Tag Archives: Advertising

Sony Rips off Honda to Promote New Tablet?

I’ve long been a fan of Sony’s advertising, especially when the Playstation 2 was launched, ushering in a fantastic series of eerie and creative adverts.

In creating some buzz around the forthcoming Sony tablets, the electronics giant has produced a teaser that is typically nebulous, ethereal and creative.

It’s clearly a fantastic short video, and I’ve no doubt that the tablet will sell hundreds of thousands of units.  But am I the only one who thinks that the brand has completely ripped off Honda’s award-winning creative?

QueRying QR codes – THINK

QR codes’ label as marketing’s ‘new’ thing is phenomenally ironic, considering that the technology was invented by a Toyota subsidiary back in 1994 (I was a mere 12 years old at the time.)

However, the advent of smartphones has provided a valid tool for consumers to read these codes, and marketers are subsequently in a fervent clamour to place their communications / branding / information directly into people’s hands – why wouldn’t they be?

On a rare tube trip yesterday, I took the opportunity to take a look at the glut of panel ads that adorn every tube carriage and one for Heathrow caught my eye.

In the corner of the ad was a glinting QR code, with a clear call to action for consumers to scan the code and download information, access offers and continue their interaction with the brand.

In principle, this is a solid idea, utilising the latest technology and prolonging an ad’s effectiveness by continuing the consumer interaction within a smartphone.

In reality?

There’s no reception or internet connectivity when you’re travelling underground, meaning that a huge percentage of your audience will not be able to perform the call-to-action asked by the advertisers.

Although very much in vogue, QR codes still need to offer discernible value to mobile phone users, tailored exclusively for the mobile space and placed in positions / touch points where consumers can act upon them.

For me, tube ads just don’t offer this widely enough.

Do you agree?

‘New’ Old Spice: an Oxymoron & a Fantastic Campaign…

Brut; socks; photo frames; awful jumpers – add an Old Spice gift set to this time-tested collective, and you complete the catalogue of gifts that have long been the staple preserve of unimaginative aunties and uncles worldwide.

And you know what?  I know I’m not the only one who receives these exact same goods year in and year out.  True; I’m guaranteed to smell good for a few months, but in terms of brand perception, these safe staples of seasonal giving have about as much credibility as Nick Clegg since he became David Cameron’s office intern.

So what is a brand to do?  Well, if you’re Old Spice, the logical modus operandi would be to call up top marketing agency Wieden & Kennedy and ask them to revamp, re-brand and resuscitate the Old Spice brand with a balls-out, bold and brilliant marketing campaign – and that’s exactly what they did.

Those of you that work in the industry will no doubt have been following the events in Cannes last week, in which Wieden & Kennedy Portland won the Cannes Film Lions Grand Prix for its ‘The man your man could smell like’ Old Spice advert:

As a marketing and advertising professional, it’s always fascinating to see new life breathed into an established brand, especially with a TV spot as original as this one.  However, the growing success of this campaign, and subsequently of Old Spice’s brand perception, has been the truly integrated nature of the marketing activity.  Hot on the heels of the Cannes win, Old Spice has pushed out an ATL press campaign with the same personality as in the TV advert:


This looks set to be a long-running and indeed, extremely successful campaign for the Old Spice brand and its manufacturers, Proctor and Gamble. So many people outside of the Marketing industry remain sceptical about the power of branding, but this latest example is surely testament to the power of marketing.

Wieden & Kennedy should be applauded for tackling a difficult brief and coming out smelling of roses – or at the very least, like the man your man could smell like.

Coffee Copywriting – The Perks of Persuasion

As a copywriter / marketing type, it naturally follows that I frequent coffee shops with alarming regularity.  Whilst this affords me a much needed caffeine-injection on a daily basis, it also hands me the opportunity to see first-hand a variety of internal recruitment advertising employed by various coffee shops.

In Costa Coffee this morning, I took my place in the queue alongside the ranks of pre-caffeinated, suited zombies, when this great piece of copy caught my eye:

Clean, simple and not over-complicated: this strapline is much like the Americano I ordered upon reaching the till.  ‘Thrills (not spills)’ is a fantastic piece of copy that plays on a famous phrase connoting excitement, as well as tying in nicely with coffee and the job itself – ‘no spills’ (which is more than can be said for the unfortunate Robert Green).

Examples of copy written for products, goods or services will often be some of the most creative, effective and impressive writing out there, but at the end of the day, its purpose is simply to convince someone to purchase a commodity.

Conversely, when writing copy for recruitment, you are dealing with a much more complicated commodity – people.  As part of your writing remit, you are in fact asking them to invest in a much more long-term relationship than simply buying an, ultimately disposable, product.  With this premise in mind, it naturally follows that recruitment copy should be even more evocative, appealing and creative than advertising copy for consumer goods – so why isn’t it?

So many recruitment ads are tired, clichéd, introspective and show little signs of any significant creative input, or indeed, genuine call-to-action appeal.  As surprising as this is, there’s no denying that this is still the typical modus operandi of several recruitment copywriters – which is why those switched-on to the intricacies of this market will inevitably succeed while others flounder.

Costa Coffee should be lauded for some clever, appealing and imaginative copy.  This well written piece of advertising illustrates how businesses employing persuasive copy instantly connect with their target audiences, which will always result in huge perks for their recruitment campaigns – as well as their brands.

Current. Concise. Creative.

A picture tells a thousand words. Quite simply, this is a supreme example of advertising. Hats off to The Guardian; great marketing.

Aviation Advertising: Benefiting from BA's Balls-Up

Although two years does not qualify as a long and illustrious marketing career, I’ve been around enough senior marketers to know that referencing your competitors in campaigns is an issue that splits hairs and divides opinion across the board.

I, for one, believe that each marketing campaign has its own set of rules, whilst many companies in certain sectors employ ‘comparative marketing’ as the de facto practice (supermarkets being the worst, and most repeat, offenders).

Although British Airways has now had its proposed Christmas strike deemed illegal in a High Court ruling, the past few days has seen a glut of aviation advertising, all of which has very cleverly referenced the farcical goings on at BA.

Here’s my favourite piece of press advertising from this week; a simple strapline from BMI. When commercial opportunity knocks, referencing the competition can be a clever and effective strategy – especially with copy this good.

Breathtakingly Simple…

Following on in a similar vein from the previous post, I have stumbled across yet another example of simple copy that results in a big impact. This American advert for Wonderbra, by Saatchi and Saatchi, simply uses the brand name, inserting an extra ‘d’ to connote the effects of the product in question.

Quite simply, breathtakingly simple.