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Jargon Busters – Cinema

The lights dim…

The trailers start…

Someone THEN decides to go back out to the foyer to buy popcorn…

We can’t wait!

With the fantastic news that cinemas across the country can at least re-open their doors from 17th May (subject to capacity limits, whatever they might be), the likes of Pearl & Dean and Digital Cinema Media rejoice, along with Daniel Craig, who now looks like he will be able to attend the premiere of his final Bond outing before he hits retirement age.

So, just in case your agency decide that a cinema solution is to feature on an upcoming media plan, and your only experience of cinema advertising is watching them for yourself, then fear not – stand by your plush red seats, and immerse yourself in my new jargon busting guide of certain terms you may encounter when buying cinema advertising…

10. AGP

This stands for Audience Guaranteed Package, and as the name suggests, this buying route offers advertisers a guaranteed level of admissions. It is the most cost-effective way of achieving rapid cover build of the core cinema audience. Your ads will run across a wide cross-section of films, including the major releases, with a commercial suitable for universal, or U Certificate exhibition.


Buying this AGP pack means you’ll hit an upmarket, affluent audience. It excludes all family films (so eliminating wastage) and has an even gender split.

8. Premium AGP


A package if you want to go EVEN MORE upmarket than the ABC1 AGP. Yes, even more! The films you will appear before all profile at 68% ABC1.

7. Alcohol / Gambling AGP

This package means that your ads will only appear prior to films which profile at 75% 18+. As many cinema sites have bars within them, there is also the opportunity to sponsor the bar and look at product sampling before and after the screenings. Allegedly, Oliver Reed used to insist that all his films featured in this pack. *

6. Family Pack

True to its name, the Family Pack allows an advertiser to have presence with all family releases over a given period and utilise the rare opportunity to hit a captive family when they’re all together. As family films are predominantly released across school holiday periods, admissions will be much more buoyant across these periods.

5. CAA

This acronym stands for the Cinema Advertising Association, the trade association of cinema advertising contractors in the UK. Within their remit, they monitor all cinema ads to ensure that they maintain the high standard expected of them.

They vet all the ads prior to them being shown to ensure they comply with all relevant advertising codes. They also provide all cinema marketplace information, such as admissions., and in addition they produce FAME (no, not the musical) – an annual body of research which provides insight into cinemagoing and film viewing within the UK, as well as cinema advertising consumption.

4. DCM / Pearl & Dean

I’ve put these two companies together, because they are the only two sales houses of cinema advertising and deservedly share the spotlight here.

Digital Cinema Media (DCM) is the market leader in UK cinema advertising, providing some 3,405 screens at 509 sites for advertisers. It controls 80.1% of the cinema advertising market through exhibitors including Cineworld, ODEON, Vue, Curzon Cinemas, Picturehouse Cinemas and many independent cinemas.

Pearl and Dean (controlling the remainder of the market), well known for its iconic pa-pa, pa-pa, pa-pa theme we can all remember (you know you do), represents a wide range of cinemas, with multiplex chains offering landmark locations throughout the UK including Showcase, Empire, Movie House and Omniplex sites. in

3. Bronze Spot

The term for the position on the ad reel which is the final ad the audience watches before the ident of the sales house plays.

2. Silver Spot


It’s like the Olympics this, isn’t it? The Silver Spot is the name for the 60 second ad position just before the start of the trailers, offering standout outside the main ad reel. It offers a good opportunity to be up close to the main feature, especially if your brand has an affiliation with the film.

And at Number 1 spot this week…

1.  Gold Spot (well, it had to be…)

This is the name of the last 60 second ad which appears after all the trailers and right before the main feature, offering the most premium position for any brand. At this point, the audience will be totally relaxed, in their seats, and engaged (although there will always be that one person needing that last minute dash to the loo…). Media Week is quoted as saying that the Gold Spot is the “Most valuable few seconds in cinema advertising”.

And there we have it, a quick rundown of all things cinema media.

You’re very welcome. Enjoy, cut out, and keep with your other jargon busters!

*No, he didn’t really…

Campaign of the Week: Our Cheeky New OOH Ad for Glebe Farm

‘Oat-no you didn’t!’

Oat-yes we did.

Our new OOH ad campaign for British oat milk brand Glebe Farm, which pokes a little (well, a lot) of fun at a certain competitor and the infamous lawsuit that took place last summer, lit up the big screens at Victoria Station this week.

Challenged to cut through the noise and grab the attention of passers-by – in an environment where time and attention spans tend to be short – we combined punchy, tongue-in-cheek copy with clean, minimalist visuals that put the product front and centre (technically a little to the right, but you get the point). As well as coming up with the idea and delivering the final creative, we planned and bought the media for the campaign.

The work has already garnered plenty of attention online, featuring in both The Drum and Campaign.

We’ll raise a glass of pure British oat milk to that.

Jargon Busting – TV

Sitting on your sofa, about to press the remote?

Watching your favourite programme on your laptop?

Debating whether to sign up for more Sky Sports?

TV advertising has come a long way since 1982 when Channel 4 burst onto our screens with “Countdown” being the first programme to be shown (although trivia fans out there, the first voice on Channel 4 was NOT Richard Whiteley – it was the continuity announcer immediately prior to that show introducing it, Paul Coia)…and it comes with its very own dialect of Jargonese to battle through.

So, when you’re next sitting down with your media agency (virtually currently, but hopefully not for TOO much longer) to discuss your TV advertising strategy, here’s the phrase book you need to have at your side.

It’s week 3 of my Jargon Busting….and after OOH and Audio over the last couple of weeks, I’m now focusing on the Top 10 of TV advertising terms! Here are 10 terms / acronyms which you may come across while planning your televisual campaign.

Press play on the remote…and here we go….

10. AFP

This stands for Advertising Funded Programming, and is essentially a partnership between a television channel and an advertiser. The advertiser wholly or partially finances a television production and thereby obtains the right to associate its brand to certain values and experiences through the television production.

9. Overnights

No, not another word for a sleepover…which we can’t do now anyway. This is a term used to describe viewing data made available the following day, which is comprised only of ‘live’ viewing (not catch up or programmes you’ve recorded). This allows agencies to provide clients with a good idea of how their previous day’s / evening’s ads have performed, before full consolidated viewing figures can be provided. Consolidated means the total of real time (at transmission time) and video playback viewing (occurring within an agreed period, e.g. seven days of the first transmission time).

8. Strikeweight

The weight of TV advertising bought per week. And only people brought up in the 70s and early 80s will get this picture reference…

7. PIB / LIB / FIB / CB / EB

What do you mean you don’t know your PIB from your FIB?

PIB stands for Position In Break, and simply means where your ad will run in that particular ad break – will it be First In Break (FIB) or Last In Break (LIB)? And is the break itself, the Centre Break (CB) of the programme in question or the End Break (EB)? I remember many years ago running a Direct Response campaign for a delightful fungal nail cream product, and we always sought to be LIB, as LIB ads tended to “linger” for a fraction of a second longer before the sting going into the programme, and meant that the phone number on the ad remained on screen just that little bit longer…Ah, the good old days.


No, not the French for a beard (which is actually “la barbe”), this is actually an acronym standing for the Broadcasters’ Audience Research Board, the organisation which compiles audience measurement and TV ratings in the UK. It is jointly owned by the BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Channel 5, Sky and the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising.

Data is collected by participating viewers, who have a box on top of their TV set which tracks the programmes they watch. There are 5,100 homes in the UK with one of these boxes, tracking the viewing habits of 12,000 individuals. This means that each viewer with a BARB reporting box represents over 5.000 people. Participants use a handset to indicate who is watching any time they have shows on. Data is collected overnight and published the following morning for use by TV stations and the advertising industry (hence “overnights” at No.9).

5. Impacts

One impact is equivalent to one person viewing one 30-second spot on one occasion.


4. Reach

Always turns up in every medium (naturally) – in TV, this is the cumulative percentage of a particular demographic measured to have viewed at least once, for a specified consecutive period.

3. CPT

Of course, this is Cost Per Thousand – simply, the cost of reaching 1,000 viewers within a specific target audience with your advertisement. The CPT is also sometimes known as ‘average station price.’ Don’t get me started on that one…

2. Universe

Ah, the Universe. I could get all philosophical here and talk about Life, The Universe, and isn’t it great that Perseverance has landed on Mars…but not here. In TV terms, a universe is defined as the total population that is being measured or reported, characterised by a selection of demographic, geographic or other criteria. So, the universe of 16-34 year olds in Granada would be one figure, totally different to the universe of Women in London…for example.

And at the top of the chart this week….

1. TVR

Television Viewer Rating: This is expressed as a percentage of the potential TV viewing audience viewing at any given time. A TVR measures the popularity of a particular TV show or advertisement by comparing the number of members of your target audience who watched, compared to the total available as a whole.

And there you have it…something to cut out and keep on the wall of your (home) office.

Contact us if you need help with your TV media plans, or indeed, any media plans – we’d be happy to help.

Also, Thinkbox is a great source of loads of top TV advertising information, totally impartial – well worth a visit.

As are we.

Brand Stories + Brain Response

A View from Connie Smith:

It’s no secret that emotional connections drive brand success and good brand storytelling is pivotal to this. Stories have always been at the core of human experiences, shaping our identities and helping us to communicate our understanding of the world around us. When told effectively, stories can inspire loyalty, change habits and ignite social causes. But why do they work so well?

Last week, mobile phones across the UK buzzed as we were notified with of a grim statistic. The news that we’d reached a COVID death toll of 100,000. A shocking figure, which left most of us despondent, but it was just that, a figure. In stark contrast, over the weekend, the BBC aired interviews with families who have lost loved ones; heart-wrenching stories of final goodbyes over Facetime and parents having to bury their children. One woman spoke of the empty space in the bed when she reached over out of habit, expecting to find her husband. It’s safe to say, these moving accounts left many of us sobbing through the sports segment.

But why can stories invoke such a visceral emotional response whilst data, no matter how shocking, fails to cut through without being framed in the context of a story? The answer, neural coupling.

What is neural coupling? 

Neural coupling is when the neurons firing in the brain of someone listening to a story begin mirroring those firing in the brain of the storyteller.1

It’s not just auditory stimulation in both individuals. When told the story in Russian, no neural coupling is detected.1 This is a true convergence of brain activity between speaker and listener which is routed in understanding, empathy and sharing a ‘lived’ experience.

Brain imaging studies have revealed that when presented with facts and data only the Broca and Wernicke’s areas (small regions of the brain associated with producing and understanding speech) are activated, but when we listen to stories all four brain lobes light up.1 These are linked to things like movement, smell, taste, hearing, vision and touch. Our brains respond to the events of a story as if they’re actually happening to us.

Compelling stories bring us on the journey. They engage listeners emotionally and command attention through emotional connection and empathy.2

Empathy, Oxytocin and Trust

What’s even more exciting, is that studies show that empathy may garner increased trust in the storytelling source.

Empathy leads to the release of oxytocin in your brain, sometimes referred to as the ‘cuddle hormone’ and typically linked to warm, fuzzy feelings – it’s also linked to lots of prosocial behaviours and one of those is trust. 3 4 5

Karen Eber talked about this in her recent TED talk, stating ‘The more empathy you experience, the more oxytocin is released in your brain. The more oxytocin you have, the more trustworthy you actually view the speaker.’ Eber concludes that the world’s best leaders earn trust and invoke action. 6  They don’t just present data – they also tell great stories. But the brain’s response to stories isn’t limited to visionaries inspiring a crowd.

What are the implications for brands?

Brands can harness the power of storytelling to create empathy by developing a robust brand story and finding compelling ways to tell it through meaningful campaigns – the ‘chapters’ of your brand’s story. There are a number of advertisers who have been successfully storytelling in their campaigns for years, like Dove, Nike and Apple, as well as some recent newcomers to the table.

Take Iceland’s advert with Greenpeace in 2018 about the girl with a ‘Rang-tan’ in her bedroom. It didn’t make it past Clearcast but did make it onto 30 million peoples’ screens online. It’s an excellent example of how a well-told story can spark neural coupling, creating empathy and encouraging action. Over 800,000 people signed Greenpeace’s petition.

When a brand tells a compelling story which makes you laugh, or cry… not only has an emotional connection been forged, but trust in the brand has been elicited.

This triple-whammy of trust, empathy and emotional connection is a powerful foundation on which to build fierce brand loyalty.

A new era for storytelling.

Through digital innovation, we’re in a new era in storytelling. Increasingly immersive technologies such as augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR) and 360-degree video are changing our ability to communicate due to the unique ability to inherently merge the roles of the listener and the storyteller. Whilst the ingredients that make stories resonate aren’t likely to change, if brands are to capitalise on this opportunity they must understand how and when to weave digital reality content into their marketing mix.

National Geographic has employed VR to drive its brand storytelling of exploring the natural world through a series of immersive travel experiences. For example, people can now learn about the struggles of growing up as a young male lion, while they’re sitting in his den!

Compared to traditional media, stories told using augmented and virtual reality are often considered more credible and result in more powerful emotional customer reactions. This represents a huge opportunity in 2021 for brands to be early adopters of this form of storytelling and attract new customers, whilst reinvigorating their relationships with existing ones.

Where do compelling stories come from?

At YOU Agency, we invest time and effort in customer research and market analysis to select the right stories for our clients to tell. Furthermore, we make sure the role a brand plays in a story is aligned with its strategic objectives. Without this due diligence, brands run the risk of their advertising being unoriginal, off-putting and potentially damaging. Regardless of the storyline, brands should always aim to be credible and to gain customer trust and buy-in.

There are limitless stories to tell and one of the first steps in selecting a shortlist is to establish what your customers care about and which stories and mediums are most likely to drive empathy, trust and your desired actions. The expanding potential of storytelling for brands cannot be understated.

In summary

  • Compelling stories create empathy (demonstrated through neural coupling in the brain) which leads to emotional connection, trust and behaviour change.
  • Brands can harness this to their advantage to cut through the noise, command attention, encourage brand trust and establish a solid foundation on which fierce brand loyalty can be built.
  • Use digital tools such as AR, VR and 360-degree video to differentiate from competitors and create a deeper customer relationships and loyalty.
  • Establish the most compelling stories through research and proposition testing involving real customers.


  1. Stephens G, Silbert L, Hasson U. Speaker-listener neural coupling underlies successful communication. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 2010;107(32):14425-14430. doi:10.1073/pnas.1008662107
  2. Why Storytelling Works: The Science | Ariel Group. Ariel Group. https://www.arielgroup.com/why-storytelling-works-the-science/. Published 2017. Accessed January 30, 2021.
  3. Procyshyn T, Watson N, Crespi B. Experimental empathy induction promotes oxytocin increases and testosterone decreases. Horm Behav. 2020;117:104607. doi:10.1016/j.yhbeh.2019.104607
  4. Kosfeld M, Heinrichs M, Zak P, Fischbacher U, Fehr E. Oxytocin increases trust in humans. Nature. 2005;435(7042):673-676. doi:10.1038/nature03701Kosfeld M, Heinrichs M, Zak P, Fischbacher U, Fehr E. Oxytocin increases trust in humans. Nature. 2005;435(7042):673-676. doi:10.1038/nature03701
  5. Xu L, Becker B, Kendrick K. Oxytocin Facilitates Social Learning by Promoting Conformity to Trusted Individuals. Front Neurosci. 2019;13. doi:10.3389/fnins.2019.00056
  6. Eber K. How your brain responds to stories — and why they’re crucial for leaders. Ted.com. https://www.ted.com/talks/karen_eber_how_your_brain_responds_to_stories_and_why_they_re_crucial_for_leaders. Published 2021. Accessed January 30, 2021.


Cancel Culture

A View from Daisy White on the Forbes article on #cancelculture: shorturl.at/gmT19

“It’s crucial, now more than ever, that #brands start taking responsibility. Culturally, ethically or socially – brands should be striving for inclusivity in today’s society. In my opinion, this welcomes the arrival of cancel culture – withdrawing support for a person or company, often on #socialmedia, based on their views or actions. Brands are now coming under scrutiny for tone-deaf marketing; luckily that’s where we come in. It’s about time we welcomed a little awakening. Time to put a stop to ignorant societal evolution and come together as one. No excuses.

64%+ of consumers claim to boycott a brand based solely on its position on social / political issues; brands must welcome and lead the change. Recent cultural movements (eg #MeToo and #BLM) have been led more so by today’s youth and their social media savvy, rather than by the powerhouse brands themselves, who are soon to follow suit.

All #PR is not good PR. ‘Publish now and apologise later?’ Read the room – it’s getting bigger, and your outdated ideas are getting smaller.

So…revolutionise your #marketing strategies, embrace everything (within reason), and broaden horizons. The future is now – get involved or expect to be #cancelled.”


Influencer Watch Outs

A View from Shuku Egerton:

Influencers are a key tactic to effectively gain brand awareness with your target demographic, promote products and gain genuine insight and engagement.

Unfortunately, as a result of influencer’s often meteoric rise to fame, and a lack of regulation, we often see confusion around disclosing incentives for product promotions. The Competition and Markets Authority provides guidelines for this. These include requiring influencers to include #ad or #spon in the first 125 characters, so audiences do not have to ‘see more’ and risk missing the true aims of these promotions.

@SocialMediaToday has highlighted Instagram’s newest “prompts” feature, allowing influencers to confirm receipt of their incentives for posting, and is currently developing a new algorithm to detect posts that have not been disclosed.

As these regulations evolve, we must ensure our client’s customers and custodians are protected, we must constantly evolve and adapt to align with the channels, and, with this in mind, we must continue to push the boundaries of influencer marketing. How will these new channel features adapt and influence the Instagram of the future? Well, that’s what we’re here to find out. Watch this space!


Creative Media

A View from Rupert:

I’ve always been a big fan of creative media planning – going above and beyond the signed off media schedule and delving into the contextual environment and not just negotiating the most competitive media rate, which can often be seen as the be all and end all.

Where possible (and I appreciate this cannot always be the case), there should be more collaboration with the media owners themselves to investigate creative media placements and ideas to deliver relevance and impact for the brand / product in question.

Take this example – where Netflix used the relevant station Baker Street to promote its new film Enola Holmes, centring on Sherlock’s lesser known sibling!

In addition to running more traditional #OOH formats, they used the obvious Holmesian link with the station/road to create silhouettes of the Enola character on the platform walls, together with clever tagline – “Adventure has a new Holmes…”.

(Deerstalker) hats off to Netflix! #creativemedia #mediaplanning #enolaholmes #netflix #bakerstreet #punchaboveyourweight


We welcome Simon Derungs as Head of Client Services

We are delighted to announce the appointment of Simon Derungs as our new Head of Client Services. Simon joins at a pivotal time, as we build on significant recent wins whilst helping our clients navigate the challenges and opportunities of a post-Covid world.

Simon brings an enviable track record of transforming the fortunes of major brands and marketing organisations. His experience on both sides of the in-house/agency ‘fence’ is a rare advantage, offering a unique perspective and wealth of insights that will be hugely beneficial around the creative table.

Simon’s career history marks a who’s who across the marketing sector. Most recently, Simon held the lead consultant role at Oystercatchers & Econsultancy, where he helped senior marketing leads transform their ways of working to adapt to the disruption brought on firstly by the digital age, and now through the impact of Covid-19. His clients included PZ Cussons, Virgin Atlantic, TUI, King and the BBC.

Prior to this, Simon was Head of Marketing at BT, overseeing all roster management and agency relationships. Under his leadership, the BT Sport channel was successfully launched in direct competition with Sky, whilst he also led both London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics sponsorship.
Much of Simon’s career has been agency-side, notably at McCann, Publicis and M&C Saatchi. He has led such prestigious accounts as Foster’s, UBS, British Army Recruiting, Reckitt Benckiser, and McVitie’s, helping create some of the UK’s most awarded and commercially effective campaigns.

Simon commented: “I really couldn’t be happier. YOU is an incredible group of talented people, a rare breed that really do deliver integrated thinking and work that cuts through. I’m a big believer that true creativity shines when you face real challenges and limited budgets, so I know I’m joining the best team. Brands need to punch above their weight right now.”

Gary Grant, our Managing Director, added: “Having worked with Si at Publicis, I am incredibly excited to have him join us at YOU. His experience working Agency, Client and Intermediary-side is unparalleled. That experience of seeing the comms world from all angles will be a huge advantage in helping us to delivering the best, most effective work possible for any brand ambitious enough to work with us. It’s worth saying that he may also be the nicest bloke in London, but don’t tell him I said that.”

Understanding Immersive Interactions: Marketing to Complex Generations


“The children are our future”. Businesses need to take note of this ancient adage to establish long-term relationships with their prospective consumers. After all, millennials who were born between 1982 and 1996 are now in their mid-20s to 30s. Moreover, Generation Z was born between 1998 and 2016 which means that its oldest members are just entering their 20s. It is predicted that by 2020 millennials will make up 35% of the global workforce and that Generation Z will make up 24%[1]. This means that, within the space of merely three years, over half the working population will be made up of young, tech-savvy individuals.

To stand out from their competitors, brands need to create marketing campaigns which instigate immersive interactions with these young consumers. Millennials and Generation Z are incredibly active on social media, they predominantly use mobile devices to consume content, and they prefer personalised, multimedia content which caters to their specific interests. Consequently, immersive interactions enable these young consumers to establish trust with a business. To help you connect with this increasingly important consumer base, we have created the following article on how to implement immersive interactions within your existing digital marketing strategies.


What are immersive interactions?

The term ‘immersive interactions’ refers to the practice of enveloping consumers within a brand; creating an all-encompassing experience for the user across any channel which encourages them to interact with a brand’s products and services. As the Harvard Business Review aptly explains:

“The term interactive, as we interpret it, points to two features of communication: the ability to address an individual and the ability to gather and remember the response of that individual. Those two features make possible a third: the ability to address the individual once more in a way that takes into account his or her unique response”[2].

Some examples of successful immersive interactions include installing a chatbot on your company website which enables consumers to receive targeted answers to their queries. Similar instances of immersive interactions include a live chat session on your site where users can discuss their queries in greater detail with a brand representative. By asking customers these few fundamental questions and swiftly matching them with products and services that would best suit them, you can create personalised experiences for new and existing consumers.

Generation XMoreover, once a customer has purchased from your company, you could send them emails with product recommendations and other personalised content such as suggested articles or videos based on their individual preferences.

You could even implement this personalisation in your adverts. Creating an ‘If/Then’ scenario wherein customers answer questions which direct them to different advertisements that would best suit their choices. For example, if you are a food chain, you could ask users if they prefer hot or mild recipes and then direct them to appropriately flavoured products which suit their palates.

You can also host immersive interactions via social media in the form of ‘Ask Me Anything’ sessions, questionnaires or opinion polls. These types of immersive interactions are solely focused on resolving the customer’s needs; identifying their concerns as soon as possible and responding with a bespoke solution that is most suitable for their particular interests and requirements. In this manner, immersive interactions establish trust between consumers and brands which converts into return custom and recommendations.


Benefits of immersive interactions

Immersive interactions which provide consumers with increasingly personalised experiences can prove extremely useful for boosting long-term custom and securing loyalty with your brand. In fact, a Pure 360 highlighted how 93% of companies see an uplift in conversion rates from personalisation, 80% of consumers like it when emails they receive from retailers recommend products based upon their previous purchases, and 50% of consumers would be more likely to use retailers again if they were presented with personalised offers and information[3]. Furthermore, this Pure 360 study also warned that 74% of customers feel frustrated when website content is not customised so neglecting to implement these immersive interactions within your brand’s existing strategies could significantly hinder your progress in the future[4].

Generation YAnother significant benefit of immersive interactions is that they transform your client/business interactions into a two-way conversation. The advent of social media and smartphones enable businesses to instant message to their clients and receive immediate feedback on their products and services. Not only does this system allow brands to improve their services continuously, but it also ensures that customers feel that their concerns have been heard, valued, and used to improve their service.

Facilitating these types of immersive interactions with your consumers creates a sense of community and collaboration between brand and customer as well as fostering the reassurance that your brand is actively working to solve their problems in an optimum way. When using these immersive interactions, always include a call to action at the end, such as encouraging users to opt-in to a business email newsletter, download your app or like and follow your Twitter, Facebook or Instagram profiles.

In essence, immersive interactions put the user in the centre of their own ‘story,’ i.e. purchasing experience. Doing so creates positive engagement with your brand because your company and its staff appear more relatable and easily accessible online or via social media. Immersive interactions help you to understand customer behaviours more accurately so that you can facilitate a seamless experience between browsing for products, choosing their ideal service, and returning after recommending your services to others.

Looking forward, it is clear that these immersive interactions will continue to expand and evolve in response to the introduction of new technologies.

Generation Z

For instance, Vimeo has recently launched the ability for users to upload and watch 360-degree videos so that filmmakers can showcase and sell incredibly immersive content[5]. Similarly, cosmetics chain Estée Lauder have collaborated with ModiFace to launch a lipstick chatbot which helps consumers to choose their ideal lipstick shade by merely posting selfies[6]. As VR and AR technologies become an increasingly integral part of the lives of millennials and Generation Z, we can expect to see even more advanced examples of immersive interactions in the future. By embracing these new types of marketing strategies, your business can stay one step ahead of your competitors and secure long-lasting, incredibly rewarding relationships with a new generation of tech-savvy consumers.


[1] http://www.growthbusiness.co.uk/will-millennials-and-gen-z-rule-workforce-2020-2551152/

[2] https://hbr.org/1996/11/the-future-of-interactive-marketing

[3] https://www.pure360.com/why-personalisation-is-important-what-7-statistics-tell-us/

[4] https://www.pure360.com/why-personalisation-is-important-what-7-statistics-tell-us/

[5] https://martech.zone/immersive-marketing/

[6] https://www.skyword.com/contentstandard/marketing/deciphering-new-digital-marketing-buzzwords-immersive-experiential-multisensory/


The Benefits of Design Thinking


The revolutionary problem-solving process

Habits and uniformity are an important part of business efficiency but they can hinder innovation and future growth. As one Interaction Design Education study illustrates;

“Humans naturally develop patterns of thinking modelled on the repetitive activities and commonly accessed knowledge. These assist us in quickly applying the same actions and knowledge in similar or familiar situations, but they also have the potential to prevent us from quickly and easily accessing or developing new ways of seeing, understanding, and solving problems”[1].

This is where design thinking can help. This revolutionary problem-solving process encourages business owners and their employees to think like designers in order to boost innovation. Design thinking focuses upon identifying the needs of a product’s end-user and draws upon a variety of tools such as brainstorming sessions, rigorous testing and feedback surveys. By ‘thinking outside the box’ businesses are encouraged to develop new products, services and business strategies that they never would have previously envisaged.


What are the key principles of design thinking?

Design thinking was first described by Nobel Prize laureate Herbert Simon in his book The Sciences of the Artificial (1996). Over the years there have been many versions of design thinking which embody the same principles. As IDEO CEO Tim Brown aptly explains;

“Design thinking is a human-centred approach to innovation that draws from the designer’s toolkit to integrate the needs of people, the possibilities of technology, and the requirements for business success”[2].

Most recently, a five-phase design thinking model was suggested by the Hasso-Plattner Institute of Design at Stanford which revolves around the following principles[3];

Empathise with your users

Define your users’ needs, their problem, and your insights

Ideate by challenging assumptions and creating ideas for innovative solutions

Prototype to start creating solutions

Test solutions

Since design thinking encourages people to ‘think outside the box’, these principles need not be followed in any particular order. Businesses are encouraged to host brainstorming sessions to ‘Empathise’ with their target market, ‘Define’ the unique needs and interests of their key consumers and ‘Ideate’ so they can develop insightful new solutions to pre-existing business dilemmas.

Companies are also encouraged to adopt a hands-on approach to ‘Prototype’ and ‘Test’ processes. By experimenting with new concepts, demonstrating them to focus groups, encouraging one-on-one interactions with consumers and conducting feedback surveys, companies can quickly ascertain the strengths and weaknesses of new ideas. Thus, businesses can continuously repeat the design thinking process until they have rectified any errors. Listed below are some of the main benefits of this design thinking process and their applications;


Focus on the end user:

Design thinking is ‘human-centred’ i.e. it focuses on the needs of your consumers. Hence,  you can cultivate products and services which customers will actively want to use. Once an idea has been generated from a brainstorming session with employees and external contractors, businesses are encouraged to utilise focus groups, feedback surveys and public product demonstrations to maximise understanding of your consumers’ real needs, interests and buying trends. A successful example of design thinking in action has been IBM. As Anne Quito of Quartz explained;

“In a recent project, an airline approached IBM to improve its kiosks to speed up passenger gate check-ins. While the engineers started by improving the kiosk’s software, designers went straight to gate agents to ask why the check-in kiosks weren’t used more effectively. Designers found out that female gate agents struggled to keep kiosks charged because their constricting uniforms prevented them from reaching electrical plugs behind the machines. By finding the root of the problem, IBM delivered a mobile app that significantly eased the boarding process and reduced airline costs”[4].


Take advantage of collective expertise:

By opening up your development process to new voices, you can foster a more efficient problem solving environment within your business. Studies have shown that 69% of design-led firms perceive their innovation process to be more efficient with design thinking. Moreover, a separate Adobe study reported that 71% of companies created approximately 10 times the number of assets in the space of a few years when they used design thinking[5].

In this manner, the design thinking process enables you to leverage the collective experience and expertise of your workforce in order to highlight and implement previously unseen possibilities. The ideas generated from design thinking liberate your employees to exercise creativity which will in turn increase their effectiveness in tackling daily administrative processes and meeting the needs of your clients.


Improve the quality of your products and services:

Design thinking encourages rapid prototype testing and generates feedback from actual users that can be used to improve products and services. This streamlined testing system enables businesses to create, finely tune and distribute higher quality goods in rapid turnover and for a reduced cost.

Ultimately, the rigorous prototyping processes of design thinking means you are interacting with consumers throughout the design and development processes so you will be more likely to meet client objectives and consumer demand. By the time your product is launched it will have undergone several rounds of testing and client feedback, which in turn assures the quality and value of your end product.

Encouragingly, 50% of design-led companies report more loyal customers due to these advanced design practices. This study also showed that companies who foster creativity enjoy 1.5 times greater market share[6].


Enable your company to evolve:

Exploring new ideas through design thinking enables you to evolve and expand as an organisation. This ongoing process of feedback, testing and evaluation enables you to continually improve your understanding not only of your target audience, but also of the inner workings of your company as a whole. In fact, 71% of organizations who practice design thinking say it has improved their working culture on a team level[7].

If you’d like to learn more about how to implement these design thinking principles within your existing digital marketing strategies then please feel free to contact our Cloud Ten customer service team today.


[1] interaction-design.org

[2] ideou.com

[3] interaction-design.org

[4] forbes.com

[5] cmo.com

[6] cmo.com

[7] cmo.com