Having spent the last 5 years in a senior role at BEcause London delivering campaigns for leading FMCG brands, Meredith Cranmer has recently returned to her native shores to head-up our new Australian office.
We talk to her about her career at BEcause, Aussie culture and her perspectives on conversation marketing.
Tell us a bit about your time with BEcause and what led you to set up the Australian office.
I started with BEcause in 2006, working with Scottish & Newcastle (now Heineken) on The Biggest Round campaign, and I’m still very proud of what we achieved. It was a massive learning curve that involved large-scale activations and a high level of understanding on how to get the best out of field staff. Since then I’ve worked with a diverse range of clients that includes Durex, Oxfam and Perrier (whom I got to take to an exclusive event in Ibiza...a definite highlight of my time at BEcause so far). In the back of my mind I’ve always fancied being part of starting an agency, but also wanted to get back to the southern hemisphere. Life has a funny way of taking a turn and creating opportunities for you. Sydney is an amazing city, so beautiful and with a lovely vibe.
What have you got planned at the Australian office? Any exciting projects coming up that you can mention?
We are currently settling in to our office space in Surry Hills. I can’t reveal any names of new clients yet, but with summer coming up we are working on some exciting event concepts which definitely make the most of the Sydney summer sun!
Which BEcause campaign are you most proud of and why?
Ahh, so many to choose from. But the one that stands out in recent memory is the Eurostar ‘Highspeed Theatre’ at the Start festival last year which was six weeks from concept to activation. Taking serious messages like sustainability and bringing them to life in a fun and engaging way via theatre provided a great example of why brand experience is such an effective conversation tool.
Which brand would you most like to work with and why?
Can I be cheesy and say Apple? Not only do I love the products, but it’s a great example of an ‘experience’ brand. They have thought about the consumer across every touch-point.
Which Australian campaign has been the most inspiring to you recently?
Probably not a campaign as such, but Sydney recently staged the most amazing festival called Vivid. The city was taken over after dark by spectacular interactive light installations and projections, awesome music and creative workshops. The highlight was definitely the immersive light projections on the Sydney Opera House sails.
What are the cultural differences (if any) between Australian and UK consumers and how do you tailor your approach to suit?
I think the primary difference relates to lifestyle and this is heavily influenced by the weather. People in Australia really value the outdoor life and being active, it’s no wonder they are so good at sport! On the flipside I think the UK weather means that we spend more time together inside so some of our interests are more culturally-based. On a deeper human level we all have the same wants and needs, whether that’s spending more time with friends and family, to fall in love, have less of a commute and so on. The key is to understand different ‘tribes’ of people on a local level - where they live and what their interests and motivations are.
Why is conversation marketing the best way for brands to build reputations?
As a brand owner I think you have to understand that conversations are happening all the time, both good and bad. Why wouldn’t you want to join the conversation so you can listen and learn, address the bad conversations and build on the good? Conversation marketing helps brands stay in touch with what their consumers are saying and actively encourages two-way dialogue. By listening and responding you are in a much better position to influence the way your brand is perceived and spoken about. Email Meredith here or check our website for details on how to get in touch with BEcause Australia.