LG fail at trolling Apple thanks to using iPhone

September 29th, 2014 1 Comment By Mof Gimmers

Trolling, done properly, is an artform. People mistake simply abusing someone as trolling. Trolling is when you get someone apoplectic with frustration without them knowing you were just getting a rise out of them.

Well, LG in France thought they’d mock Apple during the awfully named ‘Bendgate’*, but they dropped a clanger.

lg france tweet on bendgate 500x375 LG fail at trolling Apple thanks to using iPhone

While LG were chuckling to themselves at their very modern marketing jape, everyone pointed out that they’d mocked Apple while using Twitter on an iPhone.

The company said in their tweet, while talking about the LG G Flex smartphone: “Our phone doesn’t bend, it flexes…on purpose. #bendgate”

But the bloody idiots forgot to send the tweet from their desktop or, indeed, the LG G Flex which would’ve been a secure, tight trolling. Not only were they failing to mock Apple, but they were also inadvertently saying; ‘Hey! Buy our phones, even though our social media team doesn’t believe in them and would rather own a handset from a rival!’

The tweet was removed once LG had discovered the “issue”, but alas, everyone had already got a screengrab. Still, LG will be happy enough that they’re getting any coverage at all during the current Apple-fest, even if it does make them look like thundering bozos.

*As an aside, why do we add ‘gate’ on the end of things? If that was the correct procedure, Nixon would’ve been embroiled in Watergategate.

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.

You know how it is. You’re an eager young upstart graduate looking to make your mark in the cut throat world of marketing and advertising. Marketing 101 tells you to use current events as a hook to make your marketing materials more appealing. What Marketing 101 does not tell you, however, is that some things are just not suitable to be shoe horned into a marketing email. Like a man’s untimely death…

Unfortunately that is exactly what some bright spark at an airport parking company in the US did (no, we’re not going to name them and reward insensitivity with increased exposure), by emailing customers suggesting that the stress of checking in might have killed the man, in Chicago. The company, which operates at more than 85 airports in the US and Canada, sent out an email on Monday headed “Can on-airport parking kill?” and offered potential croakers parkers a cheery $5 off voucher, joking: “Don’t be late and end up in a crate.” Hilarious.

The marketing email stopped short of claiming that using their service could have prevented the death but did ponder whether the stress of the airport experience had killed the unidentified man “There could be many reasons for the cause of this man’s death, but based on the story one possible reason could be stress. The process of arriving to the airport, getting through security, and boarding the plane can be very stressful.”

airport parking 3048610c Airport parking firm use mans death in marketing email

Unsurprisingly, email recipients were less than impressed with the email, and the company was forced to apologise for causing “frustration and grief”, describing the email as an “unfortunate event”. Not as unfortunate as the poor man they thoughtlessly used though, eh?

“We would like to sincerely apologise for the last marketing email sent that has caused frustration and grief for our customers. We strive to provide our customers with the utmost service and respect; however, we fell short on this commitment,” the company said.

“There is no excuse for the topic of the recent email sent to our customers, and we can only extend our deepest apologies to those disrespected by it.

“We have ensured that any marketing or communication sent from our company will not contain any sensitive or offensive content of that nature. We appreciate your continued business with us and apologize once again for this unfortunate event.”

Instagram adverts hit the UK

September 23rd, 2014 1 Comment By Mof Gimmers

instagram Instagram adverts hit the UKAdverts have finally arrived on Instagram, nestled between people’s hugely irritating photographs of kale drinks, boring cats, holiday photos and heavily filtered selfies.

Of course, there’s been adverts on IG over in That America since last year, but now, we all get the chance to gawp at sponsored posts so someone in a meeting room somewhere, can say that people are ‘engaging with the brand’ in an ‘impactful way’.

This week, users will see the Facebook-owned app showing off adverts for Waitrose, Rimmel, Channel 4, Starbucks, Cadbury and Estee Lauder and, if any of these companies have any sense, they’ll focus on photos of pizzas or things that look like holiday snaps, seeing as that’s what most people lose their baps over.

“We are giving brands an opportunity to sponsor their posts and deliver them to a much wider audience,” Instagram’s global head of business and brand development James Quarles said. “We are starting with brands who already have a very strong presence on Instagram. We want this to be a natural experience, like the way people consume high-quality ads flicking through a magazine.”

There’s 200m active users on IG, who have posted over 2o BILLION photos, so it is obviously worth taking note of if you’re trying to flog your wares.  In America, it has been reported that brands have been willing to pay between $350k and $1m for a month-long campaign.

Companies won’t be able to upload videos (yet) and users will be able to comment and like the photos. They’ll also be able to hide them if they’re not relevant to you. You might want to press ‘hide’ on every single advert. That’s entirely up to you.

James Quarles says: “We are partnering very closely with creative agencies, with the brands themselves, and sometimes with freelance photographers who are already great community members,” adding: ”We think that the consumption – when people are sitting, scrolling through their Instagram feed in this relaxed moment – that is consistent with taking your favourite magazine and flipping through pages, having images that capture your attention.”

“Some are advertising, some are editorial, and some are in between. And this is what people most associate with Instagram: beautiful images. People curate their feeds so carefully on Instagram: they choose photographers, celebrities and friends, which is much more consistent with a creative context.”

“We want to create an environment that’s authentic, transparent and honest. We are trying to be really slow, measured and thoughtful,” said Quarles. “We are going to go slow, and we are going to learn. At the start, it’s a very slow introduction to the market, to help people understand what it looks like. We’re very much in a learning mode, but we think we’ve struck a great balance in the States.”

So there you have it.

Even U2 can’t kill Apple’s cool

September 22nd, 2014 1 Comment By Ian Wade

apple logo Even U2 cant kill Apples coolApple have been named as the coolest brand in the UK for the third year running.

Yes, despite getting involved with U2, killing off the iPod Classic and launching a watch that will require recharging all the bloody time, the firm still holds tight at the top.

Technology takes up most of the positions in the chart, with new entries/ fast movers coming from Netflix at 10 and Instagram at 14.

These findings are the result of a poll of over 2,000 British consumers and opinion formers. From the understandable and reasonably happening (Ella Eyre) via the WTF? (Reverend & The Makers). Models such as Sophie Dahl and Jodie Kidd were canvassed as well as that Jamal Edwards who runs SB.TV.

“Apple topped the list for a third consecutive year and, as a digital influencer myself, it is really refreshing that technology has a strong presence on the list,” said Jamal Edwards, digital entrepreneur, influencer, founder of SB.TV and gentleman with a slight overstating of his real position.

Only 13 brands kept their Top 20 statuses from 2013, with Chanel, Aston Martin and Nike among them, and retailers such as Selfridges and Liberty are back in the rundown, as well as Stella McCartney and champagne brand Dom Pérignon.

Stephen Cheliotis, who is chairman of the CoolBrands Council (Jesus wept) reckons: “If anything, this year’s CoolBrands rankings illustrate that a solid reputation is hard to undermine or, in the case of rivals, overcome,”

“That said it was refreshing to see unique and original brands such as Instagram and Netflix join the Top 20. Both have had an impact on the market, shaking up the status quo and forcing rivals to up the ante. Apple, however, continues to dominate the listing and remains untouchable for now.”

The full CoolBrands Top 20 is as follows:

1. Apple
2. Aston Martin
3. Nike
4. Chanel
5. Glastonbury
6. Google
7. YouTube
8. Dom Pérignon
9. Rolex
10. Netflix
11. Bang & Olufsen
12. Ray-Ban
13. Alexander McQueen
14. Instagram
15. Bose
16. Liberty
17. Selfridges
18. Sony
19. Virgin Atlantic
20. Stella McCartney

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.

Parents want payday loans to do one

September 16th, 2014 1 Comment By Ian Wade

wonga ladies 300x282 Parents want payday loans to do oneThree-quarters of the parents want payday loan adverts banned before 9pm.

Research found that more than one third (34%) of children considered the adverts to be fun, tempting or exciting as they tend to peddle their wares via the medium of puppetry, such as those wankstains at Wonga.

Look at it. How can a child REFUSE TO BE DRAWN INTO A WORLD OF GERIATRIC FELT?

This group were significantly more likely to say they would consider using a payday loan, even if they’ve never heard of them.

The report by The Children’s Society calls for restrictions on advertising loans to join those already in place to protect children from adverts on gambling, alcohol, tobacco and junk food.

Matthew Reed, chief executive of The Children’s Society, said: “Through our frontline work, we see first-hand the devastating impact of debt on children’s lives.”

“We know it’s become a daily battle for families to pay the bills, meet the mortgage or rent payments, and find money for food or other basics. One setback or even a simple mistake can lead to a spiral of debt. Right now children are being exposed to a barrage of payday loan adverts, which put even more pressure on families struggling to make ends meet and to provide the very basics for their children. That’s why the law should be changed to ban these ads from TV and radio before the 9pm watershed.”

“It is crucial that children learn about borrowing and money from their school and family – not from irresponsible payday loan advertising. A significant majority of parents back a ban and it’s now time for the government to act.”

The survey questioned 1,065 adults and some 680 kids from the 13-17 age range.

2007 mad men 005 200x300 Moneysavingexpert sends misleading advert in email to suscribersThe Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) does a sterling job protecting us consumers from those scurrilous types who would seek to mislead us with not-quite-kosher adverts. But it seems their job is even harder than you would have thought- when they have to uphold complaints against consumer champions and their adverts…

The millionaire Martin Lewis’ Moneysavingexpert.com is the latest organisation who has had a complaint (partially) upheld against them. The ASA found that the adverts, for telecoms products, were misleading and omitted relevant information that would have helped the consumer make an informed decision. Still, on the bright side, the affiliate links worked just fine.

Moneysavingexpert was advertising a Talk Talk telephone package described as “B’band & phone equiv £15.25/mth + £75 Love2Shop (if line rent paid upfront)”,  and compared it with other telecommunications providers’ packages. The ASA was asked to investigate whether the advert was misleading because it would suggest to consumers that the new package included calls (it did not) and that there was a restriction on the amount of unbilled calls to a maximum of £20 that was not mentioned anywhere, nor were any details of call charges.

The ASA considered the overall impression created by the reference to “phone” in the headline, reinforced by the claims that followed and the image of a landline phone, was that the package comprised broadband and inclusive phone calls in the advertised price. Because phone calls were not included in the stated price and that was not made sufficiently clear, they concluded the claim was misleading and that the advert broke four regulations of the applicable CAP code.

The ASA also felt that considered consumers “would not expect to be restricted in the amount of calls they could make or that they would need to make a payment prior to the end of the billing period to have that restriction lifted.” As a result, they felt that the £20 “unbilled call limit” was a “significant condition” which should have been included in the ad, along with a reference that such calls would be charged at TalkTalk’s standard rates.

Two other complaints about the advert were not upheld by the ASA.

So next time you read a Moneysavingexpert email, purportedly issued to save you money, make sure you’re getting the full facts before you sign up for that super deal…

Spotify gets taken over by video ads

September 9th, 2014 No Comments By Ian Wade

spotify logo Spotify gets taken over by video adsSpotify for Brands have two new video advertising products! There’s a video takeover on the desktop version, and sponsored things on mobile.

Coca Cola, McDonald’s and Ford are just three of the launch partners.

The video takeover ads on the desktop site will be served as part of normal ad breaks, but will only be played if the client is in view. Which sounds a little creepy, no?

The sponsored sessions offer users the option of opting in to ad-free life by viewing a short video on their mobile solution.

Jeff Levick, who is the chief business officer of Spotify, explains himself: “Our audience is incredibly engaged so we are delivering an advertising experience that enhances their time spent on Spotify and connects them to the music and brands they love.”

“These new ad formats are perfect examples of the kind of high quality, high value experiences we want to offer our brand partners and our audience.”

Using the word ‘experience’ again, like some rebirthed cult member, is Ivan Pollard, senior vice president of connections at The Coca-Cola Company: “These new video ad units give us the opportunity to be a small part of people’s everyday passion for music and create better experiences across Spotify,”

“Spotify are great partners in helping us execute new ways of connecting with people on their platform leveraging data, intelligence and creativity to bring a little refreshment to an already uplifting experience with music.”

That’s literally a full house of data, units and experience-type cobblers there. Well done!

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 introduce frozen food to posh people

September 4th, 2014 1 Comment By Ian Wade

marks and spencer M&S introduce frozen food to posh peopleMarks & Spencer are launching their first ever range of frozen ready meals. That’ll upset some of the foodies who shop there and haven’t noticed that they’ve had ready-meals for a while as it is.

The range consists of 30 dishes, for either 2-4 people, and should be in selected stores from the end of September.

As with any ready meal, all the meals can be cooked from frozen and features ingredients that cope the best with the frozen wastes.

“We’re well known for our ready meals, and we felt that we could do our frozen prepared foods justice in terms of quality” said someone from M&S.

“This move was part of the expansion of our food ranges and has nothing to do with other retailers, especially not Iceland,” the spokesman added cattily, honest.

Still, no-one’s buying non-food items from M&S, so they might want to have a look at those arms of the business before trying to fix things with frozen pies.

The good, the bad: the Google

September 4th, 2014 No Comments By Ian Wade

google The good, the bad: the GoogleMixed fortunes for Google in the surveys, having been voted both Most Liked and Least Liked Media Brand in the annual I-MIS industry reputation survey.

According to the findings of 50 media and tech brands in the report, which is compiled by BSB Media, The Vision Network and the International Advertising Association (IAA), it found that many media brands were liked and disliked in equal measure by their industry colleagues.

Also faring similarly after Google is Facebook, although the amount of response the survey had to people not liking Facebook was greater than those who liked it.

The rest of the Top 5 sees LinkedIn, YouTube and BBC World News.

Their survey said that advertisers had strong attitudes towards Google, whereas agencies had the strongest views about Facebook.

Seeing as the report focused mostly on the internet, it showed that in one-to-one working relationships between media owners and clients, 74% of advertisers thought that face-to-face meetings were the most important way of communicating, with email at 54% and telephone calls 53%.

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.

Paddy Power profits palaver

August 29th, 2014 No Comments By Ian Wade

Paddy Power Paddy Power profits palaverBookie news, and Paddy Power are the latest bookmaker to post disappointing half year profits.

The Dublin-based firm said pre-tax profits fell to €61.8million (£49.2million) in the six months to June 30th, while revenues were down 7% to €396.5million (£315.7million) compared to a year ago.

The pesky horses and football wins haven’t helped either.

However the company were optimistic that they’d gained new customers in the last few months, and was also still planning on expanding.

Punter wins on favourite horses was at 37% against an average of 35% between 2010 and 2013, and Premier League favourites won 64% compared to 35% in the same period.

These odds combined to drag the group’s win percentage down to 9.1 per cent from its long-term average of 10 per cent.

They will also expand their 305 shops by another 40 in the next year, regardless of new Government fixed levy rules. So, profits are down, but they’re still wildly rich. Not surprising for a bookmaker, eh?

What this all means in actuality is that we’re going to see a whole load of irritating publicity stunts. That’s the one thing that’s certain in all of this.

Crispwatch: Whisky & Haggis!

August 29th, 2014 No Comments By Ian Wade

We haven’t polled everyone, but we reckon you’d be hard pressed to find someone on this planet who doesn’t like crisps. Only sickos don’t like crisps.

Anyway, it pleases us to announce that there’s a new crisp on the scene, which is not like the others, namely Mackie’s Whisky & Haggis crisps.

Gie it laldy.

whisky crisps 375x500 Crispwatch: Whisky & Haggis!

And that’s not all, as it will soon be joined by Venison & Cranberry flavour too.

The Ridge Cut affairs are in Scottish Co-ops RIGHT NOW, and will appear in Tesco and Asda in October, so petition/ mildly riot accordingly.

It’s a limited edition at the moment, but if it kicks off, it may be added to the range full time.

George Taylor, managing director of Mackie’s at Taypack, said: “We have been delighted with the uptake of our Ridge Cut range thus far, with sales already in line with our core range.”

“We felt it was time to add a Scottish twist to the range as our Scottish flavours have always been very popular. We were particularly keen to try a whisky seasoning as Scotch is so renowned around the world. We tried various combinations and the whisky and haggis pairing came out on top. We are very excited to see the market’s reaction to the new flavour lines.”

The gauntlet has been thrown down, beat that England. Oh and if anyone could source us a box for “research”, we’ll be quite grateful.