You’ve probably complained about people wearing wax jackets when they’ve never been near the countryside or whined about Land Rover drivers who only ever use their vehicles in the city. Of course you have. It’s brilliant slagging these people off.

Well, North Face had an idea.

Shoppers in Korea got quite the fright when they were idly browsing through North Face’s wares, to suddenly find that the floor gave way and they had no choice to but to climb like a North Face wearing mountaineering person.

This was all to tie in with the company’s brand’s motto, “Never Stop Exploring.”

After climbing the wall (or falling into a pit), the consumers were then faced with a prize – a coat dangling in mid-air, for which you’d have to jump to claim.

“Consumers are used to comfortable city lives and are losing their natural strengths,” The North Face said about the “Never Stop Exploring” campaign. “Based on this brand philosophy, North Face Korea induces customers to face an unexpected challenge and encourages them to overcome the situation with their own strength in order to begin their journey to explore.”

Also: people will do daft stuff for a freebie. Either way, a decent marketing stunt this. With that, we’d like to see Land Rover showrooms slowly removing their floors and sending the poshos of South West London careering down the side of an active volcano for a test drive.

Argos go all-out in fancy new advert

October 14th, 2014 3 Comments By Ian Wade

Anyone thinking that by binning the aliens, Argos had given up on that old advertising lark.

Oh no.

The company have thrown £10 million on its biggest campaign yet.

Quite good, yes?

Argos have been gradually transforming their in-store and online offering as part of a £300 million investment including the introduction of Fast Track collection, free reservation online, and a click and collect partnership with eBay.

Speaking to The Drum, marketing director Stephen Vowles said: “Now it’s time to time to get people to think about Argos differently and get customers and non-customers to sit up and take notice,”

“Argos is unique and we don’t want to just be a slightly different version of a high street retailer or a slightly different version of a pure play online retailer. We want to assert our own uniqueness and re-establish ourselves as a unique category of one player.”

The new ad shows a load of break-dancers, skateboarders and general active types freaking out to the toe-tappin’ ‘How You Like Me Now?’ by The Heavy.

Vowles explained: “There’s a lot of advertising out there that makes people go ‘Ahhh, isn’t that sweet. That’s not really who Argos is. We’re about excitement, action and that’s what we wanted to capture – a real sense of dynamism, drama, speed and action.”

The ad uses the strapline ‘Get Set Go Argos’ to reinforce the message, and will run out to its 730(!) stores.

Wonga advert banned

October 8th, 2014 2 Comments By Mof Gimmers

Wonga women 300x180 Wonga advert bannedWonga don’t know whether they’re coming or going. On one hand, they’re trying to be really nice by writing off a load of debts. On the other, they’re still responsible for threatening their own customers with fake law firms.

Well, it is back to the old routine for the payday loan company, as the ASA have banned one of their TV adverts because it failed to tell customers of its 5,853% annual interest rate.

Wonga advertised short-term loans using those blasted pensioner puppets (who will soon be getting killed off) who, in this instance, were seen talking to an anxious man who was writing down figures on a napkin.

In the advert, the ghastly puppet told the man: “You appear to be in a financial quandary, young fellow. At Wonga you choose exactly how much to borrow and for how long,” adding “you can even pay back early and save money”.

You know the one, right?

Well, the Advertising Standards Authority said the promotion breached their rules because the claim that customers would save money was likely to be interpreted as a notion that Wonga’s loans were cheaper than those from other lenders. They added that, if anything implies a price comparison, then the lender needs to show a representative annual interest rate (RAPR). As we know, payday lenders would rather not show any rates on their adverts because the numbers are so gallingly high.

Still. Those granny puppets are going away, which is fabulous news.

Crush your car with MoneySuperMarket!

October 8th, 2014 No Comments By Ian Wade

cars 300x200 Crush your car with MoneySuperMarket!Price comparison website MoneySuperMarket are offering everyone the option to crush their cars!

The website wants to get people across the country thinking about ‘crushing’ car insurance quotes by giving them the opportunity to crush a real car.

You there, in social media land, can use The Car Insurance Epic Car Crusher, which is a 6000 kilo robotic hand over the next two days.

Controlled from MoneySuperMarket’s Facebook page, it will offer four entrants an hour the chance to crush a car. And if you’re unlucky there, in the waiting hub you will also be able to play a car racing game, watch a live feed of cars being crushed and view the gallery of cars destroyed previously.

This is too much for a Wednesday, no?

David Harling, head of digital at MoneySuperMarket, said: “We wanted to demonstrate in a very ‘real’ way just how powerful our price comparison site is in crushing car insurance quotes and this activity was the perfect fit, playing to every driver’s secret desire to obliterate a car in true movie villain style.”

“The execution is in keeping with the ‘epic’ tone of our creative executions and gives car drivers across the country a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity they’ll be bragging to friends about for weeks.”

‘Engagement and destruction’. It’s like Ballard or something.

Deathwatch: Argos aliens

October 1st, 2014 1 Comment By Ian Wade

Cheerio Argos Aliens!

Yes, the slightly baffling and teeth grating family of aliens that Argos have had as a front for their business, are to bid farewell after three years of unfunniness.

They’ve posted a 60 second video to Argos fans. Clearly because such a realm exists.

The aliens final fling is set to a rendition of Frank Sinatra’s ‘My Way’ from a Ziggy Stardust-clad Dad, voiced by Bill Nighy. Even as you watch them depart, they’ll manage to make you unhappy.

Apparently the aliens attracted seven million YouTube hits over the last three years. Mostly people rubbing their eyes and going “WTF is this garbage?”

As a parting gift for aliens fans Argos’ social media agency, The Social Practice, has launched a Facebook and Twitter competition to win a set of alien dolls and Argos vouchers by voting for the best alien moments from the last three years.

“best alien moments”

TNT has a change

September 30th, 2014 No Comments By Ian Wade

tnt 300x228 TNT has a changeTNT have been having something of a rebrand.

Some designers named Design Bridge have rebranded delivery company TNT, “positioning” it as The People Network and to emphasise this, they’ve created a circular device which represents “perpetual motion”.

Further ponce-speak is to be had, as Design Bridge were asked to come up with something that would “reflect TNT’s vision”.

“The People Network”, reflects the company’s aim to connect people and businesses in a “truly personal, rather than purely professional manner”, according to Design Bridge.

And – Oh God – they hope it will help “galvanise the ‘challenger’ spirit of those working internally at TNT”, as well as TNT customers.

TNT chief executive Tex Gunning, said this with his mouth: “Customers are not barcodes and we are not robots. We all relate to what drives our customers: business growth with a personal touch. Taking time to understand what customers really need distinguishes us from others. We are The People Network.”

There’s an advert too, so feast your eyes

TNT Post rebranded as Whistl earlier this month too. No idea why.

Sainsbury’s drop a shop window clanger

September 30th, 2014 5 Comments By Mof Gimmers

Window displays can be works of art, but mostly, they’re a load of cobblers. However, Sainsbury’s have taken it next level thanks to whacking a poster that was clearly meant for staff only in the front of one of their stores.

Where a nice offer or charity drive should be, instead, some berk has put a poster up which says ‘Hey! Staff! Lets try and rinse people for a bit more money! Right guys? Right!

Byt7 gMCYAA6qhs 500x375 Sainsburys drop a shop window clanger

The poster, as you can see, regards the Fifty pence challenge (no, not a thing where you place a 50p between your buttocks and try and drop the coin in a glass) where the staff have been challenged.

“Let’s encourage every customer to spend an additional 50p during each shopping trip between now and the year-end,” says the poster THAT THEY HAVE STUCK IN THE FRONT WINDOW.

[via twitter]

Smirnoff want to go dancing with you and Spotify

September 26th, 2014 No Comments By Ian Wade

Smirnoff are having a bit of a revamp.

The vodka brand that was famously boycotted by some gays for a bit, have unveiled a new £15 million advertising campaign, and are now close to finalising a deal with Spotify in Europe.

The deal with the online streamer is to ‘deepen the brand’s connection to dance music’. Which is one way of saying ‘loads of clubbers like to cane vodka’.

The company originally piloted the tie-up with Spotify in the US, when it introduced its ‘Exclusively for Everybody’ brand messaging.

The new advert follows the theme of filtering, with the dismissal of ‘pretentious nights out’ with the line “Filter the unnecessary. Keep the good stuff”.

The Spotify/ Smirnoff tie-up will see the vodka curating an ad-free playlist of bangers, based on the artists they listen to, and it is hoped that it will be a rewarding engagement all round.

The vodka also worked with DJ duo Psychemagik on the track which features in the new advert and is now planning to release it as a single via Spotify, SoundCloud and their own platforms.

Usain’s Virgin Media ad runs into trouble

September 18th, 2014 2 Comments By Ian Wade

That Virgin Media advert with Usain Bolt in a variety of outfits has been banned after complaints from BT and Sky.

This one:

BT were first to get a bit narky, and complained to the ASA about the claim “you’ll be able to download five times faster than BT’s regular broadband”.

BT argued that the web page referred to in the Virgin Media ad did not provide sufficient information to verify the comparison, which is fair enough. Thanks for that BT, you little snitches.

The second complaint was made by both BT and Sky, arguing that Virgin Media’s claim about its speed was misleading, reckoning that it implied that customers would always be able to “download five times faster” than its rivals’ broadband customers.

The two companies argued that this wasn’t the case at all, and was dependent on the speeds of that area.

In its defence against the first complaint, Virgin Media claimed that the web page referred to in the ads relied on up-to-date data. This included information on the average speeds of its service at peak time and over 24 hours. The website also provided Ofcom data on broadband speeds of its competitors.

Defending itself against the second complaint, Virgin Media argued that the claim “download five times faster than Sky and BT’s regular broadband” would not be understood to be an absolute figure. Which, thanks to the pesky smallprint in the ad, made clear the circumstances in which consumers would be able to download five times faster.

It’s not the first Usain-based advert for Virgin Media to be banned. The ASA ruled that one in 2012 as  the company could not definitely deliver the superfast broadband. Full of fake promises. What are fake promises but LIES.

The ASA ruled against Virgin Media over both complaints.

Regarding the first complaint, the ASA said: “the information provided was not sufficient to ensure the details of the comparison could be verified”. In the second case, the ASA ruled that the claim “download five times faster than Sky and BT’s regular broadband” was misleading, and said the ad should have made it clear that the claim was based on an average, and not an absolute figure.

The ASA banned the ad from appearing again in its current form.

Ikea troll Apple launch

September 9th, 2014 No Comments By Mof Gimmers

With Apple announcing some new things today (everything you need to know about that is here), Ikea are on-hand to gently troll them.

A man with greasy hair appears in the video, showcasing the newest, sleekest gadget on the block – Ikea’s ‘BookBook’. Tactile, no lag and all manner of things are crowed about.

Have a looklook.

This Ikea catalogue advert is a play on the way Apple do their adverts, complete with twinkling aspirational music, lots of tediously clean rooms and a bloke gawping at you like a born again Christian.

“The 2015 Ikea catalogue comes fully charged, and the battery is eternal,” says an exec named Jörgen Eghammer, also known as Chief Design Guru. “The navigation is based on tactile touch technology that you can actually feel.”

There’s been a lot of Apple parodies, but Ikea get a pat on the back for this one.

Peter goes to Iceland

September 5th, 2014 No Comments By Ian Wade

Orange one-time hitmaker Peter Andre is the new face of Iceland.

In a new advert for the frozen treat-based chain, he wanders around a branch picking out bargains and losing his shit to 89p pizzas, slightly oblivious to his clearly giddy fans who come up to him.

It’s the ITV2 constant’s first advert for the chain, following in the footsteps of Stacey Solomon and Kerry Katona. Oddly, for Andre, he doesn’t start blubbing like a big baby at any point.

Incredible times.

M&S go all ponce on new food advert

September 2nd, 2014 1 Comment By Ian Wade

Marks & Spencer have launched a new TV advertising campaign for its food.

The ‘Adventures in Imagination’ (which, if it involved the Body Talk hitmakers, would be even more amazing) slightly harks back to their soft-porny ‘Not Just Any…’ series of ads, with erotic cutting and gooey centres oozing just so.

Gnnnggg.

M&S has said that the ad is to “tease the nation’s increasingly discerning taste buds” and highlights the most in-demand food trends featured in the retailer’s autumn 2014 range, such as lush looking patisserie loveliness, top quality cuts, runny Scotch eggs and showcases the Kouign-amann, a traditional Breton cake that is a cross between a croissant and a brioche.

It’s also a rare opportunity to hear that most-streamed-song-of-the-year Clean Bandit number.

The unnecessarily lengthily titled M&S executive director of marketing and international Patrick Bousquet-Chavanne said: “Over the last decade, consumers’ culinary tastes have become more adventurous and Britain’s love affair with food has really ignited.”

“Our new campaign reflects this shift and uses a different language to the price-focused supermarkets. It brings to life the hundreds of new ideas we have in our food halls every month by showcasing the sensual and surprising aspects of food – like its textures and movement – in a modern, stylish and precision format.”

‘A different language’ – nice bit of shade there.

Google want to give advertising a shot in the arm because, frankly, there isn’t enough advertising revenue in the world that could sate Google’s appetite.

And so, they have allowed YouTube to buy out Directr, which is a video-editing start-up. Basically, Directr is a mobile app that helps small businesses create marketing videos and adverts.

It is currently a paid-app, but Google have vowed that it’ll be free once Directr has been engulfed by YouTube. There’s a video about it all too, which you can see below. Yes. Of course it is a tweefest.

On its blog, Directr says: “For now, everything you love about Directr is staying the same and we’ll continue to focus on helping businesses create great video quickly and easily. One immediate bonus: Directr will soon be all free, all the time. Thanks, YouTube!”

Does this mean we’re going to get a load of badly-shot pre-rolled adverts over everything now, with some carpet salesman yelling at you from behind a Super 8 filter?

Become the face of Vape!

August 7th, 2014 3 Comments By Ian Wade

mischa vape 300x200 Become the face of Vape!Are you the face of the Vape?

If so, Mischa Barton would like to meet you (probably, she’s just in the campaign overdoing it with the long gloves mainly, her intellectual input is largely negligible on this occasion).

Vapestick are launching a campaign to find a ‘Style Icon’, to find the new face of the vape in future advertising.

Entrants have to strike their best Vapestick pose to be in with a chance of winning.

As well as being the face of Vapestick, the winner will be treated to the ultimate VIP experience, with a stay in a top London hotel, a shopping spree and model treatment ahead of their once-in-a-lifetime Style Icon photoshoot.

The Style Icons Tour is taking place at various events around the UK, which you can find here

Yes, you too could look as dead-eyed and unalluring as Mischa in what is a rather embarrassing advertising campaign while puffing on what looks like a jumbo biro!

Morrisons advert banned for burger business

August 6th, 2014 9 Comments By Mof Gimmers

Have you seen the Morrisons TV commercial which shows a kid saying she’s done well in school and then her mum makes her a burger and she knocks the salad off? That’s what kids do right? Oh, children! WHAT ARE THEY LIKE?!

Of course, the advert wasn’t particularly good, but it was completely harmless right? WRONG. The Advertising Standards Authority have banned it because they think it promotes bad eating habits to children.

Watch the advert below. If you have any children in the vicinity, be sure to avert their eyes or they’ll start mainlining bricks of lard.

The Advertising Standards Authority received 11 complaints (presumably from other advertising agencies or people who are so health conscious that they’re borderline pervy) and the ASA upheld the gripes, saying that the girl in the ad was so keen to eat the burger on its own that she immediately removed the salad. The ASA added that the she discarded the salad in a “careless manner”, suggesting she had no intention of eating it later.

Well duh.

“Because we considered the ad placed an emphasis on the burger being the preferable option to the salad, we concluded it condoned poor nutritional habits or an unhealthy lifestyle, especially in children, and that it disparaged good dietary practice,” ruled the ASA. “The ad must not be broadcast again in its current form.”

Jesus H. Christ.