North America

PayPal assures peace of mind on payments

As we’ve noted here, security issues like the Heartbleed bug and data breaches at companies like Target have people increasingly worried about the safety of their personal information. Now a campaign from PayPal aims to alleviate anxiety about making digital payments. In a spot that takes a lighthearted tone, actress Samira Wiley of Orange Is the New Black assures, “With PayPal, your financial information is protected and never shared with stores—like it’s sealed in a vault with titanium locks, guarded by ninjas.” The spot, titled “Buy Some Peace of Mind,” concludes with the line, “Banishing worry one click at a time.”

As more payments go digital and more consumers use their mobile phones and potentially wearable devices to pay for goods, many more businesses are competing with PayPal for a share of this market. Consumers will be weighing the pros and cons of using these new means of payments, and all the middlemen will have to assure potential customers that security will not be an issue.

Canadian Boomers feeling pressure as they consider their money’s future

Canadian banks

As Canadian Boomers age, concern is building over the approximately $1 trillion that will be left behind in the country’s largest wealth transference in history. We’re seeing anxieties rise over this wealth transference, as well as conflicting opinions on what Boomers should be doing with their money leading up to and into their retirement. The Bank of Montreal, one of Canada’s top financial institutions, recently released a wealth transference report, predicting that on average each Boomer will bequeath around $100,000. What happens to this money? According to BMO’s study, 79 percent of beneficiaries will use it to reduce debt. Undoubtedly, student debt could be part of that bucket.

Stacked next to Boomers’ wealth transference anxieties, many are wondering: Do I support my kids now and risk my financial future or wait till after I die? A June study by Scotiabank highlights this financial dilemma. “Not surprisingly, Baby Boomer remorse over retirement planning arises as obstacles begin to appear in the path toward the comfortable lifestyles that we all dream of,” says Lisa Ritchie, Scotiabank’s SVP of Customer Knowledge and Insights, in a press release.

With these Boomer concerns making headlines, banks like BMO and Scotiabank are getting ahead of the issue and pointing consumers to the financial counseling and planning they provide—something we’ll see more brands do as this subject gains traction among Boomers.

Photo Credits: Bank of Montreal; Scotiabank

PayPal uses World Cup for clean water awareness

PayPal - Neymar

While the big World Cup sponsors are attempting to score big with a large audience in order to boost sales, PayPal is using the mega-event as a cause marketing effort in conjunction with Brazilian soccer star Neymar, bringing awareness to the necessity for clean water in Brazil. A fundraising drive, Competition for Good, is positioned as a contest among football fans around the world, who donate through PayPal on behalf of 32 national teams.

The effort is a partnership between PayPal and Neymar’s nonprofit, Neymar Jr. Project Institute. Proceeds go to Waves for Water, which provides communities with water filters and, in this case, will donate filters in the cities where the matches are taking place. From the semifinal matches on July 8 through the final on July 13, PayPal will also match donations 100 percent. The initiative is a nice way to tie together the sporting event of the year with a CSR campaign while also driving consumers to log into their PayPal accounts.

Photo Credit: PayPal

Outdoor ads improve water, air quality

Outdoor ads are sometimes criticized as a form of visual pollution—obscuring scenic views, cluttering country highways or covering city streets—but some marketers are creating outdoor work that actively fights pollution, from toxic water to contaminated air.

In the Philippines, an 88-foot billboard that promotes Japanese natural cosmetics brand Shokubutsu Hana is made of vetiver grass, which has toxin-absorbing properties. Placed in Manila’s heavily polluted Pasig River, the billboard can cleanse up to 8,000 gallons of water a day. (While not a traditional outdoor ad, a Cannes gold Lion winner in the outdoor category similarly serves as a means to clean water: Produced by the charity Water Is Life, “The Drinkable Book” is a manual covering good sanitation and hygienic practices that also purifies drinking water, thanks to a paper coating that can destroy deadly bacteria.) In Peru, meanwhile, a billboard for engineering university UTEC purifies air up to five blocks away. Situated within the construction site of UTEC’s new campus, the billboard can filter 100,000 cubic meters of air per day.

Each campaign highlights a commitment to quality of life, reflecting positively on the organizations. In UTEC’s case, the university recognizes that growth and development can cause pollution but shows that it has the know-how to help mitigate the negative impact. These practical efforts go beyond raising awareness to providing solutions to real problems, addressing anxieties and improving lives immediately.

Lion-winning Banco Popular campaign takes practical approach to stimulate growth in Puerto Rico

This week, Banco Popular and JWT San Juan won a bronze Lion at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity for “My Bank, My Space,” a response to Puerto Rico’s eight-year recession that focused on promoting customers’ small businesses. Banco Popular and JWT have been aiming to infuse hope into the Puerto Rican economy for the past few years. In 2011, the bank rewrote a popular song to help stimulate the economy by challenging a reliance on welfare (winning a Grand Prix at Cannes), while in 2012, another campaign transformed an Olympic hurdle event into a metaphor for overcoming life’s obstacles.

Puerto Rico’s economy is still struggling, and after its credit rating dropped to junk status, the bank took its efforts a step further. Focusing on actively generating fiscal development rather than simply inspiring it, the “My Bank, My Space” initiative gave 140 small-business customers the marketing platform and budget to fuel their enterprises. Banco Popular built a full-scale production studio to produce TV and radio spots, using its entire advertising and corporate media budget for the project, which included print ads and an online platform for these businesses to promote their products. The campaign garnered significant media attention, providing additional promotion for the small businesses and for the bank.

Banco Popular successfully combined corporate and human interest to help stimulate growth, not merely speaking to customers’ monetary troubles but tackling them head-on with a pragmatic expediency.

Nivea magazine ad helps parents track kids with wearable tech

As discussed in our report “10 Mobile Trends for 2014 and Beyond,” a new crop of wearables allow users to be tracked from afar. And although this type of technology carries privacy implications, it can also allay anxiety around safety for users themselves or their loved ones. For instance, the Guardian Angel, created by JWT Singapore, is a pendant that can discreetly text the wearer’s location to select contacts in the event of an emergency.

In Brazil, Nivea created a lower-tech wearable it calls the “Sun Band” for its sunscreen brand Protégé that lets parents keep tabs on their children at the beach. A magazine ad featured a bracelet that can be popped out and wrapped around a child’s arm; parents then download an app that syncs with the bracelet and lets them set a perimeter. If a child wanders outside the designated area, an alarm notifies the parent immediately. Nivea says the bracelet, made from humidity-resistant paper, can be used more than once.

In some instances, tech that allows wearers to be tracked will be controversial, but this campaign strikes the right balance for parents by being practical, fun and easy. And it reinforces Protégé’s positioning as a brand that cares about safety by giving parents a little extra peace of mind on a day at the beach.

Pernod Ricard app helps imbibers track alcohol consumption

We’ve written a few posts about how alcohol brands (including Heineken and Martini) encourage responsible drinking by responding to various consumer anxieties. Recently, Pernod Ricard, the parent of brands including Absolut, Jameson and Malibu, launched an app called Wise Drinking that helps people concerned about their ability to drive, estimating users’ blood alcohol concentration. Available in 37 languages, the app takes into account gender, weight, time of the last meal and the type and quantity of alcohol consumed. Wise Drinking also offers advice on how to pace alcohol consumption and a “Get me home” button for one-touch calls to emergency services and selected friends.

Pernod Ricard is also partnering with Alcohoot, a startup selling a $99 breathalyzer that plugs in to mobile headphone jacks and provides a more exact measure of sobriety. The product “has the potential to change behavior,” according to a statement from Pernod head Bryan Fry. Wise Drinking includes integration with Alcohoot’s app.

While promoting safe drinking is a challenge—in this case, Wise Drinking requires potentially inebriated users to remember to input the information each time they have a drink—providing the tools to make more informed choices and encouraging more mindful consumption throughout the night is a move in the right direction.

JWT Singapore’s Guardian Angel is a wearable device that helps keep women safe

Guardian Angel

Last year, we posted a few items about brands aiming to make women in India feel more secure in the face of harassment and violence (for example, the telecom MTS India launched a plan that permits women to make calls despite a negative balance). Now an innovative new product from JWT Singapore in support of the Association of Women for Action and Research (AWARE) addresses the issue of women’s safety with a wearable device, the Guardian Angel.

The chic $120 pendant can be worn as a necklace or bracelet and works in conjunction with a smartphone app. It has two uses: Clicking a button on the device during an uncomfortable situation triggers a call to the wearer’s phone, and in more precarious situations, pressing the button for three seconds sends an emergency text that includes details on the sender’s location to a designated contact. Ten percent of each sale goes to AWARE. The Guardian Angel points to the potential of wearables in the area of personal safety and the creative ways that brands can use new technologies to help alleviate consumer fears.

Photo Credit: Guardian Angel

Heartbleed bug making consumers ever more anxious

HeartbleedThe Heartbleed bug may have infected upward of half a million websites—including many popular sites like Gmail and Facebook—potentially putting the personal information of consumers across the globe at risk. Data from our AnxietyIndex study suggests that this security breach has likely only exacerbated anxiety about identify theft, as 3 in 5 were already on edge about this issue in 2012. Anxieties are particularly prevalent in South Africa and the U.S., where nearly 7 in 10 report feeling anxious. As a result, brands impacted by Heartbleed must work even harder to earn back consumers’ trust, especially in nations already prone to anxiety about identity theft.

Identity Theft Anxiety

Photo Credit: Codenomicon

Soaring food prices drive more anxiety among women than men

Global Anxiety Drivers

According to recent forecasts, food prices are set to see the biggest increase in more than three years as a result of worldwide drought conditions. Experts believe that prices may rise by as much as 3.5 percent by the end of 2014, whereas individual produce items might see even larger increases (for example, the cost of lettuce could increase by 34 percent). Data from our most recent global AnxietyIndex study reveal that higher prices at the grocery store may cause women more anxiety than men: Across the 27 markets we surveyed, things that impact us closer to home—including food prices—are more likely to drive anxiety among women than men. Nearly 2 in 5 women already feel “very anxious” about the cost of food.

Brands in these categories will need to help women navigate this anxiety through messaging, products and tools that address their concerns head-on and help them manage their budgets.