Communicate has recently had the opportunity to sit down with Alex Brunori, regional executive creative director of Publicis Middle East, Dubai to discuss the latest Nescafé Red Mug campaign “What Do You Wake Up For?”.
How has the creative thought process in Publicis Dubai inspired the latest Nescafé Red Mug campaign?
We think that, over the last few years, real life in advertising has become more interesting than the scripted one. So, when we were working on the insights for the Nescafé Red Mug campaign, “What Do You Wake Up for?”, we decided to go and search for real life stories, and we were thrilled to discover, in the process, the Japanese Ikigai philosophy. In Okinawa, this word can roughly be translated to: “the reason for which you wake up in the morning”. Knowing this reason will make your life better, and make you happier and more focused, we thought it was a perfect platform for the brand.
What has been the audience’s response to the campaign concept?
People liked the concept and the honesty of the approach. Having a documentary execution instead of a scripted TVC, enhanced the feeling of proximity with the characters and their stories. The response on social media in the first seven to eight weeks since the campaign launch has been extremely positive; the community really engaged with the campaign online by using the hashtag #IWAKEUPFOR, and the Ikigai video went viral, resulting in it being one of the top 20 videos on YouTube, with more than 6.5 million views and almost 30 million social media impressions.
Did you know the concept would be relatable with the Middle Eastern audience?
We were extremely optimistic about it. The concept behind Ikigai is a universal truth that resonates with everyone, no matter the latitude and the longitude. We all wake up in the morning, and we all, quite often, do not realize how important it is to wake up for something that makes the day worth of all our energy, passion and efforts. The campaign transcended culture, age and language to bring a simple message to the Middle East – ‘if you know your reasons for waking up in the morning, getting out of bed will be a more positive experience’.
Were there any challenges with regard to culture and language for the campaign?
Only technical ones. We researched the culture before traveling for the shoot, and once in Okinawa we just needed an interpreter with us at all times to ensure that the concepts that were being communicated during the interviews, were the right ones for the campaign. The same happened later, in the editing room, to choose the best available takes for the final edits. A small, practical price to pay for such a wonderful result.
How does this campaign differ from other campaigns?
I think its main point of difference lies in the overall integrated approach. We started from well-researched branded content, and built around it a fresh campaign, inspired by the real lives of real people, far from the advertising “happy” stereotypes. And in addition to the normal above the line media, offline and online, we have been very active in the social sphere as well. To further engage with our audience, for example, we created personalized Nescafé mugs, with our audiences’s reasons for waking up printed on them, which they could use on their own social media channels and spread their Ikigai message.
Moving into the future, where do you think it’s all heading when it comes to popularizing campaigns?
There is nothing new under the sun and the future of advertising is as old as the beginning of advertising itself: people must find your campaign engaging, talk about it, share it and comment on it, or the campaign will not exist in their life, but only in their consumed media. That’s why we believe in a new way of getting in touch with the audience which is not based on the old, traditional top-down approach of paid media (mainly TV, Print, Outdoor), but on compelling campaign ideas that are integrated, showcase great branded content, are based on real stories and really connect to the audience, reaching people where their life happens, at the right moment, with relevant insights and engaging executions. Campaigns like that are able to earn media, make people discuss the idea and start a dialogue with the brand.
How has advancement in technology aided integration in Nescafé Red Mug’s latest campaign? Do you see integrated campaigns as the future of advertising?
Technology has reached a point were almost everything is possible. To connect the digital world and its data with the physical world, we have invented, researched and prototyped a unique Nescafé vending machine that dispenses a free coffee if you tweet the reason you wake up for, which then gets printed on the cup. Only a few years ago these ideas would have been far too ambitious to be realized within the timing and the budget of a normal campaign. At Publicis Dubai we think integrated is the best way to do modern communication. It is more engaging, more effective, gives our clients more value for money, requires less actors and interlocutors at the beginning of the process and it is more strategic for brands, as the approach is not biased by specializations and media choices.
How has this campaign informed creativity in the industry?
The Publicis Dubai “Ikigai” campaign for Nescafé Red Mug has gathered one silver and one bronze award at the recent Dubai Lynx. This shows that with the model of local campaigns based on universal insights and local executions, today it is increasingly easier to impact the whole industry starting from a region. We hope that others will follow this example.