Blog : Branding

Has success finally bred mediocrity?

The good news is, Nike has a new “Hero” brand TVC, with (not unexpectedly) the biggest roll call of
sports stars we’ve seen in ages.
The bad news is…hmmmm.
Don’t get us wrong. It’s a decent ad – as long as you don’t go back and compare it with the almost countless great
ads Nike has produced over the years. Here’s the original to remind you:

So, what’s gone wrong? Why do we feel a bit deflated when we’d normally be walking around a good 5cm taller?
Three things. One, Nike has generally used great music. Not this time.
Two – where’s the idea? Here’s a cracking Nike ad that makes the point:

(For those that don’t know him, Yankee Derek Jeter is so well regarded they retired his number when he quit.)
Three, Nike has always been much tougher than this, a bit rebellious. The reason we’ve been huge fans for such a long time is that a company that now sells – what is it, 80% of the sneakers sold in the US? – has somehow managed to keep behaving like a challenger.
Now, the stars are all smiling for the camera and Nike feels like the giant it is, and that’s not a good thing.

What can marketers learn from Microsoft canning Internet Explorer?

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HBT’s Digital Director, Luke Kelly voices his opinion in B&T about what marketers should consider in the wake of Microsoft canning Internet Explorer. View the article here.

Luke Kelly is the digital director at HBT Agency and says Microsoft’s recent announcement of the death of Internet Explorer (IE) had some developers across the globe fist pumping with gratitude; however, it doesn’t let digital practitioners off the hook.

IE pioneered developments like Ajax and JavaScript that has made the Internet what it is today. As the web evolved, IE became one of the “top browsers to download other browsers”, and unfortunately some organisations were slower than others to pick up new technology. What this resulted in is a number of clients keen to embrace digital innovations and campaigns; however on implementation, would find themselves hamstrung by an out of date browser, unable to deliver the best possible user experience.

Clients are often limited by software capabilities, due to organisational requirements or updates, and as marketers, it’s up to us to work within these restrictions to deliver a compelling, creative response.

So, what can marketers learn from Microsoft canning the software?

Educate and update

Marketing practitioners need to understand clients aren’t always interested in the finer, executional details of any given campaign. As experts, we need to educate them as to the latest developments – and in what ways these will benefit their brand or campaign.

It’s important to remind ourselves not every client is interested in the finer details; answering the ‘will this work’, ‘what message will this deliver’ and ‘will we reach our objectives’ questions is a great place to start.

Get creative with technical limitations

There’s a saying creativity thrives under limitations and I think the same is true for technical limitations. Every client is working with the best possible software they can; and it’s up to digital practitioners to deliver a result that ticks all the boxes – not just ‘this is the best we could do given the circumstances’ response.

Build customisation into your budget

The announcement that Microsoft is dropping IE will mean that developers will potentially be cutting their coding time down and clients will be saving their dollars too. Integrating functions for IE creates a massive drain on your time and your budget. Often this can mean building a whole new set of rules just for IE functionality and your client will always face an increased quote as a result.

Be upfront with your client about exactly what customising to their requirements could cost. Agencies – involve your digital / UX team in the very early discussion. This creates transparency, trust and gives your client the best possible chance of success.

Finally, before you pop open a bottle to celebrate, Microsoft is working on a new browser – codename Project Spartan, due to replace the infamous explorer. If the project name is anything to go by, let’s hope we’ll get an agile browser from Microsoft.

HBT meets B&T


B&T recently asked us to ‘give them the skinny’ on the goings-on of our new office and culture. View the article here.

The suburb of Cremorne in Victoria, Richmond’s creative neighbour, is home to many of Melbourne’s creative and digital agencies. Now HBT Agency is one of them. Michael Berry, HBT Creative Director gives us the skinny on the agency’s new home.

When we were met with the need to relocate HBT’s offices 10 months ago, we were easily lured in by the area’s creative energy.

As an agency, we believe that the environment a company operates within can greatly influence its culture and productivity.

After successfully securing an empty former textiles factory on Cremorne’s Hill Street, the big task at hand was designing our office interior from scratch. Most importantly, we wanted our new space to encourage staff to work collaboratively. We achieved this by keeping the former factory’s open-plan layout; only including walls where absolutely necessary. In the spirit of collaboration, we hired Danish inspired furniture and interiors company Pierre + Charlotte to create an over sized communal kitchen table to accommodate the entire team.

Visitors to HBT are greeted on the staircase by a painting of a young Balinese boy holding a surfboard; a beautifully appointed artwork by artist Andrew Wellman that’s reminiscent of the island’s 1970’s surf culture. Upstairs is home to HBT’s most striking piece – a full-scale mural by Lucas Grogan – now the centerpiece of our expansive space.

Our renovations took three months from conceptualisation to completion – and the results today speak for themselves. Our last residence in South Yarra, although beautiful, is lackluster in comparison.

Beyond its artistic offerings, Cremorne’s many restaurants, shops and bars offer residents, workers and visitors alike a nirvana of eating, drinking and playing. It’s a must see destination for anyone living in or coming to Melbourne.

Some of HBT’s local haunts

Food: Berties Butchers, Fonda, Richmond Oysters, Meat Mother

Play: The pool table at Great Britain Hotel

Booze: Cherry Tree, The Corner Hotel

Places to go for inspiration: Jardan, Space, Polyform

Grand opening!

Finally! The doors have arrived and they’re beautiful! We now have a fully useable meeting room. The hard work (the supervisory trip to Bali etc.) were all worth it. Should we have a party to celebrate? Yes we should!