Byravee Iyer
Jun 4, 2015

Mondelez talks China, judges weigh in on entries: AMES

SINGAPORE - Attendees at the Asian Marketing Effectiveness and Strategy conference here yesterday heard a highly effective Oreo campaign, and from some AMES jury members about effective and not-so-effective award entries.

Elaine Rodrigo
Elaine Rodrigo

Elaine Rodrigo, Mondelez’s global director for consumer insights and strategy, talked about how the company took the globally successful ‘Wonderfilled’ campaign for Oreo and tweaked it for China. 

The jury president for data and e-commerce said Oreo’s ambition was to transform from the world’s favourite cookie to the most iconic one and the ‘Wonderfilled’ campaign was one of the big levers to achieve that.

According to Rodrigo, Mondelez wanted the use the global campaign while tapping into local cultural nuances. “After looking at insights around the world, it’s clear that 80 per cent of insights are the same,” she said. Rodrigo’s other consideration was to work closely with the agency and bread team to nurture creative development, and not to test it.

While Oreo is a 100 year old brand in the US, it has been around in China for 10 years. “In China, we’re coming from a different legacy and we built it to be extremely recognized with the ‘Moments’ campaign.”

Trying to shift from a classic ad proved to be a challenge for the team. “When the Chinese first saw the ad, there was silence in the room and they were thinking of ways to say no.” But working with a team of consumers to understand insights, Mondelez discovered three things that work in the market: a powerful creative; animation and storytelling appeals to all ages; and that music and tone were both upbeat and infectious.

Ultimately, after three consumer rounds and nearly 30 internal discussions, the company decided to replace ‘Wonderfilled’ with ‘Heart with wonders’ – a phrase that triggered curiosity and imagination, she said. Mondelez also positioned the campaign around family and sharing. “We found that animation could work, we’re still learning and trying to find the right balance for emerging markets.”

Judges forum

At another session, the AMES jury spoke to Atifa Silk, brand director, Campaign Asia-Pacific, about the most creative campaigns—and why certain others failed to impress.

“The quality of work was below what we’ve seen last year," said Charles Cadell, president, Asia Pacific, McCann Worldgroup. "The general quality of work was outstanding but the weight of it is not up there.” He saw the strongest entries from Australia, New Zealand and India with Unilever, in particular, pulling its weight. “It’s clear that the company is engaged with agencies in putting effectiveness results,” he said.

Herve Bullot, senior director, global insights, Asia Pacific for Johnson & Johnson said that although some of the solutions were poorly written, the outstanding ones “were really amazing”. According to him, what really works is a clear insight. “When the solution was based on human insights or needs, it showed clear strategy and business reason. Unilever did a very good job at articulating this.”

The entries speak of the state planning in the region, said Chris Harrison, chief strategy officer, Asia Pacific, ZenithOptimedia. “Strategic planning hasn’t taken root across the region. There are a couple of places like New Zealand and Australia where it’s alive and well. I did see some evidence of clarity of thought and expression in India. Where’s the work from Southeast Asia?”

 

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