Archive | March, 2012

Who’s that man?

28 Mar

I’ve seen a lot of posters around town with a man running while holding a Visa card.

Maybe it would have made more sense if I had seen this ad: but I haven’t. Nor had I seen this: I have heard of Usain Bolt, but would I recognise him in the street? And let’s face it, this poster is on my street. The answer is no. He’s just another guy in a yellow vest. I can’t help feeling that Visa were so excited to get Bolt as their brand spokesman they forgot that most of the world don’t have a picture of his face in their head. If I’m right, it’s a huge wasted opportunity.

Lego ad – Seriously?

19 Mar

These ads have been doing the rounds in cyberspace:

The question is, have they been doing the rounds in German newspapers and magazines? There’s no doubt about their creativity (the titles are South Park and Simpsons). However, it smacks to me like creatives getting carried away and doing a bit of creativity on the side without Lego knowing. I mean. do Lego create ads for grown ups. Are there seriously any adults in Germany (or anywhere) who don’t know what Lego is? And does this make them buy Lego? Does this make you want to go and buy Lego for your kid? The answer, probably, is no more than you already feel like buying Lego.

Personally I fell out of love with Lego (a bit) for giving in and creating green and brown bricks. Lego’s creator, Ole Kirk Christiansen hated war and refused to create bricks in military colours. I also lost a bit of love when the bricks started being so pre-made that it required less creativity to build a house, car or rocket. Still, it’s as much loved as when I was a kid thanks largely to keeping with the zeitgeist and creating sets that match whatever is big in TV, film and popular (kid) culture.

So lets get back to Lego’s Simpsons / South Park ads. Genuine advertising? Cash spent to shoot it and cash paid to insert it by Lego? Not sure. I’m sticking with my original hunch that this is a bit of creative opportunism by a team with time on their hands and no briefs that will win them any awards this year. It’s advertising aimed at winning awards rather than shifting products, and when that is our one goal we are on a downward spiral. I’d love to be proved wrong on Lego and if I am, I will post my apology!

Facebook aint worth the money

17 Mar

As Facebook gears up to sell, it’s credentials as a top retail destination appear a little shaky. This Newsweek article spells it out.

Round up your mates – eventually

14 Mar

Now, the premise for this commercial is that us blokes are terrible at organising a day out. Are we? Says who? Says Guinness. Anyway, the result of this planning insight is here.

As ads go, it’s not bad. I’ve seen sheepdog ads before, and I’ve seen ads where people are given animal characteristics (this was a rip off from an original Big Train sketch) but that’s not my problem with this commercial. It’s clearly a ‘straight to Youtube’ number and thankfully, the views are positive(ish) – 1 and a half million clicks isn’t bad, unless you compare it to an ad in the middle of Corrie which might grab you 6 million. Still, it’s more viral than most and will have saved Guinness a wedge on media spend. The downside of its online presence is that online ads don’t have time restrictions. The director’s cut can go on and on, or in this case, on. I get the gag. I get it really really early on in the ad. I then have to sit through another two minutes of the gag being milked. The resolution is obvious. I see it coming a mile off. There is no surprise after the ‘surprise’ that a dog is rounding up beer drinkers. It’s a nice ad but as a Guinness ads go, not a patch on Surfer. Sometimes, being quick and clever is the best way to win.

A nice simple poster

13 Mar

I saw this a while back and liked it so much I took a snap of it. OK, so it won’t win any awards and could have been written twenty years ago but it’s quick, simple, obvious and I know what it’s advertising. Proof that keeping it simple is often the best answer.

People slag you off on your own website – what’s the BIG IDEA?

7 Mar

Gave a look at the Facebook page for Frijj milkshakes. Now, I need to remind myself here of the basics of advertising:

1- tell people what your product is

2- tell people what your product does

3- tell people why they should be interested in this

This very basic set of guidelines should work across all media: social, digital and traditional. The bit of the Frijj Facebook page I’d like you to look at is the post that asks us, the fans of Frijj to complete the sentence ‘A Frijj a day keeps the…’ Now lets look at some of the 370+responses:

…lactose intolerant people jealous.

…teeth rotten

…higher chance of a heart attack!!! Yay!

…flab on your gut

…Dentists employed

…Calories comin

These are just a sample from the first 30 or so comments I read. So, given that this is an advert for Frijj, and that someone no doubt is being paid to moderate the milkshake’s online presence, I am left with this question – how is a list of negative comments about your brand in the public domain good advertising? My only answer must be that their openness to criticism might make some people like them more. My gut feeling is that the Frijj Facebook page is yet another weak, lazy attempt by a brand to do something for free without the requisite creative power to say anything of any worth or interest to the people who might be interested in trying them out. What do they think of people slagging them off on their own Facebook page? Honestly? I doubt they even realise it’s happening. Long live digital!




A good ad!

6 Mar

It’s easy to knock ads – lets face it, there are enough woeful ones out there that deserve a good kicking. Every now and again it’s good to relish something lovely. Take this recent ad for the Guardian newspaper:


I like it because it takes a story which everybody knows (the Three Little Pigs) and retells it from various angles, suggesting that the Guardian takes an all round view of news stories. The ad is 100% about the Guardian. I love the art direction and I love the writing. My only gripe is that they could have found better or more convincing actors / VO’s. The black guy outside the court is so wooden they could pulp him to make their paper…