Friday, June 26, 2009

.... .... .... .... .... Ding!

The new Tesco ads are currently confusing me greatly. They feel like an attempt to move the brand away from being a big corporate monolith; and back to a family friendly name for difficult times.

The problem is, it doesn't really work. It feels like its going backwards, and not in a brand heritage kind of way. They have scrapped the hugely succesful 'bing' dot brand cue, and the Every Little Helps line now suddenly seems irrelevent to the ad; leaving you with this lacking piece of cultural observation that actually feels more corporate than a sarcastic dot.

Double Value on Wine with Tesco Clubcard

Monday, June 22, 2009

The Next Internet Craze! No2

Stew had a great time in New York recently. Sadly it also included some magnificent attempts at ROB(bing).

Here is a musician at Harlem St station singing away. The best $2 Stew ever spent?

ROB No1.

Annually Retentive

(Yes I know that's the title of Rob Brydon's mock panel show)

History is a dangerous thing in advertising. We often look back at our history and revel in the great work and the people who produced it. But we have to beware of letting nostalgia and hindsight affect our judgement of ads gone by.

The example that brought this to mind was the VW 'changes' ad from the 1980's.

It's so often referenced as being completely of the moment, of fitting the landscape perfectly. Treated as some kind of marker for the way society and advertising was at that point. But of course advertising was mostly full of identikit haircare/beauty ads, hard sell bollocks and local 'slideshow' ads.

Not only that, I have never heard anyone talk about how successful it was. How much product it sold or how it changed people's perceptions of VW. All I hear is a praise of the creative and director.

This of course is the danger of D&ad awards, Cannes, Clio's etc. That we let creativity become the only factor in which we judge past ads. Now of course I am not saying that creative is unimportant in ads, just that we cannot let it be the only factor we objectively use to judge past ads.

If we look back at 2000's in 20 years time, our ad history won't include Barry Scott and Cillit Bang, but he created a strong brand, got into popular culture and sold shitloads of cleaner.

Which is why I like public ad polls. You tend to find that ads which mixed creativite brilliance with an idea that really resonated or sold product get to the top. Smash martians, Honey Monster etc. A public poll would put Barry Scott and the Gorilla together, one creative brilliance, one creative annoyance, but on impact and results, both worthy of a place in ad history.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Blog of the Week - No 4 - This is Indexed

As a planner I love to see information shared in a simple yet educational way, and if that can also be funny then even better. Which is why I absolutely love This is Indexed.

Some blogs are complex and full of long ranting text (ahem), others just take a good idea and run with it. This is the latter.

Some great recent posts:
Hot Dogs


Excuse me, I feel sick

Any religion that has to advertise is not a religion.

Scientology deserves to die

Thursday, June 18, 2009

The Next Internet Craze! No1.

No it's not dissing Iranian presidents, though I urge you all to support the protests going on in Tehran and across the world.

This game was invented by my colleague Stew, and frankly no one has managed to beat him yet.
It's called ROB!

The aim is simply to say or display the word ROB in as extravagent a way as possible. So far Stew has managed some masterful executions that I will cover as this topic goes on.

To start with, here is Stew hiding and jumping out with a loud ROB!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Chirpy Chirpy Tweet Tweet

It took me a while to get into twitter. It felt a little strange to be part of this tech community that kept telling us where they were having lunch.

Yet about the same time I got into it everyone started talking about like it was the second coming of communications christ. This world of celebrities and communities talking shit in 140 characters, how could this be so effective?

Well, the simple answer is this: The Internet has Changed Human Relationships Forever.

Just think about this logically, for thousands of years we have kept a small close social group of family and friends. People who we didn't talk to faded out into memory.

Then we got phones, and the number we kept in touch with increased a bit.

But now what we have is totally different. We are a generation group who theoretically now can keep in touch with everybody we have ever met. Human relationships have NEVER had that, not in all of mankind's existence have we been able to speak to and hear about everyone we know for the rest of our lives.

This change isn't just about our use of technology, our increased learning and input. This is a fundamental change in the nature of what it means to be human, to be a pack species.

Twitter and facebook are the current facilitators of this change. Taking the groups and communities we had with Myspace and Friends Reunited, crossing them with the conversation of chat rooms; and creating a stream of pack data. Our lives and our families and friends and favourite people and brands and colleagues fed in a constant stream accessible anytime we want.

I like to think that next time we hype up social networking, we remember that regardless of how we see it from a technological and popularity viewpoint; the very concept is part of a sea change in the nature of our species. And that is part frightening, and part exhilarating.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Blog of The Week - No3 - Spinning Around

James from 77 runs Spinning Around, one of those rare company blogs that never feels like it gets bogged down by a need to sing about the company.

Usually filled with interesting videos and ads, it also hosts the regular UK marketing blogs update based on the Adage Power 150.

Some great recent posts:

Blog of the Week No 2 - Almost Always Thinking

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Scamper Off

Sad news in the adblog land sphere type place, Scamp has decided to finish his blog.

As one of the first creatives to create a really good blog, its a shame to see him go. Though Scamp became a hive of bitchy anonymous comments in recent times, it always said interesting things and carried good debate.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Mind The Iguana

Thank you Campaign for finally adding to the internet a full version of Iguana. Available only in crippled low quality form for so long that I thought it would never be shown again.

It's a masterclass in surreal advertising, and that Godley and Creme soundtrack is still funky (albeit very very 70s).

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Read My Lips - Part 1

I am very much a fan of agencies and brands trying something new, taking risks to make their communications work. Which is why I was pleasantly surprised when a major London agency and a major drinks brand invited me to spend some time at their latest ad shoot.

Getting bloggers involved is always risky for a brand, we tend to say what we feel instead of what's on the press release; which made it more surprising that the first example of this I have seen was from a big client/agency pairing.

Whilst (in this country at least) Baileys is seen as a ladies drink, it's still one that I occasionally enjoy (especially the mint and caramel varieties). So when their PR people (my blogging faves Immediate Future) asked me if I wanted to head down to London for the shoot, I was happy to say yes.

Now I have to confess (as I did to the client!) that I wasn't a huge fan of the first outing of the Listen to Your Lips idea. It was a nice thought that got a bit lost in the execution; so my initial expectations weren't that high.

Happily, the new ad looks like it will make much better use of the idea; and is based around moments that I for one am all too familiar with...

More to follow!

Blog Of The Week - No2 - Almost Always Thinking

Hi folks, here is a very very late Blog of The Week!

One of my favourite non-London bloggers is Gemma, who writes about planning but doesn't neglect to point out the randomness of everyday life.

I've been reading it for ages and ages, and you should too...

Selected Interesting Posts:


Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Make Time For Yorkshire

I feel like I should hate the latest ad for Yorkshire Tea (the best tea in the world I might add). As much as I love the idea of John Shuttleworth I've never quite got into it as an act.

But there is something quite lovely about the idea of Yorkshire as a place where teatime has a value and importance.

So let us brew a cup of Yorkshire Tea and ponder the details of communications with a nice biscuit.

via Northern

Monday, June 01, 2009

See You Slater...

I think it is only fair considering how much I hate their previous ads, to give credit to M+C Saatchi and PC World for their latest campaign.

Gone is the terrible hard sell feature list and poor salesperson dialogue; and in comes Hollywood actors and a bit of budget.

What we now have isn't earth shattering, but it at least focuses the brand on people, their uses and needs for their computers. It shows PC World to be helpful, friendly and part of that transition of the PC from grey box with Doom to a multimedia hub with Doom. Suddenly it feels like there is a reason to go there, we all know its cheaper to buy PC stuff online, but now there is a glimpse that the experience and advice makes it worth that premium.

Whether they have fixed instore to live up to it is another thing...

But whether this is client or agency raising their game it is to be commended. Dragging away from hard sell tactics is a difficult choice to make in times like these; and to go head first into a product-less branding piece from where they were is excellent.

This isn't going to get any pencils, but hopefully it puts the brand onto a road where they can keep improving their communications for years to come.

New PC World ad at Campaign