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
6. Alexander McQueen
10. Aston Martin
13. Royal Albert Hall
15. Whole Foods Market
16. Bang & Olufsen
17. Ace Hotel
19. Virgin Atlantic
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…
And then there were ones that were just a bit odd…
And then came the ones that just wanted to put horrible words on a label for everyone to see…
Then, because this is the internet, Godwin’s Law applied and someone made a Nutella jar that said Hitler on it.
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’.
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.
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.
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.
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’.
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.
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’.
It’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
You 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…
The 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.
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″
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”.
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, 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?”
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.”