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The Drip Edition 9

Hey guys,

You may have noticed we skipped last week. I am sorry. Can you forgive me?

I was quite sick and travelling and working on a number of different projects all week, and by the time I landed at 4:45pm on Friday afternoon, I was just too shattered and sick to even contemplate writing it. Then I spent all weekend in bed being sick, so I apologise.

So here it is, one week late. Crammed full of two weeks’ worth of content!

This week you can look forward to some beautiful content on Instagram (thanks Hannah), a cool campaign about traffic officers in Cape Town, the new Edgars experiential store, the case for watching less news and reading more, the Trump documentary, an example of excellent longform copy on a simple ad, plus just an example of wonderful copy, the women’s marches in SA, the future of IoT and an awesome example of a consumer-centric retail campaign by Lidl (thanks Cathy!).

Lovely stuff.

On with the show!

The Future of IoT Isn’t A Tech Strategy, It’s A Business One

This sort of goes back to the heart of what I always feel we should be living – that innovation should not be innovation for innovation’s sake, but should rather aim to answer a business problem, or the problem at hand.

Ask yourself: “Is this solving an actual problem, or is it simply a gimmick?”

What is the right solution for the problem, not finding a problem to fix with the latest solution.

This snippet sums that up – a real business problem in retail answered with a fairly simple solution:

“A significant challenge in retail is potential lost sales or missed opportunities to sell goods. Often, store retailers don’t have the exact product a customer wishes to buy in the store. This problem cannot be solved by overstocking items; it requires innovative design and thinking.

Knowing all the locations of stock in the store can prove challenging, and sometimes “available” stock can be damaged or unavailable due to various types of shrinkage. IoT technology can help minimize some of these issues.
Usage of low-cost RFID passive tags on items can help pinpoint stock within a store, and innovative shelf sensors can provide a more precise count of inventory on the shelf. Getting the actual stock count in the store helps the forecasting and replenishment process become more accurate, ensuring that replenishment quantities are optimized to the actual situation.

RFID, of course, is not new, yet like many technologies, its price and cost of usage have decreased to the extent that the “tip point” is no longer just premium retail products. Now products that retail for just a few dollars can enable a solid return on investment – measured in months, not years

One example is an apparel fashion retailer. Utilizing RFID technology, the retailer could know what garments, styles, and colors customers take into a fitting room, which items are not taken in as regularly, and what gets purchased. Think about what this would allow your merchants to do with targeted customer marketing.”

Five Smart Ways Retailers Are Bucking The Trend Of Retail Disaster

This awesome articleabout the retail landscape is all you need to read today / this week. Use this in all your pitches. Let it be your bible. Retailers are investing more in physical space, and digital retailers are investing in physical spaces as well. Because it is ALL ABOUT CONSUMER EXPERIENCE.

“In case you haven’t noticed, fascinating things are happening in the retail world. The rules have changed, and it’s no longer about who can offer the lowest prices or the widest selection of products. Customer experience is king, and smart brands are adapting to attract more shoppers and entice them to stay longer.
While retailers like Payless and Sears have been shuttering stores, big names like Macy’s and Restoration Hardware are increasing investment in their physical spaces — and getting results. A growing list of digital natives, including Away, Adore Me and Casper also see a need to open physical storeswhere customers can experience their brand in person. Who said there’s a “retail apocalypse?””

Great Instagram Content

Here is my pick of this week’s fun / sexy content on Instagram.


Woolworths Taste:

Steri stumpie (video)

City of Cape Town Traffic Campaign

A great example of experiential marketing mixed with a bit of humour, mixed in with something that will actually create change. Insight: We do fewer things wrong when we think someone is watching.

The city created cardboard cut-outs of traffic officers in an effort to slow down motorists, plus I am sure it is cheaper to put a cardboard cut-out of a human on a road than an actual human, so go team for this creative use of marketing.

Coca-Cola Launches an Energy Drink and Lord Save Us All!

Please strap in and make sure you remain calm, because this one will literally set your heart racing. Caffeine and more caffeine and then some sugar. YAYYYY. I am not sure how this differs from normal coke. Whatever the difference it is, it is sure to keep you up at night.

This is some quite cool / trippy creative though

Trump: An American Dream [Documentary]

I know. I am super late to the party, but I have been avoiding watching this documentary for a number of reasons.

First of all, I HATE giving this orange cheesepuff any more coverage or headspace in my life than is necessary. Second of all, I don’t like watching documentaries like this for the same reason I dislike reading autobiographies – I am not interested in one megalomaniac, but more interested in the overall picture. So focusing on Trump alone feels indulgent

But. I saw Grant watching this on the plane as we were coming back to Cape Town on Friday, and was so intrigued that as soon as I got home, I started watching it. And then I spent the weekend just watching this and being ill. I am not sure it helped with my illness, but it was enlightening.

Do yourself a favour and watch how the Donald made his way to the very highest echelons of power – mostly by stomping on and using other people, including the media; saying it first and owning the narrative and allowing chaos to reign, and if you say something often enough, people will believe you. It ends sort of abruptly though, which left me with a massively unsettling feeling…

Forbes said of the documentary: “It plays like a supervillain origin story…” and I don’t think anything could describe it better. You can literally see his ego swelling through the show. Alarming stuff.

Watch it on Netflix here.

Flailing Edgars Builds Experiential Store

Edgars, in an effort to move from redundant retailer to relevant retailer is now offering a kids’ play area; personalised shoppers and a printable T-shirt zone, among other highlights.

But will it be enough?

Sales for retailers in SA are either sluggish or on the decline across the board.

For brands and retailers like Edgars to come back from the brink will take a lot (speaking of taking a lot… there are other online retailers there to pick up the slack).

My thoughts?

Consumers don’t know what some of these retailers stand for. These dinosaur retailers have a lot of legacy behind them. They sell in a lot of different categories but with limited range, and it is uncertain which end of the market they are targeting. They sell Nike, but are they selling the “right” Nike? Who knows. I certainly don’t know what they stand for, and if I walk into an Edgars, it seems nobody else does either. And when I can go to a speciality Nike store, or a speciality sneaker store, why would I go to Edgars? Now take that sort of thinking and apply it across all their categories. For everything they do, there is another retail outlet that is doing that same thing but better.

I love that they have added a coffee shop, as this is definitely the sort of pull attraction that consumers like. But perhaps they should also look at the basics again. They have consolidated a lot of stores, seeking to have fewer but larger stores – a strategy that didn’t work so well for Stuttafords.

Anyway, check out the new store and see for yourself.

Lidl: The Big Save – A Great Retail Campaign

This awesome retail campaign from Lidl (thanks Cathy for sharing) is fantastic, because it focuses on people rather than promotions.

The campaign looks at persona group and then matches that with the occasion and experience (or thing) that each of these consumers is trying to save for.

The idea is that the amount of money they save through shopping with Lidl can be used to buy real things – a family holiday; a house; a new car. Each of the families or groups is saving for something unique to their family, but the great thing is that Lidl is showing their audiences how they can save with Lidl through real life examples using real shoppers, showing what those savings translate to. I think we very easily forget that the more we spend on groceries, the less we have to spend on other cool stuff. It certainly made me think about how I am spending my money.

And these people come from different socio-economic backgrounds; ethnic groups; and are of different demographic breakdown, which allows consumers across cultures and social groups to identify with it. Wonderful.

See the campaign here

Watch Less News, Be More Happy

I stopped watching the news years ago. Not because I don’t want to be informed – I think this is important (especially for a strategist). But because it was making me anxious. Now I avoid getting news updates unless it is something people really can’t stop talking about and is a real world event (like the Hong Kong riots).

What I think is dangerous to our mental health is trying to keep up with all the news, much of it blown out of proportion and unnecessary, on an hour-by-hour basis, when what is huge today disappears by tomorrow, lingering in the back of our thoughts that things aren’t quite right. This can be damaging because it makes you feel powerless. But what good is watching the news (selected for ratings by the news outlets) when there is very little we can do about it?

This article suggests we stop watching so much news, and instead read more deeply about topics, because what you get from a book will undoubtedly give you more to think on than what is trending today. Fiction; fantasy; non-fiction; self-help… take your pick. What you’ll get back versus the anxiety you feel watching the news will be worth it.

Great Copy. Great Creative.

This advert seems so simple, but there is so much behind it for me. First of all, having a client brave enough to do something like this is the key. Most clients and creative agencies are so hellbent on doing something creative that they lose sight of the insight, that they end up making what could be a great ad, an okay ad.

And sometimes the insight is the idea. This concept could have ended up being so wildly complex, throwing in activations or digital experiential, or a crafted poster, that it would have lost the beauty of what makes it worthy of being included in this newsletter. Instead, they have spoken us through the insight, making that part of the advert – that people will read anything when they are waiting for a bus (or on the toilet) and that a heart attack can happen so suddenly and at the last expected moments. Brilliant.

Speaking of great copy.

I found this ad from a long way back, and it is GENIUSSSSSS.Such a great play on words, I can’t actually believe it. It is great because it plays on the fact that Labour the party is not working for the people; that the people who are part of the labour party are not working (as in the public do not actually have jobs) and that Labour is not working as a concept. I AM SALIVATING.

I found this in a great article about cognitive diversity, which you can read here

It is all about how to generate a fresh perspective by having a team that

“To think differently, we must look to build a team with cognitive diversity. According to HBR:

“Cognitive diversity has been defined as differences in perspective or information processing styles. It is not predicted by factors such as gender, ethnicity, or age. Here we are interested in a specific aspect of cognitive diversity: how individuals think about and engage with new, uncertain, and complex situations”.

Whilst there are often very good reasons for bringing together a group of like-minded people (greater empathy with one another; shared perspectives and backgrounds; reduced conflict), there are also inherent dangers with this approach. One of the most notable is groupthink, a term coined by Irving Janus in 1972, inspired by the infamous Bay of Pigs fiasco under the watch of the Kennedy Administration.”

Women’s Month, Marches and Murder

As Women’s month has drawn to a close, we’ve seen a spate of violence against women shown in the media, and a number of marches taking place across the country. I won’t comment on this, but will leave you with the following to think on:

From “the witch doesn’t burn in this one”, (Amanda Lovelace)

telling me
not all men
bad intentions

doesn’t do
anything to

after i
walk away from you,
nothing will have

i will still
be scared to
leave my house
after sundown,

i will still
find comfort
in keys resting
between fingers,

i will still
the intentions of
every man I know,

i will still
when i am
to become

a story
meant to warn
other people’s

& i will still
cry when i turn on
the television
to find

another man
getting away

well – 
what they
always seem to
get away with.

i am not
the one who
has to change
the way i think
or the way i act.
they are.

– expectations vs. reality


I hope that has not depressed you too much.

Peace and love.

Animation, Code, Drip, Media

Carla Gontier

Carla Gontier

Carla Gontier is Director of Strategy at Iconic Media. Carla has developed significant digital and content strategic experience over the past 8 years, with the bulk of her experience within digital and social primarily spent across the FMCG; Automotive; Tourism; Insurance; Education and Tech industries.