In 2013, John Lewis fully supported John Lewis Insurance for the first time. As a part of the John Lewis brand it carried a weight of expectation – to deliver leading trust, quality and service in a category famously lacking all three. It has gone on to become a huge success and create an entirely new category of insurance, putting quality above price but still being accessible to the many. And it has even brought new dimensions to its parent brand, not just benefited from the association.
In 2013, the strength of the John Lewis brand was at an all time high. On the back of this strength, there was increased appetite to explore where the brand could usefully serve its customers in new ways. For a department store with a stronghold in homewares and furniture, amplifying its home insurance offering seemed like a natural next step. The John Lewis Partnership had set-up Greenbee insurance in 2006, but it had only enjoyed limited success. Sitting outside of the John Lewis brand, it was mostly unknown to consumers and the John Lewis Partners had been left similarly confused about how to present it to customers. After a name change to John Lewis Insurance and accompanying soft launch in 2010, in 2013 a decision was made to finally fully launch this brand extension. This could not just be a cosmetic branding exercise. To carry the name it had to meet the high expectations that name creates: expectations of quality product design, outstanding service and fair prices. A new underwriter would be brought in; a completely new product range designed; new branding developed and an entirely new marketing campaign created.
During the previous decade, aggregator websites had commoditised insurance, making price the key variable. Brands had to cut their quality and service offerings to compete. The result was that the consumer had been left without an insurance brand they could trust. In fact, insurance companies lagged behind even banks in the trust stakes. John Lewis, on the other hand, was the most trusted retailer in the UK, famous for its quality products and service. There was a clear opportunity to stand for something unique. And we knew this was something that John Lewis customers, in particular, would respond well to. A piece of bespoke research showed a clear difference in their mindset. In the regular insurance path to purchase, price concerns directly followed brand familiarity and then, finally, the level of cover was checked. The John Lewis customer’s journey again started with brand name familiarity, but then moved on to an analysis of the level of cover before, finally, ending with a price check. In other words, John Lewis customers were seeking quality before anything else.
We would give the John Lewis homeland audience what they wanted from an insurance brand. To achieve this, we knew we would have to make John Lewis Insurance a uniquely trusted brand in its category by:
Being a mass-market quality insurance brand. We would design our offering around the core John Lewis values that loyalists already loved – quality, outstanding service and fair prices – and tier these products to make them accessible to the entire John Lewis audience.
Behaving like a true John Lewis brand. Instead of short-term price-fighting, this meant long-term brand building, leveraging a brand idea and executional approach befitting of the John Lewis brand.
The brand idea
We needed a differentiated brand idea that would allow us to go beyond cynical short-term sales spiking, to instead build long-term brand trust. To identify this, we used a combination of qualitative and key opinion former research. We found 2 powerful insights:
The difference between “house” and “home”. John Lewis customers saw their homes, not as 4 walls and a roof, but as a collection of the things that meant the most to their family lives. This was what they wanted to protect.
The threat of catastrophe wasn’t the primary driver. Most John Lewis customers were buying insurance simply to mitigate against the little mishaps that peppered everyday family life. This was what they wanted to protect their things from. Approaching this thinking from the point of view of a true John Lewis brand lead us to conclude that: John Lewis Insurance should be the brand that cares as much as you do about protecting your family’s most cherished items from the joyous but ultimately unpredictable nature of family life.
Finally, this was summed up with the line: “If it matters to you, it matters to us”
Behaving like a true John Lewis brand
Over the next 3 years, we implemented a completely integrated communications campaign that consistently helped us walk-the-walk of a mass-market quality insurance brand. The key to this was bringing to life our new John-Lewis-appropriate idea, within the classic John Lewis executional world. In this way, every single piece of our communications imbued John Lewis Insurance with an inherited sense of quality and trust.
Introducing our credentials (2013-2015). These TTL communications lead on the Home insurance product and clearly set-out the new end-line and the 1st half of our brand idea, depicting how John Lewis Insurance cares as much as you do about protecting the special items that sit at the heart of your family life.
Exploding our brand (2015). This set of work refreshed the campaign with a more explicit focus on the 2nd half of our brand idea:the joyous little slip-ups and blunders of family life that you want to protect your special items from.
The products generated immediate sales increases
The campaigns became a headline-making cultural phenomenon
This resulted in fantastic R.O.I – in the first phase alone, every £1 spent generated an extra £1.89.
This seems to have continued into the 2nd phase (2015), with sales up 61% and commission up 41%.
And not only did we build a distinctive category position, but we did so in a way that also created an effect for the parent brand – generating a further £2.9m of extra sales for John Lewis overall.
This has been the story of how the John Lewis brand extended beyond retail, to deliver its famous brand of trust, quality and service in a market that badly needed it. It has also been the story of how John Lewis Insurance stole the nation’s hearts and built an insurance brand consumers could actually feel good about. But most of all, this has been the story of how John Lewis Insurance invented it’s very own category, became a huge commercial success and, finally, a powerful new income stream for the John Lewis Partnership.
Through MG OMD’s CANNESdidates programme we had the chance to attend the Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity 2016. We spent 3 days listening to inspirational talks, trying out new technologies and attending a few parties.
We’re certain you don’t want to listen to us boasting about the various celebrities spotted, so instead, over the next 2 days we will talk you through some of the key learnings from the most interesting talks we attended, focusing on the overall topics of purpose, collaboration and creativity that ran throughout the festival.
STRESS DRIVES CREATIVITY
Carl Addy, Creative Director for The Mill, talked about the SNAFU: a word for chaos and messed-up situations and how they are fuel for creativity. As people, we are built to perform and problem-solve through creativity – that’s how we evolved as a human race from the Stone Age to the modern world we live in now. However, it is key to make a clear distinction between good and bad stress. Bad stress leads to tunnel vision, whereas good stress creates a challenge and avoids stagnation. It is important to note that creativity is not about the right or wrong answer – sometimes it’s better to be more interesting than right. Also, we need to be comfortable with not being able to control everything and learn to work with our gut feelings.
Summary: Don’t be scared of stress – it helps you to think creatively and come up with new solutions. Don’t try to control everything and trust your instinct.
HOW TO WIN A CANNES LION
‘Cracking the code of creativity’ session by Razorfish and Contagious analysed 25 years of Cannes Lions winners with the goal of identifying the key factors that maximise the chance of winning a Lion.
To be honest, the general feeling was that winning a Lion is extremely hard; the percentages speak for themselves:
Bronze Lion 1.7%
Silver Lion 1.83%
Gold Lion 0.73%
Grand Prix 0.07%
So how can we maximise our chances? Interestingly, the research showed that there is no correlation between creativity and media spend, no correlation between the GDP of the country and creativity and no correlation between the size of the agency and the likelihood of winning a Lion. So it seems the code is far from cracked, however here are a few indicators that do have some influence:
Clients and agencies that stick together have a much better win rate! 10+ year client/agency relationships experience x2 the average winning rate
Submissions that have more individual people involved are more successful by 26%
Submissions with a larger share of below director level individuals are more successful
Submissions with 3+ agencies credited have 42% higher rate of winning
Summary: Every campaign has a chance to win a Cannes Lion no matter what the budget, the key is relationships between the agencies and the clients as well as involvement across all levels of the businesses.
SHIFTING FROM TARGET TO GOAL
The actor, Will Smith, had one of the most inspirational talks of the festival discussing how the internet has changed the movie industry and how social media puts pressure onto film directors to make great movies due to instant reviews.
Then he hit a more philosophical note regarding how brands and individuals need to shift from targets to goals. This would build both brand and personal legacy. Question all of your decisions – are they helping you reach your goals?
Summary: Do you know what your brand and personal purposes are? If so, make sure any decisions you make help you to get there.
IT IS TIME TO CHANGE THE WAY WE WORK WITH CLIENTS AND OTHER AGENCIES
Al Moseley from 180Amsterdam spoke about moving from the imperialist model to the Roman orgy. Sounds very saucy but it posed a lot of truth. Currently, competing agencies in front of the client are like gladiators fighting in front of an Emperor. They are constantly fighting their corner and waiting for approval. All too often the consumer gets forgotten in this process as well as keeping track of the bigger picture. We need to be reminded that the real Emperors are the consumers and they are the ones to please.
Agencies and clients should move to a more collaborative Roman Orgy model where everybody has clear ambition, knows the rules, trusts each other and creativity is encouraged. This will provide a sound basis for a collaborative culture, healthier relationships and overall commitment to the common goal. To start the collaboration process, Al Moseley encouraged all parties to agree on three key questions:
1.) Do we know the ambition and purpose? Do we share the ideology?
2.) Is everyone empowered to contribute in a positive way?
3.) Are we prepared to push boundaries and if so, where do we draw the line?
Summary: We are stronger when working together; creativity should be a collaborative effort rather than a clash of egos and bravado. Everybody needs to be equally invested in a relationship and have the same ambition and purpose.
FUTURE BRANDS ARE CHANGING THE WORLD FOR THE BETTER
Keith Weed from Unilever talked about the power of individuals, influencers and impacts, but primarily focused on the latter.
Advertising has the power to change habits, hearts and minds meaning that big multinational corporations, such as Unilever, have the chance to touch people across the world at scale. They moved from advertising to sell products, to advertising with a purpose. Some of these examples – Lynx – Find Your Magic , Persil – Dirt is Good, Dove – Self Esteem Project fight stereotypes and encourage social good. We create better advertising if we create more progressive, purposeful ads.
The good news is that purpose led ads are more successful. At Unilever – sustainable living brands grew 30% faster than the rest of the business.
Summary – The returns on purpose-led advertising are not limited to a feel-good factor and a sense of moral achievement – It also provides growth and revenue.
WHAT IS INEVITABLE IN THE NEXT 20 YEARS
Wired’s Kevin Kelly covered four out of 12 predictions for the future. He highlighted that these changes are inevitable, but specifics can’t be known until it actually happens.
1.) Virtual reality (VR) will be the next platform after the smartphone and will take shape in Virtual Reality and Mixed Reality. The key to these new realities is that we are not trading clicks and views, we are trading emotions and experiences. So don’t try to put a banner in VR – give people a story and an experience they can relate to. New realities allow us to move to the internet of experiences. Check out Magic Leap – they pave the way of future MR.
2.) ‘Cognifying’ – making everyday things smart via artificial intelligence (AI). Kelly calls it the second industrial revolution (some say the fourth). When electricity was invented, we no longer needed to use muscle power to move things. With AI, there will be no need for us to complete certain thinking tasks that require efficiency.
Example: When we applied electricity to a water pump, we no longer needed to manually pump the water out of the well. Now take the electric water pump and apply AI – and you no longer need to think when to pump the water.
3.) Don’t worry about AI taking over – it will be better than humans on specific tasks, but not for everything. Just because a dog is much better at smelling or a mouse in hearing, it doesn’t mean they comprehend the bigger picture. In the same way, Siri is smarter than we are in understanding maps and navigation, or Google Now is smarter than we are in finding the information, but it is just that. AI will become a service, a grid that you can tap into to get extra cognitive power (like electricity, gas or water presently). We will be able to ‘borrow’ some extra thinking power to complete our tasks faster and with more precision. There are, of course, still be questions to be answered, such as AI ethics, for example, with autonomous AI cars, at the point of an imminent crash, who’s safety will it put first – the passenger’s or the pedestrian’s?…
4.) Centaurs – teams of humans and AI working together, rather than AI taking over. It will take over jobs that require efficient process and precise outcome. AI will also create new jobs for humans (the same way the internet did), where efficiency is not a priority – such as arts, experiences, scientific innovation – areas that require creativity, bravery and testing. AI will be able to diagnose and cure diseases like cancer, perform gene modification – but we will pave the way in identifying what to actually research (using AI of course).
Summary: The future is always hard to predict, but at present, we can assume it will be tech-driven with machines having the capability to make us super-human.
In conclusion, we had an incredible time at the Cannes Festival of Creativity 2016 and are so grateful to MG OMD for the opportunity to attend. Through hard work and a winning idea, we got to witness the incredible advancements of thought and technology taking place in our industry first-hand and through the mist of sunshine, sea and the occasional glass of rosé, we learnt to look to the future and embrace the changes that promise to impact us all. We are ready, are you?
CANNES, France, June 24, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — For the fourth time in five years, Omnicom Media Group (OMG), the media services division of Omnicom Group Inc. (NYSE: OMC), tops the list of media agency holding company winners at the annual Cannes Festival of Creativity, with its agencies OMD and PHD taking home a total of 15 Media Lions.
OMD was the most awarded agency network in the category, earning a total of 11 Media Lions – one gold, three silver and six bronze; OMD was also the credited partner for the Grand Prix winners in the PR, Creative Effectiveness and Mobile categories. PHD earned one gold, one silver and two bronze Media Lions.
The combined performance from OMD and PHD propelled Omnicom Media Group to the top of the category, winning more than twice as many Media Lions as the next most awarded media holding company.
OMD Wins Span Globe and Categories OMD’s 11 Media Lions were awarded for work across a broad spectrum of client categories – including automotive, CPG, financial services, media , retail, sports goods, and technology – submitted by OMD agencies across the globe. Winning agencies, clients and campaigns included:
OMD Dominican Republic – “Ending the Silence” campaign for La Sirena
OMD UK – “Humans” campaign for Channel 4 (2)
OMD Dominican Republic – Ending the Silence campaign for La Sirena
OMD Italy – “Business Booster” for Renault
OMD Sweden – “Slow Down GPS” campaign for IF Insurance
OMD UAE – “Champions Huack” campaign for Go Sport
OMD UAE – “I Can Teach You Too” for Dubai Cares
OMD UK – “Hunted” campaign for Channel 4
MG OMD – “Campaign to Combat Loneliness” for John Lewis
OMD USA – “Intel Winter Games” for Intel
Strong Showing for PHD APAC Agencies Three of PHD’s four wins were claimed by APAC agencies, including a Gold Media Lion won by PHD New Zealand for DB Breweries “Brewtroleum” campaign; a Bronze won by PHD Australia for Australia and New Zealand Banking Group’s ” Smart Girls – Equal Future” campaign; and a Bronze won by PHD India for Hindustan Unilever’s Lo Kar Lo Bat” campaign. PHD UK took a Silver Lion for Sainsbury’s “Sharing the Gift of Reading at Christmas” campaign.
“The scale and scope of Omnicom Media Group’s win at Cannes this year proves that relentless focus on excellence, innovation and talent always achieves results,” says Daryl Simm, CEO of Omnicom Media Group Worldwide, “not only in terms of industry recognition, but most importantly, in driving business growth for our clients.”
About Omnicom Media Group Omnicom Media Group (OMG) is the media services division of Omnicom Group Inc. (NYSE: OMC), the leading global advertising, marketing and corporate communications company, providing services to over 5,000 clients in more than 100 countries. Omnicom Media Group includes the full service networks OMD, PHD and Hearts &Science; the Annalect global data and analytics platform; the Accuen global programmatic buying platform; global performance marketing agency Resolution Media; as well as a number of specialty media communications companies.