Campaign India Team
Apr 07, 2013

Goafest 2013: ‘Authenticity is the key’: Tom Bernardin

The chairman and CEO of Leo Burnett Worldwide spoke on the importance of specialisation and integration

Goafest 2013: ‘Authenticity is the key’: Tom Bernardin

Speaking on the second and concluding day of Goafest, Tom Bernardin, chairman and CEO, Leo Burnett Worldwide, underlined the importance of integration, and its role in helping brands reach people in different ways cleanly and with precision, with a few examples.

He made the case for role of social media in integration with the example of Samsung. Strengthening its social presence, Leo Burnett acquired Holler, a London based social media agency, in 2011. Soon after, he spoke of Leo Burnett setting up a ‘Social Media Centre’ for Samsung, with forty seven global markets being redirected to this ‘media centre’ with the help of Samsung’s global agencies. He explained how Leo Burnett created a ‘Social Media Playbook’ for the brand with the help of the global centre. This resulted in fewer brand pages for Samsung around the world, but twice the amount of likes the brand earlier had across pages.

Bernandin followed the Samsung case study with one on Coca Cola. Having used a polar bear in communication for 10 years prior to 2011, the brand announced its support to the species. For this, Leo Burnett created a digital campaign, led my mobile. An SMS campaign invited people to donate US$ 1. Leo Burnett asked Coke to change the colour of its cans from red to white in support of the initiative. A website, was created, which invites people to explore the homes of these polar bears and how one can help the species.

Another case study Bernardin presented was on the launch of an Ikea store in Richmond, Canada. Ikea was opening the store on a Wednesday morning at 10 am. Bernardin explained Leo Burnett’s solution for this. He said, “Coupons have been used to drive people to stores for decades. And they work. So, we turned men, women, children, truck drivers, nail salon workers and everyone else into something what we called ‘Human Coupons’. All people needed to bring was themselves, to claim the 60 per cent off.”

On the results, the Leo Burnett CEO pointed out that this had resulted in 21,719 people reaching the store and sales exceeding $ 1 million:

Bernardin cited another example of integration: McDonald’s campaign for London 2012 Olympics created by Leo Burnett London.

“McDonald’s was London 2012’s official restaurant. We didn’t want to use athletes in our communication, we instead went with the people of Britain, who make the Olympics. The campaign started with a 60 second TVC, dynamic slow-motion digital work and a 300-metre long Mexican Wave. It continued with nine TVCs, 25 print ads and 250 online ads created during the Olympics,” he explained.

Lastly, he screened a commercial Leo Burnett Paris had created for Le Trefle.

In a question and answer session moderated by Maxus’ Vikram Sakhuja, Bernardin pointed out that while causes were important for brands, authenticity was the key. He said, “Causes can be a very important aspect for brands. When they’re looking to understand people, it’s a great connecting tool. But, authenticity is the key. With technology, you can’t fake things. People get to know what is authentic in a jiffy.”


Campaign India

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