My Favorites in July: Heineken’s Creative Ladder, Airbnb in Cuba & Pretending to be a Successful Startup


Image via Short Film Corner Cannes

Image via Short Film Corner Cannes

Stay thirsty for creativity, “Creative Marketer of the Year” Heineken said at Cannes Lions this year, where Senior Global Brand Director Gianluca Di Tonda said the brand was “in the business of connecting emotions” while Global Marketing Executive Director Soren Hagh added that great creative work is often made by “people who take risks.” In this post, I share some links about the good & the ugly of creativity, about eYeka’s community members, about scaling a business in a country where there is little or no internet access. You’ll also find two links about failing crowd-based businesses – Quirky and Homejoy – and about pretending to be big when you’re not.

Heineken received the prestigious “Creative Marketer of the Year” award at Cannes Lions this year. The brand’s senior director of global marketing capability, Cinzia Morelli-Verhoog, said about it that: “Heineken [won the the Creative Marketer Award] exactly 20 years ago, it is part of the company DNA to look to creativity to drive engagement with consumers.” In this article, she shares some of the strategies and structures that enable, encourage and develop creativity at Heineken, including the “creative ladder.” It’s a shame the video from Cannes’ “Thirst for Creativity” talk is not on YouTube anymore.

Australian creatives created this video, which introduces the “The World’s First Crowd Sourced 3D-Printed QR Code Live Streamed Via Go Pro To A Smart Phone Or Tablet Device Drone Delivery Ticket System Project,” to make fun of advertising and marketing buzzwords. It’s a nice video that takes us a step back, reflects ob advertising practices, is funny to watch and promoted the “Creative Fuel” event that took place in Sydney on July 28th. Cut the crap.

How do you expand and scale your website in a country that has almost no private internet access? Airbnb used local knowledge and existing “travel agents” on the ground to get a foot in the market. “Instead of building this trust firsthand, Airbnb could find people [who] were already helping casas particulares communicate online with potential clients. By launch, Airbnb had found eight of them. “It wasn’t about doing something new, it was about plugging into something existing.” says Jordi Torres Mallol, Airbnb’s general manager for Latin America” to FastCompany.

Since January, 2015, there are 300 000 members on eYeka. But who are they? What they do make? I wrote about it in my thesis, and on the company’s blog, but in this post, my intern Alix looked through at the top eYeka members, ranked by Creative Score, found that the three top creators are women, and that a variety of continents are represented, which is fantastic to highlight. Discover the portraits, in English or in Bahasa.

eYeka had the privilege to speak at the Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity on Saturday June 27th, and on stage, Joel Cere, Strategy & Innovation Director and eYeka members Charly Dheulin (Belgium) and Nirina Ragomaharisoa (Madagascar) discussed Millennials’ creative inspiration and how brands, and their agencies could better engage with them to unlock their creative potential. Here is a vlog of Nirina sharing his impressions on speaking on the world’s most prestigious advertising and marketing event. More photos eYeka Creators Rock Cannes Lions 2015.

Quirky has no money left and is trying to raise money for its Wink platform, Entrepreneur writes. That’s what Ben Kaufman, Quirky’s CEO, said at Fortune’s Brainstorm Tech conference. When asked about Quirky’s finances Kaufman said the company ran out of money “weeks ago,” but said he has a great team and they were working to figure things out. VB’s Dylan Tweney said in another article, which praises the founder’s honesty, that “Kaufman was funny, blunt, self-deprecating, and pulled no punches. In short, he stood out in the crowd: You rarely, if ever, see entrepreneurs acting humble or self-deprecating onstage in Silicon Valley events.” On July 31st, Quirky said it was going to lay off 109 people after failing to raise more capital.

I think this is a first for the “sharing” economy: The cleaning company Homejoy, built the the same model than Uber, Lyft or laundry service Washio, announced that it was shutting down. The move could signal trouble for other companies that say they use independent contractors rather than full-time employees, Time notes: “Homejoy [has] faced legal trouble over the manner by which it categorizes its employees; in a class-action suit, the company was said to have classified its home-cleaners as independent workers rather than full employees.” I already wrote about this before, and tried to imagine whether this was applicable to creative industries, and had a rather nuanced view as it depends on the operating model of the companies. In other words, not all “on-demand” models face this threat. Still, French newspaper Le Monde calls it the “first major failure on the Uber economy.”

Here’s a nice interview of an eYeka community member, Shu_Wu on eYeka, in a major Asian marketing publication. Born in 1981, he is a professional animator graduated from an Animation school in China. He has been working in several big cities in China, but finally decided to go back to his hometown and set up an animation studio with his friends. In this interview, he shares his thoughts about being an independent creative participating in platforms like eYeka, its benefits and drawbacks. “Responding to contests is just like writing a composition,” he says. Here are more thoughts from Chinese community members. I think it’s a cool interview to reflect on the previous tweet, too.

I don’t use Wistia, but I like their presentation, their product and discourse. I already liked this article in which they shared thoughts about being PR-ready, and here I share another article about their experience as founders. “When we went to startup events, we were just two guys working on a problem,” they say, explaining how they tried to present themselves as big & serious when they first met one of their customers, Mailchimp. The motto of this post is that you should stay true to yourself, don’t act as if you were bigger than you are… and even realize that your customers love you precisely because you are small and nimble. I like it.

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