Let’s suggest national brand is waking up to our local world; and if the Hollister kids long ago got mobile and social, how do they now get local?

Let’s talk about local. Everyone else is, it seems.

In particular, Marketing Week, who this week ran a decent piece on why national brand should seek out local spaces. ‘The brand benefits of going local’.

That there is something going on in local right now should not come as too much of a surprise; we have already highlighted the fact that BIA/Kelsey see a local-mobile market exploding in the US - driven in large part by national brand seeking the same local space that both MarketingWeek and LocalWorld see unfolding here in the UK.

Little wonder, therefore, to find the new team at LocalWorld flagging up that ‘trend’ for all they are worth… the sub-head makes for an interesting read, too.

‘Targeting niche groups isn’t just an online trend. Brands are finding that with innovation in regional press, local activity is a valuable tool.’

‘Innovation in regional press…’ Therein lies the challenge. And has done since the moment that the Web was born.

For many a nice reason, I’ve found myself knocking around with the bright, young things of London ad land over the last six months. Those paid to consult; to develop marketing strategies to be pitched at CMO and board level.

Brunswick are one of those; their message is clear… that there is something going on in this local space. ‘Local communities have become a force to be reckoned with,’ was one of the takeaway messages from a recent Review.

And as more and more senior corporate comms teams spread the word that national brands need to re-visit the world that is local, so that Marketing Week article will resonate more and more with those that actually hold the advertising purse strings.

So, let’s do the journey.

One of my take-aways from mingling with the bright, young things of national ad agency land is that they ‘get’ two of the three pillars of Eric Schmidt’s wisdom – with bells and whistles on. They are more convinced by mobile and social than anyone; they have lived their late twenty-something London lives around both paradigms.

It is the third – local – that causes the problem; the mind-shift that rocks their top-down, London world. That view that Leeds is a small village somewhere north of Kilburn.

But if Schimdt – the exec chairman of Google, no less – is right; that the winning future platforms will be something that involves mobile, social and local; then AdLand needs to swiftly re-calibrate its thinking.

That if their client – say, Hollister – has picked up on this trend, how do we deliver a campaign to match? That ticks all three of the boxes prescribed by Schmidt? A campaign that is mobile, social and local…

And if you want to layer on another wind of change blowing up Charlotte Street, how about throwing Cindy Gallop into the mix? That advertising needs to be a force for good; that it needs to view the world… ‘From the bottom up…’

And this is where the local landscape in the UK makes for such fascinating viewing right now.

In the last week OfCom has awarded two of the biggest ‘Local TV’ licences at its disposal – to the Evening Standard for its London concession and, today, YourTV for Manchester.

Read the rationale behind ESTV’s success and it is fascinating – and proves, again, that even in the very bowels of OfCom, someone is seeing something afoot in local.

‘ESTV’s proposals also provided important opportunities for close local community involvement, taking into account, in particular, its proposals for IPTV services in each London borough which would be included in its programming commitments…

IPTV services – ie free from that Crystal Palace TV transmitter – for 33 London boroughs. ESTV committed themselves to drilling down. Deeper into local.

So here is the first challenge for the LocalWorld. And the rest of the regional newspaper groups in their current, tree-stainer guise. They are not the only people about to fight for Hollister’s local ad dollars.

Here is the second one. Let’s drill Hollister into our local world. Take, Cambridge.

I need mobile, social… and local. So, Iliffe’s Cambridge News (circ 22,500).


I see no ads. Its 2013. I see no ads.

I have no doubt that – right now – LocalWorld are running round like no-one’s business building a networked platform across all their various properties that will allow the cool kids running the Hollister campaign to ‘get’ why they should be on that platform.

I suspect that the ’sell’ of LeedsOnLine will be less of a challenge; there’s a ‘circulation’ of 53,000. A ‘circulation’ figure that London agency ‘gets’.

At some stage there will be a Cambridge ‘TV’. Just as Leeds TV is arriving down the track. A high-speed track in the case of that little village somewhere north of Kilburn.

But you get the drift. If London AdLand gets what BIA/Kelsey is predicting; sees big client benefit – aka cash – out of taking Hollister into local, then who is going to reap the benefit?

And, right now, I don’t see it saving those who are still staining trees.

To talk more about all this… and a whole lot more besides – come and join us in Newcastle on March 5; for #1000flowers.

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