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Brand Positioning

US Creative Works: featuring Taco Bell, ESPN, Geico and more



Welcome to The Drum's US Creative Works. Dedicated to showing the best creative work in North and South America, we give our readers the chance to decide which work features as our Creative Work of the Week.

Scroll through the latest work, then click through to the global Creative Works site and see what stands out. For project information, creative credits and more, click on the project to expand to full screen and click on the stars to vote.

To submit work for our Creative Works section, fill out this online form.

The winner will be chosen based on the average rating and the number of votes cast. Voting closes on Wednesday, Jan. 16.

For voting updates and more follow The Drum Creative Works on Twitter @TheDrumCreative.

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: 'Who's In'

Date: January 2019

ESPN’s College Football Playoff 'Who’s In' campaign is coming to life through a once-in-a-lifetime experience for four adventurous fans, where they will live atop a billboard together in downtown San Jose, near the site of the National Championship game at Levi’s Stadium. The experience will be livestreamed on ESPN3 and integrated into regular ESPN programming for the 12 days of the project, which will conclude on Jan. 7, to coincide with the National Championship Game.
The fans: Llyas Ross Sr., Nancy Volland, Jeanette Kim and Ruben Hunter represent the four semifinal teams: the Alabama Crimson Tide, Clemson Tigers, Notre Dame Fighting Irish and Oklahoma Sooners.
They ascended the billboard on Dec. 27, ahead of the two semifinal matchups on Dec. 29: The Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic featuring Notre Dame and Clemson; and the Capital One Orange Bowl featuring Oklahoma and Alabama.
To be considered, almost 700 fans submitted video testimonials explaining why they should represent their team. The four chosen will have their fandom on full display – 45 feet in the air on a 40-foot wide by eight-foot deep billboard.

Agencies: Red, IMG Live
Client: ESPN

Tags: United States

Video of College Football Playoff #ESPNBillboard


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: 'Value Menu Beyond Belief'

Date: January 2019

Most QSR value menus are stripped down and fairly basic, but Taco Bell’s is next level, according to a new campaign for the chain. That is how Deutsch arrived at 'Value Menu Beyond Belief,' bringing people together in these surreal fantasy worlds.
This new work is an evolution of Taco Bell’s value menu creative work – conveying the notion of elevated and sophisticated work for premium value. The work will run through January 2019 with an additional spot that will run through the year.

Agency: Deutsch
Client: Taco Bell

Tags: United States

Video of Grande Fantasy – $1 Grande Burritos (Commercial) | Taco Bell

Video of Box of Wonders – $5 Chalupa Cravings Box (Commercial) | Taco Bell


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: 'Like New Again'

Date: January 2019

BMW is recycling several of its older commercials to demonstrate how certified pre-owned BMW vehicles run like new, with a wink to the consumer. The used creative, TV spots, radio ads, billboards and digital banners that were originally used to advertise the vehicles when new, are now being re-employed to sell the same vehicles now that they are certified pre-owned.
The idea was developed by BMW’s lead creative agency, GS&P and to create the campaign, the team went through years of BMW commercials from other agencies in the US and globally, going back to 2013, since five years is the oldest BMW Certified vehicle people can buy.
The only thing that’s new is the branding of their pre-owned program, which has been renamed BMW Certified, with the tagline ‘Like New Again.’ Each spot also gets a new voiceover by Chris Pine, who comments on the age of the spot or even how great his younger self sounds. In ‘Handyman’ he restates the premise, that a guy pulls over to impress his girlfriend by ‘fixing’ a problem that doesn’t exist. They knowing Pine states that the guy is fibbing to the woman because the pre-owned car comes certified, so everything’s been checked.

Ad Agency: Goodby Silverstein & Partners
Client: BMW of North America
VP of Marketing: Trudy Hardy
Brand Management and Communications: Wolfgang Gross
Pre-Owned Marketing Manager: Lauren Martens

Co-Chairman: Rich Silverstein
Co-Chairman: Jeff Goodby
Chief Creative Officer: Margaret Johnson
Creative Director: Roger Baran
Associate Creative Director: Kurt Mills
Associate Creative Director: Florian Marquardt
Art Director: Charles Lee
Copywriter: Craig Shervin
Designer: Fabio Zuccolini
Associate Creative Director – Designer: Eduardo Quadra

Director of Production: Tod Puckett
Executive Producer: Benton Roman
Producer: Sam Tarde

Account Services
Group Account Director: Theo Abel
Account Director: Britta Savik
Account Manager: Jacob Stitzel
Assistant Account Manager: Clayton Bishop

Brand and Communication Strategy
Brand Strategist: Mackenzie Beer
Group Communication Strategy Director: Dong Kim

Business Affairs
Senior Business Affairs Manager: Chrissy Shearer

Editorial Company
Company name: eLevel
Executive Producer: Michael Damiani
Senior Producer: Luke Dillon
Editor: Erik Johnson
Assistant Editor: Jocelyn Carranza
Audio Engineer: David Michel-Ruddy

Company name: Moving Picture Company
Color Executive Producer: Meghan Lang
Color Producer: Damian Winterbottom
Colorist: Kristopher Smale

Company name: Moving Picture Company
Executive Producer: Karen Anderson
VFX Producer: Christian Downes
2D Artists: Noah Caddis

Company name: Lime Studios
Executive Producer: Susie Boyajan
Producer: Kayla Phungglan
Mixer: Rohan Young
Assistant Mixer: Ben Tomastik

End Treatment Graphics
Company name: eLevel
Director of eLevel: Michael Damiani
Executive Producer: Luke Dillon
Creative Director: Mike Landry
Technical Director: Nathan Shipley
Motion Artist: Zach Seidner
Motion Artist: Luke Davisson

Tags: United States

Video of BMW Certified: Astronaut

Video of BMW Certified: Handyman

Video of BMW Certified: Special Delivery, Part 1

Video of BMW Certified: Special Delivery, Part 2

Video of BMW Certified: Dog

Video of BMW Certified: Mother In Law


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: 'It's Not Fitness. It's Life'

Date: January 2019

The luxury lifestyle brand Equinox debuts Life – a short film that explores life beyond fitness – as it kick-starts its annual campaign to dovetail with a month renowned for personal growth and improvement.
The US-based gym and lifestyle brand has decided to drop its 'Commit to Something' tagline which has been the focus for the past few years, the film instead re-envisions Equinox's original mantra: "It's not fitness. It's life" which was first introduced in 2004.
Directed by photographer and Showstudio director, Nick Knight, the short film is the first in an ongoing season of collaborations.
In line with the: "It's not fitness. It's life" tagline, the film illustrates the profound influence fitness has on life outside the gym by exploring life's elements – spirit, energy, light, water, love, life and voice.
To capture the spirit of 'life' Knight involved a cast of inspiring talent to embody the qualities of each component, which he weaves throughout the narrative.
Grammy Award winner Ciara represents spirit in a dynamic dance sequence, while water is organically brought to life by models Hannah Ferguson and Richard Ampaw.
The ballet dancer Sergei Polunin, who embodies 'life' itself, is tasked with combining all the elements that have come before through a kinetic finale dance.

Tags: United States, creative works, equinox

Video of It's Not Fitness. It's Life.


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Brand Positioning

Brand Refresh And New Digital Experience for Ombudsman Service



For some, complaining isn’t easy – but Ombudsman Services has created a new industry-leading digital platform to ease the resolution process for disputes between consumers and businesses. It has also launched a new brand identity that reflects the future direction of the business and brand strategy. 

Defining the brand and what digital means for customers and clients has led the digital experience design and helped shape the overall consumer experience. 

 Working in partnership with digital agency Code Computerlove and branding design specialists Halo, the not-for-profit organisation has created a clear brand proposition and digital strategy that is guiding its digital transformation programme.

The new site – – has been completely redesigned by Code Computerlove with clearer navigation and user journey. The tone of voice and content has been created to reflect Ombudsman Services’ brand proposition and identity, created by Halo, with straightforward, clear and friendly language.

As the UK’s largest independent multi-sector ombudsman, Ombudsman Services resolved more than 90,000 consumer complaints in 2017 alone. As specialists in the energy and communications sectors, the organisation works with businesses to help them improve their complaint-handling process and customer service more generally.

Jodi Hamilton, head of marketing and communications at Ombudsman Services, said: “The new digital functionality and features we have introduced follow in-depth consumer research – specifically looking at how users are behaving within digital channels and their future demands.

“But this is just the beginning. Digital interfaces provide unrivalled insights and we will be using ongoing performance measurement to continually evolve our digital effectiveness.

“Our aim is to respond to customer needs through the digitalisation of the business, aligning digital with the changing business and brand strategy.

“Improving our digital capabilities lies at the heart of our organisational strategy and the changes that we have introduced are all born out of in-depth user and insight into customer needs.

“Visitors to our site now benefit from a new design, an easy-to-navigate website and a fast, intuitive digital complaints process. The improved platform has also increased internal efficiencies and our ability to respond quickly – something that both consumers and businesses have come to expect in the digital age.

“We also have a wealth of data and we’re exploring new ideas for added value services and ways of working with our partners.

“Overall our aim is to appeal to a wider audience, increase users and make our services accessible and easy to use. We want to deliver a best in breed service to consumers as well as service providers signed up to us.”

Nick Ellis, strategy director at Halo, added: “Working with Ombudsman Services has been an inspiring journey. Developing a strategic proposition and design architecture, that’s both representative of the business today and as it evolves for the future. With all this in mind, we have produced a brand that’s digital first, designed for contemporary consumers, accessible and engaging. A brand that does the right thing.”

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Brand Positioning

Not just your standard logo: is it time to animate your branding?



Logos and branding live the majority of their lives in the static world of paper and print. When used for digital there's not much variation or excitement, except maybe for a quirky loading page animation with an element that might jump up and down but that’s about as good as it gets. As we move into 2019 this overlooked element could be getting a better and bigger part in the branding line up.

Recently the website building company, Squarespace, upgraded its branding from a static and rounded logo to a sharp edged, elegant – and get this – constantly moving visual. The logo was created in collaboration with DIA, who are a New York based creative agency. Their aim was to see if Squarespace could be identified not only through visuals but also movement. The logo now sits on a face of a 3D cube which swipes and rotates to the other sides of the cube, these in turn show the other logo marks (abstract, word etc.) of Squarespace. Through the use of this movement the logo embodies its name and literally becomes a square moving through space.

With the use of digital design, brands are able to communicate through a visual animated movement instead of only static marks, innovating how consumers see and interact with brands. Logo designers will now be forced to add more on to the method of logo building, which usually involves hours of sitting at a desk measuring and drawing to create the perfect logo, and now think about not only how it will look but how it will move.

An animated logo can be uploaded to multiple social media platforms. Video content is widely popular on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook etc. and creating an animated logo allows users to interact and share the brand in a way they were never able to do before. People can associate brands with these animated and fun elements.

The concept of creating an animated logo is not where this needs to stop. It can be furthered into the branding itself. Companies can also create sharable animated elements such as stickers and GIF’s to promote their brand. An example of an agency using this is Moross Studios, who earlier this year released a set of personalised stickers for Instagram Stories using phrases and visuals that best represent them as a company.

This kind of interaction on social platforms between user and brand shows how animated branding elements, such as the logos, have evolved from the static printed logo to becoming an interactive digital experience. Conveying how it was once an overlooked element of the branding process but now could be the next big step in creating a memorable brand to consumer relationships.

Emma Schilperoort is a content producer at Wilderness

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Brand Positioning

Your Ultimate Guide to International ECommerce Expansion



If you are like half of all US eCommerce retailers, you only sell in the US. You could be missing out on a terrific growth opportunity in international eCommerce. ECommerce is king in South Korea and China. China’s eCommerce market has surpassed the US to be the biggest in the world, according to Forbes.

Plenty of Chinese businesses have found a way to sell to US consumers and ship those orders cheaply (though this may change with the withdrawal of the US from an international postal treaty). The challenge for US businesses that want to break into markets in Asia, and also in Europe, Australia, and South America, is to find a way to deliver the same great service to international customers that they offer domestically.

The internet has made cross-border communication instantaneous. You will still have some hurdles to overcome if you want to expand your eCommerce business internationally, such as establishing ecommerce fulfillment services in your major international markets. Here is your ultimate guide to expanding your eCommerce business internationally.

Opportunities and Challenges of Expanding Your ECommerce Business Internationally

Shopify predicts that international eCommerce sales will reach $4 trillion within the next two years. If you want to tap into the global potential of your eCommerce business, you’ll need to invest in some additional infrastructure to facilitate international sales.

You don’t have to take on the world all at once. Your international growth can be organic. You can start with one country and expand incrementally. Once you have mastered the challenges of selling internationally in one country (and reaped the rewards, in higher profits), you’ll be better prepared to take your eCommerce business to other cross-border markets.

International Ecommerce Markets

A Shortcut for Expanding into International ECommerce

If you don’t have the resources to build out separate websites for different countries, that doesn’t mean you can’t start to expand your eCommerce business on a global scale. Amazon, eBay, Etsy, and Newegg are just some of the eCommerce platforms that offer US sellers the opportunity to connect with international buyers. You can also work with marketplaces based outside the US, such as Alibaba (China’s online retail giant) or its international offshoot AliExpress, Mercado Libre (the largest eCommerce site in Latin America), or Flipkart the biggest player in eCommerce in India), to name just a few.

In a blog post, Etsy reported that one seller got almost a fifth of her sales from overseas the year after she started offering international shipping. When you sell on marketplaces such as Etsy and eBay, all you have to do to become an international seller is accommodate international shipping in your shop. In most cases, you can decide which countries you will ship to. This will allow you to try out a few international sales before you add more countries to your repertoire.

You can find lists of international eCommerce sites online, and they are worth considering as part of your research and planning for taking your eCommerce business international.

Where is this Growth Happening?

In 2018, China’s eCommerce sales are expected to hit $672 billion, in US dollars. China presents the biggest opportunity for US eCommerce businesses to expand internationally, but it may not be the easiest market for US-based eCommerce businesses to expand into. US companies have to worry about price competition and knockoffs in the Chinese market. According to a survey by Pitney Bowes, the cost of shipping was the number one reason Chinese customers decided not to buy from international sellers, followed by long delivery time. Fulfillment to Asia can be a tough hurdle to overcome when you first expand your eCommerce business internationally.

Because of the distance from the US, plus the added difficulty of language and cultural barriers, China’s huge eCommerce market might not be the first stop on your route to global eCommerce dominance.

There are other countries that may be easier for US eCommerce businesses to break into. The UK has the third biggest eCommerce market, with $99 billion in sales. Japan, Germany, and France all have robust eCommerce markets that could be good expansion targets. South Korea, Russia and Brazil are also among the top markets for eCommerce sellers.

And don’t forget Canada, which is probably the easiest place for US eCommerce businesses to expand internationally, because of proximity, cultural similarities, and the ease of cross-border trade with our closest neighbor. Canada is a $30 billion online market and the low-hanging fruit for international eCommerce expansion by US brands.

Is Your eCommerce Business Ready to Go Global?

Not every US eCommerce business will do well in the international market. It’s important to consider the competition and need for your products in various countries before deciding where and how to expand.

You will also have to resolve questions about logistics before you invest in a new international sales channel. Plus, there is a business determination to be made about whether you have the resources you need to serve this new market.

Questions You Should Ask Yourself Before Expanding to International ECommerce

Here are some questions to help you determine whether your eCommerce business is ready to expand internationally.

Will your product work in another country?

Before you invest in a new website and branding to appeal to, for example, German customers, you’ll need to do some research to determine if your product will work for the German eCommerce market.

You will have to answer some questions by trial and error, but you can eliminate a lot of uncertainty and save yourself money by doing research and understanding your new market before you dive in.

Can you ship it?

International shipping can be both expensive and slow. The expense, in particular, is a deterrent for shoppers in many countries, according to the Pitney Bowes survey.

Some eCommerce businesses choose to work with local shippers and warehouse their products in fulfillment centers close to their customers, for shorter shipping times and lower shipping costs. As you expand your eCommerce business internationally, this solution may make sense for you. At the beginning, however, you will probably want to work with your existing fulfillment resources while you test the market. Make sure your 3PL company will work with international shipping companies and find out which service offers the most reliable, fastest, and least expensive shipper to your destination country.

Don’t assume that high shipping cost is an insurmountable barrier to your entry into international eCommerce. If your product is unusual or hard to find in another country, customers may be happy to pay a higher shipping fee and wait patiently. Their reward will be receiving a product they can’t get at home.

Can you build cultural fluency?

If you sell floral beach coverups, are they too bright for Northern Europeans or do you offer a splash of color they crave and can’t find at home? Can you translate your sizing so German customers aren’t disappointed by getting something that doesn’t fit? Is the market for your product already saturated or is no one selling a product like yours in Germany because Germans won’t buy it?

If there isn’t yet a market for your products in another country, you could be a pioneer and own the niche for your items. That could require an investment of marketing dollars to educate your new customers and raise awareness. You’ll have to decide if you can afford the capital outlay, with the knowledge that there is a real risk of failure if the residents of the other country never warm to your product.

Another consideration is cultural sensitivity. Cultural references and jokes may not translate or may be taken very differently in Germany than the US. A product that residents of one country find indispensable could seem frivolous and wasteful to those in another.

Do you have the right technology?

You may need to make some technical changes to your eCommerce site to be compatible with sales to a foreign market. That could include expanding the types of payment you accept to include the preferred methods in your customers’ country.

One important aspect of going global, especially if you want to expand into developing nations like India and South Africa, is a mobile-friendly site. Mobile phone adoption rates are high in the developing world, and your customers are more likely to have internet access through a smartphone than a computer.

Can your operations handle international eCommerce?

Before you make the leap into international eCommerce expansion, consider whether your operations team can put the systems in place to handle the needs of international customers. Your customer service should be ready to respond in the customers’ time zone and language, if different from yours.

You should also make a plan to support the marketing channels you’ll need to reach cross-border customers. You might want to create a web portal and social media accounts for each international market. Consider ad buys that target your international customers as well. Your marketing team will need to be prepared to handle the extra work that comes with this international expansion.

Do you have a plan to deal with fraud?

All eCommerce businesses have to build trust with their customers. This is particularly important in cross-border eCommerce transactions. You need to assure your customers that you are for real and will deliver what you promise them.

You will need to be able to confirm that your customers are legitimate, as well. You’ll need a system to verify that international shipping addresses are real, to avoid costly mistakes and potential fraud.

If you’re ready to take your eCommerce business international, you open yourself to a huge growth opportunity. Not only do you gain access to a world of customers; you also build international relationships that can enrich your business. The cross-border cross-pollination of ideas and resources could lead to business opportunities you haven’t yet imagined.

If you feel that your eCommerce business has the resources on hand to take on the international marketplace, there are still a few more challenges to be aware of before you get started.

Understanding the Challenges of Expanding Your eCommerce Business Internationally

Expanding your eCommerce business internationally can be as simple as offering international shipping in your eBay store. But if you’re serious about connecting with customers in other countries and building an international following, you’ll need to do more to reach out to your cross-border market.

Here are some of the challenges to consider as you grow your global eCommerce empire.

Duties and taxes

You’ll need to understand the taxes you need to collect on sales to different countries. For example, sales to the UK must include that country’s VAT tax in the price. It’s the opposite of the US, where many states don’t allow retailers to list prices that include sales tax.

Some countries charge a duty when you ship orders over a certain dollar amount, and you may need to fill out customs forms for your orders. You’ll have to factor all these charges and the time needed to deal with these regulations into your plan and pricing for each country.


Google Translate is pretty good, but you’ll need to do better if you want web pages that read well in the language of your target customers. Work with translators fluent not only in the language, but the culture and idioms of the residents of your target country.

Local customs

Even if you stick to markets that speak English, you’ll need to make sure your content speaks to your audience in each country and doesn’t include words or images that are offensive to local sensibilities.

Payment options

You’ll want to expand the types of payment you accept to include the preferred methods for each country you sell into. PayPal, Stripe, and Apple Pay have international reach, but you could lose sales if you don’t include your customers’ favorite options such as Alipay and UnionPay (China), Mercado Pago (Latin America), WorldPay (Latin America, Europe), and Skrill and SEPA (Europe).

Preferred Payments for International Ecommerce

Local currencies

Many online payment methods will allow customers to pay you in US dollars. However, confusion about your pricing could slow your international growth. You’ll increase your sales when you translate your prices into foreign currencies and accept payment in those currencies. Plus, if you want your business to fit in with local customs, pricing your products in the local currency will help you sell like a native.

Shipping options

As you prepare to sell internationally, set up accounts with carriers that best serve your target markets overseas. FedEx and UPS both offer international shipping, as does the US Postal Service. German-based DHL has long been a leader in cross-border freight. The best choice is delivery service that has the best penetration and most reliable service in the country you plan to sell to.

Customer service

If your customer service hours are 8:00 am to 5:00 pm in Boise, you’ll miss customer calls from Beijing or Brussels. Consider using a call center in the time zone of the country it serves. It’s also a good idea to use agents who speak that country’s language.

Providing customer service that’s responsive to international time zones, languages, and cultural expectations will get you positive reviews. And it will help your eCommerce business grow faster in international markets.


International customers will need to make returns, too. You’ll need to set up a system that allows customers to make and track cross-border returns and provide timely refunds.


One of the biggest challenges when you expand your eCommerce business internationally may be learning how to make your eCommerce site visible in a variety of markets. This could also be one of the most fun and rewarding pieces of your international eCommerce expansion. Consider partnering with local resources to improve your reach in markets that are new to you.

The list of challenges can seem overwhelming. But ask yourself where you want your business to be in five or 10 years. Do you want to plod along with incremental growth? Or do you see yourself presiding over a thriving, international eCommerce enterprise? If it’s the latter, there’s no better time to start than now.

Top Tips to Build an International eCommerce Business

Here are four things that will put you on the right path to expanding your eCommerce business internationally. A little legwork up front will save you expensive headaches down the line.

1. Research, Research, Research

Once you’re ready to expand your eCommerce business internationally, your first step is research. This will help you figure out where it makes sense to expand and how to introduce your product to a new market.

Research which country might be most receptive to your products. You might be surprised by what you find out. Your best opportunities will be in countries with small, but growing niches for the goods you sell. Great tools for assessing market opportunities include Google Trends and Answer the Public.

You can also find tools to help you learn the ropes of selling internationally at the U.S. Small Business Administration and

Decide the best country for your entry into international eCommerce. Then learn as much as possible about your new market. Find out if there are certain cities or regions most suited to your initial launch. Make a list of national holidays and customs. Tailor your web presence and your message to your new customer base. This could include rebranding or repositioning some of your products for that country.

2. Plan Your Market Entry

Your eCommerce expansion will go better if you take time to plan it out. Make sure that you have all the pieces in place, such as payment methods for the local market. Optimize your website for mobile. Have your customer service team ready to spring into action when needed.

3. Plan Your Logistics

Work with your fulfillment provider to make sure your international shipping options are ready to go as soon as the orders roll in. This includes putting a plan in place so you can handle internationals returns without busting your profit margin.

4. Optimize Your Marketing Strategies

Social media that speaks to customers in your new market is an effective, inexpensive way to reach your new audience. Consider partnering with local consultants to make sure your message matches your market. Don’t be afraid to let your new customers know where you’re from, if that adds to the appeal of your eCommerce business. However, make sure you speak to them with a perspective that they will understand and appreciate.

Expand Locally, Sell Globally

You may hit some bumps in the road when you’re expanding your eCommerce business internationally. Your additional revenue will make it worthwhile. As shipping, payment, and communications channels become ever more globalized, international eCommerce will become the norm.

By being an early adopter, you can establish yourself in the international market while the opportunities to grow and compete are still broad.

International shipping requirements

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