Media provides marketers into cultural and consumer insights …

The Rise of Pinterest and of Image-Based Tweets Shows New Movement

By:  Published in Ad Age: March 06, 2012
There was a time when media planners’ role was limited to determining where marketers should advertise. The world has so moved on.

Today media agencies and media departments are wonderfully placed to deliver a richer understanding of consumer viewpoints, shopper intentions and cultural trends.

Each year I make it a point to attend MTV’s upfront presentation — and not because its party has the best headline acts. (Last year it was Bruno Mars, the year before it was Train.) MTV more than anyone else really “gets” millennials — the largest and most important consumer segment. The popularity of shows like “16 and Pregnant” and its “Teen Mom” followup helps us understand a generation that is embracing responsibility and social issues. MTV’s revival of “Beavis and Butthead” supports another trend we’re seeing among millennials: the popularizing of the 1990s as the hip decade.

TV of course has always been a barometer for popular culture. When “Friends” first the air in 1994, it offered a window into Gen X-ers at a time when they were exploring a new kind of tribal bonding. The quick popularity of “24” showed a hardening of the public’s stance on security post9/11. And popular shows such as “Modern Family” and “Glee” include prominent portrayal of lead gay characters in interesting stories, indicating something of a coming out for Middle America.

Then last month, rather astoundingly, CBS’s “The Big Bang Theory” surpassed Fox “American Idol” in the ratings. Yes, this could be a sign that the longtime ratings king is tiring, but perhaps it’s also a validation that geeks and technology have officially become cooler than chasing fame and fortune.


But it’s not just TV anymore.

At Mindshare we’re seeing a consumer movement toward a more visual culture brought on by technology and media. Smarter devices are prompting more occasions for people to create and consume visual content, while social media is encouraging that content to be shared on multiple platforms.

This is manifesting itself in text-based tweets’ giving way to photo and video tweets, Google+ hangouts that facilitate group video, the proliferation of infographics at news outlets, viral sharing of Photoshopped images and, most recently, the rise of Pinterest, the online pinboard for sharing images and video — and currently the fastest-growing social-media platform.

Consumers are compiling and sharing photos and video, like an earlier generation collected LPs and bumper stickers, as their version of defining and projecting their individual identity.

Insights derived from the way consumers use media can help drive more potent communications. The breakthrough advertising idea for Dove’s “Campaign for Real Beauty,” to use real, life-size models, involved a lot of exploratory work with consumers. But one supportive insight came from the media, when the planning team learned that 80% of women felt worse about themselves after reading a beauty magazine.


When Estee Lauder saw how Facebook profiles were becoming an important social currency for young women, the cosmetics marketer made digital photographs available at in-store makeup counters so that consumers could post them to their profile pages.

The opportunities for insights are beginning to seem endless. If you want to know when to advertise to vacation planners or wedding planners, then check out Google to understand the patterns of when and what people are searching.

Before you advertise in media, see what the media can tell you about how to advertise.








Vulture Culture … Great Examples of Original Thinking

At Mindshare, we have adopted a new mantra  “Original Thinking”.

The ambition is to foster fresh ideas, inspire brave enterprise and celebrate innovation.  We’re lucky to work in media which is an industry that breeds original thinking, but the challenge in the agency world is to embrace and live this in our world and for our clients.

This link takes you to Vulture Culture a site that highlights some wonderful stories of people around the globe who are bringing original thinking to their communities.

Take for example Kote and Kensuke from Tokyo who collected thousands of free papers on various topics in a store with the goal to bring together artists and publishers; or Marina Charles who left her job in Advertising to set up a GraffitiMundo, a business that promotes street art; or Druv Lakra who set up Mirakle Couriers in India that employed deaf people and in doing so promotes opportunities for them in the workplace.

These and many more stories can be found on this site …

12 Crucial Consumer Trends Courtesy of give some texture to twelve global consumer trends…

1. Red Carpet

Companies are rolling out the red carpet to target the all important global Chinese consumers.

Chinese residents made over 30million overseas trips in the first half of 2011 alone, up 20% since 2010.  For comparison, US citizens made only 37 million out bound air travel trips during the whole of 2010.


2.  DIY Health

Novel apps and devices will increasingly let consumers discreetly track and manage their health by themselves.


3. Dealer-Chic

Consumer attitudes to discounts and deals are what’s really changing.


4. Eco-Cycology

The phenomenon of brands helping consumers recycle by taking back all old items from customers, and then actually doing something constructive with them.


5. Cash-less

This is going to be the year that major players like Google and MasterCard will actively roll out their cashless initiatives around the world.


6. Bottom of the Urban Pyramid

Driven by extreme urbanization on a global scale that will not slowdown in 2012, expect more BOTTOM OF THE URBAN PYRAMID (BOUP) consumers than ever (the hundreds of millions of CITYSUMERS who don’t have middle class salaries to spend) to demand innovation tailored to their unique circumstances, from health issues to lack of space to the need for durability.


7. Idle Sourcing

In 2012, count on the crowdsourcing trend to continue to shake up business processes and spawn endless innovations.


8. Flawsome

In 2012 consumers won’t expect brands to be flawless; they will even embrace brands that are FLAW-SOME*, and at large (or atleast somewhat) human. Brands that are honest about their flaws, that show some empathy, generosity, humility, flexibility, maturity, humor and dare we say it, some character and humanity.


9. Screen Culture

2012 will see three mega-tech current converge:

Screens will be even more:

– ubiquitous/mobile/cheap/always on;

– interactive and intuitive via touch screens and tablets

– and soon an interface to everything and anything that lies beyond the screen via the mobile web and, increasingly and finally mainstream in 2012 ‘thecloud’


10. Recommerce

In 2012, almost anything is ripe for resale, from electronics to clothes, and even experiences.

Novel brand buybacks, exchange schemes, online platforms and mobile marketplaces offer smart and convenient options for consumers keen to ‘trade into trade up’, alleviate financial strains, and/or quell environmental and ethical concerns.


11. Emerging Maturialism

In 2012, experienced, open-minded consumers in traditionally ‘conservative’ emerging markets will embrace campaigns and products that are frank if not risqué.


12. Point and Show

The rise of the (always-in-my-pocket) smartphone that will fuel full-blown POINT&KNOW in the next 12 months.


Check out the full presentation.

10 Consumer Trends for 2012

A great summary of consumer trends that marketers need to think about in 2012.  From what JWT refers to as Generation Go – resourceful twenty somethings to a redefining what old age is, marketers are finding different sweet spots to deliver relevant products opportunities.  Check out the presentation and short video.

Why Dealer-Chic is set to explode as a trend.

DEALER-CHIC … Why for consumers deals are becoming a way of life, if not a source of pride.















So, here are just three reasons according to why DEALER-CHIC is set to get bigger and bigger in the coming years:

  1. MORE FOR LESS: While many people in developed economies may have less money to spend right now, consumers everywhere will forever look to experience more.
  2. THE MEDIUM IS THE MOTIVATION: Consumers are now being alerted to, using, reusing and sharing offers and deals via new (and therefore infinitely more exciting and attractive)technologies.
  3. BEST OF THE BEST: With instant mobile or online access to not only deals but reviews as well, consumers can now be confident they’re getting the best price for the best product or service.
Read the full article on, it’s a good description of how consumers are becoming more deal orientated and how brands are dealing with it.

What’s next in the future … panel at PSFK

At the PSFK conference in new York a couple of months back.  A panel of some very smart people discuss their insights and views on technology and consumers.


Ayesha Khanna of the Hybrid Reality Institute

Greg Lindsay, journalist from Fast Company

Allison Mooney from Google

Katherine Moriwaki of Parsons

discussed our current relationship with technology and what’s coming next.

Click this link to view.