Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Facebook Causes Brand Strategy Disaster

--*Warning - This post may contain sarcasm*--

Earlier this week one of my colleagues commited a heinous crime of branding, but one (sadly)encouraged by the very brand they were trying to help.

By trying to show their support for the product in question, they accidently blew a vortex of confusion through a decade long multi million pound campaign. I don't think they meant any harm, but the ramications of their actions could be felt for decades to come.

It's such a terrible turn of events that I feel i shouldn't even really tell you. But in the interests of marketing I must...



She 'Liked' Marmite.

She 'Liked' Marmite...

You can't LIKE Marmite, heavens to Betsy. No-one LIKES Marmite, we either love it or hate it. That's what the ad says, that what the strategy says, that what people actually did even before the strategy came to light.

It all worked dammit, and now with these attempts at bringing FMCG products into the social space; they have destroyed 10 years worth of creative branding and recognition. Following her move, over 500,000 people have Liked it too... half a million people slowly destroying one of the great strategic and creative pieces of our time. The horror.

It's such a terrible terrible waste. I can't stand seeing campaigns suffer in this way, it just isn't fair. We shouldn't have to put up with such contradictions and puzzles.

Someone will be telling me Carlsberg make shit beer next...

Image from, but you already knew that.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Ad Pit Aceness Top 10 - January 2011

I like posting about good blogs, but the Ad Age Top 150 is well covered by Spinning Around; so this is going to be simply my personal (tongue in cheek) list of the best blogs I have read over the month. This isn't a case of if you aren't here you are rubbish, simply that I didn't visit your blog as much as those in the list, or I personally preferred their topics this month.

Silly disclaimer: Dropping points does not mean I dislike you, this is a bit of fun...!

The Ad Pit Aceness Scores: January 2011

59 Musings of an Opinionated Sod (up 10points) - Storming start to the year, lots of angry planning rage!

52 Adliterate (up 6points)- Free best of newspaper scores well

50 Northern Planner (up 2points) - Making inanimate objects interesting

50 Spinning Around (up 5points) - Free beer!

48 Almost Always Thinking (up 1point) - As smart as ever

46 Dave Trott (up 1point) - Consistently interesting

45 In The Mode - Interesting stuff

44 Adam + Dan (down 1 point) - Quiet start to the year, plus they allllmost praised go Compare ads!!

43 AdScam (down 1point)- Loses points for implying I don't know my Monty Python, but limits damage for being Adscam

42 Punk Planning (down 2points) - Lost points for using homeopathic toothpaste, but gains for switching back when he realised it was rubbish, and not actually buying it himself

If you want me to check out your blog add it to the comments.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Yet another daily fail

News just in: According to the Daily Mail, new curriculum changes mean that all pupils will be forced to listen to the Ricky Martin back catalogue every week, take part in transsexual fridays, and learn how to mince. In addition, maths classes will now feature such questions as: If four gays, three lesbians and two bisexual transvestites are having an orgy. What ratio of butt plugs to grapes will they need to inject heroin into their eyeballs.

For fucks sake, its 2011. There is no justification for that kind of ignorant homophobic bullshit. Talking about gay people will not turn your child into louis spence. The worst thing is this continues the stupid idea that being gay is wrong, or a choice to avoid.

Born to ...

The new work from Save the Children is very good. It gets across a message of action but in a way that shows the lost potential of wasted lives instead of just showing despair and a 'need' shot that makes you feel awkward and want to turn it off. It reminds you just why we should support charities like these.

via The Cool Commentator

Friday, January 21, 2011

Monkey and Al Return

The latest PG Tips ad just hits every proverbial nail on their proverbial heads. It's a lovely simple idea, produced nicely, witty, engaging, and it sure as hell makes you think about making a cup of Tea.

What more could a brand want from their tea ads?

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

In Defence of Footballer Tweets

I've heard a lot of people talk about how footballers should stop posting on twitter, but I find this an odd reaction.

We complain that football players are overpaid, that they don't understand the game or the fans, they only care about money and cars; yet when they spent chunks of their free time talking directly to fans we act as if they are doing something wrong.

Why is it right for Stephen Fry to use twitter and not Robbie Savage? Is it just down to presumed intelligence? Your idea of talent versus someone elses? Stop being so pretentious, twitter isn't yours to dictate who joins. Just because you presume a footballer is stupid or full of ego doesn't mean it is so. who made you king of the internets?

The best footballer on twitter (in more ways than one perhaps) is definitely Rio Ferdinand, one of the biggest names at the biggest club in the world; finds the time to invite questions and discuss things with the twitter community. That's the sort of commitment and engagement that we can learn from, and should be encouraging more of. I would hazard he is contributing more to twitter than most of the people who criticise him for being there.
Next time we talk to clients about putting air freshner brands or bathroom cleaner brands or weed killer brands (etc etc) onto social spaces, let's try and remember not to be hypocritical in criticising others...

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Planning Postcards

Planning is an awesome job, but I do worry sometimes that it is too computer based, we don't have enough tangible things. So I was thinking about what we could do to bring a bit of real life back...

I got a lovely planning related xmas card from Gemma last year, which was what reminded me of the joy of real paper. I then read Postsecret at the weekend, that made me think about postcards and their simplicity in communicating messages.


Planning Postcards... the idea is basic but I think will work nicely:

People who are interested can email me, and I will send out a few handmade postcards, one for each person, with a simple/interesting phrase or opinion relating to planning.

They keep that postcard (and blog/tweet about it if they so wish) and then create a couple of their own to pass on to other people, and so on, and so on...

If it works then lots of us will get nice handmade planning postcards, and after a while we might even get a few each from different people.

I can write up the rules on a sheet that we can send with each postcard to people who haven't seen this post, and maybe we can create something personal and individual.

So who would be interested? (Leave comment!)
Update: Thanks both of the people who have expressed interest by email!

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Welcome to 2011!

Well another year goes by, and the world of advertising and marketing continues to be an interesting and exciting place to be, accompanied by some great people that I thoroughly enjoy talking to.

To start the year here are my DOs and DON'Ts for 2011:

DO ------------------------------------

Make Things - I've talked about this to people for a while now, and examples like Newspaper Club show just how important the tangible pyshical object will become over the next few years. People who have grown up with the internet are starting to really appreciate the value of real physical objects.

Stop Shouting - Tell don't Yell, as Gemma T rightly points out. People are not stupid, we don't need to blast our messages at them, we don't need to shove things in people's faces. We need to be engaging, entertaining and acknowledge the way people actually receive our work.

Be Honest - Being honest and open has been gradually getting more important over the last decade. This year is no different.

Be Less Cliche'd - This is always a good thing.

DON'T -------------------------------

Treat Facebook Like an Adspace - This one is blatantly obvious, but people are still doing it.
Use 'Rock' - This week a new radio station went national, a new pop station. Apparently it 'rocks'. No, it sodding does not. Tell you what, I'll go launch a Pop station that plays wall to wall Slayer and Cradle of Filth shall I?

Argue with Ourselves - With things the way they are, Tories cutting budgets and raising taxes (Slagging off Tories for raising taxes, oh the irony), we should be working together. Creatives, planners, account handlers, let's just work together and make some damn good work. We can always start bitching at each other once the budgets start going back up.