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…
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.
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.
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”
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.
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.
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 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.”
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.”
That Virgin Media advert with Usain Bolt in a variety of outfits has been banned after complaints from BT and Sky.
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.
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.
The 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…
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!
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.