Joseph Sassoon's Blog

Brand Stories that Make You Click

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Posted by Joseph Sassoon on October 22, 2017

The Values of Nike

The commercial that Nike launched for the new NBA season a few days ago sums up the values at the core of the brand. The ad opens on a young kid named Dante Grand holding a basketball as he stares at a neighbourhood basketball match. Then he starts dreaming about his future, and we follow him in the ups and downs of his career as a young basketball player. The film is 2 minutes long but it seems to go very fast, and that’s proof that Nike has a deep understanding of how to build a good story.


Posted by Joseph Sassoon on May 14, 2017

Domino’s and IoT: Reinventing the Pizza Story

As something coming from an oven and deeply rooted in tradition, pizza may seem a low-tech type of food. Indeed, if you just think of what you eat – that delicious, universally loved combination of dough, tomato and cheese – it is.  But that’s not keeping Domino’s from taking a very advanced technological approach to all the surroundings. By doing so, the company is radically changing the pizza experience and its story.

In the last few months, Domino’s has announced a series of initiatives that are going to make the notion of eating pizza very different. In March the company’s CEO Ray Pasquale told Channele2e that Domino’s franchises are using Internet of Things (IoT) sensors to reduce food waste and increase health code standards. In April the company’s European branch presented Domino’s Robotic Unit, a futuristic robot with wheels that will ensure timely delivery of pizza within a 1mile radius around the franchises. The company is also testing the use of drones in New Zealand. (see articles by Ty Trumbull, Channele2e and Jennifer Faull, The Drum News).


Posted by Joseph Sassoon on May 3, 2017

A New Book on Customer Experience

After almost a year of determined work my friend Alberto Maestri and I have finally published our last book, of which we are very proud. It’s called Customer Experience Design and it’s about how companies can design memorable brand experiences.

How relevant is this topic? Indeed, its importance can hardly be overestimated. Today all main companies are competing not just in improving their products and services but also in the so-called experience economy. And this new dimension of the economy is more and more digital – meaning that that the most competitive companies are those which succeed in providing highly satisfying online experiences, that are seamlessly connected to the physical ones.

The book contains a lot of references to many authors who in recent times have analysed these developments, providing excellent insights. It also includes a charming preface by Robert Rose and a stimulating final comment by Cosimo Accoto. Compared to the other authors dealing with the same issues, our main point of difference is the special role we assign to all kind of digitally shared experiences.


Posted by Joseph Sassoon on April 12, 2017

Storytelling lessons from the Pepsi ad case

A week after the launch of the Pepsi ad that has inflamed the Internet, the dust is starting to settle. And it becomes clearer why so many people found that ill-advised video so offensive.

It’s definitely unusual to concentrate such a long list of blunders in one single commercial. From a storytelling point of view, it might be useful to take the most troubling ones into consideration. The exercise could be beneficial to the Pepsi brand (learning from one’s mistakes is the first step towards redemption) and to all the other companies mulling to address the Internet-savvy, culturally aware Millennial generation.


Posted by Joseph Sassoon on March 7, 2017

To Make Your Ad Memorable, Look for a Plot Twist!

Too many adverts today are flat and uninteresting. Some instead have incredible impact, are easily remembered and often shared. Curiously, many in the advertising business are unaware that in most cases the latter have a precise element in common: a plot twist.

plot twist

This element is pretty close to the roots of humour – but should be taken seriously. In fact, it could be worth a lot of money by helping make your ads much more impactful and memorable.

Consider a simple sentence: “Once I had multiple personalities, but now we are feeling well.” If this sentence makes you smile, it’s because from a first frame of reference (mental awareness) it jumps to a second one (mental insanity) in a sudden and surprising way.