Monday, April 30, 2007


Got through interview from last week, in final round now :)
Only issue is im running out of holidays at work what with planning a wedding and all!

Wish me luck!

Friday, April 27, 2007

Brand for Life

After my recent post on ecologically sound bags breaking really easily, I must give huge praise to Sainsburys for the scheme they are running today.

Instead of the usual plastic bags they are giving away free their thicker bags for life, with the promise that when it breaks you can take it in and get a new one free. That is brilliant.

Encouraging people to help make a difference, whilst also giving them something useful. It shows good thinking on the part of the store, and will certainly have a positive effect on their brand image.

Etc. (etc)

1. I think I have Laryngitis... my girlfriend had it and im pretty sure ive caught it off her! Luckily I only felt ill the day after my interview.

2. Had an interview this week in London for an Account management role. Hoping to hear back soon. I also got (sort of) offered a 6 month job doing 'digital' project management at a small (but growing) agency. Lots to think about, especially as I still have people from several agencies (and one brand) to have "chats" with next time im in London.

3. The next My Brain Hurts - Northern Planning Summit is in the process of being organised. I shall keep you all updated. After the appearance of many of Love last time, its going to be a tough one to beat!

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Britain. 12 Types of People. Thats it. No More. No Less.

GAH! Its ok to look at customers in different market groups or target areas; but why do companies insist on categorising the entire population of a country into 5 or 6 different profiles?

Faris pointed out a great article on The Register about a leaked Phones4U document which explains to staff the 12 profiles of people that enter their store. See if you can spot the patronising one...

Top Gear Tigers, for example are men between 25 and 44, who "work hard - for the cash", the briefing tell us. The Top Gun Tiger cluster size is 1.16 million.

Flashing Blade is a bloke between 15 and 24 who enjoys "going to the gym" as well as "taking risks, drugs and the odd street fight"

Scariest of all are Soccer Dads (aged 35 to 44), however. Soccer Dad may be getting on a bit, but he'll have Flashing Blade. He "lives and breathes football", likes Question of Sport, Parkinson, and the odd bet, and "like(s) to demonstrate... continuing youth and vigour, hate(s) losing face in front of his mates".

Top brands are Alpen, Crunchy Nut Cornflakes, Tag Heuer and Cobra beer. Soccer Dad is a good candidate for upselling, because his favoured mobile is, "chunky, with lots of gadgets they rarely use".

iPod Babe (cluster size: 1.567 million). Single 18 to 34 iPod Babe puts her career first, keeps in touch with friends, and holidays as much as possible.

iPod Babe watches Hollyoaks, Footballers Wives and Big Brother, shops at Lush and Starbucks, and is into Fuck Buddy Sex.

Yes. It really says that.

Wow, reminds me exactly why I dont buy phones from Phones4U anymore. Just the kind of management thinking that makes consumers hate brands, regardless of how accurate the profiles are to some people.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

When is a Phone not a Phone?

When its a Nokia N95.

Their new ads talk about "What computers have become". One net ad calls it a computer, a camera, a GPS, but never a phone, never a mobile phone.

Interesting thinking from Nokia, I am very keen to see how it works.

Do you think avoiding the word 'phone' will help or hinder?

That Peter Kay Thing

Saw the Producers in Manchester last night with Peter Kay as one of the stars... absolutely hysterical.

The Producers is amazingly funny anyway, but Peter Kay added so many improvised looks and pauses and movements that the rest of the cast couldnt hide their laughter at times. Including one scene where they were literally laughing out loud.

If you are going to see it then you made the right choice. Funniest thing ive seen in years.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Little things...

Whilst on the way to see Lost Prophets (again) in Manchester last night, I got a sandwich/drink for myself and Kai Lai.

Whilst waiting on the platform the bags completely ripped open and fell apart, leaving me to pick the stuff up and hold it all in my arms.

Then an old (ish) lady came out and handed me a carrier bag she had to put it in. That really made my day, and reminds me just how nice people can be.

Another thing. I back the efforts of supermarkets and shops to save waste by making thinner bags and using paper ones; but EVERY bag I now get from Sainsburys splits open, so I have to use more bags than before to get my shopping in. (Jaffa cake boxes rip them open in seconds, literally seconds)

The bag that split yesterday was paper, meaning i then needed a plastic one to carry it.

Companies have to be aware that skimping on bag thickness and strength may save waste, but if we need 3 bags instead of 1...then it actually makes things worse.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

For Those Who Are Aboout to Blog...

There is a strange sense of mini-mourning going on around the planning/ad blogosphere at the moment...

As fresh from Northern Planners Blog break, both Russell, Marcus and Sacrum have declared their intention to quit or limit their blogging.

It seems unusual to me that blogging can take up so much time and effort as to need quitting though, surely if you just write when you feel like it rather than letting people dictate when you write?

Certainly ive never tried to force blog entries on here (hence the gaps that sometimes appear), I just blog when I have something to say.

Maybe they are just casualties of popularity, which is sad.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Holy Marketing, Its Brandman!

Any of you in the UK or US may be unfortunate enough to have had to witness the dire atrocity of sales that is the "Brand Power" (ta da da da dah DAH, Braaaannnd Powwwweeerrr!) ads.

Seemingly set in the mid 90s when calling something a brand made the public believe it was a powerful sign of quality, and with planning from the mid 1950s to boot.

With all the subtlety of a nuclear bomb hitting the statur of liberty with a gigantic sign in the sky saying "Look at this!"; and the tone of a patronising army major explaining the theory of relativity to a brain dead, hard of hearing checkout assistant at 3am in the morning.

Surely the brands involved in this horrific travesty of airtime must realize that these ads are harming their public perceptions; and if they aren't then viewing public, im utterly ashamed of you.

Friday, April 13, 2007

When Banging Your Head on a Brick Wall is Not Enough...

Oh for the love of god.

I am joined to the SoFlow group for adrants, and this enquiry came in earlier today:

"A client of mine is a traditional advertising agency who have asked me to help them source a technical consultant to help them implement a security policy to protect download and manipulation or spoofing of their client TV commercials when used online.They ask "is there any guaranteed method for preventing downloads and preventing manipulation or spoofing of the material? Can we as an agency place our adverts on the web in a secure way?"

I mean seriously, how behind the times must this "traditional" agency be. Well, for a start, just "using tv commercials online" is NOT the way to win your internet audience. Secondly, are you just stupid? Trying to "stop" people spoofing your ads... even if you suceeded, god knows what damage you could do to the brand by enforcing it.

This just reinforces why we needed agencies like HHCL. Thank god for their offspring (mother, naked, cpb, cynic etc) in keeping the spirit alive.

Impossible is Something

Its been on for a little while I know, but Adidas have done something remarkable recently. Produced an ad that uses a major celebrity in a way that is absolutely engaging, and in no way tacky.

The recent 'Impossible is Nothing' ads with David Beckham explaining about his high and low moments is wonderful. You get a real sense of personality and emotion that you rarely see on any ad, let alone a celebrity endorsed one.

Not only has it made me think more positively about the Adidas brand, it makes me think more positively about David Beckham. Showing the true nature of a person behind their wonderful abilities.

Here is a very long version, I couldnt find the shorter tv one at the moment.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007


Everybody should wave a big goodbye to HHCL.
Whether or not they managed to last, the fact is that they made some of the most original and downright funny ads of all time.

And now the wreckage is being washed up at Grey... (as im sure you already knew)

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Take a Bowie...

I know its not ad related, but did anyone watch the end of Life on Mars?
If so what did you think?

I personally thought it was great, thoughtful and powerful, without being too sappy. Im sad to see it end, best show on tv for years.

Shoe... Go On SHOE. Stupid ad...

Latest company to cross over into awful ad territory: Brantano.

The latest ad for Brantano shoes feature a female professor Brantano (supposedly on a par with Freud...) who discovers the part of the brain that makes women go mad for shoes.

Now, the ad appears to be aiming itself at women, yet taking the piss out of them in a remarkably unsubtle and charmless way. Its a little amusing, but it borders on the patronising in the way it depicts all women as helpless over shoes.

I cant find a video to show those of you who havent seen it, I will keep looking...

Wednesday, April 04, 2007


Thinking back to Russell Davies comments at the FMS about how "The business model for shit is going away." I was wondering, why is it that bad ads still get made?

Do they work? Or is there just a total ignorance of a: how bad they are b: whether they work c: whether something better could work more?

I mean, if the Coke Zero ads worked, why on earth wouldnt other rubbish ads... but why?! Are people fond of being patronised and talked down to? Do they enjoy being treated as if they have the intellectual capacity of a mouldy peanut, or are people far stupider (arf) than we give them credit for?

Why do Loreal and Gillette still do the same terrible ads they have been doing for 30 years? Surely if they didnt work they would have been stopped?

We need better, but will better work?

Monday, April 02, 2007

Time is Never Time At All!

Wow, I can't believe i'm up to 150 posts on the ad-pit! It doesn't seem that long ago that I decided to start a blog on my thoughts on advertising and marketing; but look at all the clever readers I have already!

So a big thank you to my regular readers, and hello to any new ones; its nice to know that people take my thoughts seriously, even if they sometimes disagree.

All the best everyone, and long may the debate continue...


Sunday, April 01, 2007

I Hope It's Not Just Me Who Howled...

Saturday's episode of Doctor Who featured a great ad related quip.

When a bunch of alien creatures in black with big helmets were storming through the hospital building, the girl asked:

"Where are they from, the planet Zovirax?"

Genius. All the more reason to love that show.

Aliens: (right) Pic from BBC Dr Who site.