mcdonalds logo McDonalds to become largest book distributor in the UKMcDonald’s marketing team are forever coming up with ideas that annoy people who like to slag them off. Unhealthy? We sell loads of salad, dufus. Too much salt? We have removed more salt from food than anyone else, ever! We’re bad people? Have you seen how much money we give to charities and hospitals? Making people fat? We don’t patronise our customers and we let them choose to eat what they want! The photos on our menus look different from what you buy? Here’s why.

They’re so sly they should be applauded.

And now, they’re about to become the biggest book distributor in the UK by replacing Happy Meal toys with books.

That’s right – McDonald’s have just launched a new Happy Meal promotion with Kobo, the e-reader and e-book company. Until June 17th, McDonald’s will be offering a code for a free e-book and, on top of that, you’ll get an additional voucher on the side of a Happy Meal box for a £1 print book or e-book series.

Your child (or you, if you’re an adult who likes Happy Meals) will be able to get books by Enid Blyton from the Secret Seven and The Famous Five series. Maccies will sell around 15 million Happy Meals in the UK during the time of the promotion, which will make them the biggest children’s book distributor in the country this year.

And the moaning hippies? What have they done to help 15 million kids to read? Squat.

There is a slight drawback – this giveaway requires you to have a smart phone or an e-reader, which some parents will be irked at. However, this is another smart move for McDonald’s as they build up ammo to throw back at detractors.

Sneaky.

Wine rebrand gets patronising

May 1st, 2014 3 Comments By Ian Wade

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz1234567 300x212 Wine rebrand gets patronisingBlossom Hill have had a bit of a redesign as to make their labelling a bit clearer.

In association with Bloom consultancy, the new labels should help wine drinkers ascertain what is best for them. Other than it being three for a tenner or something like that.

Boozers will now be able to distinguish what wine is which, by a variety of graphics and types of font that changes as the drinker can select from good, better and best.

Good is your entry level crisp and fruity wines. Better is the ‘sun-kissed’ option, which covers the likes of rosé, and the Best selection engulfs Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Grigio and Merlot.

As you progress through the ranges, the lettering gets fancier and graphics poncier. Bloom planning director Ed Hayes that the new labels would make it “easy, unintimidating and keep people within the brand”.

“There is a misconception that because of the low price the quality isn’t high, so we’re using design to communicate the benefits of cost purchasing”.

He continued, in a way that pleases yet also baffles the client.

In an attempt to keep up their punk rock image (even though they’re quite clearly bespectacled dweebs in Converse), the makers of BrewDog ales have given the finger to the Portman Group after they found that the promotion of one of their ales encouraged binge drinking and anti-social behaviour.
dead pony club brew dog 300x300 BrewDog are #sorrynotsorry about Portman Group ruling

After the Portman Group banned their near boozeless 3.8% Dead Pony Club beer advertising – which was described as ‘perfect for drinking by the bottle, case or keg’ – BrewDog did their worst. They wrote a blog post.

In the insufferable post, which sounds like it was written by Viv from the Young Ones (or perhaps Nigel Farage), the craft beer company apologised for ‘not giving a shit’ about the findings of the independent complaints panel. Under the title #sorrynotsorry, founder James Watt wrote:

“Unfortunately, the Portman Group is a gloomy gaggle of killjoy jobsworths, funded by navel-gazing international drinks giants. Their raison d’être is to provide a diversion for the true evils of this industry, perpetrated by the gigantic faceless brands that pay their wages. Blinkered by this soulless mission, they treat beer drinkers like brain dead zombies and vilify creativity and competition. Therefore, we have never given a second thought to any of the grubby newspeak they disseminate periodically.”

YEAH, MAN, YOU’RE ALL CORPORATE SUITS. TAKE A CHILL PILL, YEAH? (Let’s not mention the whole Selling Beer In Tesco Thing).

The independent brewery has long called for the dismantling of the Portman Group, but this latest outburst is one of their most direct attacks yet.

But is this the kind of world-changing rebellion that could bring the drinks industry – and the Portman Group- to its knees? Or is it just a storm in a beer glass created by a bunch of terminal adolescents with thin beards who make beer that tastes of urine?

They probably don’t care, maaaaaaaan.

Ryanair’s new ad campaign

April 10th, 2014 1 Comment By Ian Wade

Ryanair have launched a new advertising campaign and it’s their first pan-European campaign.

The airline has had its fair share, perhaps quite a few people’s fair shares, of controversy in the past, and these ads are hoped to soften their reputation slightly.

You’d think it’d look like this.

Regrettably, they don’t. If you’re dying to see them, the ads will roll out from Friday 11 April in the UK, Ireland, Italy and Spain and, if you want to see it, hop on over to here to see them for yourself.

We await all the hilarious spoofs from the wise-crackers having a pop! *sticks head in oven*

Wonga ad banned for glossing over 5,853% APR

April 9th, 2014 No Comments By Lucy Sweet

Wonga is in hot water again, this time for an ad that claimed that their flabberghastingly high APR of 5853% wasn’t really that important and you should just forget about it – la la la.

wonga ladies 300x282 Wonga ad banned for glossing over 5,853% APR

The rubbery puppets of doom are shown ‘simplifying’ the terms of Wonga loans, thus: ‘Right, we’re going to explain the costs of a Wonga short-term loan. Some people think they will pay thousands of per cent of interest. They won’t of course – that’s just the way annual rates are calculated. Say you borrowed £150 for 18 days, it would cost you £33.49.’

BUT, 31 people complained to the ASA, saying that they were misleading customers with a confusing message which encouraged them to disregard their insane interest rates.

Wonga said that they were only trying to give a transparent example of a typical Wonga loan but they regretted confusing customers.

However, the ASA said they understood that APR did not apply for the time period for a short term loan, but banned it anyway, because it irresponsibly encouraged people to take out loans without considering the APR. They said:

‘We considered that, though it attempted to clarify the costs associated with a Wonga loan, the ad created confusion as to the rates that would apply. On that basis, we concluded that the ad was misleading.’

Maybe if Wonga are looking for an example of a representative loan, they could show the puppets struggling to make ends meet and turning to rubbery prostitution to pay it back?

Commercial Break: Half brand half biscuit

April 4th, 2014 1 Comment By Ian Wade

zzzgs Commercial Break: Half brand half biscuitSavoury snack news now, as Jacob’s is having a brand relaunch.

United Biscuits, the company behind Jacob’s, is bringing all the treats such as Mini Cheddars and Twiglets under the Jacob’s ‘masterbrand’, and updated packaging will feature the name Jacob’s more prominently.

This follows UB’s relaunch in February, which saw all their sweet biscuits such as Penguins and Jaffa Cakes (see? They call them BISCUITS. Not cakes.) brought in under the McVitie’s brand.

UB says the move is part of the same ‘business vision’ that saw the £12 million relaunch of its McVitie’s biscuit brand in February.

In a quote that says everything and nothing about the modern marketing experience, Martin Glenn, chief executive of UB, says,

“[This project] will improve and simplify the shopping experience for customers, putting all our savoury brands clearly under the same premium masterbrand.”

There’s also a new ad campaign featuring a tiny ‘Jacob The Baker’ character bringing jolly snack joy, so you can now #snackhappy!

Or run into traffic. The choice is yours.

We all know that alcohol creates a very specific kind of self confidence. The kind of self confidence that makes you pull your pants down, draw two ‘W’s on your butt cheeks, and flash your bumhole to people on a motorway bridge.

WKD Blue WKD ads banned on Facebook for promoting fun effects of alcohol

But the ASA has banned WKD’s Facebook ads for linking alcohol with self confidence with their so called ‘Wicked 8-ball predictions’ – which stated ‘You will refuse to do karaoke- at first.’ In their ‘About’ section they also said: ‘Where there’s good times, there’s WKD. We’re all about getting together with the best people and enjoying yourself – especially at the weekend. Like us and get involved.’

The Young Alcohol Council are angry that the company behind the disgusting blue elixir implied that alcohol is capable of altering mood and that the presence of booze was the key to having a good time with your friends. (Which of course, it is – they’re always a bunch of boring bastards when they’re sober).

Beverage Brands UK Ltd., who own WKD, said they hadn’t breached Facebook’s guidelines, but that it would remove certain posts. The ASA acknowleged that no alcohol was shown being consumed, but that their mascot – an idiot in a hat called ‘Head of WKD Weekends’ – implied that a successful weekend could only be achieved with the addition of WKD.

Of course, we all know that’s not true. It can only be achieved with the addition of beer, vodka and a nice crisp white wine. Oh, and drugs.

Sky goes blu

March 28th, 2014 No Comments By Ian Wade

zxzxzx4 262x300 Sky goes bluElectronic cigarette company Skycig is rebranding as Blu eCigs.

The company, which is the UK’s leading electronic fag manufacturer, will change in May after it was bought by US company Lorillard – owners of the US brand Blu eCigs.

The rebrand also sees Skycig spending £20 million on marketing to transform its positioning, and will have a strong focus on ‘lifestyle’, which, by the looks of things, means making a logo that looks like someone tried to have a stab at the Blur symbol and got bored before they could finish.

The UK blu eCigs product line will essentially be the same as the current Skycig range, however, they’ll now have rechargeable kits and disposable e-cigarettes.

Jacob Fuller, CEO & Founder, Skycig sez, “As the brand blu we will stand for pride, bringing e-cigarette users back into the social fold in a society where smokers have been marginalised for a long time. ”

It shows a glimpse into an industry that no one can seem to agree on, with some pubs banning them, and the government undecided on whether they should be a medical thing (which would require proper testing and put the price up) or not. Also, companies have started advertising on television – something traditional cigarette brands have been unable to do for years.

Some people see e-cigs as a good way of cutting down or quitting the real smokes, and others hate them so much that they’d actively rather die of a smoking related disease than be seen with a robot cigarette. Either way, this rebranding shows that e-cigs are only going to be more in your face in 2014.

Cupcake dispensing ATMs, everyone

March 28th, 2014 No Comments By Mof Gimmers

People who occasionally eat cupcakes are fine, but those cupcake fetishists are the scourge of the Earth. There is no-one more irritating than someone who dribbles on about cupcakes. These people probably share nothing but cat photos online and have a Pinterest dedicated solely to their wedding, which will never happen.

These wretched swine in polka dots who go to swing classes and have Nyan Cat wallpapers on their phones, are ruining it for everyone.

And now, over in New York, there’s a bloody ATM that dispenses cupcakes for those of you who are unable to walk into a shop and buy some.

This CakeTM is something to do with Sprinkles Bakery in NYC and when this thing appeared on the street, it “remained at a consistent 12-15 customers deep throughout the entire day as customers waited to punch in their orders on a touchscreen and watch a mechanical arm snag their delicious dessert treats,” according to a report.

Bring back national service.

Vimto gets a rebrand with a toad

March 26th, 2014 3 Comments By Ian Wade

Vimto is being relaunched with a toad.

The drinks brand has new-look packaging, and has introduced ‘Vimtoad’, a novelty Northern-style mouthpiece created by Aardman Animations.

ZXZZZZX4 333x500 Vimto gets a rebrand with a toad

While no evidence exists of toads liking Vimto – although we’re aware that crows find Kia-Ora ‘too orangey’ thanks to being citrus intolerant – this will, the company hopes, boost sales as well as helping expand a No Added Sugar range for the healthier set.

Which is a bit strange, as Vimto was originally as a ‘health tonic’ back in 1908. Great days.

Vimto brand manager Clare Brown says, “Vimtoad and our new packaging will continue to appeal to our young consumers while also attracting a wider audience”.

The name is still an anagram of ‘vomit’ though.

cow 224x300 Shock as Tesco use beef cows instead of milk cows on packaging!Cow enthusiasts have been going mental at Tesco because they were using beef cows on their milk packaging. Instead of shrugging and rightly assuming that 99.9% of people couldn’t give the vaguest crap about cow types, they have instead, scrapped a national advertising campaign.

The posters, which you may have seen knocking about, were designed to highlight Tesco’s moves in the Milk Wars, where they dropped the price of four-pints of milk to a quid. On these promotional posters, one could see cattle that were used exclusively for meat.

A spokesman for Tesco said the adverts were being replaced and didn’t divulge how much this would actually cost the supermarket [insert joke about 'moo-lah' here].

It seems the only people who cared enough to complain were farmers. They know that a Hereford cross cow is better for burgers than brews. Farmer Richard Yates, who has a herd of 100 Friesian cows told the Shropshire Star that Tesco were using cows that “would never have been milked in their lives”. ”That shows how out of touch they are and what they think of dairy farmers.”

A Tesco spokesman said: “As soon as we spotted this mistake we organised for new pictures to be used, which customers can expect to see in their local store very soon.”

Holy cow! etc

The Advertising Standards Authority have stood by their decision to nix the controversial Paddy Power advert which featured Oscar Pistorius.

The ASA said that the ad had received a record breaking amount of complaints, thereby making it “the most complained about ad of all time.”

If you missed the advert, it showed Pistorius as an Academy Award-statuette with the words; “It’s Oscar time. Money back if he walks”.

pistoriusad 327x500 Paddy Power advert the most complained about ad of all time

Basically, the ad caused a kerfuffle for two reasons: Firstly, it makes fun of the athlete’s disability and, of course, more pertinent is the small matter of mocking a case where a woman got murdered.

While the ad was on the receiving end of an unprecedented amount of complaints, Paddy Power refused to budge, defending it saying that their “savvy punters” would want to have a “courtroom flutter”, and that they weren’t “planning to take down our betting on the Pistorius trial verdict. We have a long history of offering odds on major global news events and the Oscar Pistorius trial is no different.”

Fancy bin company wants to seduce you

March 10th, 2014 No Comments By Ian Wade

Dutch homeware brand Brabantia is launching new branding and packaging in a bid to reposition itself as an ‘interior design brand’.

The new identity was created by Amsterdam-based Studio Aandacht, working with fellow Dutch consultancy Agency Proud on packaging design.

Mechteld Petersen, value director for brand, marketing and product innovation at Brabantia, says the new look aims to give a “more approachable, feminine and warm” feel.

 Fancy bin company wants to seduce you

“Our aim was to soften our brand”, says Petersen. “We want to seduce our consumers with our new packaging by touching their hearts”.

Brabantia manufactures products including waste bins, laundry racks, food storage containers.

Just say that out loud: “We want to seduce our consumers with our new packaging by touching their hearts”.

Christ on a bike.

Want to hear the final ‘shamones’ of Michael Jackson on his posthumous new album? Well, it’s going to take more than an iTunes voucher, I’m afraid. If you want to get your ears on the King of Pop’s farewell creation, you’ll have to spend £600. Why? Because you can only get it if you buy the new Sony Xperia Z2 smartphone.

michael jackson1 Michael Jackson’s final album – yours for just £600

Yes, it’s bad. It’s bad. You know it.

This fiendish move by Sony is bound to bring all the hardcore Michael Jackson fans running wildly towards the new Xperia – which is supposed to be a good piece of kit – but it’s not very fair for anyone else wanting to hear his final work without having to invest in a new and expensive smartphone.

Will there be a release of the album for people who don’t have £600 to drop on an exclusive albumphone bundle? Who knows. One thing’s for sure – MJ has enough crazy diehard fans out there to give the forthcoming Xperia Z2 a head start in sales.

What next in the depressing world of marketing? Will we have to buy a pair of Timberlands to get the next Justin Timberlake record? A royal yacht to hear Prince? What a bleedin’ rip off.

It might be made from 4 legged chickens from hell, but the Advertising Standards Authority have rejected complaints that last year’s KFC Christmas advert ‘mocked elements of Christian worship.’

The snarky musical ad encourages people of all faiths to set aside their differences at Christmas and chow down on a grease-ridden bucket of genetically modified poultry.

The 30 Christian complainants got cross at the scene which features a group of carol singers, who trill the lines: ‘We turned up at your house again, singing all our stupid songs.’ In reply, the homeowner sings: ‘Normally I’d hose you down but now it just seems wrong.’

(STUPID CHRISTIAN SONGS! Songs about angels and the Baby Jesus – stupid?? Surely not!)

While it was a bit tongue-in-cheek, KFC maintained that they didn’t intend to mock any faith or religion, and that the homeowner was meant to be like Scrooge. As anyone with even a sliver of a sense of humour could interpret. But 30 outraged people didn’t see it that way.

Even so, it’s a triumph for common sense as the ASA found it ‘unlikely to cause serious or widespread offence.’

You know what’s actually offensive? The new KFC Triple X-tra meal, aimed at REAL MEN, and containing a whopping, artery-rupturing 1130 calories.

Bleurgh.