Crush your car with MoneySuperMarket!

October 8th, 2014 No Comments By Ian Wade

cars 300x200 Crush your car with MoneySuperMarket!Price comparison website MoneySuperMarket are offering everyone the option to crush their cars!

The website wants to get people across the country thinking about ‘crushing’ car insurance quotes by giving them the opportunity to crush a real car.

You there, in social media land, can use The Car Insurance Epic Car Crusher, which is a 6000 kilo robotic hand over the next two days.

Controlled from MoneySuperMarket’s Facebook page, it will offer four entrants an hour the chance to crush a car. And if you’re unlucky there, in the waiting hub you will also be able to play a car racing game, watch a live feed of cars being crushed and view the gallery of cars destroyed previously.

This is too much for a Wednesday, no?

David Harling, head of digital at MoneySuperMarket, said: “We wanted to demonstrate in a very ‘real’ way just how powerful our price comparison site is in crushing car insurance quotes and this activity was the perfect fit, playing to every driver’s secret desire to obliterate a car in true movie villain style.”

“The execution is in keeping with the ‘epic’ tone of our creative executions and gives car drivers across the country a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity they’ll be bragging to friends about for weeks.”

‘Engagement and destruction’. It’s like Ballard or something.

Lidl are now trolling Morrisons

October 4th, 2014 11 Comments By Mof Gimmers

Lidl are at it again! After trolling Sainsbury’s over their 50p debacle, they’re now taking the Michael out of Morrisons.

As you know, Morrisons have announced that they are going to price match Lidl with a new scheme, after Lidl and Aldi ate away at the competitions profits by basically selling everything more cheaply.

Lidl aren’t taking that lying down and have trolled Morrisons in an advert in today’s papers.

IMG 20141004 092235 408x500 Lidl are now trolling Morrisons

 

As Lidl point out, you can go through all the faff of price matching with Morrisons and follow the exhaustive instructions as detailed in the sarcastic ad above, or, you could just shop at Lidl.

Looks like this is just the beginning of the supermarket wars getting ugly with each other in the press. Grab the popcorn. This could get very entertaining.

Look at the state of this chartered accountant

October 3rd, 2014 No Comments By Mof Gimmers

Initially, we were going to say ‘here’s a picture of Jonathan Franks, a chartered accountant, presented without comment’.

However, it really is very difficult to look at a berk in a suit, posing with a guitar, trying to jazz up a chartered accountancy advert without thinking of all the swear words simultaneously, as well as being flooded with irritation and looming pity.

Seriously. There were so many opportunities to make sure this photo didn’t happen, yet…

BaltFA8CEAADjJA 500x375 Look at the state of this chartered accountant

This photo was stolen from a twitter account.

It’s not enough that the bargain supermarkets are cheaper and more popular than the traditional stalwarts, now Lidl is proving that it too is as funny as Aldi by taking out massive adverts in national newspapers just to take the proverbial out of Sainsbury’s.

You can’t have failed to notice the huge gaffe Sainsbury’s made the other day, when a staff motivation poster encouraging workers to squeeze just 50p more out of every customer was accidentally posted in the main store window, rather than in the staff room. So Lidl have responded in kind, designing their own mock-up of the same poster and printing it in two national newspapers today.

Lidl Sainsbury s 50p challenge Lidl trolls Sainsburys 50p challenge error

Of course, there is one important difference in the Lidl ad- rather than wanting customers to spend 50p more, Lidl wants their ‘lovely’ customers to save as many 50ps as they can, tying it in to their latest #lidlsurprises campaign.

Arnd Pickhardt, advertising and marketing director of Lidl UK, said: “We saw an opportunity to show – in a light-hearted way – how our customers can make savings of 50p and beyond by shopping with us. As part of our #LidlSurprises campaign, we’re always looking for fun ways to surprise and delight our customers.”

We’re down with being surprised and delighted by humorous trolling. Every little helps.

Deathwatch: Argos aliens

October 1st, 2014 1 Comment By Ian Wade

Cheerio Argos Aliens!

Yes, the slightly baffling and teeth grating family of aliens that Argos have had as a front for their business, are to bid farewell after three years of unfunniness.

They’ve posted a 60 second video to Argos fans. Clearly because such a realm exists.

The aliens final fling is set to a rendition of Frank Sinatra’s ‘My Way’ from a Ziggy Stardust-clad Dad, voiced by Bill Nighy. Even as you watch them depart, they’ll manage to make you unhappy.

Apparently the aliens attracted seven million YouTube hits over the last three years. Mostly people rubbing their eyes and going “WTF is this garbage?”

As a parting gift for aliens fans Argos’ social media agency, The Social Practice, has launched a Facebook and Twitter competition to win a set of alien dolls and Argos vouchers by voting for the best alien moments from the last three years.

“best alien moments”

TNT has a change

September 30th, 2014 No Comments By Ian Wade

tnt 300x228 TNT has a changeTNT have been having something of a rebrand.

Some designers named Design Bridge have rebranded delivery company TNT, “positioning” it as The People Network and to emphasise this, they’ve created a circular device which represents “perpetual motion”.

Further ponce-speak is to be had, as Design Bridge were asked to come up with something that would “reflect TNT’s vision”.

“The People Network”, reflects the company’s aim to connect people and businesses in a “truly personal, rather than purely professional manner”, according to Design Bridge.

And – Oh God – they hope it will help “galvanise the ‘challenger’ spirit of those working internally at TNT”, as well as TNT customers.

TNT chief executive Tex Gunning, said this with his mouth: “Customers are not barcodes and we are not robots. We all relate to what drives our customers: business growth with a personal touch. Taking time to understand what customers really need distinguishes us from others. We are The People Network.”

There’s an advert too, so feast your eyes

TNT Post rebranded as Whistl earlier this month too. No idea why.

Bitterwallet Facebook censorship Facebook will now follow you around throwing ads at youUpgrade your ad blockers, for Facebook’s ads are now going to start stalking you on the internet.

Starting today, Facebook will use data it gathers from the users for its new ad network, Atlas, which it will serve up ads on non-Facebook sites based on what Facebook knows about you.

Atlas was a Microsoft thing that Facebook scooped up last year to the tune of $100 million. Facebook have tinkered a bit with it a bit, but Atlas is a bit like Google’s AdWords, which will let advertisers follow users across the web and mobile devices.

According to a blog post from Atlas’ head, Erik Johnson: ”Cookies don’t work on mobile, are becoming less accurate in demographic targeting and can’t easily or accurately measure the customer purchase funnel across browsers and devices or into the offline world.”

Let us all enjoy that once again; “customer purchase funnel.

This opens a hellmouth of new opportunities for online advertising, with Atlas acting as an alternative to Google ads. Feel free to add your own ‘do bears shit in the woods’ sentiments in the comments below.

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…