In this week's issue, Newsweek looks at the phenomenon of 'arstorcratic cats' treated like rock stars by some of the most luxurious hotels in the world. Whatever next?
Newsweek asked Luke Tipping, senior interactive creative and member of the W+K Three team responsible for creating our Sing It Kitty campaign, for his thoughts on what makes cats so popular with brands.
You can read the whole story on Newsweek's site here.
In this month's Marketing magazine, Richard Huntington, chief strategy officer at Saatchi & Saatchi, wrote a feature about client-agency relationships in perfect harmony. And fancy that, he used our Three work as an example, calling us a "very tight client and agency team."
We'd certainly like to think so, and as Richard says, it takes a pretty special client to buy an idea invovlving (in his alliterative words) "a CGI Shetland pony dancing its fetlocks off to a Fleetwood Mac floor-filler."
"Some agencies and clients are just made for each other. By which I mean, they seem to get one another, and the result is confident work and a confident brand - partnerships such as The Economist and Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO, Audi and BBH and more recently John Lewis and Adam & Eve/DDB.
And so it is with Three and Wieden & Kennedy. You don't get away with a CGI Shetland pony dancing its fetlocks off to a Fleetwood Mac floor-filler without a client and agency relationship that is locked in step. A relationship in which there is a heap of mutual trust within a team with real empathy for the brand. Testament to this success is the fact that I have no idea which agency worked for Three before Wieden, and no recollection of any of its work.
But it's not just the brand fluff that it excels at. It is pretty tasty with the harder-working communications that land Three's propositions, too. Like this month's resident of the second spot in the Adwatch likeability table: the TV commercial for its #holidayspam campaign.
Here's the deal: Three has decided that data should cost no extra when its customers are on holiday in any of 16 selected countries. It's a top proposition, albeit that Three has cannily avoided most of the places that Brits tend to actually like going on their hols - Israel is currently a war zone and Denmark's only attraction is a statue of a diminutive mermaid.
To bring this to life, Wieden has found a neat creative insight that it's only the cost of using data abroad that stops all manner of horrendous holiday spam gracing our news feeds, courtesy of friends enjoying the beaches of Finland or wherever else. So Three is apologising to Britain for the irritation that this is likely to cause.
It's not the most slickly executed campaign, especially in comparison with the brand spots, and, frankly, the outdoor and digital elements, such as the Holiday Spam Crisis Centre, are stronger than the TV. But this work delivers the business proposition like a sledgehammer. In a mobile market where you can run around the streets naked shouting "everything free forever" and people would ignore you, that's no mean feat.
So, all in all, a nice proposition, a sharp insight and decent work from what appears to be a very tight client and agency team. And thank God it is so tight, since Three is going to need all the help it can get from Wieden as 4G becomes standard issue."
Last night, a documentary titled Star Paws: The Rise of Superstar Pets aired on Channel 4, examining the internet-age phenomenon that is animal fame – from Grumpy Cat and Andrex puppies to our furry friend Bronte, the Starship-singing kitty from our Three 'Sing it Kitty' campaign.
Our MD, Neil, was interviewed for the series in our log cabin meeting room, complete with a secret squirrel, and the crew even popped in to film us all hard at work on what may or may not be another animal-starring campaign (okay it was).
If you're in the UK, you can watch the whole thing right now on 4OD.
We were particularly excited to wake up this morning to a direct response to our recent #holidayspam campaign for Three.
Turns out Virgin Holidays, via M&C Saatchi, have decided to "co-opt the buzz" around our work, according to Marketing Week. "Don't be sorry. #Showoff with pride. You Look Delicious." their billboards state, surrounded by very familiar imagery - hot dog legs, tans and sparking blue water.
To top it off, who else but the Surrey Police have chimed in, adopting the hashtag #BragWhenBack to encourage holidaymakers to keep their homes safe whilst abroad.
Always good to know we're doing a public service. From spoofer to spoofee to watchdog...we can't wait to see where this creative idea goes next.
This month, Three launched Feel At Home in an effort to relieve customers of mobile phone costs while abroad. A progressive idea, we think you'll agree.
But soon, Britain had a full-blown epidemic of holiday spam on its hands. You know the stuff. Envy-inducing holiday snaps we all love to hate, unless we're the ones bombarding our friends and family with it. Pictures of sunsets, hot dog legs, palm trees, plane wings, little lizards, cocktails and beach feet...
On behalf of Three: we're sorry.
You see, Three thought allowing its customers to use their UK allowance in over 16 destinations, to call and text back home, and to use data at no extra cost was a good idea. Makes sense, right? But Three underestimated people's enthusiasm for posting holiday pics while abroad, and it became clear that it was time to do the right thing and apologise.
So we created a campaign together to help Three say sorry, and take full responsibility for the tidal wave of holiday spam hiting British shores.
A 60” TV spot set in the holiday spam crisis centre launches today, in which Three's spokesperson issues an apology to the public and urges customers to brag responsibly when sharing.
Online, films focus on specific ‘problem areas’ of holiday spam, apologising for each one and introducing the public to a condition known as TSD - Travel Selfie Disorder, along with a cure: a visit to Three’s microsite, www.stopholidayspam.com There, you'll also find a handy holiday spam hotspot map, and updates on the current situation.
The TV and online films are supported by a whole host of activity including a suite of OOH and DOOH executions in major sites around the UK, including airports, roadside sites, the epic BFI IMAX site and the new Waterloo motion screen, with specific apologies tailored to the kind of holiday spam people share from favourite destinations – statues in NYC, tilting towers in Pisa, marsupials down under.
Please brag responsibly, kids. We urge you to sign the pledge to stop holiday spam here, and please, be vigilant. If you see it, tag it.
Tag that bragger with #holidayspam.
Keep your eyes peeled over the coming weeks, there's a lot more to come.
Last night the British Arrows took place under the star-studded ceiling of Battersea Evolution. Our ECD Kim Papworth, Chairman of the Jury, accompanied the host Jack Whitehall on stage to present the awards.
Given this year’s outstanding shortlist, stakes were high, but our work picked up seven arrows, four of which went to Honda Hands (recently named as one of TED’s ‘Ads Worth Spreading'). Hands picked up gold for ‘Vehicles and Automotive Products’ and 'Best over 90” Cinema Commercial’, as well as two silver arrows for 'Best over 90" TV Commercial using Paid-for Media’ and ‘Best over 90” Web-Based Film’.
Three's The Pony received two silver arrows for 'Telecommunications Services (Networks) and Products’ and ‘Best 30” - 60” TV Commercial’, and Lurpak Weave Your Magic was awarded a silver in the ‘International’ category.
Today sees the launch of Three’s new #0800Fun campaign celebrating the fact that calls to 0800 numbers are now free on all new Three plans.
To celebrate this, we’ve helped Three create a selection of fun numbers for customers to call and launched a new TV ad featuring The Singing Dictionary Line.
Directed by Chris Palmer through Gorgeous, the TV spot reveals an 80-strong choir in their call-centre dwelling: Wookey Hole cave. The TV ad is supported by OOH and digital activitty, as well as a selection of beautifully animated films created by Layzell Bros of Blinkink, each featuring one of the five numbers. The animated films are hosted on a dedicated YouTube hub at http://www.makethemostofthem.com
Here are a couple of the animated films:
And here are all the numbers, so you can try them out for yourself. Make the most of them!
The Singing Dictionary – 0800 808 5883
The Time Wasting Line – 0800 808 5730
The Nicknaming Service – 0800 011 9763
The 24 Hour Compliment Line – 0800 808 5602
The Sympathy Service – 0800 808 5191
The 24 Hour Lullaby Line – 0800 011 9865
And this is a selection of the accompanying 6-sheet OOH posters, each featuring calling cards for one of the numbers.