Friday Thing/k: The Post That Will Make You Call Your Grandma


Hi, all.

Hope you’ve been well.

Welcome to Friday Thing/k – a brand storytelling canvas where I’d like to share with you smart, creative, inspiring, engaging, cool, and innovative content marketing ideas that take my digital marketing breath away once a week.

My grandma is my hero.

As a child, I remember her personality being bigger than life. Not much has changed, but back then it all seemed so much bigger. She knew everything and taught me heaps during the years up until I moved to Australia. We still keep in close touch, speaking once a week at our regular time — only in very short conversations, though, because it’s “an overseas call.”

Try to explain to your grandmother what VOIP is, or getting her to look at the camera when your mum is skype-ing you in.

The beauty of technology is that it makes the life of a digital native user easier. The challenge, on the other hand, is that it changes rapidly, and if you’re a novice like my grandma…

Those who live far away from home know the thing you tend to miss the most is sharing the day-to-day experiences with your loved ones.

This is the concept behind this week’s story:

I love the following campaign, which I’ve discovered on creativity-online, on so many levels…

SoftBank, a Japanese telecom company, addresses the missing out of day-to-day family life through the eyes of a far away from grandma that can’t be there to watch her grandkids growing up. By connecting one grandmother’s analog machines to the digital technology her family uses, the brand pulls at the heart strings of their audience.

A few other things I picked up on:

  • It provides a real value to consumers
  • It’s super innovative as it connects offline + online to bridge the tech gap between generations
  • It’s so creative
  • It’s a moving film
  • I love the soundtrack
  • It’s a beautiful story

Spoiler: A grandmother living in a remote area where smartphone penetration is low carries out the experiment while her son and his family live in Osaka. The family’s social media posts and photos are incorporated into a printed newspaper format and are delivered daily to the grandma’s mailbox. Her old-fashioned dial-up phone is connected to the TV so the family can video call without a computer, and smartphone videos are sent to her VHS player.

Even more cool stuff was testing, seeming almost as if they were taken from one of J.K. Rowling’s books!

Below, watch the video, and check out the project website where you can explore more how offline became online and vice versa.


I don’t know about you, but I’m dialing my grandmother right NOW.

While I’m calling her and before you click away, Ramadan, the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, started earlier this week (June 6th). Fasting in Ramadan is not only abstaining from food, but also from evil actions, thoughts, and words.

Last year, Coca-Cola Middle East launched one of my favorite campaigns for Ramadan in an effort to promote a better world. One without labels and prejudices which they actually did by removing the labels from its cans.

This film, created by Ogilvy Dubai, speaks to the special project. Just wait until the lights go up… Ramadan Kareem (the proper greeting)!

See you next week.

As always, feedback is more than welcome and needed, so please leave comments below.

Additionally, if you have any brand stories in mind, I would love to discover it.

Just call me Joe.

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