Turtle Bay black customers up in 2015 for #RASTAFYME

September 29th, 2015 No Comments By Mof Gimmers

Turtle Bay were involved in that tipping scandal, and now, people are calling them massive racists. Why? Somehow, an entire company managed to fail to spot that putting dreadlocks on your customers, who you have blacked-up, might cause grief.

If you missed it, Turtle Bay ran a hashtag and game called #RASTAFYME, where people we invited to submit photos of themselves, and they would be turned into Rastafarians.

rastafyme Turtle Bay black customers up in 2015 for #RASTAFYME

Now, seeing as Turtle Bay deal solely in Caribbean food, you’d think they’d be a little sensitive to people actually from the Caribbean, wouldn’t you?

Of course, their social media has been an embarrassment of mock-patois since the company started, saying ‘ting’ about everything and in one case, referring to a drink’s ingredients with “mek de perfect Jammin’ cocktail”.

If that gave a clue of the company having little or no connection to Caribbean culture, then it is fair to assume that Turtle Bay had no idea what they’d get themselves in for by using Rastafarianism for a marketing campaign. In short, what with it being a religion, when you start taking the piss, you get yourself in trouble.

And then there’s the whole Blacking People Up In 2015 thing too.

Turtle Bay tweeted: “Guys Sorry for the offence caused. This was from an external person who has been dealt with. We have just got to the bottom of it. Apologies”

So there’s the apology, but really, this must have been signed off by numerous people in the company before it got to their social media accounts. Obviously, they’ve deleted all the offending tweets now, but checking the #RASTAFYME hashtag on Twitter, they’ve made a lot of people very unhappy.

Golden rule of marketing – try not to offend anyone.

What are the coolest brands according to the UK?

September 28th, 2015 2 Comments By Mof Gimmers

apple clothing 01 300x219 What are the coolest brands according to the UK?Every year, someone does a poll to find out which brands are the coolest, according to the British public. This, again, Apple has found itself being given Fonzerelli status. That’s four years on the bounce now for the gadget vendor.

However, this year, the company are being challenged by Netflix and Instagram. Netflix there, benefiting from the now universal phrase of ‘Netflix and a chill’, which has flummoxed a few parents lately.

The CoolBrands top 20 sees a number of luxury names making way for the new entries. For example, Sonos booted Bose and Sony out of the table. Spotify found itself in the top 20, as well as Whole Foods.

The Glastonbury Festival found itself in the league as well, which won’t surprise some and infuriate others. The Royal Albert Hall found itself on the cool list as well, which might have something to do with the fact that they’ve started putting DJs on there, like Pete Tong. It might not, as Pete Tong is an old man.

For this list, voters were asked to think about style, originality, innovation, authenticity, desirability and uniqueness. CoolBrands spokesman Stephen Cheliotis said: “Attaining top 20 CoolBrands status takes time and isn’t the result of a one year fad or flash in the pan. Young brands however, like Netflix and Instagram, are showing clear momentum.”

“They are moving up the top 20 at a decent pace and posing a threat to established sector peers, suggesting they’ll challenge the leading brand overall. How long Apple hangs on to pole is hard to predict, but as the initial excitement around new products dies down, evaluation on how pioneering these are could be telling.”

Here’s the CoolBrands Top 20 for 2015/16

1. Apple
2. Ray-Ban
3. Glastonbury
4. Nike
5. Netflix
6. Alexander McQueen
7. Instagram
8. Chanel
9. YouTube
10. Aston Martin
11. Spotify
12. Google
13. Royal Albert Hall
14. Sonos
15. Whole Foods Market
16. Bang & Olufsen
17. Ace Hotel
18. Adidas
19. Virgin Atlantic
20. Liberty

Fancy some Hitler or Diabetes Nutella?

September 23rd, 2015 No Comments By Mof Gimmers

Nutella decided to let people write their own labels, partly as a bit of fun, and of course, to get a promotional campaign going. Everyone took pictures of Coke cans with their names on, and gave Coca-Cola free advertising – why wouldn’t it work for Nutella?

The campaign was called ‘Make Me Yours’ and kicked off in Australia… and that’s when everyone started taking the piss.

Naturally, there were jokes about how much sugar is in Nutella…

ad 181915743 500x280 Fancy some Hitler or Diabetes Nutella?

And then there were ones that were just a bit odd…

ad 181915741 500x280 Fancy some Hitler or Diabetes Nutella?

And then came the ones that just wanted to put horrible words on a label for everyone to see…

ad 181915745 500x280 Fancy some Hitler or Diabetes Nutella?

Then, because this is the internet, Godwin’s Law applied and someone made a Nutella jar that said Hitler on it.

ad 181915734 500x280 Fancy some Hitler or Diabetes Nutella?

A spokesman for Nutella said: “Ferrero Australia launched the Nutella ‘Make Me Yours’ personalised label campaign earlier this week. The initiative allows fans of Nutella to personalise their very own jar of Nutella.”

“Although some people have chosen to use the campaign as an opportunity to create and post less than appropriate images online, most consumers have embraced it in the manner it was intended.”

Companies spend a lot of money on marketing, and we – the people who have to navigate this world of adverts – have to stomach them all while we’re minding our own business.

Although, if it wasn’t for adverts, we couldn’t take the Michael, which someone in Manchester has done with the latest aftershave ad which features Johnny Depp, and Dior’s latest, ‘Sauvage’.

Now, while this may not be clever, we are big fans of childish pranks, where you stick an ‘S’ over an advert so it spells ‘sausage’.

pQRGrcz Prankster gets Johnny Depp to inadvertently sell sausages

And there we have it! Johnny Depp, looking all moody with the word ‘sausage’ emblazoned across him. Extra points for the flying Grange Hill style banger-on-a-fork, top right.

[via Reddit]

Aldi are selling olive oil ‘poo’

September 15th, 2015 No Comments By Mof Gimmers

After putting the C-word on a packet of crackers, Aldi’s graphic design team are at it again, showing the importance of choosing a decent typeface for a product.

Now, thanks to a lousy font, Aldi are selling olive oil poo.

aldi poo 500x311 Aldi are selling olive oil poo

Of course, it isn’t meant to say ‘poo’, but rather, ‘PDO’ which stands for Protected Designation of Origin, like you care (they have to put that on the label thanks to EU rules).

Aldi have had this pointed out to them on their Facebook page and have said that they’ll look into it. Whether that means they’ll be having a word with the graphic designers, to see which other dirty words they can spell by ‘accident’, remains to be seen.

And if you missed the filthy mouthed crackers and didn’t click the link above, have a look at this.

ad 179836454 500x332 Aldi are selling olive oil poo

Aldi turn the air blue with their crackers

September 4th, 2015 2 Comments By Mof Gimmers

Aldi are selling some crackers, which isn’t particularly interesting… but for some reason, they’ve decided to use the kind of language that would make a sailor vomit, in a bid to brand them.

These Gourmet Crackers (really?) have certain letters randomly capitalised, and in there, you’ll see the biggest swear word there is. If you’re completely innocent, it starts with the letter ‘C’.

ad 179836454 500x332 Aldi turn the air blue with their crackers

Unless Aldi were going for a bit of viral marketing, they will have no doubt been on the phone to their graphic design team today, asking what the bloody hell is going on.

Again, if you’re still missing it, here’s a gratuitous close-up shot.

ad 179836479 500x332 Aldi turn the air blue with their crackers

Alas, Aldi are changing the packaging.

A spokesperson for the company said: “Our crackers have been available in completely new packaging since 6th August and only a limited number of these old packs remain in-store.”

He then rang up the design team and said ‘see you next Tuesday’.

prostar offer 0407 bogof 300x150 ASA rules double glazing ads with massive discounts are just plain wrongIt’s a bit like the perennial question of whether the tree falling over alone in the woods makes a noise– do the too-good-to-be-true sales offered by sofa retailers and double-glazing salesmen ever end? Well now the ASA has ruled against one such company to prevent them from advertising heavily discounted prices which are actually just the normal prices.

You’ve probably seem the Safestyle UK television adverts (and then wished you could scrub your ears and eyeballs), which normally involve a lot of screaming and unbelievable offers of free upstairs windows, or free windows at the front or BOGOF or something else that offers a prima facie discount of around 50% from the ‘normal’ price of their windows. The ASA, however, were responding to a complaint over advertisements offering “55% off” as a promotion. The complaint suggested, heaven forbid, that the 55% off was not, in fact, an offer, and the 55% off prices were available all the time, meaning that this constituted false advertising.

In response, HPAS (trading as Safestyle UK) affirmed that during the previous six months there had been 86 offer days, with a further 86 non-offer days. They said given the schedule, and similarly to other retailers that offered periodic sales, it was possible, if not likely, that consumers would see a number of different promotional Safestyle ads before either responding or making a purchase.

As part of the investigation, as is often the case, the ASA also spoke to Clearcast, to see what checks they had undertaken before allowing the ad to run.

Clearcast said they had also been suspicious of the 55% off claims taken care to discuss what was needed to support the pricing claims as “the prices must represent genuine discounts”. They had received ‘evidence’ from Safestyle in the form of a signed letter that affirmed the above and stated that  “the products had been sold without discount for at least the previous 93 days at the time of clearance”, which is already not quite the same as the 86 days they claimed to the ASA. Safestyle, however, also informed Clearcast that because all items were made to measure, they “did not have price lists as such but that any full prices would be discounted by 55%.” Clearcast also trusted Safestyle as far as they could throw them, so further requested, and received, some kind of legal confirmation “that the ad was accurate and not misleading.”

Nevertheless, the ASA did their own digging and found that, far from the 86 or 93 days claimed by Safestyle, from the beginning of 2015 until the date of the complaint in early March, “there had been only one three-day period, in January, at which no promotional price was offered against Safestyle’s standard prices.” The ASA did concede that there was a longer non-promotional at the end of 2014, amounting to a massive 35 days, but during that preceding three month period, the products had been offered at either 55% off or on a buy-one-get-one free promotion for the majority of the time.

As a result, the ASA concluded that the ‘discounted’ price, and not the non-promotional price was the normal selling price and that therefore any offers claiming to offer 55% off were misleading and must not be used again. Consumers 1, dodgy double glazing salesmen 0

Pimms 300x200 Pimms advertising comes over all Big BrotherYou know how it is- it’s a lovely hot summer’s day, you’re waiting at a bus stop to cram yourself on to a sardine tin full of sweaty people, daydreaming of  a cool glass of Pimms in a local beer garden. However, it seems the people at Pimms know this too, and their latest advertising campaign uses the latest smart technology to read your mind and fulfill your desires.

Diageo, who own the Pimms brand, are trialling a new digital advertising campaign at bus stops in London. Not only will the digital screens show you a tantalisingly chilled glass of Pimms, you know, with a drop of condensation slowly sliding down the side of the glass, but they will also tell you where you can enjoy one in comfort.  You see, the advertising will search through the local hostelries in the Taylor Walker chain in the London Victoria area and The Metro in Clapham and, using a beacon network, will count the number of  smartphones in the area. This means that the advertising board cannot only tempt you with the idea of an ice cold Pimms, but it can tell you where the nearest beer garden is, one with (presumably, unless everyone in there is a pensioner with a Motorola Razr) actual vacant seats, and may even give you directions on how to get there.

And don’t worry, it’s all up to the minute stuff- the advertising boards will only activate when the temperature reaches 16 degrees C (as no one drinks Pimms when it’s cold), and it will measure occupancy at five-minute intervals- which means that if it computes a beer garden in the list is full, that pub is removed from the advertising and the next nearest one inserted in its place.

Digital advertising screens are fast becoming the next big thing. Static pasted billboards (PB) with one message are so yesterday’s news. Companies like Pimms are tailoring their advertising spend to specific times, days and even ambient temperature already- for example adverts for air conditioning units are likely to be far more effective on hot days; adverts for kebabs after 11pm at night. And while advertisers are getting cleverer and savvier, does this mean we, as consumers need to get wise to their moves, or should we just be grateful that companies can now tailor our bombardment to things we might actually want to buy…

ps4 20th 300x176 Sony and Game rapped by ASA for trying to run a fair PS4 promotionThe ASA has a tough job, investigating hundreds of complaints into adverts every year even if only one person has complained about an advert that no-one else saw. However, it seems it’s an even harder job these days to run a ‘fair’ promotion, even if the people making it unfair are the public themselves…

An ASA adjudication, published today, upheld a complaint against a promotion, jointly administered by Sony and Game stores, offered the first 100 entrants the opportunity to purchase a limited edition Playstation 4 games console (PS4), as well as giving five random entrants the opportunity to win the same console.

The promotion was a competition- a daily clue was published which described a specific character from PlayStation history. The clue also included a link to a ‘character image’ page, which contained over 300 different characters, and only selecting the correct character would give a link to a Game page with a submission form to enter the competition. Sony said the link to the Game page was updated approximately one minute before a clue was released to allow them to check that the link worked before the clue was released.

The problem was that people, being people, didn’t play fair. To start with, the link Sony posted was static, which meant that it could be copied and pasted on to a gaming forum site, for example, for anyone to click, not just those who had been bothered to work out the clue. Sony said their system functionality was not in place to allow for unique URLs, and they had “not foreseen” the issue of the submission form URL being shared. Sneaky sorts also devised clever little scripts that allowed them to access the Game page even before the Sony clue was published, effectively letting them jump straight to the front of the queue. Sony actually made 112 consoles available per day to try and compensate for this fact.

In addition, while  Game laboriously checked names addresses and IP details for daily winners, they didn’t manage to check across the whole period of the promotion, meaning  five people were able to purchase more than one discounted PS4, albeit on different days, which was in breach of the competitions own terms and conditions.

The ASA accepted that Sony and Game had tried to run the competition fairly, and noted they had time-stamping entries and only disqualified multiple or early entries, or those from outside the UK. However, the ASA found that, because of the actions of the naughty public, the promotion was not, in fact, run fairly and breached the CAP code on administration of promotions, as those who had entered fairly did not have an equal chance of actually winning.

Welsh bus advert causes sexism bile

May 12th, 2015 3 Comments By Mof Gimmers

A Welsh bus company has pulled ads on its buses because they featured a topless model and a slogan that has been described as sexist.

The ads, promoting New Adventure Travel’s new cross-city service in Cardiff, first appeared at the weekend. Soon enough, people were very annoyed. As the picture below shows, the advert reads: ”Ride me all day for £3″

grab 1 762x428 500x280 Welsh bus advert causes sexism bile

One person tweeted: “HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO EXPLAIN THIS AD TO MY PRIMARY SCHOOL KIDS?? Thanks but no thanks, won’t be taking advantage #everydaysexism”. Pop singer Charlotte Church referred to it as “atrocious.”

Of course, for every person angry about it, there was a swathe of people lining up to tut about “SJWs” and generally not seeing what all the fuss was about.

New Adventure Travel published this statement: “In view of the reaction to our bus advertising today we wish to set out our position: Firstly we have stated that our objectives have been to make catching the bus attractive to the younger generation. We therefore developed an internal advertising campaign featuring males and females to hold boards to promote the cost of our daily tickets.”

“The slogan of ‘ride me all day for £3′ whilst being a little tongue in cheek was in no way intended to cause offence to either men or women and, if the advert has done so then we apologise unreservedly. There has certainly been no intention to objectify either men or women. Given the volume of negativity received we have decided to remove the pictures from the back of the buses within the next twenty four hours.”

Now, it is your turn to complain about stuff.

You may have seen the adverts that ask “are you beach body ready?” to the women of Britain, which has seen a lot of people getting really annoyed. Meal replacement and protein products are being flogged with the promise of thinness, which has seen people daubing the commercials in graffiti.

The irritation is so strong that there’s a Change.org petition, which says that these adverts are “aiming to make [individuals] feel physically inferior to the unrealistic body image of the bronzed model, in order to sell their product”.

beach body Beach Body ads protested by terrorists

Whether or not you agree with the vandalism/activism, one thing you’ll invariably find odd is the stance from Protein World Chief Executive Arjun Seth.

Arjun’s response is typically defensive, telling Channel 4 News the adverts are “aspirational”. So far, so typical – one camp being angry and the other saying ‘what’s the fuss?’

Seth then added something quite bizarre. He noted that he’d only take notice of the petition if it got 1,000,000 signatures, and then dismissed those that had already signed it, by saying: “They’re terrorists, you can quote me on that”. Terrorists! You can imagine that someone who has had their legs blown off by terrorists is thrilled to learn that Protein World feels that they’ve been the victim of terrorist action, by people drawing on some posters with pens.

Seth added that this controversy is good for business: “It’s good – we gained about 20,000 followers in the last few days. Sales have gone up significantly. What people like is we are standing up for our brand,” adding that campaigners are “extremist, they shout a lot, these people are irrational and extremist, vandalising adverts”.

Meanwhile, the Advertising Standards Authority are weighing up what they’re going to do about all this, with no immediate decision made.

Paddy Power are at it again, with IRA advert

April 28th, 2015 2 Comments By Mof Gimmers

Paddy Power, who have form for making adverts that annoy loads of people, are at it again, this time poking fun at the IRA.

They’ve got a giant billboard featuring two men wearing balaclavas, alongside the phrase Tiocfaidh Ar La (non Irish-speakers – that means ‘our day will come’) in reference to the Marriage Referendum.

CDlhuOQWYAERvnx 500x333 Paddy Power are at it again, with IRA advert

A press release for Paddy Power says: “Our latest betting on the referendum makes it look rosy in the garden for the YES camp but don’t be surprised if the NO vote comes from behind to give us all a surprise.”

“In the words of Alex Ferguson, it’s squeaky bum time!”

We’re going to leave this here, without much of a comment, because nothing is ever going to stop Paddy Power taking the piss out of absolutely everything, ever.


Child eats flower in Lidl catalogue

April 27th, 2015 1 Comment By Mof Gimmers

Catalogues for supermarkets and the like, are always thoroughly tedious affairs. There’s so little of interest in them, that we’ll pounce on just about anything that raises the vaguest of smiles.

However, we’re beaming at the brilliantly odd child who stars in this week’s Lidl catalogue. For reasons unclear, the photo shows a little girl chewing on a flower.

lidl flower child 500x375 Child eats flower in Lidl catalogue

Of course, Lidl’s marketing department have been on fire lately, trolling Morrisons and openly mocking Sainsbury’s. The supermarket was also responsible for one of the funnier April Fool jokes too.

So whether they left this in because they thought it was funny or they just didn’t check, the whole thing is by-the-by, as everyone can enjoy the daft things children do, like sticking flowers in their mouths and eating them.

Paddy Power are offending everyone again

April 14th, 2015 No Comments By Mof Gimmers

Paddy Power’s advertising schtick of ‘get a response at absolutely any cost’ came under fire this week as they promoted the Liverpool-Newcastle Premier League game by likening it to people being beaten and killed in police custody.

You can imagine that this has gone down really well.

paddy power ferguson 398x500 Paddy Power are offending everyone again

As you can see, they tweeted: “Newcastle have suffered more Kop beatings over the last 20 years than an unarmed African-American male”, which is a spectacularly insensitive way of looking at some of the things that have been happening in America recently.

While this prompts the debate of ‘we should be allowed to joke about anything’/'why on earth would you joke about something so horrible’, the response to the promotion was mixed. Some simply lolled while others tweeted things like “This is the most disgusting tweet I’ve read in probably my entire time on Twitter” and “How dare you make the execution of Black men in America the butt of your jokes.”

The timing of the tweet was certainly ill-advised, as only last week, in South Carolina, police officer Michael Slager was charged with the murder of Walter Scott. Of course, Paddy Power have previous, making jokes about the Oscar Pistorius murder trial and another gag about a blind footballer kicking a cat into a tree. They also, bafflingly, sent Dennis Rodman to North Korea to try and make the world a better place.

In response to the latest promo tweet, a spokesman for Paddy Power said: “It’s clearly an acerbic reference to recent police activity in the US. And obviously, no offence was meant.”

If they wanted attention, they certainly got it.

Lidl get in the spirit of April Fools Day

April 1st, 2015 No Comments By Mof Gimmers

Lidl’s marketing team are on fire lately.

Last week, they offered money off One Direction Easter eggs when Zayn left, and you’ll remember that they also expertly mocked Morrisons and completely took the Michael out of the Sainsbury’s ’50p challenge’.

Well, our Lidl friends are at it again for April Fools Day, offering vouchers for ‘money on’ a host of products.

CBchkTpUwAA3PsS 500x326 Lidl get in the spirit of April Fools Day

Lidl have taken whole pages out in newspapers, filled with these April Fool vouchers. While being reasonably funny, they’re also throwing shade at the competitors. They might as well be saying “We could actually put these vouchers out and still be cheaper than most of our rivals, know worramean?”

11081051 10100793285378472 519632930110112203 n Lidl get in the spirit of April Fools Day

In the advert, you’ll see that Lidl say that they’ll make their products more expensive “if you really do believe that higher prices mean higher quality.”

Double whammy.