Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Trebor Mints are a minty bit weaker

If this what's blog a then Christmas is posted the new Trebor ads from Fallon yesterday, and boy are they fantastically mediocre.

I think there is an interesting idea lurking away here about an office of mint mad employees, but it's lost behind an execution that just doesn't work. The humour doesn't get through, it feels tinny and weak.

The online videos (via a YouTube channel) are a little better, but still have this nagging sense that you are only watching them because they are there; not because you want to. (The beginning of the girl's video is funny though to be fair.)

I hope these pick up. I'd like to see how these characters can develop, but I have a feeling they might not appear for much longer.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Opinions Please - Next Generation Talent

Panasonic are holding their Next Generation Talent contest for young creatives for the second year, and I have been asked to help out with the judging by both giving my own thoughts and (if I liked to, and I did)asking for your esteemed comments.

The winning team get an ad spot on TV, and a placement at one of Panasonic's creative agencies (plus a load of electronic gear!); so it's a great thing for a young creative to win. Hence I'd like to help pick the right winner!

The (very loose) brief was to create an ad for the G10 Viera TV with Freesat and HD hub. It should be based around (But doesn't have to include) the strapline Everything Matters.

The final four are below, please leave your comments!

Romaine Reid

Paul Bryan

David Childs - Clarke

Stefan Harrison

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Why Newspapers Will Survive and Planning Will Change

Note: This is theory in progress, it may be flawed!!

People are still decrying the death of tv, the death of magazines, the death of newspapers. That they are history in our instant worlwide 247 internet world. But for the same reasons that social media is a pain, I expect that they will survive and that my job might change a lot as we go forward.

Here's why:

Now I can chat to everyone I have ever met. Hang on a minute, you were a tosser... I don't want to speak to you. Who is that? Social media burnout anyone (Marcus got there first btw)

I don't want everyone I know contacting me.

As I discussed at a social media panel a few months ago... the key word for the internet has become and will remain Filtration. Seperating the millions of pages of guff and giving us the bits we like. It's already taking over via feeds and selective grouping.

It's what we use search engines for. But increasingly we have to do it with our viewing of the sites we then find.


Newspapers and magazines will survive because as well as liking tangible things, when there is too much data to read, we need filters. We need editing and selection. Print media can become these things.

I already do it, I read videogames blogs and news sites; but I trust Edge magazine to select the important bits and look at them critically. Just like I trust NME to do so with music.

Publications that become the critical filter instead of the news breaker might thrive.

So how does this change my job?

Well. Traditionally planning has involved lots of finding data, analysing it and interpreting it. Yet as we move onwards in web technology, we are finding more and more data from more and more sources. If this carries on then filtration of data will become a more prevalent part of our daily work. Web researching means its already easier for brands to commision research and provide more data.

Like I said, this is thought in progress. Feel free to shoot it down if you disagree.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Now That's Meerkating!

As someone who has criticised some of their work in the past (Coke Zero where are you?!) I feel it is only fair that I take the time to applaud VCCP for creating one of the best campaigns of recent memory for a hard sell product.

I've held back because I hadn't seen results, and wasn't sure how they could sustain the joke... but they have.

Insurance is a meerkat with diabolical advertising. I mean truly Ocean Finance Injury Claim terrible. The sort of ads that scream "Ignore me! I'm a badly acted no budget piece of dross!"

Yet out of this has come a truly brilliant piece of work. Sure it's a little hard sell, but it hides it delightfully behind a silly premise which lets you get the message without it being rammed down your throat like a certain celebrity Dragon might do in another ad.

I'd like to think that someone did some brilliant planning to get this work out, I don't know if that is the case but I hope so. We know what insurance comparison sites are, we know they all save you money, we know they have a wide range of the country's top insu...zzzzzzzz

Sod that, let's just make people remember which of these endless sites to go to first; and give them some entertaining content to make it stick.

Simples. Brilliant.

Not only that but they have brilliantly utilised (")Social media(") to let people communicate with Aleksandr via twitter and facebook groups etc. Creating a pop culture ad icon in an amazingly short time.

1/2 million facebook fans, 20,000 twitter followers. 80% traffic increase.

Credit also to Compare the Market for going with this idea. In these meerkats its always tough to break out of the hard sell 'RAMMED IN YOUR GODDAMN FACE' messaging. To do so in such a way and allow the agency to run with it seems from my view to be intelligent and brave marketing management.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Thursday, August 06, 2009

How to make me love your brand when things go wrong No1

If only everything was as reliable as Volkwagon advertising part 2

Funny how shortly after I made a post talking about the brilliant consistency of VW advertising, Top Gear do an episode where they try to produce an ad for the Scirocco diesel.

What I like about Jeremy's controversial winning ad, is that the line is amusing but based on product truth as they were rightly advised.

Sure it's not in the best taste, but frankly it was funny enough to get away with it in my opinion.
I can't believe VW would have let it air if they thought it was offensive.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Passion for life

I love brands that are passionate about what they do, it's why the two (relatively affordable) cars I'd like most right now (I.e.: When I pass my test..!!) are the Fiat 500 Abarth and the Alfa Romeo Brera.

So I was happy when Abarth's PR people contacted me and showed me The Scorpion Tales, a series about the story of Karl Abarth and his love of racing.

Sure the subtitles are small and the translation a bit off, but it reminds me just why it is I love their cars. The dedication, passion and unwillingness to accept second best.

There is a reason (besides his Ferrari/Fiat sponsorship!) that he owns a Fiat 500 Abarth. There is a reason why a love of Alfa's is about the only thing I agree with Jeremy Clarkson on. That reason is passion. Not just branded passion, but the stuff that truthfully goes through the whole business; the stuff that every brand should be aiming for.