Christmas AdWatch: Apple

December 17th, 2014 2 Comments By Ian Wade

Just when we thought we’d finally seen the back of Christmas adverts for the year, along comes a late entry from Apple.

The advert – ‘The Song’ – sees a young lady – via a variety of Apple products, naturally – create a nice duet based on her Gran’s recording of Love Is Here To Stay.

The sell Apple is giving it is: “With a Mac, iPhone or iPad you have the power to create thoughtful, emotional gifts and memories that transcend time. It could be a movie, a homemade card or a song that brings two generations closer together.”

Have a gander at it now. Here.

It’s genuinely quite lovely, and seeing gran tear up as she flicks through photos of yore will have you… no, it’s okay… just something in our eye.

Perhaps it is good that it’s come out a bit later than all the others, otherwise December’s commercial breaks would soon become an intolerable minefield of feelings and heart-string-pulling emotions., and we can’t be having that.

Having spent much of his career apeing the likes of James Bond – 1998′s second album I’ve Been Expecting You and accompanying videos for the You Only Live Twice-sampling Millennium etc – the popular music recording star Robbie Williams is shivving off the need to rejoin Take That by advertising coffee.

Yes, the star whose last video of him pissing off his birthing wife showed a level of no shame whatsoever, has got his tuxedo on to flog Café Royal’s array of items.

As is the modern way, you can also do something in exchange for free content from the singer.

What with Williams joining George Clooney in the ‘advertising coffee’ we should brace ourselves for clown workshop Olly Murs muscling in soon.

What a time to be alive.

McVitie have launched their first Christmas advert in 30 years!

The biscuit people have released the fifth instalment in its ‘Sweeet’ campaign, wherein biscuits are actually puppies and kittens and people go all “Ooooh” at them.

This 60-second ad also features a duckling, husky pup, piglet, reindeer calf and narwhal, performing a version of Yazoo’s Only You – we’ve reached out to Alison Moyet for a comment on the matter, but have yet to get a response – in front of a family doing that biscuit assortment Russian Roulette where no one wants a coconut ring.

It also marks the first time that they’ve advertised their Victoria variety selection, which itself has had a bit of a makeover, with new foil trays and had the average pack increased to 700g.

Sarah Heynen, United Biscuits’ marketing director for sweet biscuits, said: “Bringing Victoria to TV screens this Christmas is the culmination of what has been an extremely successful year for McVitie’s, following the launch of our masterbrand strategy early in 2014,”

“The latest campaign aims to tap into consumers’ love for McVitie’s and the Victoria range, whilst supporting our continuing efforts to drive growth into the category.”

The move has paid off, with McVitie’s combined sales have risen 4.9% to £392.8m since the company have a reshuffle earlier this year, placing all the sweet biscuits under the McVities brand, and all the savoury items under the Jacobs banner.

We’re still creeped out by the notion of animals living inside biscuit packets. Ed. Mof saw it too literally and went dark on Photoshop

biscuits 500x349 Christmas AdWatch: McVities launch first Christmas ad in 30 years

Christmas adverts – you thought you’d seen the back of them by now, but no.

Harvey Nichols have released their one for 2014, following in their now traditional slightly cheeky line of festive ads. The “Could I Be Any Clearer?” campaign encourages shoppers to send e-cards to their loved ones with messages telling the recipient exactly what they want for Christmas. Exactly. You know what with the internet and all that, a link is just fine, but anyway.

For instance, one reads: “Seasons Greetings… will be very awkward if you don’t get me a pair of Charlotte Olympia silver Octavia sandals. They’re the platform ones with the 6” heel. Size 4 ½, or a 5, if that’s all they’ve got.”

Let’s have a look then, eh?

Consumers are welcome to go and design their own cards via the Harvey Nicks websites or on the ‘Could I Be Any Clearer’ app. They’re also selling cards that you can send with your demanding demands in.

Harvey Nichols said that the campaign had been inspired by unwanted gifts which, according to research by the store, were worth up to £808 million nationally in 2013. According to research of over 2000 people, 52% of people were let down by their gifts last year.

Shadi Halliwell, Group Creative & Marketing Director of Harvey Nichols, said: “This year, we everyone to wake up on Christmas morning and love the presents they get from their nearest and dearest.”

“With our ‘Could I Be Any Clearer’ app, you can cheekily spell out that stylish gift you’ve always wanted, making sure you end up with that Lanvin silk dress rather than the iron to steam it with.”

Well if you’ve got ‘buy an iron for someone for Christmas’ in your head, you may as well book out a bed in A&E for the inevitable ‘thrown-iron-dent-in-skull’ injuries that will occur now.

Barclays give you video banking AT LAST

December 1st, 2014 1 Comment By Ian Wade

barclays logo 2480 300x225 Barclays give you video banking AT LASTBarclays Bank have come up with Video Banking.

Well, they introduced to allow their customers to have a digital face-to-face service, which they reckon is a watershed moment for the industry. Now you can actually see the people in the call centre! Amazing. No one’s going to regret that at all and it definitely won’t be taken advantage of by bored teenagers who like trolling people.

The service, will enable customers to video call Barclays from their smartphone, tablet or computer 24/7, “completely on their terms.”

Try it. Come in from a night on the ales and call them at 4am.

Available first to Premier customers on 8th December, the service will be rolled out to other customers in early 2015.

The bank had originally trialled it and all went well, so right now this is what’s happening.

Steven Cooper, chief executive officer, personal banking, said soppily “For the important moments, you just can’t beat face to face conversations, yet traditional branch opening hours don’t always give customers that choice.”

“In addition to the availability of our staff in our branches, over the phone or online, we are combining our dedicated staff with digital technology to bring this facility to customers wherever they are and at a time they choose – putting them in control of when and where they want to do their banking.”

‘The important moments’. Good lord.

Lenovo prank customers by breaking stuff

November 26th, 2014 No Comments By Ian Wade

Lenovo have hit upon a novel way of promoting their wares.

The company have enlisted comedy lot Upright Citizens Brigade to make a video to promote Lenovo Yoga 3 laptop where they mess with people’s heads.

It’s being termed as ‘prankvertising’ which is possibly the worst word ever and should be helicoptered out to the middle of the sea and dropped like toxic waste.

The stunt involves UCB members posing as employees of Lenovo and touting the hinged hybrid computer to shoppers passing by a laptop-test-drive kiosk at Pennsylvania’s Plymouth Meeting Mall. The stooge employee tells shoppers of the laptop that transforms into a tablet: “What makes this laptop special, among many things, is that it bends. Try and do that with a Mac.”

So obviously he picks up a Mac and snaps it. Hahaha. Before handing the broken laptop to the poor customer and runs away. Obviously the reaction shots are what makes the ‘prankvertisment’

Once the prank is revealed, everyone’s all good and smashing, though we don’t know whether they come back to buy a Lenovo Yoga.

According to Bob Cordell, digital marketing manager for Lenovo: “We definitely recognize people will [view] this in different ways, just as we recognize there are passionate supporters of other people’s products,”

“But we hope to do this in a way that we’re upfront about it. We’re not trying to pull a fast one.”

Sony pull masturbation advert

November 25th, 2014 No Comments By Mof Gimmers

Sony posted an advert on their YouTube channel last week, but thanks to a load of criticism, they’ve decided to pull it. The commercial, which uses a console for a masturbation euphemism was yanked offline after people were displeased at the depiction of a ‘sexy’ doctor going on like she’s talking about pud pulling.

The clip talks about being able to play your PS4 games on your Vita. It seems, the more you play with it, the harder it gets.

There’s criticism that adverts for games in 2014 shouldn’t be just aimed at randy teenage boys anymore, but the real criticism should be that the advert is thoroughly rubbish.

Sony haven’t said why it took the ad down, but you can assume it was the knee-jerk ranting about sexism and the like. That said, the gaming industry is very, very jumpy at the minute, what with all that very unpleasant #gamergate business still doing the rounds.

Of course, this isn’t the first time a console-vendor has used a bit of nudge-nudge-wink-wink to flog some games. Microsoft did pretty much the same skit in 2010.

Give us a shout when everyone’s stopped being so offended.

Swipe your Co-op card to win things

November 20th, 2014 No Comments By Ian Wade

The Co-op have unveiled a new promotion!

Entitled Swipe and Win, any Co-op member can swipe their card in a food store, and then get entered into a daily draw thing where there’s a prize budget of £1.3m, with booty such as vouchers, tellies and fridge freezers.

swipe and win offer banner live 500x212 Swipe your Co op card to win things

There’ll also be instant prizes such as a £20 voucher or just some freebies. The promotion runs until December 9th, so you’ve got a good couple of weeks or so to try your luck.

Steve Murrells, CEO retail at The Co-op Group said  “We hope our members will enjoy taking part in Swipe and Win,”

“Of course, there are many other facets to membership of The Co-operative which enables people to have a say in the running of the business, join campaigns and to take part in organised events with other members.”

Hark at him with his ‘facets’.

Christmas AdWatch: Samsung

November 19th, 2014 2 Comments By Ian Wade

Samsung are entering the TV advertising arena this season with their first Christmas campaign!

The series of ads will showcase the company’s range of gadgets while soundtracked by the decidedly ponce and unfestive Ravel’s Bolero. Mercifully, it doesn’t involve this gawdawful rap.

The adverts entitled ‘All Wrapped Up Early’ and ‘Christmas Round Ours’ are already on Samsung’s YouTube channel. All Wrapped Up will be on TV tonight (19th Nov) during that I’m A Celebrity nonsense, and ‘Christmas Round Ours’ makes its TV debut next Monday.

Russell Taylor, vice president of corporate marketing at Samsung Electronics UK and Ireland said: “Christmas provides the perfect platform for us to communicate with a large base of Samsung customers and will help to make the UK’s biggest tech brand also its most loved one.”

The Galaxy Note 4 takes centre stage in ‘All wrapped up early’ celebrating the brand’s flagship smartphone. ‘Christmas round ours’ showcases the whole Samsung range.

Will it persuade you to ask for a Samsung for Christmas? Didn’t think so.

Now a thing: Personalised Nutella

November 18th, 2014 3 Comments By Ian Wade

nutella david 285x300 Now a thing: Personalised NutellaWhat do you get the person who is really batshit for Nutella this Christmas? Why, a personalised pot of it.

Yes indeed, Nutella are doing special personalised pots of its spread in branches of Selfridges this year. The £3.99 for a 400g jar will seem meaningless once the object of your affection’s eyes light up upon unwrapping their own personal jar of brown gloop.

It’s not available online, but you can call 0800 123 400 and order there and collect in your nearest store.

This idea worked a charm for Coca-Cola. By simply putting human names on a product, you’ll find that everyone on the internet can’t wait to show something with the same name as them, thereby, doing a lot of free promotion for you.

Obviously this – as anything offering a personalised service – can be corrupted by miscreants and all manner of words can be put on the jars, not that we’re advising you get a jar and personalise it with something like “compacted faeces” or something like that.

But it’s Christmas time, there’s no need to be afraid (well, unless you have a nut allergy, and then you’re a bit doomed). Quite literally SPREAD the love. [you're fired - Ed.]

Free stuff with the Morrisons PudPod!

November 17th, 2014 1 Comment By Ian Wade

pudpod hero 258x300 Free stuff with the Morrisons PudPod!There’s nothing jollier than a van done up as a massive Christmas pudding handing out treats is there? Well, there’s about 5,000,000 things more jolly.

Either way, Morrisons are sending a massive pudding on the road!

The supermarket is taking the Pud Pod – or, inevitably #pudpod – on to the road to call at 32 locations around the UK ahead of Christmas. ['The Pudmobile' would've been better - Ed.]

The mobile pudding will also be handing out vouchers and free food as part of its ‘Make Christmas Special’ campaign this season.

Shoppers that visit the #pudpod will get £5 off a Christmas shop at Morrisons and will also get free samples from the Christmas range, including mince pies, panettone, roast turkey and pigs in blankets (bacon wrapped sausages, not actual porcines in a picnic rug).

If you want to follow the #pudpod, and if you have a largish Morrisons in your manor, then it’s likely you get a visit. Gander over here for further details.

We hope that we see it hijacked and entering into a high speed chase a la OJ Simpson, for a truly wonderful festive shoot-out that sees Morrisons being the unwitting star of 24 rolling death news.

Christmas AdWatch: Cadbury and Vodafone

November 14th, 2014 1 Comment By Ian Wade

The Christmas advert season is in full swing now, with few left to showcase their festive wares. While it seems that we may have reached the peaks with Monty The Penguin and Sainsbury’s tribute to Paul McCartney’s ‘Pipes of Peace’ video, there are still some companies hoping to woo you in with imagery of stressed ordinary folk in woolly hats enjoying a reasonable Christmas.

Vodafone’s seasonal effort features a variety of scenarios wherein actors perform ‘Let It Go’ from that Frozen. It’s basically saying “hang out with Vodafone as we can offer Sky Movies and TV shows with NOWTV, included on Vodafone Red 4G”

They’ve also done the admin ahead for you hashtag-wise, with the unsightly #powertothefestive, which plumbs new lows in meaninglessness.

Meanwhile Cadburys have gone into the Christmas ad market with a tie-up with ITV. A series of adverts feature star “talent” from the station such as Fearne Cotton, Keith Lemon, Paddy McGuinness, Christine Bleakley, Phillip Schofield and Stephen Mulhern. Because Daniel Day Lewis was busy probably.

The tie-in with ITV will also see Cadbury’s sponsor Christmas programming on the channel, including Catchphrase Christmas Special and the All Star Family Fortunes Christmas Special.

According to Simon Daglish, group commercial sales director at ITV: “Cadbury are the perfect fit for this exciting and unique partnership with ITV to unwrap joy across the festive period. The innovative activity is a great example of how ITV can work closely with advertisers and talent across a number of platforms to deliver a highly dynamic and unique campaign.”

If the idea of Cadburys condoning Keith Lemon is enough to drive you off chocolate for life, then these adverts will have done their job.

Christmas AdWatch: Sainsburys

November 13th, 2014 No Comments By Ian Wade

Sainsburys have revealed their Christmas advert, and it’s quite the tearjerker.

The full length clip was shown on ITV during Surprise Surprise, features a dramatisation of the Christmas Day truce in 1914 when English and German soldiers gave up killing each other for a bit and had a game of football.

It begins with each side in their respective trenches singing Silent Night/ Stille Nacht and the thawing between the warring sides starts. The they leave the trenches to say hello to each other and enjoy a game of footy.

The ad has been made in partnership with The Royal British Legion, who the supermarket have had a long association with.

‘Christmas is for Sharing’ is the name of the campaign and the chocolate bar (well, copies of) that is featured in the clip will be available instore across Christmas for £1, with all proceeds going to the Royal British Legion.

What’s that? Oh, just got something in our eye.

Have you seen Amazon’s Echo? If you haven’t, it is a new device which you can place somewhere around the house and ask it things – like an external Siri.

We can’t decide if it feels like the eerie monolith from 2001: A Space Odyssey or that house voiced by Pierce Brosnan from The Simpsons which pervs on Marge in the bath.

Anyway, this little talking tool was shown off by Amazon with an advert which has already been rightly lampooned, thanks to it being so amazingly awkward.

So, having watched the spoof, it is now time for you to watch the original and, if you haven’t seen it, you’ll be stunned that the spoof version used so much of the one put out by Amazon.

In fact, the joke version might not be as toe-curling, weird and funny as the one Amazon spent money on. Is there anything more dreadful than the family as envisioned by an ad-agency?

Touch the Coca Cola truck!

November 10th, 2014 3 Comments By Ian Wade

THE HOLIDAYS ARE COMING EVERYONE!

Yes, you might have noticed a recent upsurge of signifiers in recent days of Christmas actually coming. Seriously. It’s not pissing about – it’s on its way. And so naturally one’s thoughts immediately turn to the Coca-Cola truck.

The red and white truck festooned with festivery, will be calling at 45 main shopping areas from November 28 at The Plainstones in Elgin, and wandering the highways of the country, before ending up – as most UK tours do – in London, at Wembley Park Boulevard on December 23rd.

There’s a full interactive map affair of the dates here so you can check when you can go and touch the truck. Or just check out a hot bearded trucker who is into gift-giving.

You can, obviously, follow the truck via social media on @cokezone (which sounds like a Complete Ledge night out).

Not much else is specified as to what will go on while the trucks are parked. No doubt some activities and free carbonated syrupy gloop. Perhaps it’s a trap like The Childcatcher sprung in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang to abduct the town’s children.