Monthly Archives: November 2010

Introducing Charles Writes

Following ING Direct Australia’s rebrand spearheaded by the adoption of Charles the Orangutan as brand ambassador, digital engagement agency The Dubs has moved the bank into its next phase with social media.

The Dubs has launched a conversation campaign under the moniker of “Charles Writes” via Facebook to create an emotive connection with people in social media,  uncluttered by standard industry bank product messaging.

While Charles is a fictional character (and obviously an Orangutan) he gave us an opportunity to build his persona and explore human emotional aspects common to all of us, we couldn’t do that while Billy Connolly was the face of ING Direct – there’s a bit of an irony to that!

Charles Writes is not a standard marketing approach of direct bank messaging, so we crafted a back story to Charles and an ongoing story arc that will be exposed over time.

It’s about creating a suspension of disbelief, when we watch a movie or read a book we all know the characters aren’t real but good story telling still allows us to relate on a personal level with these characters. We wanted to test if this approach could be applied to Charles Writes and whether through Facebook we could generate a two-way dialogue we our audience.

We’re pleased with the response so far given the campaign premise was to test the validity of storytelling associated with the brand. It’s all been organic growth as we have not started any content seeding strategy at this point to really drive activity.

We’re seeing people are overwhelmingly sticking with us as this story unfolds. We can count the people who have unliked Charles Writes on one hand (it’s four!).

To create the character of Charles Writes The Dubs has employed the talents of a contemporary social commentator from mainstream media.

The Dubs worked with their commentator and ING Direct’s marketing team to create the ongoing story arc that is progressing through themes such as food;  given food festivals are rolling out, travel; as peoples’ attention is turning to holidays in the lead up to summer, and gadgets with Christmas present giving in mind.

However, there is an underlying theme that all people can relate to – love.

During this conversation campaign, Charles is going to meet a girl and talk with the Facebook audience about things like tips for first dates or what to do when you meet the family. These are experiences about developing relationships common to us all.

Outside of the Facebook fan page at The Dubs created a microsite to introduce Charles as ING Direct’s new brand ambassador and the rebrand launch online advertising campaign.

Charles also has a voice on Twitter with his Facebook comments being rebroadcast as tweets while associated videos are played out through Facebook and YouTube.

For more information on ING Direct,

Charles on TV:

Charles on Facebook:

Charles’ dedicated microsite:

Development of The X Factor website – 2010

The X Factor

We’ve had The X Factor for seven years – quite literally…

Our relationship is strengthened each time we collaborate on a project and we continue to support Talkback THAMES Digital (part of the FremantleMedia Group) augmenting development activity with, technical, multiplatform and social media advice and strategy.

In 2010 we produced the 7th series for The X Factor online and were tasked to increase site traffic from the 100m unique visitors benchmark our previous efforts have delivered (The Dubs has now launched the previous six series roll outs).

Year on year traffic figures demonstrate a relentless increase in the format’s popularity and our agency’s positioning as one that uniquely understands the correlation between content and audience behaviours.

The website is underpinned with The Dub’s proprietary content platform, custom configured to deliver multiplatform publishing and social media integration.

In 2009 industry recognition for The Dubs efforts was formalised when The X Factor online won the Broadcast Magazine award for Best Multiplatform Project.

We’ve just kicked off the development of 2011’s X Factor outing and are excited to be working collaboratively with Talkback Thames Digital for the 8th year!


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