marmite 255x300 Marmite to relaunch spoof ads despite complaintsMarmite, eh? You either love it or hate it. That’s the theory. Although you could apply that theory to anything from Mrs Brown’s Boys, Rita Ora, a brother-in-law or anal sex to be honest.

However, it’s their thing, and they’re continuing to go with it, as they’ve announced that the mockumentary style adverts that spoof animal rescue scenarios, are to return despite all the complaints they had when it was first aired 18 months ago.

They’ve done a teaser advert, which bugles the return of the mockumentary which detailed jars of Marmite being re-homed and rescued from the backs of kitchen cupboards.

The short film jokingly lays bare the cruelty from “repeat offenders” that has lead to a resurgence of neglect of the brand just 18 months on from the original campaign.

There’s security officials monitoring security feeds and spoofy undercover interviews to poke fun at the public furore around the first advert, ahead of the full 30 second commercial that will debut next week.

Of course there’s a sodding hashtag – #MarmiteNeglect – thank you marketeers for doing the admin for everyone who will no doubt be inundating social networks about it.

Joanne O’Riada, Marmite brand manager, said the campaign will be “digital-first” and deliver a light-hearted reminder of the ‘Love it. Hate it. Just don’t forget it’ strapline”.

Shall we have a look at it?

What days we live in, people.

aldi logo 252x300 Aldis Swap & Save campaign still hopes to cheer up JanuaryDespite the thwarters, Aldi are still hoping to give you some cheer this January with the latest in its Swap & Save campaign.

They’ve even paid some marketeering knobhounds to come up with the term ‘swap your old January to an Aldi January’.

The campaign is hosted on a dedicated website where users can sign in with their email address to find out how much they save with each shop. Here they can track those savings and share them on online using the hashtag #aldichallenge.

Already since the site began on New Years Day, several hundred have compared and contrasted their grocery bills up against Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Morrisons and Asda.

However they’re being a bit more cautious this time around after their previous ‘Swap & Save’ campaigns were narked at by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), when in May 2014, Asda complained that it was misleading, and the TV and print ad run out was banned after Tesco chipped in and had a moan.

Tesco said the weekly shops highlighted in the advert were not compared on a like-for-like basis, and added that the explanatory information in the adverts was not prominent enough. It was also claimed Aldi exaggerated how many people had taken part in the challenge.

This time around, the #AldiChallenge campaign, states that the savings are “based on a comparison of Aldi products against premium brands. Other supermarkets may sell ‘own brand’ products at different prices.”

Anyway, pop along here to see what savings you could make.

funny shaped vegetables Wonky fruit and veg coming to an Asda possibly near you!Following the recent surveys about customers willing to buy wonky fruit and vegetables, Asda have now stepped up with a trial of putting any old crap on its shelves. This is also quite helpful, seeing as Jamie Oliver has made it his new crusade, trying to get shoppers to go for the warped among the beautiful.

The misshapen treats will be trialled in five of Asda’s branches – really going for it there, eh? – and if it takes off, will be rolled out to more stores.

Naturally, they’ve branded it, and that name is Beautiful On The Inside, which sounds more like a mid Noughties power ballad than a range of fresh veg, but hey.

It will be sold cheaper than the prettier produce and plans to make ‘ugly food more accessible’, which, again, smells of marketing clipboard bingo, and in a bid to get families into it, will feature characters such as Paul Potato, Suzie Swede, Alfie Apple and Penny Pear.

Jamie Oliver and his hanger on pal Jimmy Doherty will be highlighting food waste in their new series of Friday Night Feast. Said Oliver: “If most Brits had half an idea of the amount going to waste, they’d be snapping up ugly veg by the trolley load. There’s no difference in taste or nutritional value. This is perfectly good food that could and should be eaten by humans. When half a million people in the UK are relying on food banks this waste isn’t just bonkers, it’s bordering on criminal.”

The duo approached Asda and suggested running a trial in store to understand customer perceptions of wonky produce and whether they would be willing to buy it at a discount.

Asda’s produce technical director Ian Harrison backs it up with: “Even if fruit and veg have some knobbles and blemishes, this doesn’t affect the quality or taste – a carrot is still a carrot.”

“Customers are simply looking for great tasting, fresh produce at a value price. Our Beautiful On The Inside range, which would have either gone to waste or been used for further processing, will now be celebrated for its freshness, value and quality. The new specifications mean up to 20% more of a citrus crop, 15% more swede and 10% more potatoes could be sold fresh in-store”

So there you go. Wonky veg. You have no excuse to dismiss it now, you hounds.

McDonald’s bring back the McRib

January 2nd, 2015 1 Comment By Ian Wade

McDonald’s McRib sandwich is back. Back. BACK.

Yes, after 12 years and 20,000 pleas across social media, the fast food gulag is reinstating the sarnie onto its menus as of RIGHT NOW. Naturally engagement demands that there’s a hashtag – #theMcRibisback – to drive one time devotees back into its arms.

They also send up obsessives with an advert, which according to McDonalds: “This teaser Mockumentary celebrates the UK’s love for the McRib. To its loyal fans, it’s quite simply iconic.”

However, it’s not forever. It will be on sale up until February 3rd.

So stuff your kale smoothies and your NEW YEAR NEW YOU routine up its arse, and blow your calorific intake on a McRib while you can. Good thing it is available for a limited as hardening your arteries never felt so good.

aldi logo 252x300 Aldi adverts banned after Tesco complains Swap and Save is misleadingOn the final day of what has been a pretty awful year for Tesco, perhaps a  small victory over Aldi might go some way towards a better 2015. Tesco have successfully appealed to the ASA that Aldi’s “Swap and Save” adverts, showing how much consumers can save by switching to Aldi were actually misleading. However, the ASA still reckons that Aldi is cheaper  overall…

This is actually the second time Aldi has run the campaign, and the second time they have got in trouble over it. Now, after an investigation, the ASA agreed Aldi offered savings, but it banned the adverts on the grounds that they exaggerated how many people had taken part in the challenge, and questions over the shopping basket data used.

Tesco complained that the comparison was misleading because it believed the eight-week comparison period was out of date and invalid for a price sensitive market. They also complained that weekly shops were not compared on a like-for-like basis- with some ‘high ticket’ or non-weekly items excluded on a sometimes arbitrary basis, and that explanatory information in the adverts was not prominent enough.

However, Tesco’s main gripe was that the adverts stated 84 out of 98 people saved, and that the challenge upon which the advert was based involved an eight week challenge-four weeks’ shopping at a competitor and then four weeks shopping at Aldi. However, when looking into the background data published by Aldi, Tesco discovered that only four of the 98 individuals had undertaken the eight-week challenge and the remaining 94 had undertaken the challenge over two weeks.

Aldi had tried to address some of the concerns raised by Tesco, and had tested to see whether prices had materially moved since the challenge was undertaken (December 2013) and the advert showing in April 2014. They hadn’t. The inconsistency with the number of people taking the trial had come about after Clearcast, the advertising clearance agency, had advised Aldi they needed more data to substantiate their claims. Consequently, Aldi had rerun the trial with more people over two weeks to add to the original eight-week trial data.

To resolve the issue, the ASA did its own calculations, taking into account items it believed should have been included and excluded, and allowing for inconsistencies and inaccuracies in Aldi’s interpretation of the data. The ASA figures still showed that savings in the original shops ranged from 22% to 33%. The savings for a shorter ‘revalidation’ trial were even better, ranging from 25% to 38%.

The ASA concluded that  “we considered those amounts represented significant savings at the time of both the original shops and the revalidation shop, and therefore that the overall message of the Swap & Save campaign, that consumers could save money by shopping at Aldi, was not misleading to consumers.”

However, “ because we considered the way in which the comparison was presented in the ads implied more people had participated in the eight-week challenge than was the case, we concluded the ads were in breach of the Codes.”

So it’s a bit of a hollow victory for Tesco. Yes the ads were misleading, but not on the actual main thrust of the ad. That it is actually cheaper to shop at Aldi. Happy New Year Tesco.

Weetabix tempts the kids with Weetabuddies

December 29th, 2014 1 Comment By Ian Wade

weetabuddies 300x225 Weetabix tempts the kids with WeetabuddiesWeetabix are launching a new campaign to get kids interested in nutrition.

The Weetabuddies campaign will run across multimedia in the next six weeks with a spend of £5.5 million.

They hope that the Weetabuddies characters will engage with the nippers and get them eating Weetabix. Or, if you prefer, eatabixing.

Anyway, the plan is to create a series of individual personalities using bits of fruit that will reflect kids’ personalities. They include Tropicolin, Senor Sultana and Blue Barry. No, really. The latter sounds like some bloke who sells dirty DVDs down the pub.

Children will also be encouraged to create their own Weetabuddy characters and share them online.

All those that are shared to the Weetabuddies website throughout the campaign will be displayed and entered into a competition to win Weetabuddy creator kits. There will be one kit won a day for the duration of the campaign.

In addition, supermarkets such as Asda will sticker the fruits which have been used with special Weetabuddy stickers, to encourage kids to choose more fruit as they try and recreate their favourites. According to Weetabix, on average, children aged 4-10 years are currently only eating half of their recommended ‘five a day’ target (excluding fruit juice).

Weetabix senior brand manager Claire Canty reckons: “We know from our research that as kids get older and experience new tastes and flavours they’re increasingly looking for more exciting, varied breakfasts. However, we know mums still want to be reassured that their families are making healthy choices in the morning which is why we have launched the Weetabuddies campaign.”

“By helping families to get creative and encouraging them to make their own Weetabuddies, we hope that kids will be reminded that a bowl of Weetabix is a lot of fun, while mum can be reassured that they are still getting a delicious and nutritious breakfast, helping us to encourage a whole new generation to fall in love with Weetabix as a result.”

They sound somewhat lighter than the bruisers they used back in the eighties anyway.

Netflix and Tumblr team up

December 29th, 2014 No Comments By Ian Wade

netflix transparent Netflix and Tumblr team upNetflix is coming to Tumblr!

Although no one really seems to know what a Netflix Tumblr will actually offer fans, but according to a online video on Yahoo’s social network with a post saying: “Waiting is the worst. We are officially counting down. Netflix is coming to Tumblr January 2015”.

It is more than likely that the upcoming profile will follow the template set by other brands on Tumblr, combining a mix of gifs, video clips and pictures to promote films and series on the service.

This should see an uplift in Netlfix’s overall marketing spend, which represents a small fraction of its total revenue. In 2013, the company’s advertising spend was $437.9m, roughly 10% of its revenue.


It’ll make a change from all the .gifs of Bob’s Burgers, Ryan Gosling and… wait… it’ll probably mean a huge spike in those things! Arrgh! Run for the hills!


December 24th, 2014 No Comments By Ian Wade

confused robot 300x200 AdWatch: Confused.comAs if Christmas Day TV hasn’t enough treats in store for everybody, adland is really going all out in making commercials based around pointless comedic characters.

Not only do you have a meerkat being axed, if you’re unlucky enough to find yourself in front of Downton Abbey’s Christmas special, you’ll be faced with a series of three ads for “starring” their mascot Brian the Robot.

The hapless droid will find itself in danger, as he becomes attracted to a super-powered magnet.

Yes, people have been paid to put thought into this.

It will also be introducing new brand characters, the Herberts, who save Brian from a sticky end in a junkyard. Come back Argos aliens, all is forgiven.

The whole affair is part of a fully integrated campaign to engage with social media. People who give a shit, will be able to interact with the hashtag #HelpBRIAN, which will lead them to a microsite wherein they can tell the imaginary construct jokes and be thanked with a personalised message.

Fiona Creedon, head of advertising at, said: “This is an exciting new chapter in the Brian the Robot story. We are delighted to introduce the Herberts, Brian’s team of sidekicks, to the British public. We are looking forward to an eventful year ahead as the Herberts and Brian’s story unfolds.”

Bloody hell.

Commercial Break: Christmas will kill a meerkat

December 22nd, 2014 No Comments By Ian Wade

meerkat Commercial Break: Christmas will kill a meerkatPrepare yourselves, for we have sad news.

Well, ‘sad’ is one definition that could apply, depending on where you stand on’s irritating meerkats (we’d go for the throat ourselves).

Set your videos, dear reader, as one of the comparison site’s most popular meerkats will be axed on Christmas Day, during Coronation Street’s jolly festive episode.

The deeply unfunny one-joke meerkat adverts have been going since 2009, even if it feels like at least three generations more.

Possibly wondering what had he’d done wrong in a previous life to end up commenting on such rubbish, Coronation Street executive producer Kieran Roberts said: “Christmas is often a time when big story-lines climax and characters can face a dramatic exit. On Coronation Street we’ve said farewell to iconic characters such as Hilda Ogden and Karen McDonald in our Christmas episodes and we’re planning another heartbreaking farewell this year.”

“Meanwhile the departure of an unlikely character this Christmas – one of the meerkats – is also likely to grip the nation.  With such affection for the meerkats, this story has all the makings of a classic Christmas Day exit.”

And there was us hoping a fire would sweep through meerkat manor.

Christmas AdWatch: Apple

December 17th, 2014 2 Comments By Ian Wade

Just when we thought we’d finally seen the back of Christmas adverts for the year, along comes a late entry from Apple.

The advert – ‘The Song’ – sees a young lady – via a variety of Apple products, naturally – create a nice duet based on her Gran’s recording of Love Is Here To Stay.

The sell Apple is giving it is: “With a Mac, iPhone or iPad you have the power to create thoughtful, emotional gifts and memories that transcend time. It could be a movie, a homemade card or a song that brings two generations closer together.”

Have a gander at it now. Here.

It’s genuinely quite lovely, and seeing gran tear up as she flicks through photos of yore will have you… no, it’s okay… just something in our eye.

Perhaps it is good that it’s come out a bit later than all the others, otherwise December’s commercial breaks would soon become an intolerable minefield of feelings and heart-string-pulling emotions., and we can’t be having that.

UK trounces rest of World in online shopping

December 12th, 2014 1 Comment By Ian Wade

online shopping  UK trounces rest of World in online shoppingEveryone! We’re a nation of online shoppers! Praise be! That’s how much we hate human contact and actually walking down a street!

The UK spends around £2,000 online per head each year on average – it’s 50% more than the nearest rival Australia manages, and is down to broadband and our inability to get off our arses.

A higher use of debit and credit cards has also been cited as quite a key thing, according to a new report from Ofcom.

As a bonus, Ofcom also discovered two-fifths of advertising spending was now happening online – way more than in any other country.

Ofcom said the popularity of online commerce was boosted by widespread superfast broadband access in the UK, which is ahead of France, Germany, Italy and Spain. Nearly eight in 10 UK homes have access to broadband services that provide connection speeds of at least 30 megabytes per second.

Said Ed Richards. Ofcom’s chief executive: “The internet has never been more important to the lives of people in this country, and the demand for better connections keeps rising,”

“We are making significant progress in this area. However, we all acknowledge that there is more to do, and this will be the challenge for the coming years.”

Sony hack reveals celebrity pseudonyms

December 9th, 2014 2 Comments By Ian Wade

playstation network 300x216 Sony hack reveals celebrity pseudonymsSony’s PlayStation online store was hacked on Monday, and the company are still investigating the cause of the attack, after it knocked out the store for two hours. Handy, as they’re currently in the middle of a huge 20th anniversary sale.

Some visitors to the online store were greeted with the message: “Page not found. It’s not you. It’s the internet’s fault.”

Some tweet from a user calling themselves @LizurdPatrol tweeted “50 RTs and we will hit off PSN. 50 FAVs and we will hit off XBOX LIVE.” Whatever gets you hard, dear.

This follows Sony Pictures Entertainment, who were winded by a large attack knocking the studio’s network out for a week, and the added bonus of hackers leaking all manner of embarrassing details about Sony staff. The staff also got emails that they and their families were in danger.

Some sources reckon it has something to do with North Korea being a bit upset about a forthcoming film called The Interview, which stars Seth Rogen and multi-purpose irritant James Franco… but then that itself could be a load of cobblers and part of some plan to flog what sounds like quite a terrible film.

North Korea has denied responsibility for the cyber attack, but called the hack a “righteous deed”, state media reported. Because when you have something like state media, you have the optimum creepy factor.

And in addition to all that, the group has released the pseudonyms used by a host of celebrities. So, if you want to add some famous people and see if you can whoop them at FIFA, here are some names (which they’ll no doubt be changing today):

Tom Hanks goes by “Harry Lauder” and “Johnny Madrid”
Sarah Michelle Gellar goes by “Neely O’Hara”
Tobey Maguire goes by “Neil Deep”
Natalie Portman goes by “Lauren Brown”
Clive Owen goes by “Robert Fenton”
Rob Schneider goes by “Nazzo Good”
Jude Law goes by “Mr. Perry”
Daniel Craig goes by “Olwen Williams”
Jessica Alba goes by “Cash Money
Ice Cube goes by “Darius Stone” and “O’Shea Jackson”
Debra Messing goes by “Ava Harding”

Looks like some celebrities are going to need new fake-names for booking into hotels with.

Having spent much of his career apeing the likes of James Bond – 1998′s second album I’ve Been Expecting You and accompanying videos for the You Only Live Twice-sampling Millennium etc – the popular music recording star Robbie Williams is shivving off the need to rejoin Take That by advertising coffee.

Yes, the star whose last video of him pissing off his birthing wife showed a level of no shame whatsoever, has got his tuxedo on to flog Café Royal’s array of items.

As is the modern way, you can also do something in exchange for free content from the singer.

What with Williams joining George Clooney in the ‘advertising coffee’ we should brace ourselves for clown workshop Olly Murs muscling in soon.

What a time to be alive.

McVitie have launched their first Christmas advert in 30 years!

The biscuit people have released the fifth instalment in its ‘Sweeet’ campaign, wherein biscuits are actually puppies and kittens and people go all “Ooooh” at them.

This 60-second ad also features a duckling, husky pup, piglet, reindeer calf and narwhal, performing a version of Yazoo’s Only You – we’ve reached out to Alison Moyet for a comment on the matter, but have yet to get a response – in front of a family doing that biscuit assortment Russian Roulette where no one wants a coconut ring.

It also marks the first time that they’ve advertised their Victoria variety selection, which itself has had a bit of a makeover, with new foil trays and had the average pack increased to 700g.

Sarah Heynen, United Biscuits’ marketing director for sweet biscuits, said: “Bringing Victoria to TV screens this Christmas is the culmination of what has been an extremely successful year for McVitie’s, following the launch of our masterbrand strategy early in 2014,”

“The latest campaign aims to tap into consumers’ love for McVitie’s and the Victoria range, whilst supporting our continuing efforts to drive growth into the category.”

The move has paid off, with McVitie’s combined sales have risen 4.9% to £392.8m since the company have a reshuffle earlier this year, placing all the sweet biscuits under the McVities brand, and all the savoury items under the Jacobs banner.

We’re still creeped out by the notion of animals living inside biscuit packets. Ed. Mof saw it too literally and went dark on Photoshop

biscuits 500x349 Christmas AdWatch: McVities launch first Christmas ad in 30 years

Christmas adverts – you thought you’d seen the back of them by now, but no.

Harvey Nichols have released their one for 2014, following in their now traditional slightly cheeky line of festive ads. The “Could I Be Any Clearer?” campaign encourages shoppers to send e-cards to their loved ones with messages telling the recipient exactly what they want for Christmas. Exactly. You know what with the internet and all that, a link is just fine, but anyway.

For instance, one reads: “Seasons Greetings… will be very awkward if you don’t get me a pair of Charlotte Olympia silver Octavia sandals. They’re the platform ones with the 6” heel. Size 4 ½, or a 5, if that’s all they’ve got.”

Let’s have a look then, eh?

Consumers are welcome to go and design their own cards via the Harvey Nicks websites or on the ‘Could I Be Any Clearer’ app. They’re also selling cards that you can send with your demanding demands in.

Harvey Nichols said that the campaign had been inspired by unwanted gifts which, according to research by the store, were worth up to £808 million nationally in 2013. According to research of over 2000 people, 52% of people were let down by their gifts last year.

Shadi Halliwell, Group Creative & Marketing Director of Harvey Nichols, said: “This year, we everyone to wake up on Christmas morning and love the presents they get from their nearest and dearest.”

“With our ‘Could I Be Any Clearer’ app, you can cheekily spell out that stylish gift you’ve always wanted, making sure you end up with that Lanvin silk dress rather than the iron to steam it with.”

Well if you’ve got ‘buy an iron for someone for Christmas’ in your head, you may as well book out a bed in A&E for the inevitable ‘thrown-iron-dent-in-skull’ injuries that will occur now.