers Brand Spotlight Etsy Opinion Dave Gray, author and consultant FEATURE / Job title safari As the marketing industry evolves, so does the taxonomy of its strange and exotic creatures. INDEX The brands, companies and people showcased in this special issue of Contagious. SMALL BUT PERFECTLY FORMED Little brands, big thinkers In each of our past 20 issues, Contagious has celebrated seven small companies hoping to change the world. We take a look at some of our favourites – and add a few more to the ranks. STRENGTH STUDY / Publishing By Chloe Markowicz Landscape Brands evolve from being publicists to publishers Brand Spotlight Red Bull Opinion Tyler Brûlé, editor in chief, Monocle STRENGTH STUDY / Data By Chris Barth Landscape The fine art of surfacing signal from noise Brand Spotlight IBM Opinion Vikram Somaya, general manager of WeatherFX, The Weather Company FEATURE / The technology boneyard Explosive digital development has its casualties. Will Sansom considers those that became cautionary tales. ANALYSIS / The case study cash-in Contagious corners the hypothetical market by backing our case study-featured brands. By Raakhi Chotai. INSIDER IDEAS Sex, drugs & Twitter Will Sansom charts how the collision of celebrity life and digital media is reshaping popular culture. NEWS Contagious brand ideas From selfless selfies to innovative uses of Instagram WILDFIRE Stories plucked from the pop culture ether AI employees, smart cities and invisibility cloaks 14 28 31 47 69 77 86 insert CONTAGIOUS X INSERT
  4. 4. Editorial / Ten Years Of Contagious 4 / 5 Contagious was born on the back of a beer mat in a Chelsea pub in 2004. It was a time of ferment in the marketing industry. Mobile was beginning to get smart, social media was primed to explode and people’s relationships with brands were becoming a whole lot more interactive. New media and behaviours meant the audience had run ahead of the advertiser, so we figured that the communications industry needed a fresh guidance system to make sense of the immediate future. Hence Contagious. We wanted to create a platform to explore alterna- tive advertising ideas, assess the impact of emerging technologies and champion a greater sense of purpose for brands. Having been part of the marketing industry for 15 years we both believed the age of broadcast and monologue could be displaced by an era in which brands provide people with tools, services and experiences, and use their creative and financial muscle to effect meaningful social change in the wider world. This feeling is encapsulated in our name. Contagiousness is in the stuff that people choose to care about and feel compelled to share. It’s a spirit and a mindset that reaches beyond siloed disciplines, fusing creativity and marketing, technology, design and behaviour. The key landmarks and turning points of the past ten years are sketched into our Contagious Timeline on page 32 . This magazine has witnessed the business world’s most tumultuous and exhilarating epoch. The dom- inant giants – Alibaba, Amazon, Apple, Google, Facebook and Twitter – have mashed into the trends and movements that have unfolded since 2004: social media, apps, crowdsourcing, the sharing economy, data explosion, wearable technology and corporate transparency. But dramatic as this change has been, Contagious will always be about the immediate future – what we refer to as the ‘first light of dawn’. Not for us the crystal ball-gazing of those Delphic trend forecasters. We have always been focused on a very practical future for marketers, given root by advances that exist right now, today. Infrastructure has always provided the catalytic stepping stones for change. The 20th century was defined by mass media and motors. For our generation, the internet and mobile have been the new enablers. The next bridge, machine intelligence, is of an entirely different magnitude and one that Contagious is looking forward to charting. Technology, in the shape of websites, search engines, navigational aids and smartphones, already augments our intelligence. Those who are better able to deploy such resources are already on a superior plane of interaction with the modern world than those rare souls still tied to pencil and paper. The second wave of machine intelligence will be even more seismic, impacting on sectors far beyond marketing communications and wider pop culture. Artificial Intelligence, in all its various forms – from data manipulation and decision-making, to virtual assistants, sentient robots and connected devices – has the potential to transform every aspect of society: from education, employment, health and leisure, to energy, transport, man- ufacturing, banking and the future of governance. For all the technological and creative wonder that Contagious loves to celebrate, there’s no denying that the world has a legacy of ills to contend with: the environment, wealth inequality, resource depletion, and conflict being an immediate few. It’s up to those with ideas, the next Brins and Musks, the thinkers, the innovators and the inventors, to make themselves heard – and sooner rather than later. Let’s hope that somewhere, somehow, those urgent advances, those ground-breaking ideas that will define the next ten years, are already finding form on some sweaty 3D printer in a bustling lab, on a battered laptop in a student bedsit or even on a gleaming Mac perched on the desk of a Contagious subscriber. When this new dawn comes, Contagious will be watching… Ten Yearsof Contagous Paul Kemp-Robertson & Gee Thomson Contagious founders
  5. 5. To celebrate the tenth anniversary of Contagious we are offering 25% off all new subscriptions Additionally, we’ll give an extra two digital logins with every subscription, so that key members of your team can benefit from Contagious thinking too. Place your order at tinyurl.com/contagiousx Offer expires January 31st 2015.
  6. 6. Social Change / A-Z 6 / 7 The past ten years have been a glorious mash-up: evolution and revolution in equal measure, a clumsy but exhilarating waltz into our unevenly distributed, platform-agnostic and relentlessly accelerating futures. Before we sally forth into a fitter, faster Unknown, a little orientation seems in order: log off, lean in and pore over our attempt to impose neatly alphabetised order on the chaos of the Contagious zeitgeist By Katrina Dodd B is for Broadband, benevolent bearer of bandwidth, the better to support the binge-viewing of Breaking Bad. As a basic com- ponent of our communication infrastructure, broadband penetra- tion has delivered benefits above and beyond our basic old-school telecoms needs. Described as a fourth utility after water, heating and electricity, in 2009 the World Bank put it thus: ‘Broadband is not just an infrastructure. It is a general-purpose technology that can fundamentally restructure an economy.’ That was true even before 2008 became the year of bravado-and-bullshit-fuelled bank- ing balls-ups, but possibly even more necessary in its aftermath. The letter B has also brought us BYOD (Bring Your Own Device), an alternative to clunking, employer- issued tech; Bitcoin, an alternative to clunking, centralised currency; Beacons, a nascent alternative to clunking, irrelevant marketing; And BuzzFeed, an alternative to clunking, text-heavy news and entertainment (see ‘23 ways listi- cles will improve your life’, below*). *This article does not exist. C is for Cats. Pictures of cats. Cat memes. Cat videos. Really, though, the rise of cats is simply the cute, furry face of the rise of Content in all its guises. The creation, curation, circula- tion and consumption of material and messages is booming as the tools of production and channels of distribution become ever more accessible. Simultaneously, how- ever, attention is a resource in effective decline, no matter how diligent our multi-screen multi- tasking becomes. Coming up with content that can compete on merit against everything else out there is exactly as hard as it sounds, and the brands that are doing it well are few and far between. Ten years ago, the ‘C-word’ was Convergence; at the beginning of Contagious it was hypothetical, a talking point. Now we’re living it: untold functionality and utility is telescoped into devices that are seldom beyond arm’s reach, and the evolution of consumer electronics continues to be fasci- nating. Somehow, though, we don’t seem to have any fewer gadgets: the ‘Peak Stuff’ story of late 2011 may have been a false dawn. Peak cats? Nowhere near. Special mention to the Crowd: some kind of ‘Many Hands Make Light Work’ award seems appro- priate, although more for contri- butions to art and science than to marketing. You shall all receive one millionth of one percent of one hand clapping. And the gong for storage is metaphorically awarded to the Cloud, even if, as the Daily Mail recently clarified, it is ‘not an actual cloud’. E is for the era-defining Economy, dragged down as banking revealed itself to be not so much a system as a sink- hole, caving in under exponential entropy and its own preposter- ous lack of substance. It’s for Ecosystems, slick, self-serving, habit-forming, loyalty-locking walled gardens of blissfully con- sistent UX. It’s for Empower- ment, especially in the rapidly emerging nations (more MINT, less BRIC) leapfrogging estab- lished tech infrastructure and cutting straight to the chase with mobile. E is for Experience, a new preoccupation throughout this industry and beyond. For Experimentation because we can, and, more prosaically, for Email, an era-defining communications epidemic that even the Emoji has yet to eclipse. F is obviously for Facebook, not so much the social network of choice as an internet-age equivalent of the phone directory: most of us are in it, and if you’re not, it’s a bit of a statement. Undeniably useful (as sounding board, stalking apparatus, as authentication/universal login), Facebook has attained a degree of ubiquity that is now its best defence against rival platforms. Wherever it happens, though, our online flocking together is fuelling the uncanny acceleration we feel across so many aspects of our lives. The simmering culture of Fear, the Filter-bubbles and the Fan culture: everything from Fifty Shades’ flights of fan-fic fantasy to the mainstreaming of Festivals feels connected to our increased exposure to, well, everything. D is for Disruption. Or should that be Disintermediation? Or maybe even Democratisation? The combination of Digital technology and hot and cold running Data is driving the re-imagination of entire business categories, with music and publishing the canaries in the coal mine for other established businesses trying to weather the revolution. Distribution is also up for grabs: if your product can be broken down into zeros and ones, there’s the internet. For everything else there’s Drones and Driverless cars. But top dog among the Ds is Design, the discipline and rigour that’s informing the ongoing over- haul of our world and the organisa- tions and objects in it. Design has become more holistic, a strategic as well as an aesthetic factor and increasingly an open and inclusive process too. TheContagous Decade:aPrimer A is for Apple. The transformation of Apple from technology also-ran to the world’s most valuable brand has been a defining obsession across ten years of Contagious. In so many ways the antithesis of open ‘for everyone’ internet culture, the company and its superbly polished works have established a set of standards for user experience that have fundamentally altered our expectations of, and relationship with comput- ers. Bestowing a sense of agency and mastery over our gadgets even while edging us further away from a true understanding of how stuff works, the Cupertino corporation has handed us the keys to an expertly enabled world of communication, community and commerce. A world that reflects our new normal: where A is also for Always on, for Apps and Algorithms and APIs. A world that can incubate the Arab Spring and Anonymous. A world with Amazon and Alibaba in the ascendancy. And then, of course, there is Android. While Apple’s iOS-running mobile devices rule the high end of the market, in less than a decade Android has become the people’s choice, the de facto operating system du monde. But even with 85% of smartphones shipped this year running Google’s software, the race to run the world is still a long way from being over. A is also for alliteration: brace yourselves for B… Illustrations/AlexWalker,YCN
  7. 7. Social Change / A-Z 8 / 9 I is for Image Explosion. If you’re more Instagram than Internet of Things, this is for you. At the end of last year, Yahoo! estimated that 880 billion photos would be taken in 2014, 123 for every man, woman and child on the planet. Self-contained cameras are fewer and further between, but combine smartphones and social platforms with an exponential rise in storage capacity, and Lo! a new visual language is born, and anyone can speak it. Expertise is not the point: the ability to shoot and share some- thing important, or interesting or pertinent is. The upshot is that pic- tures have not only helped to define and document the past few years, they’ve developed (retro-pun!) into a kind of social currency and visual shorthand that fuels and fosters communication on all levels. K is for Knowledge, and the changing relationship we have with it. Access to information is a transformative thing. Samuel Johnson said: ‘Knowledge is of two kinds. We know a subject ourselves or we know where we can find information upon it.’ He was talking libraries, but the effect of the internet has upped the ante by another order of magnitude: a whole generation, when confronted with a gap in comprehension or savoir-faire, reflexively knows they can Just Fucking Google It. Or pick up a Kindle. For those who don’t automatically turn to the internet, a pitying digital native is usually on hand with an eye-roll and a smartphone to help them out. From Kimye to Kahneman, from K-pop to Kale, it is getting easier to know stuff. But it is getting harder to explain to your kids why school and homework still matters. L is for Learning. The acquisition of knowledge and skills is a long way from being irrelevant, in fact it’s booming as people around the world sign up in their millions for tutorials, classes and qualifications of every conceivable type. The increasing availability of MOOCs, or massively open online courses, is offering unlimited participation and open access to some of the most respected educators and academic institutions in the world. The power of learning has not been lost on brands and business, and the proliferation of Labs in recent years is no coincidence. Test and Learn, Lean in, think global act Local and love thy LGBTI neigh- bours: that’s how it gets better. (Also, read things that are longer than a Listicle.) H is for Hype Cycle, Gartner’s handy graphic tool for mapping the maturity, adoption and social application of specific technologies. So we know, for example, that Haptics (aka tactile feedback technology) are currently climbing the Slope of Enlightenment, while Head-mounted displays are sliding into the Trough of Disillusionment. Fun, isn’t it? What if we could measure the ebb and flow of contemporary life in the same way? Harry Styles: Peak of Inflated Expectations. Hipsters: Trough. In reality our non-tech hype is measured in Hashtags: at one end of the human-endeavour spectrum the Higgs boson discovery got the world talking about physics, topping the trending list on Twitter on July 4, 2012; at the other, Hacking has made the top ten with depressing regularity. G is for Google, not only the front door to the internet, but also a com- pany of global consequence with an ambitious tendency to reach for the stars (OK, the moon) and fingers in dozens of different digital pies. But G is also for also for Games of every conceivable stripe. Against a thoroughly dispiriting backdrop of Globalisation, the GFC, and the growing Gap between rich and poor, the huddled masses have been keeping their spirits up with regular doses of racy fantasy epic Game of Thrones, the most-pirated TV show ever (see also Torrenting). Gaming in all its guises has also become ever-more pervasive, an under-acknowl- edged fact thrown into relief with the release of Grand Theft Auto V, which earned $1bn in three days flat, faster than any other entertainment product, ever. We also have gaming to thank for the gift that is Gesture- control: what started with the Nintendo Wii quickly opened up a whole new world with Kinect, now sensitive enough to track players’ heartbeats through the pulsing of their skin. But as sophisticated as Gaming has become, we’re still suckers for animated GIFs. M is for Mobile. It’s so obvious we shouldn’t even have to say it. Every year as far back as we can remem- ber has been The Year of Mobile, and yet it never quite seemed to be true. Can we stop now? It’s just how we do stuff. It’s becoming a Meme, but more in the original Richard Dawkins sense than the ‘I can haz cheezburger’ sense. Our collective consciousness is gradually optimising for mobile. It may take another Moonshot to get us beyond that... N is for Netflix, feeding our need for the next movie, the next episode and the next season with all-you- can-eat dedication to our appetite for more of that thing that we love. Thank you Netflix. It’s easy to for- get that in return we’re feeding Netflix the data it thrives on, from which it can deduce how better to serve – hell, even to create – more of what we crave. There are other Ns to consider: the impact of the Network Effect; the rise of Nationalism; the self-conscious ordinariness of Normcore; the not-quite-there-yetness of NFC; And Thaler and Sunstein’s Nudge theory, subtly engineering choice architecture to alter behaviour, to wit: ‘Nudges are not mandates. Putting fruit at eye level counts as a nudge. Banning junk food does not.’ Which brings us to O. J is for Justin, Jay-Z, Jobs, a series of names of varying signif- icance. Justin Bieber gets a shout for becoming one of our first, and most unavoidable YouTube stars, inspiring a surge in sales of hair products for young men; Jay-Z gets a shout for sound-tracking the zeitgeist and for a preternatural understanding of branding that’s allowed him not only to embody authenticity, but to confer it on a roll-call of brands – Reebok, HP, Budweiser, Heineken, Jaguar, Samsung – without denting his own apparently bottomless appeal; and of course, there is – was – Jobs, Steve Jobs, visionary, game-changer and a whole other kind of icon.
  8. 8. Social Change / A-Z Q is for QR codes. The optimis- tically named Quick Response Code has been both a blessing and a curse. Its success in Asia has failed to herald its embrace in Western markets where it continues to be the weakest link in many a marketing campaign. Let’s move on. Quantified Self. The proliferation of sensors, data and the devices and software to gather and process a relentless stream of information has gifted us the ability to be self-obsessed aware in mind-boggling detail. QS might seem, well, selfish, but really it’s the beginning of quantified everything. Yes, it is profound and amazing, just spare us the details, okay? P is for Privacy. A lot has hap- pened over the past ten years, but as blithely as we adopt, early or otherwise, the shiny gadgets and devices of the new millennium, we are still easily creeped-out when confronted with the tales they tell on us. Banner ads for stuff that we’ve looked at – or already bought! – follow us around the internet. We’re routinely asked to sign away our data in language that obscures rather than clarifies the reasons why that should be necessary. Research by GfK found that 80% of consumers surveyed wanted more regulation to pro- tect their data privacy and less than 40% trust marketers with their personal data. That’s bad enough in the smartphone era, but the more connected our daily lives become (and Cisco predicts the Internet of Things will see 50 billion objects hooked up to the internet by 2020), the more necessary clear and reasonable communication becomes. Why is this not a ‘Purpose’ issue for more brands? Stay tuned. V is for video, because although software may indeed be eating the world, the world is too busy watching videos to really give a damn. Omnicom recently advised its clients to shift as much as 25% of their TV budgets to online video, and this year eMarketer predicted that spending on online video advertising will overtake TV ad spend as early as 2018. From six-second Vines to the latest ubiquitous viral, Video has eclipsed Voice-control, Virtual Reality, Vampires and the curiously disturbing rise of Vaping and Vice. It is a Very. Big. Deal. U is for User, as in User-friendly and User experience, but also in the wider sense as in You, the consumer, now enthroned at the centre of the business universe thanks to quotes like this from Jeff Bezos: ‘Above all else align with customers: win when they win, win only when they win.’ It’s worked for Uber, the ride-sharing under- dog-turned-undisputed-champion of transit disruption. In startup culture, every new venture wants to be the Uber of something, but if we had to stand shoulder to shoul- der with one U-related service provider it would be Kenya-based Ushahidi Inc. The non-profit has grown from crisis-mapping to providing open-source tools and software, focusing on innovation and problem-solving on a social scale. Genuinely Upworthy. S is for… (keep it going...) Selfies, sharing, screens, space, Snowden Storytelling, Stuxnet, Silicon Valley Second Life, streaming, Shenzhen, Soylent Same-sex marriage, sustainabili-ty We didn’t start the fire… O is for Obesity. The World Health Organisation defines obesity as ‘excessive fat accumulation that may impair health’, a condition signified by a Body Mass Index of more than 30. According to the American Medical Association, two thirds of the US population is overweight, with 36% of adults clinically obese. In the UK and China, a quarter of all adults are obese; in Russia the figure is 23%; Brazil 15%. The epidemic claims the lives of 2.8 million adults per year, making it the fifth most common cause of death globally. The Trust for America’s Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation have predicted that more than half of the US could be obese by 2030, costing $66bn in treatment and at least $500bn in lost economic productivity. Gulp. Or should that be OMG? We have less depressing Os: On-demand (see also Netflix), Open Source, O.Ba.Ma. Occupy. Oversharing. Damn, we were doing so well… Wait: OK Go! ‘OK Glass...’ Gah. R is for… Reprise! (to the tune of We Didn’t Start the Fire) Rise of the extreme right, renewables, real-time Re-views, rolling news, reality TV Re-cession, Raspberry Pi, riots, robots, Rockefellers switch from oil to cleaner energy We didn’t start the fire… T is for TED, and for TED Talks, a theatrical, time-limited format for spreading ideas with impact – a bit like WikiHow, but slightly less practical. Twitter performs a similar idea-and-information dissemination function, but with greater economy and a lot more Trolling. Ideas don’t have to be good to spread, though: Tea Party, take a bow. They also don’t have to be obvious: who’d have thought Twitch.tv, the internet equivalent of sports TV for gamers, would become a thing (acquired for $970m by Amazon, beating Google to the deal)? Ideas don’t have to rely on Touchscreens: feature phones are transforming lives across the developing world. And they don’t have to be the brainchild of billionaire Tesla founder Elon Musk, but it sure does help. For content, of course, we have Torrenting. 10 /11
  9. 9. Social Change / xxx 12 / 13 Welcome to the home stretch… W is for Wearables, because frankly, what could possibly com- pete? Not the wane of Windows. Not even the wonder of wifi. Not the diligently updated wisdom of Jimmy Wales’ Wikipedia, because we take it for granted and laugh at it when it’s wrong, even though it is a marvel of endeavour and collabo- ration. And not Wikileaks because even if information wants to be free, we’re not totally convinced that it should always get its way. But everyone loves Wearables, right? Whether that’s true now is not really the point: whether it’s true in the next ten years is way more important. Apple’s famed capacity to create new markets means a lot is riding on the suc- cess of its Watch. X is for... Cut us some slack: X is tricky, we’re tired, and all we could think of was The X Factor and the XPRIZE (which really is spelt like that, we checked). One is a pitiless singing contest that humiliates the desperate for easy LOLs; the other is ‘a highly leveraged, incentivised prize competition that pushes the limits of what’s possible to change the world for the better’. The best thing is, we don’t have to choose, we live in a world where these things can happily co-exist. So. Our final desperate stab at X is a rallying cry to bearers of the XX chromosome: women. If there is one thing that’s even less evenly distributed than the future, it’s equality of opportunity, rights and respect for women. Over the past ten years at Contagious we’ve witnessed a steady building of efforts to redress the balance in all kinds of ways, some branded (Coca-Cola 5 by 20), some not (Slutwalks). All chipping away at a big, but fixable problem. Y is for YouTube From ‘Yes we can,’ to YOLO, nothing has captured or embodied the spirit of the Contagious decade quite like YouTube. Now all the world really is a stage, with no subject too big, no camera work too shaky, no moment too trivial to record and share. And this epic and yet curiously personal platform has created a new generation of players: avidly followed stars of the small glowing screen, racking up subscribers in the millions, viewcounts in the billions and the kind of revenue that make their parents feel okay about how much time they’re spending in their bedroom. Felix ‘PewDiePie’ Kjellberg is currently the master of this oddball universe: a passion for providing first-person commentary on his video-game exploits has parlayed into 30 million channel subscrib- ers, a total viewcount in excess of 6 billion, and income north of $4m per annum. A player par excellence. YouTube is both the greatest and most terrifying show on Earth. Good thing we like to be scared… ...Because Z is for Zombies. AMC’s premiere season five of The Walking Dead broke cable records with 17.3 million viewers tuning in for a fix of gore, violence and life-or- undeath struggle. If YouTube brings us face to face with the world at its most human, the flipside is our unsated appetite for tales of the Zombie apocalypse. The subject of TED talks and TV shows, novels and Guardian think-pieces, zombies are variously described as a response to the rise of atheism (novelist Stephen Marche), a metaphor for consumer- ism, and ‘always double, a symbol of failure and success, slavery and rebellion’ (Professor Sarah Juliet Lauro). In other words, an endlessly versatile metaphor for the overwhelming churn of unset- tling cultural circumstances and possibilities that define our lives now – and an entirely appropriate response to an era of change like no other. We live in interesting times. Every day might feel like the end of the world as we know it, but mostly we feel fine. Ten more years! THE ADC AWARDS SEASON 2015 IS NOW OPEN ADCGLOBAL.ORG/AWARDS ADC 94th Annual Awards ADC Tomorrow Awards 2015 ADC Young Guns 13 Photo:LynnParks
  10. 10. 14 / 15Welcome To Contagious X / Brands For The Next Decade We conceived Contagious X – a celebration of Contagious’ tenth anniversary – as both a state- ment of the decade’s influence and a roadmap to building brands for the 21st century. In this special edition of the magazine, we’ve set out to crystallise our thinking over that period and lay out a vision for the future. We’ve tried to bring the benefit of ten years of knowledge to bear on every bit of this issue. This is graphically portrayed in a timeline of the most significant changes of the past decade, and lexically communicated in a set of non-denom- inational Commandments, both of which make up our fold-out centre spread. We’ve got an A-Z, Brands for the next decadeApplication instructions for this special dose of the magazine. Side effects may include broad inspiration, brand bravery and a healthy amount of disdain for the status quo By Emily Hare and Nick Parish fromtheArabSpringtoZombies (page 6), and a review of how digital-first fame and the dawn of micro-celebrityhasevolvedpost-Bieber (page 69). Changing fortunes As well as harking back to brands that we’ve featured on their way up, we’ve decided to look at some of the flops that we’ve championed in What We Got Wrong on page 86. If dead tech’s really your thing, have a read of Will Sansom’s Technology Boneyard on page 66, complete with comments from Benedict Evans, partner at San Francisco VC firm Andreessen Horowitz. For every Kodak, Blockbuster or Lehman Brothers, there’s a new company waiting in the wings. Small But Perfectly Formed (SBPF), our long-running feature that showcases impressive startups, has moved from community-powered businesses through app developments to carefully crafted niche products that have been crowdfunded on Kickstarter. In this issue, we turned to the founders of three of our most successful SBPF companies – Raspberry Pi, GoldieBlox and BRCK – and asked them to recommend some new blood: companies that they think are about to break through to the mainstream. Check out their selec- tions on page 40. Business and creative success We’ve had to restrain ourselves from snorting in horror when presented with certain business cards, so we’ve taken the chance to pull together some of the most offensive job titles we’ve come across and then imagine how these increasingly outrageous superlatives might manifest themselves in the future. Take a Job Title Safari on page 138. We ref lect back on just how success- ful the brands we’ve featured as case studies have been over the past decade by creating a theoretical stock portfolio and tracking their performance in the market. Our CaseStudyCash In on page 68, though sadly virtual, showed how the brands we’ve written about over the years have (generally) had impressive business success alongside smart, creative marketing. We suspect a link. Overall, our index outperformed the control portfolio by 17%. Now, where are those Bitcoins? (Having said that, if we had bought one Bitcoin for 80 cents when we first mentioned them on Contagious I/O in April 2011, and been lucky enough to sell at their peak in November 2013, we’d have turned our loose change into $1,124.)
  11. 11. 20 / 21 Play to win Let’s not forget the main event. Contagious has always been valued for its case studies, but for this special edition we decided to mix things up and focus instead on what qualities brands need to exhibit to succeed in this day and age. To that end, we’ve selected ten key brand strengths to make up the meat of the magazine. We landed on these specific traits based on an analysis of all the brands, creative work, trends and ideas we’ve covered over the past few years. So, when the editorial team weighed it all up, what were the topics, themes and ideas that Purpose we’ve seen brands using to their advantage? We decided on Disruption, Purpose, Publishing, Data, Design, Experimentation, Services, Empowerment, Collaboration and Culture. Each strength is divided into three parts: Landscape, Brand Spotlight and Opinion. The Landscape section discusses how the strength has developed over the past decade. The Spotlight then explores the brand that best exemplifies that strength. We’ve used this opportunity to showcase and dig into standout companies. Some we’ve fea- tured previously but felt worth revisiting, such as LEGO, Chipotle, Safaricom and Red Bull. Others we delved into for the first time, like Tesla, Etsy, Uber and Apple. Of course, the best brands are multi-talented, but to keep things focused we decided to home in on the one aspect of their winning approach. Finally, each section gives the last word to an external expert. We’ve tapped into our smartest contacts, folks who are pushing the industry to evolve in new and previously unim- aginable ways, and asked them to share their knowledge with you. Sir Martin Sorrell, CEO of WPP Group, discusses experimentation. Blake Mycoskie, founder of TOMS, gives his take on collaboration. Acclaimed journalist, entrepreneur and publisher Tyler Brûlé shares his thoughts on content and publishing. Unilever CEO Paul Polman tells us why purpose is so vital to the FMCG business. And Jonathan Mildenhall, chief marketing officer at Airbnb, considers disruption. We’ve had a fun, but strenuous, time compiling this issue for you. We hope it’ll take an hon- oured place alongside the rest of your Contagious collection, and serve as an important reference and companion as you help your company build on its strengths in the new year. Welcome to Contagious X / Brands For The Next Decade Disruption ExperimentationPublishing Data Culture Empowerment Services Design Collaboration
  12. 12. Strength Study / Disruption Disruption A startup’s success relies on coming from left-field and disrupting an established industry, or creating an entirely new one. But how can big brands make disruptive tactics work and protect themselves against the threat of being rendered obsolete? By Emily Hare Illustration /M attC hase Of course, when you’re playing a choose-your- own-adventure game on one of the hottest social networks around, it’s not obvious that one of its business objectives is to defend market share. It’s the type of information that’ll only surface if you interview BBH Singapore’s engagement planner, which is exactly what we did when we featured the campaign on Contagious I/O. Input / Output Contagious I/O covers the Inputs and Outputs of some of the most innovative and creative marketing in the world: from the client brief, through to the results of each campaign. Its purpose is to find out how and why brands are creating new, game-changing marketing and with what success. So for Chupa Chups’ Get Lolli campaign, we dug into the brand’s challenge in the mar- ketplace and discovered that it had no direct lollipop competitors. However, as engagement planner Lindsey Cummings explains, ‘When you walk in to a convenience store, anything around the counter is competition because it’s an impulse purchase. So Chupa Chups is competing with Skittles, with chocolates, with mints.’ Another Input of the campaign was the research into the target audience. ‘We did a lot of in-depth interviews with teenagers from across the world and then conducted con- sumer journey mapping,’ outlines Cummings. Promotional Feature Lollipop learningWhat’s not to love about Chupa Chups’ latest campaign? It’s got it all. Lollipops! Instagram! Defending market share! ‘We studied their emotions during different points in the day – we looked at what their ten- sion points are, how they feel and what devices they use at different parts of the day.’ Understanding device usage at different times was key to the decision to execute on Instagram. ‘Chupa Chups was only active on Facebook, which really is not the best place for us to be if we’re trying to talk to teenagers,’ says Cummings. ‘Instagram is mobile-based, which is perfect when targeting teens on their commute home from school when they’ll be checking their phones all the time.’ Inspiration, organised We know that your teams will find inspiration from a wide range of sources. But inspiration that: • can be filtered by brand, product category, media type, age group, country and business objective • includes effectiveness results and exclusive interviews with the people who created the campaigns • can be searched, bookmarked and turned into a collaborative workspace with colleagues • features multiple full-screen images and videos for use in presentation decks Well, that kind of inspiration is pretty rare. We call it Contagious I/O. Find out more: talkturkey@contagious.com
  13. 13. Strength Study / Disruption 20 / 21 D isrupting an established and – let’s face it – often complacent industry is an artful practice generally pulled off by brave, creative and gutsy brands. And the rewards are great: just think how Apple created a new breed of music ecosystem and consigned stacks of CDs to history. Look at how Dollar Shave Club took a 6% volume share of the US razor cartridge market with its value subscription shaving proposition. Or consider the apparent ease with which Amazon became your go-to location to check prices and buy more or less anything. Michael Dubin, CEO of Dollar Shave Club, defines disruption in business as ‘an idea or a business model that produces a significant or resonant and widespread change in an established way of doing things’. The main factors that provide a fertile environment for the majority of these disruptions are recurring themes through- out Contagious X: rapid technological change, connected consumers, the rise of ecommerce and digital distribution. Taking a disruptive approach marks a refusal by businesses to be content with incremental enhancements and a desire to establish a business that is fit for the future. Flash points Jean-Marie Dru, chairman of TBWAWorldwide, encouraged the advertising industry to embrace this attitude with his book Disruption, published in 1996. Dru explains: ‘It started as a methodol- ogy for creating room for growth for our brands.’ Disruption is a strategy that TBWA continues to pursue, running disruption days for clients to help them come up with new ideas and safeguard against rivals. Dru continues: ‘It’s entering new categories, creating new business models, thinking differently.’ Though regarded as predominantly negative when he started to use the word in the early 90s, Dru now says: ‘All our clients, in all companies, are much more open to breakthrough, innovative or disruptive thinking. They don’t always do it, but they like to think about it at least.’ Author and Harvard Business School pro- fessor Clayton Christensen brought his theory of Disruptive Innovation to a more mainstream business audience in 1997, with the publication of The Innovator’s Dilemma. Christensen’s theory, developed to explain how personal computers disrupted the mainframe computer market, demonstrates how established companies can slip from dominant positions and how a new product or service can gain a strong foothold in the marketplace. More recently, The New York Times Innovation Report, published in March 2014, warns of the dangers of ignoring these entrants who often seem innocuous at first. ‘Over time, disruptors improve their product, usually by adapting a new technology. The flash point comes when their products become “good enough” for most customers.’ This leaves businesses with a dual problem: how to put their own disruptive strategies in place, and how to protect themselves from new rivals. Successful startups When you imagine a disruptive company, it’s probably a startup that is not encumbered by legacy systems, and is armed with a killer insight into its marketplace and potential consumers. And it’s probably staffed by hipsters with a reception area that you’d be happy to call home. However, just as renowned author and management strategist Peter Drucker defined seven sources of innova- tion or opportunities in his book Innovation and Entrepreneurship, there are a variety of ways that companies can disrupt their competitors or burst into a marketplace. These range from the product or service itself right through to distribution, retail and creative opportunities, leading to successful executions that are generally better, cheaper and simpler than existing rivals. Signature assets Dollar Shave Club nailed price, attitude, distribu- tion and, memorably, product when it launched in 2012 with a viral video featuring CEO Michael Dubin boasting: ‘Our blades are f**king great.’ Dubin says: ‘Guys are really frustrated by the price and experience of buying razors when they go to the store. By understanding that problem really well, we were able to provide a solution that was incredibly simple, easy to use and affordable. The way we brought that to life, through great user experience online, empowered our success. And, of course, we developed a signature social asset in the video that people forwarded around to each other so that people could tell that story.’ The original video’s view count is now close to 17 million and Dollar Shave Club passed the 1 million member mark in September 2014. Creating an entirely new product or service can potentially cause the greatest disruption in an industry, or even launch an entirely new category, but it’s also the hardest to conceive and convince consumers that this is something they need. Mobile payment system Square is one such business, offering a solution that allows people to make and receive card payments thanks to a device that plugs into a smartphone. From there, Square has expanded to offer a full point-of-sale system, competing with more developed in-store hardware solutions. Since it launched in 2009, it has received almost $600m in funding, although it must now look to challenges from Apple and PayPal in order to protect its business. Compelling creativity Disruption comes in different shapes and sizes. How many brands do you know that would be happy removing their logo from their product, for example? Coca-Cola’s Share a Coke campaign originated in Australia in 2011 and has now printed more than 1,000 names on Coke bottles and cans in lieu of the brand’s distinctive logo. Initiated via Ogilvy & Mather in Sydney, Share a Coke has been the brand’s biggest local-to-global campaign in decades. It was recently credited with boosting sales in the US by 2%, reversing 11 years of decline in the country, according to The Wall Street Journal. After the debacle that was New Coke, disruptive creativity is a strategy that allows brands such as Coca-Cola to reap some of the rewards of disruption without altering their existing product or introducing something new. Self-sabotage Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s CEO, has instilled a dis- ruptive approach throughout the organisation. In an interview with journalist Stephen Levy, he said: ‘As a company, one of our greatest cultural strengths is accepting the fact that if you’re going to invent, you’re going to disrupt.’ Amazon’s relentless willingness to rip it up and start again shows the mark of a truly disruptive company – one that is not afraid to potentially undermine its own products and services in its quest to build the business. It disrupted its book-selling roots by launching a digital reading device. It jeopardised content sales by embracing rentals, through its purchase of Lovefilm and the introduction of the Kindle Lending Library. And its one-off delivery charges were thrown into question with the launch of Prime’s subscription model. These all point towards a longer-term goal of a locked-in customer who sees Amazon as the go-to option for the best, easiest and cheapest purchases or content. Know your limits Often, startups have no option but to take a disruptive approach when they’re trying to gain a foothold, but is there a way that established companies can ensure they don’t fall into the trap of only making incremental changes? Cesar Brea, author and founder of marketing analytics firm Force Five Partners, believes: ‘To be successful at disruption-driven strategies, if you don’t have scarcity you have to manufacture it yourself.’ 3M does just this by setting itself the target of generating 25% of its revenue from products developed in the past five years, for example. On the flip side, Brea counsels that compa- nies can avoid being disrupted themselves by gathering ‘continuous feedback from the market about whether or not you are actually solving your clients’ needs’. He says: ‘The trick is to be As a company, one of our greatest cultural strengths is accepting the fact that if you’re going to invent, you’re going to disrupt Jeff Bezos, Amazon ruthlessly objective about meeting those things and not looking for confirmatory evidence.’ Adding value Disruption today isn’t so much a strategy as a real- ity, and one that forces businesses to both protect themselves from competition and look around for new opportunities. Relentlessly paying attention to your customers and solving their pain points isn’t enough, however. You also have to focus on faint signals that may, in time, become a serious threat. This is a daunting task, but one that mar- keters are ideally placed to facilitate. To ensure that the company remains relevant, marketers can serve as a conduit to share customer feedback with the wider business, and ensure that information is distributed and issues are dealt with. Marketers can combine their knowledge of how people are using new technologies and plat- forms with an awareness of the company, placing themselves in a position that is integral to busi- ness growth. This understanding gives them the chance to add value through incremental changes based on customer feedback. It also means they can come up with something genuinely disruptive that people had no idea they wanted... but subsequently can’t live without. Dollar Shave Club: CEO Michael Dubin’s viral video praising its razor blades was a memorable launch for the company in 2012, with views currently amounting to 17 million
  14. 14. Strength Study / Disruption 22 / 23 Brand Spotlight Tesla In creating electric vehicles that are desirable not only for their environmental credentials, but also their speed, safety and style, Tesla’s founder Elon Musk claims his place alongside Henry Ford in turning the automotive industry on its head T here aren’t many people who would attempt to launch a best-in-class elec- tric car while simultaneously getting a commercial space venture off the ground. But a voracious appetite for establishing new, disrup- tive companies runs in PayPal co-founder Elon Musk’s blood. The 43-year-old co-founded Tesla in 2004 (along with Martin Eberhard, Marc Tarpenning, JB Straubel and Ian Wright), and serves as chief executive of a company determined to bring electric vehicles to the mainstream. Since then, Tesla has forced the rest of the automotive industry to sit up and take notice as it disrupts not only what people expect from an electric car – up until now some kind of glorified milk truck – but also shakes up established practices in manufacturing, retail, design, safety and marketing. As Tesla’s vice-president of communications and marketing, Simon Sproule, explains: ‘Tesla took a fresh look at the auto industry and said: “What are the parts of the auto industry that consumers really don’t like? What are the changes that we can make to improve the experience?”, and then set about doing them.’
  15. 15. Strength Study / Disruption 24 / 25 The only way to cause other companies to change their behaviour is to impact their bottom line Simon Sproule, Tesla Packing a punch So how best to impress the doubters? First: with the car itself. Tesla’s Model S combines slick design and impeccable safety features with an impressive electric engine. At the same time it’s extremely economical. Last year the Model S was named Motor Trend’s Car of the Year, the first time an electric vehicle has claimed the prestigious award, beating rivals including the Porsche Boxster, BMW 3 Series and Lexus GS. Tesla set out to prove, as Musk said at the Model S’s launch, that ‘an electric car can be truly better than any gasoline car,’ which he believes is a critical step towards the widespread adoption of electric vehicles and sustainable transport in general. The luxury Model S achieved a perfect 5.0 NHTSA safety rating, and the 85kwh version of the vehicle can accelerate from 0-60 in 5.4 seconds. It has a maximum speed of 125 mph and a range of more than 200 miles. And that’s on top of its environmental credentials and cheaper running costs. Giga-plans Prior to the Model S, Tesla produced the Roadster sports car from 2006-2012. And it is adding new vehicles to its fleet in the coming years. The X, launching in 2015, is similar to an SUV. The cheaper model 3, due to hit the streets in 2017, will be about 20% smaller in size than the Model S and will cost in the region of $50,000-$65,000, according to Sproule. The dual-motor Model S (known as the D), announced in October, will be Tesla’s most powerful vehicle yet. The car includes autopilot hardware, tapping into data from radar and ultrasonic sensors to enable active breaking and self-parking. With access to the driver’s calendar, the car can even pick him or her up at a given time or location. Forthcoming software updates should mean that self-driving Teslas become a reality in the next few years. The cars are manufactured in the US, and the fact that so much of their construction is under Tesla’s control is part of the business’s strength, according to automotive industry analyst James Albertine, vice-president at Stifel Equity Research. Albertine notes that this approach contravenes the automotive industry’s modus operandi. ‘What Tesla has done, in contrast to traditional original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), is in-sourced or developed in-house roughly 75-80% of its entire vehicle production process. That’s basically the inverse of a traditional OEM. That is the most fundamentally disruptive element, because that is what’s going to drive profitability, ultimately.’ Tesla recently announced it is constructing The Gigafactory with Panasonic. Set to open in 2020 in Nevada, the factory should produce 500,000 Lithium Ion batteries a year. Sproule explains that this should help make the cars more affordable, as well as provide the business with an additional revenue stream. He says: ‘The cost will be 30% or more lower than the current battery packs that we’re producing.’ Employee ecosystems By placing its showrooms in high-footfall locations, such as shopping malls, Tesla took a disruptive approach to how people actually buy their cars, building on the easy access to informa- tion that digital provides. This is particularly clear when compared with America’s standard (read: excruciating) car-buying process of browsing and bartering on an out-of-town lot, before being pressured into driving off in a car that might be in the wrong colour or with a slightly larger engine than ideal. Tesla stores typically feature display versions of the Model S, a Design Studio where people can select paint, fittings and extras for their car, plus a touchscreen experience where customers can learn about the benefits of driv- ing electric vehicles and Tesla’s technology and book test drives. The car can be configured and ordered online either in-store or from home, and then tracked through its production and delivery process. Tesla’s retail network also sells the Model S second-hand, which lowers the price point and gives a wider range of potential customers the chance to get their hands on the vehicle. Tesla has been able to establish its own retail network and online sales platform thanks to its lack of legacy franchise agreements. Hyping up the disruptive elements of this approach, with transparency around costs and the opportunity to deal directly with Tesla employees rather than a third party is, Albertine says, ‘engendering a very different sort of ecosystem that will play into the evolution of the auto dealer, the auto service model’. In the dominant logic of the automotive industry, where massive dealership networks are ultimately the manufacturer’s customers and determine which cars sell, this model stands apart. Electric experience Electric cars still have some way to go before they hit the mainstream. In the US, electric vehicles made up just 0.67% of those sold in the year to May 2014, from a total of 8.1 million, according to the Energy Policy Information Center. However, that represents a 35% increase compared with the previous year. Demand for Teslas is high, and customers are prepared to wait two to three months to get their hands on the car. Tesla has built up desirability around the vehicles by creating positive experi- ences throughout the purchase and ownership process, ranging from door handles that emerge from the car as you approach, right through to a carefully constructed customer service strategy, including an eight-year and unlimited mileage warranty on the Model S battery. The cliché of a slick car salesman in a cheap suit couldn’t be further from what a Tesla buyer encounters. Sproule explains: ‘It’s a relationship-based marketing approach. It’s not just us shouting about the car and the brand. It’s about inviting people in, getting them to experience the car.’ He adds: ‘Most people have still not driven an electric car. So there’s a basic level of experience that you want people to have. When people drive an electric car, they’re like, “Wow, this is a really special experience.” So it makes a lot more sense for us to build our marketing around experiences.’ Open approach Tesla’s interactions with its customers in-store, through services, owner events, factory visits and over the phone and email, provide the company with the chance to listen, and respond to queries. Sproule says: ‘We get unfiltered feedback, and we get a lot of it. We’re directly connected to our customers and they’re telling us what they like and what they don’t like, and we’re planning long term.’ This feedback has played a key role in how Tesla vehicles have evolved. Tesla’s desire to be a positive force for change not just for its customers, but also in the automotive industry, has led to it taking an open approach, offering its API and patents to the world. Sproule explains the company’s motivation: ‘The stated aim of the company is to encourage electric vehi- cle development. If we hold back and keep our patents to ourselves, we are effectively restricting the evolution of the business.’ Faster horses While Tesla is starting to make sizeable waves in disrupting the automotive market, it still has far to go before it achieves its audacious aims. It first turned a profit in May 2013, but electric vehicle sales at major manufacturers still make up less than 1% of their total. Developing consumer demand is crucial in terms of both growing Tesla’s business and encouraging rivals to mount a challenge that will help the entire marketplace to grow. The way Sproule sees it: ‘The only way to cause other companies to change their behaviour is to impact their bottom line.’ He continues: ‘If other Tesla’s Model S was named Motor Trend’s 2013 Car of the Year – a first for an electric vehicle
  16. 16. Strength Study / Disruption 26 / 27 Opinion Do the ‘wrong thing’ Takeouts Be your own threat / Imagine your worst case challenger and work out how to meet that threat. Strive for excellence / Tesla’s vehicles excel in terms of design, safety and desirability, as well as in their environmental capabilities. Focus on the customer / Incorporate customer feedback into your development plans and think about what they might want in the future. Push for more / Constantly look for ways you can increase not only your business capacity, but grow the entire marketplace. Disruption has historically surprised consumers. I don’t think anyone could have predicted what impact the iPhone would have – not just on the mobile phone market, but across industries ranging from cameras to gaming – when it was launched in 2007. Nowadays, consumers expect and demand that the brands they love surprise them and be one step ahead of what they need. ‘Why can’t my watch do more of what my fitness tracker does? And if it’s not going to, then I’m going to move away from my loved watch brand to something that does.’ Disruption is becoming normalised; it’s becoming expected. Doing the right thing I can’t think of an industry not touched by technology. Technology has turbo-charged disruption, lowering barriers to entry and making it possible to scale new ideas quickly because of the way in which our world is now so interconnected. So why are so many established businesses not waking up to the opportunities and the threats? Classic companies that fail often do so because they were doing the right thing. And if you do the right thing forever it becomes the wrong thing, because you fall out of sync with consumers. Kodak is a brand that did the right thing, but although it was doing the right thing for Kodak, the world around it had completely changed. Companies need to be constantly challenging themselves: ‘What is the wrong thing for us to do right now?’ Because answering that, in the long term, could be the right thing. I love how the mobile operator Three is disrupting the mobile industry in the UK through moves like abolishing sky-high roaming charges or not charging extra for new 4G services. Bake it into your business With six months now under my belt at Airbnb, I can honestly say that I have never before worked in such a dynamic and fast-paced environment. And one where seeking to disrupt the status quo truly runs through the DNA of the company. Take our brand evolution, unveiled during the summer, where we introduced a new marque for Airbnb, the ‘bélo’. Here we did the unthinkable according to marketing and trademark norms, by also launching Create Airbnb, a website where our community can adapt the symbol and make it their own. Disruption for Airbnb is not just about changing the way people travel, it is also about changing the way we do business. Several multinational businesses look for disruption in their annual planning, and they’ll apply it in their business model, marketing strategies or even in creative executions. Conversations planning the next calendar period will quite often ask explicitly: ‘What are we disrupting and what are we going to get in return for that disruption?’ Established companies have models to encourage disruption, Coca-Cola has its 70/20/10 model, for example. Seventy per- cent of investment is proven, 20% of investment is innovative off this and 10% is new ideas that have never been done before. When you’re being reviewed at the end of the year in those kind of companies, the review starts with ‘and what did you do in the 10%?’ Because organisations know that the 10% will find new markets, find new ways to market and find new ways to apply disruptive creativity. And it’s through the management of that budget that organisations learn to feel comfortable with disruption. If you can’t disrupt your product, your category or your business, you can always disrupt creatively. Take Old Spice. Everything about the category stayed the same, everything about the packaging stayed the same, the only place that the brand manager had to disrupt was through the creative, and it has been done brilliantly and the brand has done it consistently. As a result of that, it has earned a disproportionate share of market for that brand. If you’re not failing, you’re not going to innovate Tech-based organisations have an advantage in using disruptive business strategies compared with more traditional organisations, and that’s because failure is part of the process, and investors expect certain technology initiatives to fail. Management teams see failure to be a by-product of learning at the organisation. They believe that you’re not pushing the organisation far enough and fast enough if you’re not occasionally failing. In some of the more traditional sectors, I don’t think the manage- ment teams understand what to do with failure, and are certainly less confident declaring it to shareholders. Business is a scary but exciting place to be at the moment. Nothing is sacred, nothing protected. Disruption is not just about finding a new product or revenue stream; for some companies it will be about survival. And for that reason, it needs to flow through every aspect of the business. manufacturers see business going from their cars to our cars then they will figure out a way to try to stop that. And if consumers are saying “we want electric cars”, then every car company in the world will produce electric cars.’ Tesla’s dominance is growing, with a market cap of over $35bn, more than half of General Motors’ market value, despite GM having an annual revenue that is 50 times greater. In 2010, Tesla became the first car manufacturer since Ford to launch a public share float, when it raised $226m. Its share value has grown more than 1,000% in the past four years, topping $250 at the time of writing. Albertine has predicted that Tesla shares have the potential to hit $400 in the foreseeable future. ‘Short term, the next two to three years, I don’t think there’s anybody that can touch it,’ he says. However, he believes that a clearer picture will develop over the next few years in terms of demand for electric cars, how well Tesla’s retail infrastructure and service strategy is established and the total construction costs of the Gigafactory. For Sproule, keeping one eye on the future and staying in touch with consumer demand is vital for Tesla’s continued success: ‘The kicker of any business is not just to give customers what they want today, but to give them something that they realise they want in the future.’ And the mark of a truly disruptive approach? When your next project could potentially derail your last. Founder Musk is working on the Hyperloop, a conceptual transportation system that will whisk people between LA and San Francisco in just 35 minutes, and has the potential to disrupt Tesla’s own business model. Jonathan Mildenhall, chief marketing officer at Airbnb, argues that companies need to ensure they’re not so preoccupied with doing the right thing that it becomes the wrong thing
  17. 17. Contagious 1 / Editorial 28 / 29 ‘The current climate is bewildering and disorienting. But for those who like a challenge, i represents a landmark opportuniy. Depie the tumult, advertising remains one of the mos effective ways of gaining an unfair advantage over the competiion... Paul Kemp-Robertson, Contagious issue 1 / December 2004 The fites, mos flexible agencies are already riding the revolution. It’s time to abandon the rules, invent a new language and focus on those non-invasive ideas that have created a two-way dialogue between brands and their believers.’
  18. 18. 2004 • Facebook launches • Burger King’s Subservient Chicken campaign receives 20 million hits in its first week • Gmail launches on April Fool’s Day • 30 St Mary Axe (The Gherkin) is built in London • Super Size Me released • Last episode of Friends airs • Issue 1 of Contagious is published in London 2005 • Google Maps goes live • YouTube launches: the first video is called ‘Me at the Zoo’ • Titanium category introduced at Cannes Lions • EBay buys Skype for $2.6bn • Live 8 takes place throughout the world as part of the Make Poverty History campaign • Facebook.com domain name bought for $200,000 • Alibaba Group takes over China Yahoo! 2006 • BP Deepwater Horizon oil disaster • Buy-one-give-one company TOMS Shoes is founded • The Human Genome Project completes its sequencing of chromosomes • Twitter launches • Google buys YouTube for bargain price of $1.65bn in shares • Al Jazeera English launches • OfficeMax’s Elf Yourself campaign runs for the first time 2007 • Steve Jobs announces the iPhone • The IPCC concludes climate change is caused by humans • The Simpsons’ 400th episode airs • Charlie Bit My Finger goes viral on YouTube • Street View debuts on Google Maps • Mad Men starts • Amazon releases the Kindle • WGA writers strike for greater digital royalties 2008 • AOL buys Bebo for $850m • Apple launches the App store • Google Chrome debuts • T-Mobile announces the G1, the first Android phone • Spotify launches • Obama election shows A/B testing has made it to the political arena • Global online population hits 1 billion • MySpace peaks at 75.9 million monthly unique visitors in the US 2009 • First Bitcoin transaction • Compare the Meerkat makes UK insurance interesting • Uber launches • Tencent announces $1bn in 2008 revenue • Michael Jackson dies • The Chrysler automobile company files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, closely followed by General Motors • James Cameron’s Avatar is released, marking a breakthrough in stereoscopic film- making 2010 • Old Spice introduces Isaiah Mustafa to the world • Tesla raises $226m in the first car IPO in 50 years • WikiLeaks drops more than 90,000 internal reports about the war in Afghanistan from 2004 to 2010 • Instagram launches • Habbo Hotel reaches an 8.7 million monthly average users peak 2011 • Wikipedia is ten years old • Charlie Sheen goes off the rails • Two billion people watch the UK’s Royal Wedding • Osama bin Laden killed • Microsoft takes over Skype • The Oprah Winfrey Show ends • Occupy Wall Street movement begins in New York City 2012 • Nike launches FuelBand • Facebook buys Instagram for $1bn • Google unveils Glass and announces Google Now • Facebook reaches 1 billion monthly users • Red Bull Stratos • Dumb Ways to Die • Gangnam Style becomes the first YouTube video to reach 1 billion views • A monkey in a winter coat roams an IKEA alone 2013 • Vine launches • The power goes out at the Super Bowl, Oreo triumphs • Dove’s Real Beauty Sketches goes viral. It is the most successful video ad of all time, with 165 million views • Google unveils Project Loon • World’s first lab-grown burger is eaten • Snapchat spurns $3bn bid from Facebook 2014 • Facebook buys WhatsApp for $19bn and Oculus Rift for $2bn • Alibaba flotation raises $25bn in IPO • Airbnb valued at $10bn • Tim Cook announces the Apple Watch • China overtakes the US as world’s largest economy. Adjusted for purchasing power, China’s GDP overtakes US GDP by 0.2% 2015 • Excess heat from devices is recycled • Electric car ownership reaches 1 million worldwide • Personal biometric scanners for online banking 2016 • Sea levels will have risen by one foot since 1986 • Spacecraft Juno finally arrives on Jupiter • Spacecraft Dragon V2 takes astronauts to International Space Station 2017 • Facebook dies out completely • Smartphones have a sense of smell • Personal devices allow you to touch and feel virtual objects • Digital tastebud implants encourage healthy eating 2018 • Nearly 1 million minutes of video content cross global IP networks every second • The number of devices connected to IP networks is nearly twice as high as the global population • Robot insect spies are in military use • Drug created to prevent obesity 2019 • High-resolution bionic eyes on sale, customisable by size and colour to suit every face • The total power of all computers equals the total brainpower of the human race • Glasses for the deaf convert words into text, and music into images • The first human-robot couples emerge as simulated personalities become more lifelike 2020 • A $1,000 computer will have the same processing power as a human brain • Humans wear devices that record and file all their conversations • There are 50 billion connected objects 2022 • Military drone market worth $82bn • Downloadable 3D printable fashion designs are commonplace 2023 • Copyright on Mickey Mouse expires 2024 • People regularly upload their brain to a computer • First manned mission to Mars is launched 2025 • Teleportation enters testing phase • Solar is the primary source of energy • Electric air transportation takes off • DNA mapping at birth allows diseases to be identified A Brief History of (Contagious) Time: Bebo to Bitcoin to Bionics and Beyond Illustration / Jim Stoten. Future predictions are absolutely not our own. Sources include: BBC Future, Cisco, Elon Musk, Erik Eckholm, Futuretimeline.net, IBM, IHS Jane’s, NASA, NBC News, Princeton University, Ray Kurzweil, Thomson Reuters, Touro Law Review
  19. 19. Typography / André Beato, YCN You don’t always have to reinvent the wheel. It’s easier to play to an existing behaviour than to change or create a new one. When seeking engagement, it pays to collaborate – so don’t be afraid to co-opt existing platforms and services. Turn people into media. Cede control. Buy into the mass, but play in the niches too. Your audience is powerful and vocal – invite them to influence your brand’s direction and behaviour. Test & Learn. Devote a percentage of your production or media budget to experimentation. Be optimistically curious: failure sucks, but instructs. Always. The original Contagious mantra ©2005. Use marketing to generate compound interest: if someone invests time and energy into the content, services and experience your brand offers, is what you’re giving back of increased value? Reputation is a future micro-economy. Data is a manifestation of the lives of living, breathing people. Treat it with respect. Don’t be flashy: technology should serve creativity, not the other way around. Sometimes the world needs brands to act like NGOs. Dare to question your assumptions. Embrace dissent. Don’t ask why, ask why not? The best answer may be 180-degrees away. Ten steps to brand bravery The best advertising isn’t always advertising. Be consumer-centric: ease the friction, solve the pain points in the customer journey.
  20. 20. To celebrate the tenth anniversary of Contagious we are offering 25% off all new subscriptions Additionally, we’ll give an extra two digital logins with every subscription, so that key members of your team can benefit from Contagious thinking too. Place your order at tinyurl.com/contagiousx Offer expires January 31st 2015.
  21. 21. Purpose An ever-growing number of brands are investing in a meaningful approach to their marketing communications. This strategy goes beyond traditional CSR and attempts to impact on the wider world, not just immediate stakeholders By Lucy Aitken Illustration / Matt Chase
  22. 22. Strength Study / Purpose 32 / 33 Power Sleep: Samsung’s app is helping fund cancer research by tapping into the processing power of mobile phones T he concept of brands taking on some of the biggest problems faced by the world used to be an unusual one. While many corporations’ CSR departments support NGOs and charities, the idea of connecting shareholder value to a broader system of values has advanced over the past decade and is now fully formed as opposed to embryonic. Indeed, Edelman’s Trust Barometer indicates a declining confidence in governments and a growing faith in business. ‘Businesses must now lead the debate for change,’ urges the 2014 report. This is partly due to technology helping to enable brands to be in places that were formerly off limits. Optus, a telco in Australia, now helps detect sharks in the sea with its Clever Buoy initi- ative through M&C Saatchi Australia. Samsung, created by Cheil Worldwide, is helping to fund research into cancer cures with Power Sleep, an app that crunches data, using the processing power of a smartphone while it charges. There has also been a shift in corporate culture towards greater transparency, collaboration and thinking beyond the balance sheet. What does your company stand for? What will its legacy be? What is its purpose? And despite there being a healthy amount of cynicism around connecting the words and worlds of ‘marketing’ and ‘meaning’, don’t underestimate its significance for people entering the industry. As Tim Lindsay, CEO of D&AD and chairman of The Gate Worldwide, wrote in The Guardian in August: ‘Younger people are more demanding of their employers and workplaces when it comes to having at least some “purpose beyond profit” in their professional lives. There’s a natural and inbuilt momentum for change.’ Challenging the status quo A handful of brands have a clearly defined pur- pose. Over the past ten years, we’ve covered a range of impressive social enterprises – including TOMS shoes and Sir Richard’s condoms – that have purpose baked into their business model. Patagonia also deserves a special mention for questioning our rampant consumerism with its Common Threads Initiative. But the companies that have truly impressed us are those that have challenged their own status quo, scrutinised their supply chains and made some difficult decisions. Multinational companies like McDonald’s are heavyweight enough to bring their many suppliers on board and persuade them, through initiatives such as ‘Our Journey Together. For Good’, to make important changes that have long-term significance. Intel, meanwhile, has developed and launched conflict-free microprocessors, responding to demand for more ethically produced consumer electronics, particularly smartphones. Amsterdam-based Fairphone, meanwhile, was overwhelmed with orders for its ethically produced smartphone and, to date, has sold 55,000 handsets. People want to feel good about the brands they have in their lives. Some 91% of global consumers are likely to switch brands to one associated with a good cause, given comparable price and quality, according to a 2013 Cone Communications/Echo Global CSR study. In other words, no one wants to look in their wardrobe or their fridge and feel uncomfortable about how specific items got there. But as well as addressing their own issues and cleaning up their acts, brands need to make it easy for people to do their bit. French supermarket chain Intermarché, through Marcel Paris, created a whole new revenue stream when it offered misshapen fresh produce in an initiative called Inglorious Fruit and Vegetables. The produce, which would otherwise have been wasted, was sold for 30% cheaper than its more aesthetically pleasing equivalents. Across the Channel, the Sainsbury’s Value of Values cam- paign shows that you can enjoy reasonably priced bananas and be assured that they’re Fairtrade, or know that the fish you’re buying is sustainably sourced. Even though cynics might suggest oth- erwise, people care about this stuff. Purpose ǂ sustainability But a purpose doesn’t necessarily have to entail sustainability. In July 2014, online accommodation booking service Hotels.com petitioned the US government to guarantee paid vacation days for all American citizens with its Vacation Equality Project. Amex’s Small Business Saturday, via Crispin Porter + Bogusky in Boulder, created a new shopping day in the run-up to the festive season, where Americans were invited to patronise local businesses. The concept started in 2010 as a one-off, but the following year, the US Senate declared Small Business Saturday an official day, cementing it as a permanent fixture in the calendar. Play to your strengths There’s also a lot to be said for identifying your strengths and playing to them. So instead of dusting off the chequebook after a natural disas- ter, what else could your business contribute that might make a difference? Look at what Toyota did with Meals Per Hour following Hurricane Sandy: it applied the principles of Kaizen – improving work practices through continuous incremental change – to great effect with the relief effort so that families who were relying on food parcels months after the hurricane were fed and received their parcel more promptly. Singaporean telco StarHub, with DDB Group Singapore, has introduced an initiative where mobile subscribers can donate their unused data, minutes and texts to local charities every month so that people with illness or disability who rely on care-givers can benefit from access to mobile phones. StarHub plans to give 500 beneficiaries 80 minutes of talk-time, 300 SMS and 1GB of data each month for a year. More brands should step up in this way: it costs StarHub very little to redistribute something that’s already been paid for. Meanwhile, Toyota’s Meals Per Hour effort made much more of a statement about the Toyota brand and working culture than any traditional brand campaign or corporate website ever could. Power brands So how are things going to develop in the next ten years? There will no doubt be growing numbers of evangelists and just as many cynics. Advertising can’t save the world and it’s naive to suggest it can. However, the business still attracts some of the best creative and strategic brains around, and purpose is on their to-do list. You need only take a look at the Young Lions winners from Cannes over the past few years to see that. There’s a definite first-mover advantage here: if you’re the first consumer electronics brand to push for conflict-free minerals in your product range, or the first fashion retailer to offer complete trans- parency in how your clothes are manufactured, there’s a clear reputational benefit over dragging your heels and having to be whipped into shape by government regulation. And the benefit to balance sheets is clear: The Stengel 50, a joint project between Millward Brown and former global marketing officer of P&G, Jim Stengel, ranked the world’s 50 fast- est-growing brands between 2001 and 2011, releasing results in 2012. It clearly showed that brands which had a higher purpose outperformed the S&P 500 by 400%. ‘I wanted to prove that maximum profit and high ideals aren’t incom- patible but, in fact, inseparable,’ said Stengel. Take AmEx Small Business Saturday as a case in point. A total of $5.5bn was spent as a result of the initiative in 2012. That’s the kind of power that brands can wield. What could yours do? Inglorious Fruit and Vegetables: Intermarché created a new revenue stream and cut down on waste by selling misshapen fruit at a discount If you’re the first fashion retailer to offer complete transparency in how your clothes are manufactured, there’s a clear reputational benefit
  23. 23. Strength Study / Purpose 34 / 35 Brand Spotlight Chipotle W hat does sustainability mean to you? Images of wind turbines and winsome children? Sunny skies and rolling oceans? While many brands over the past ten years have made huge strides with their sustainability policies, there’s often a disconnect when it comes to communicating those efforts beyond the boardroom. That’s why Chipotle, the US burrito chain, stands out. For the past two decades it has been busy promoting the benefits of sustainable over industrial farming – all while serving up a mean burrito. What’s more, over the past few years, it has spawned some incredibly moving and memorable marketing. And all of it as far removed as possible from the clichés listed above. Bucking the trend Chipotle founder Steve Ells bucked a trend when he opened the doors of the first Chipotle restaurant in Denver, Colorado, in 1993. This fast-food eaterie had no plastic furniture, styrofoam packaging or microwaved food. Instead, there was an open-plan kitchen where customers could see their food being prepared right in front of them. While we’ve grown used to that level of transparency in food preparation – almost to the point of coming to expect it – back then it was a radical concept. Right from its inception, Chipotle set out to change the way people think about and eat fast food. And it has been phenomenally successful while doing so. In 2013, year-on-year revenue increased 17.7% to $3.21bn; net income was $327.4m, an increase of 17.8%; and the chain opened 185 new restaurants (its current total is 1,650). For brands that continue to believe that purpose and profit are mutally exclusive, Chipotle’s consistent growth over the past two decades is persuasive evidence to the contrary. Chipotle has been one of the loudest voices in the good food movement. Ten years ago – when I was part of the team working on the very first issue of Contagious – Morgan Spurlock’s SuperSize Me was released, chronicling one man’s downward spiral into obesity as he stuck to a fast-food diet. Now barely a day goes by without the O-word being in the news, or a food safety or animal welfare story hitting the headlines. Consumer behaviour is changing: McDonald’s announced in October that global revenues fell by 5% in the third quarter, while Chipotle’s cap is $20bn. There’s much interest taken in where our food comes from, behaviour that was brilliantly par- odied in the comedy sketch show Portlandia. A couple in a restaurant obsess so much about the provenance of the chicken they’re about to order that knowing its name, breed and even seeing a photo isn’t enough for these super-sensitive beings: oh no, they abandon their table to visit the farm in person. Putting integrity first Signage in Chipotle’s restaurants communicates the company’s Food With Integrity mission as ‘Our commitment to finding the very best ingredients raised with respect for the animals, the environment and the farmers’. Visit the com- pany’s Food With Integrity website and you can see exactly what this means in terms of livestock and the wider world. Transparency plays a big part here: if Chipotle can’t purchase naturally raised chicken for some reason, it lets people know. This allows diners the choice of opting for an alternative menu option if they want to prioritise their ethics over their appetite. If a brand wants to align itself to a higher purpose, charting progress and highlighting obstacles are vital. People don’t expect perfection, but honest communication never goes amiss. Chipotle has always had a clear mission: promoting the benefits of sustainable farming, one burrito at a time. And for any naysayers who consider purpose and profit to be awkward bedfellows, Chipotle’s impressive and consistent growth proves otherwise Back To The Start: animation showed the plight of a farmer struggling to balance business with ethics Content, not commercials Unlike many brands that have struggled to identify and then communicate their purpose, Chipotle has always had a clear mission. However, for a long time, it struggled to find an agency that understood it, earning it a reputation as some- thing of a problem client and a serial reviewer: by 2010, it had been through five agencies in six years. So when it hooked up with the corporate arm of talent agency Creative Artists Agency in Los Angeles – interestingly, not a ‘traditional’ agency – it didn’t set out to do ‘advertising’, but rather to find arresting ways to tell its story. Building brand ethics The first work from CAA Marketing was a touch- ing two-minute animation, Back To The Start, directed by Johnny Kelly via Nexus Productions in London. It documented the epiphany of a factory farmer who no longer wants his livestock to be pumped up to the eyeballs with hormones and packaged into boxes. Given that 300 family farmers in the US walk away from their land every week, this film helped to explain their struggle to balance business with ethics. The powerful short film, sound-tracked by country music legend Willie Nelson covering The Scientist by Coldplay, left audiences misty-eyed while at the same time delivering a hard-hitting message about industrialised animal production. Awards juries loved it. Among other accolades in 2012, it picked up two Grand Prix at the Cannes Lions: one for film, and the first-ever in branded content and entertainment. The latter also recog- nised CAA’s entire Cultivate Programme, a multi- faceted platform including a loyalty programme rewarding knowledge, not spend, and a ‘food, ideas and music’ festival. A digital-first media strategy optimised Back To The Start: it made its debut on YouTube and then to 21 million Facebook fans, leveraging the combined social media fan bases of Chipotle, Willie Nelson and Coldplay. Through paid- for downloads of The Scientist on iTunes, it raised funds for FarmAid and for the Cultivate Foundation, which has contributed more than $2m to help fund initiatives that support sustainable
  24. 24. Strength Study / Purpose 36 / 37 Content is a more effective tool to pique curiosity than traditional advertising. The idea is to bring people into the conversation through something that is first and foremost entertainment, secondly says something about us, and thirdly that is designed to spark conversation Chris Arnold, Chipotle agriculture, family farming, culinary education, and innovation that promotes better food. Back To The Start continues to attract views on YouTube and, to date, has been viewed more than 8.5 million times. ‘The reason why it seems to resonate with people is because there’s an elegance to the storytelling,’ Jesse Coulter, co-chief creative officer from CAA Marketing, told Contagious. The Scarecrow A 2013 sequel, The Scarecrow, also wowed jurors at Cannes, and scooped the 2014 Grand Prix for PR and Cyber. This time, the animation starred a scarecrow working at Crow Foods Incorporated. American singer-songwriter Fiona Apple’s cover of Pure Imagination plays in the background while the sad scarecrow witnesses horrors like a chicken inflating after being injected, and a melancholy cow shivering inside a metal box. The scarecrow decides enough is enough and starts cooking with freshly grown ingredients. The film, like its predecessor, is both compelling and hopeful. It’s been viewed 13.4 million times. Coultersays:‘Fromtheoutsetweknewwewanted to continue in animation, as did Chipotle. We thought it was a great medium for the stories we’re trying to tell and for the worlds that we’re trying to create. It allows us to tackle complex issues in a way that makes them more approachable, rather than taking them on directly in live action. It became the opportunity to build a vision for a different part of the campaign.’ Scarecrow: the game Accompanying The Scarecrow was a free iOS game, a 3D platform-jumper that sought to bring to life the pro-sustainable farming theme of the film. Our eponymous hero aims to free confined animals, serve wholesome food and dodge robotic crows. Downloaded 450,000 times, the game included a buy-one-get-one-free offer at the burrito chain, designed to drive footfall and sales. Farmed and Dangerous Having successfully experimented with short- form branded content, in January 2014, Chipotle launched a four-part comedy series, Farmed and Dangerous, which appeared on US streaming service Hulu. The show centres on a nefarious company called Animoil that wants to increase cattle production by feeding cows petroleum pel- lets. An activist, Chip, petitions to stop the firm. However, despite its comic intentions and satirical nature – including exploding cows and over-the-top villains – Farmed and Dangerous angered some farmers. One agricultural blogger, Ryan Goodman, urged the chain to ‘go talk with the farmers and ranchers that you are attacking… start a dialogue and let the conversation come from both sides of the plate to learn where our food comes from.’ Another blogger, The Foodie Farmer, cited US Department of Agriculture statistics that claim 97% of US farms are family- run, exploding Chipotle’s ‘myth’ that our food is produced by industrial agriculture. The Scarecrow: sequel to Back To The Start scooped the 2014 Cannes Lions PR Grand Prix
  25. 25. Strength Study / Purpose 38 / 39 Opinion Ethics at the heart of business Almost every aspect of the world we know is changing. Rapid pop- ulation growth, the digital revolution, lack of global governance in an increasingly interdependent world and stress on the environment are just some of the factors causing business to operate in an increasingly volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous environment. We have created prosperity, but too many are still being left behind. As we should know from nature, a world not in balance will ultimately be rejected. The latest progress report on the Millennium Development Goals shows that 1.2 billion people are still living in extreme poverty; 2.5 billion people lack access to adequate sanitation facilities; one in five children fail to make it to the age of five; and global greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise. Gridlocked political process While the human and environmental logic for change is overwhelming, the political process is gridlocked. We have the financial resources available, but money is lost on perplexing subsidies, geopolitical conflicts and wars, or inefficient bureaucracy. That means the role of business is important: business creates jobs and livelihoods by producing solutions to complex problems, and can have an enormous impact at scale by capitalising on its partners and stakeholders. Indeed, business can be part of the answer, but it has a responsibility to do it right. To succeed it must come out of the grip of short-termism and self-service. Business needs to put itself, first and foremost, at the service of society, not just shareholders. At Unilever, we strongly believe that business should give and not take from the societies and environments on which it relies in the first place. Crisis of ethics What we have experienced over recent years is not so much a crisis of capitalism, but a crisis of ethics. Initiatives like the Blueprint for Better Business can help by providing the right guidelines for businesses to put purpose and sustainability at the heart of their operations and earn the trust of those they seek to serve in the first place. Trust in business was at an all-time low after the 2008 recession. The 2014 Edelman Trust Barometer suggests that business is recovering, having made demonstrable strides in transparency, supply chain and product quality. There is now an opportunity for business to demonstrate its longer-term commitment to change. Long term thinking At Unilever, we are backing words with action. We have aligned management incentives and invested heavily in R&D and people to build our pipeline of innovations and our organisation for the long term. In addition, we have moved away from quarterly profit reporting. Since we don’t operate on a 90-day cycle for advertising, marketing, or investment, why do so for reporting? In 2010, we launched the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan (USLP). Some doubted our abil- ity – and my state of mind – when we set out our ambition to grow the business but in a completely novel way – totally decoupling our growth from environmental footprint and increasing our positive social impact. The USLP is driving innovation and growth, reducing costs, increasing engagement and making Unilever a preferred employer. It is helping us create brands with purpose, connecting meaningful solutions with the needs of everyday consumers. Domestos is helping to improve access to basic sanitation; PG Tips and Lipton are supporting sustainably sourced tea; Knorr works to source key ingredients in a sustainable and traceable way through a network of landmark farmers, and Dove’s Real Beauty mission promotes self-esteem. All these brands facilitate a movement for change. Small actions = big difference Nonetheless, I challenge you to ask yourself: do people really care about this enough to change their buying behaviour or even their consumption pattern? Consumers can be schizophrenic. On one hand, as citizens, we value responsible brands and products. On the other, as individuals, we make buying decisions that are often incon- sistent with our role as citizens. That’s where Project Sunlight comes in. We launched this platform in 2013 as a means to engage directly with consumers on our sustainability. Through Project Sunlight, we want to motivate people to live sustainably by taking small actions that make a big difference. Using our size and scale to pro-actively transform markets is not only right but also exciting. However, we can’t do it alone. That is why we’re working with others in partnerships like the Tropical Forest Alliance, the UN Scaling Up Nutrition Initiative, the World Business Council for Sustainable Development Action 2020 programme and the New Vision for Agriculture. Through these types of transformative partnerships we can drive change at scale. And yet this is still not enough. We need the right long-term framework and we need more companies to join us on the journey. Fortunately, more are. The key will be greater transparency in all we do and enhanced tools of integrated reporting, including for environmental and social capital. It will also help to identify the free-riders, those unwilling to join and take responsibility. Finally, we need governments to create appropriate frameworks for sustainable economic growth. If we get this right, we can mobilise, scale and make a real difference. Values Integration Chipotle doesn’t talk about product integration, preferring the term ‘values integration’. Chris Arnold, the chain’s director of communications, says: ‘Content is a more effective tool to pique curiosity than traditional advertising. The idea is to bring people into the conversation through something that is first and foremost entertain- ment, secondly says something about us, and thirdly that is designed to spark conversation.’ Worthy and worth watching Other brands – even in Chipotle’s category – are making huge advances in sustainability. Takeouts Make purpose a priority / Purpose, business and marketing should all form part of your brand’s holistic strategic direction. All brands could have a more meaningful agenda, so identify what your brand could do to make a difference in the world. Even if talking about it isn’t right for your brand, you should embed it in how you run your business. Collaborate / Identify partners who will help you achieve your purposeful objectives through collaborations and alliances. Locate NGOs in countries where you’re looking to grow your brand and learn from their experience and insight. Be transparent / Set goals and regularly report on your progress on as many channels as possible. If you haven’t fulfilled an objective, state why. McDonald’s, a one-time investor in Chipotle, has brought its suppliers on board with its sus- tainability objectives and, like Chipotle, publishes its progress, rewarding those suppliers who help it to achieve these objectives. However, unlike Chipotle, McDonald’s has chosen not to build its communications strategy around its sustainability efforts. For Chipotle, its purpose, business and marketing strategy are all centred on the same thing: for ALL food to be sustainably sourced, delicious and affordable. It’s tough to be worthy and worth watching: Chipotle proves that brands can be both. Paul Polman has been CEO of Unilever since 2009. Under his leadership, Unilever has a clear objective: to double in size while reducing the company’s overall environmental footprint and increasing its positive social impact Farmed and Dangerous: four-part comedy series, which appeared on streaming service Hulu, angered some farmers

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