Amazon has the most social influence

October 31st, 2014 No Comments By Ian Wade

amazoninstant Amazon has the most social influenceA Top 50 detailing the brands with the most social influence has been topped by that Amazon.

The Klout Top 50 was compiled using data from the Interbrand 2014 Best Global Brands Report and corresponding Klout scores, had Microsoft as close second followed by MTV, Google and Facebook.

The chart was based on how the brands engage socially with their client and user-base and lots of other types of factors, although ignoring ‘not cool taxwise’ as a factor.

Katy Keim, CMO of Klout owner Lithium, said: “The Klout 50 salutes those brands that know social is part of their consumer’s everyday life and for effectively connecting and sharing experiences with them. However, this is also a wake-up call for the brands that are not on the list to understand that without social they lose.”

Get her.

Shall we look at the whole list with their Klout scores then?

1.)  Amazon 98.86
2.)  Microsoft 98.85
3.)  MTV 98.32
4.)  Google 98.04
5.)  Facebook 97.94
6.)  Intel 95.94
7.)  Nintendo 95.04
8.)  McDonald’s 94.74
9.)  Ebay 93.82
10.)  Ford 93.19
11.)  Sony 93.06
12.)  HP 92.38
13.)  Chevrolet 92.36
14.)  Coca-Cola 91.99
15.)  Thomson Reuters 91.89
16.)  General Electric 91.37
17.)  Nike 91.22
18.)  Honda 90.94
19.)  Pizza Hut 90.94
20.)  Audi 90.75
21.)  Adidas 90.00
22.)  Adobe 89.90
23.)  Nokia 89.84
24.)  Goldman Sachs 89.67
25.)  Tiffany and Co 89.60
26.)  Budweiser 89.56
27.)  Porsche 89.22
28.)  Apple (AppStore) 89.19
29.)  Shell 88.94
30.)  Pepsi 88.80
31.)  SAP 88.59
32.)  American Express 88.50
33.)  Louis Vuitton 87.76
34.)  MasterCard 87.42
35.)  Oracle 87.14
36.)  Gucci 86.75
37.)  Morgan Stanley 86.65
38.)  Burberry 86.04
39.)  Accenture 86.01
40.)  Caterpillar Inc 85.27
41.)  3M 85.20
42.)  John Deere 83.53
43.)  Starbucks 83.51
44.)  Sprite 83.22
45.)  Gillette 83.03
46.)  Zara 83.02
47.)  Heineken 82.81
48.)  Gap 82.76
49.)  Disney 82.39
50.)  KFC 81.76

pizza 300x168 Order pizza by shouting FEED ME! at your XboxOrdering a takeaway is hard. You have to first navigate all the menus on JustEat or rifle through all those awful flyers and menus you got stuffed unceremoniously in your letter box and then actually speak to someone on the phone or hit buttons with your fingers.

It is too much like hard work.

Well, here’s good news for you slovens – you’ll be able to simply shout at your Xbox One and get pizza delivered to your door. Sadly, no-one has worked out a way of getting it in your mouth without you walking to the front door and paying someone, but its a start.

Inspired by the Xbox 360′s Pizza Hut app, which raked it in thanks to gaming stoners, the new Domino’s app allows you to utilise the voice-function on your console and simply bark orders at it until someone makes and delivers you a pizza.

The app is optimised for Kinect and as soon as you say “Domino’s, feed me!”, you’re on the way to being fed. You may or may not be aware that Domino’s recently updated their iOS and Android app to allow voice-controlled ordering.

How wonderfully lazy this is.

Toyota ad banned

October 30th, 2014 2 Comments By Ian Wade

An advert for that Toyota Yaris Hybrid has been banned.

A whopping 74 viewers were so enraged by the advert, seemingly encouraging dangerous driving, that they felt moved to register a moan about it.

Created by Saatchi & Saatchi, the ad featured various drivers and passengers enjoying various tunes that were transmitted to their GPS, the edited version of the UK advert focussed on Bruno Mars’ song ‘Locked Out of Heaven’. If the were really driving dangerously, they’d surely be thrown into heaven?

Perhaps we could address some priorities here and suggest the complainants are whinging about the wrong element of the ad, and should focus their ire on Mr Mars.

Toyota defended the ad and told the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) that the car adhered to the speed limit and there were no shots of it travelling fast, competitively or in a daring manner.

They said they tried to portray that both the driver and passengers in the car were having a good time whilst driving, as it wanted to “dispel the myth that drivers cannot have fun whilst driving safely”.

They also denied that the female driver had her eyes closed at any point, which was another point singled out as a complaint. Again, priorities people.

ITV, which broadcast the TV version of the advert, said no viewers had complained to its Viewer Services, and YouTube, which ran the ad online, agreed.

The ASA said that singing along with Bruno Mars is fine (sheesh) but it was concerned that viewers would believe that the closed eyed lady wasn’t paying attention to the onslaught of the road.

The ads must not appear again in their current form and Toyota was told to ensure its ads do not depict dangerous driving in future.

That’s them told.

Hilarious kid shows the art of selling loom bands

October 30th, 2014 1 Comment By Mof Gimmers

Loom bands, as we know, are trouble. Some of them are toxic. Some of them lumber dads with stupidly high phone bills. However, the main problem is that, once you’ve made a lovely thing with some loom bands, nobody wants them.

And so, to a little girl who has an original approach to the art of commerce while trying to sell her loom band creations.

Not only does she scream the street down in a bid to flog some, she also reveals a hilariously potty mouth when talking about them. Save this video – she might end up on The Apprentice or Dragon’s Den in a few years time.

Funny Girl Sells Loom Bands from Mof Gimmers on Vimeo.

halal test 300x163 Check everything is pork free with the Halal test kitA food testing kit which allow you to check if your purchase is Halal or not could soon be a thing in the UK.

Halal Test, which launched in France this week by French start-up Capital Biotech, uses immunochromatography, which is the same technology used for pregnancy tests, to detect traces of pork in food, cosmetics and medicines.

The portable test, which costs €6.90 each or €125 for a pack of 25, had already attracted considerable interest from several companies in the UK and further afield.

Halal Test is currently available only in France through traditional retail channels or online, but the makers of the kits reckon the UK is a very interesting market to develop further.

The test is packaged with a small tube into which a food sample is mixed with warm water. A test strip is then inserted into the tube, and after a few minutes reveals whether any pork traces are present by displaying two lines for a positive result and one for a negative result.

It can also sniff out alcohol in food products too, like a proper party pooper. The company is also developing a test that can detect how an animal was killed too. It’s all glamour, basically.

Capital Biotech said: “There are similar tests which use similar technology, but they are much more complicated to use, and require a special liquid extraction buffer usually containing ethanol. We concentrated our research efforts to simplify the use of these tests and get rid of the liquid extraction buffer, which makes them easy to use by anyone and anywhere.”

Imagine that – going to a restaurant and pulling out a mini laboratory and making the rest of your family wait for your findings while their food goes cold.

Tesco cash machine offers ‘free erections’

October 29th, 2014 No Comments By Mof Gimmers

Large businesses and government departments just can’t get their heads around the fact that, if you’re going to produce something in Welsh, then it might be a good idea to hire a Welsh person to do it for you or you might end up with all manner of nonsense.

We’ve had roadsigns emblazoned with an out-of-office message and a cycling sign oddly warning of bladder disease (for more, click here, just to see how wrong people get it). Now, we’ve got a cash machine that offers customers ‘free erections’ rather than the usual withdrawals. Arf.

The clanger was spotted at a Tesco in Aberystwyth.

codiad am ddim 500x332 Tesco cash machine offers free erections

Tesco will be sorting this mess out as soon as they can and said: ”Thanks to everyone who pointed out the mistake,” before muttering under their breath about not being able to catch a bloody break at the minute.

Councillor Ceredig Davies, who saw the sign, said: ”There were a few titters in the town so I went down to have a look myself. Ten out of 10 to Tesco for considering the Welsh language… but perhaps they should have had it checked by an actual Welsh speaker before putting the signs on the machines.”

“People get their Welsh translations wrong from time to time but this one is hilarious.”

Saeson ynfyd – dim ond un peth ar eu meddyliau!

In Japan, Pepsi do all manner of crazy things. Remember the Pepsi flavoured crisps? Well now, they’ve released a Pepsi drink that tastes like strawberry milkshake. That’s not some strawberry milkshake with Pepsi branding – that’s a glass of cola that tastes like fruit and milk.

zmcygkcqctjy3iyxsvuk 500x281 Anyone for Pepsi that tastes like strawberry milkshake?

In the past, Pepsi have given the world Ice Cucumber Pepsi, Salty Watermelon Pepsi and other completely baffling things in a bottle.

If you’re in Japan in December, then this latest concoction will go on-sale on December 9th and, it goes without saying, those who have tried this drink (it was previously on-sale in 2011) say it is fantastically sweet.

Which drink dissolves a mouse the quickest remains to be seen.

Deathwatch: Cadbury Chocolate coins

October 28th, 2014 No Comments By Ian Wade

chocolate coins 300x212 Deathwatch: Cadbury Chocolate coinsCadbury have discontinued producing chocolate coins. Cue half of Britain screaming: Noooooooo!

The news was revealed when a Twitter user asked Cadbury about the news, which they sadly confirmed.

The treat, which can usually be found 98% of the time in a Christmas stocking, had been in production for over 40 years, but now reckon cheaper alternatives from your discounters had taken them over saleswise.

So they’re driving consumers to scoff inferior chocolate. WELL DONE EVERYONE.

Some brusque – and tellingly, unnamed spokesman for Cadbury told the Telegraph that the production of the coins “fiddly”. Pouring charm into wounds by adding “We are sorry to see the coins go, but that’s business.”

Cadbury said Christmas was still its most important time of year, but that the company preferred to focus on Selection Packs, Roses boxes and tins, tree decorations and its new chocolate snowmen.

BUT NOT THE COINS.

Bastards.

Walmart says sorry for ‘fat girl’ costumes

October 28th, 2014 No Comments By Mof Gimmers

Supermarkets and big businesses aren’t best known for their tact, so it comes as no surprise that Walmart is apologising for something they’ve done.

On the retail behemoth’s site, you could access an area in the Halloween category called ‘Fat Girl Costumes.’ Obviously, they’ve deleted it now, but not after it was swiped and screengrabbed and everyone kicked off about it.

B1CPOg6IYAAC0fw 500x244 Walmart says sorry for fat girl costumes

Basically, the collection of outfits was aimed at plus-sized women who, when we last checked, didn’t like being referred to as ‘fat girls’.

Walmart, of course, tweeted an apology: ”This never should have been on our site. It is unacceptable, and we apologize. We worked quickly to remove this.”

There’s little that pleases us more than a company creating a brand design or logo that looks like someone’s undercarriage. We’re incredibly puerile, yes.

This week, someone noticed that Tesco’s buttermilk had a packaging design that looked rather like someone’s flaccid junk. And once you see it, it really can’t be unseen.

tesco buttermilk Tesco cock up with buttermilk (and other logo fails)

That got us thinking of other times when logos have ballsed-up. Of course, these articles aren’t particularly original, but like re-runs of You’ve Been Framed, we can’t help but laugh at immature stuff, so we’re going to share our favourite accidentally dirty logos and want you to share your favourites with us.

One of the most notorious is the Catholic Church’s Archdiocesan Youth Commission logo which, with some clean, simple lines, depicts the dismal abuse that has been routinely covered up by the Vatican.

catholic churchs archdiocesan youth commission Tesco cock up with buttermilk (and other logo fails)

Then, of course, you’ve got the fabulous China Restaurant design, which looks like someone inserting a rocket ship directly up someone’s poo hole.

china restaurant Tesco cock up with buttermilk (and other logo fails)

The importance of the correct typeface is one that some aren’t concerned about and can see words being used that alludes to another. Here, we have something that, while clearly photoshopped, shows how the humble mince pie could be read as something completely different.

minge pies Tesco cock up with buttermilk (and other logo fails)

Another favourite is the Clinical Dental design, which is obviously supposed to look like a stick-figure dentist looking after a patient. However, the end result forces puns about “filling someone’s cavity” and all that.

clinica dental logo Tesco cock up with buttermilk (and other logo fails)

Then, there’s the brillinat Computer Doctors logo where some graphic designer drew a mouse freehand and a whole team of people missed the fact that it looked like the tip of someone’s wang.

computer doctors 500x353 Tesco cock up with buttermilk (and other logo fails)

Of course, these are small companies who might not have scores of people working for them, so things are easily missed. No such excuse for the Office of Government Commerce who got a fancy logo designed that looked like a fella fiddling with himself.

ocg 500x373 Tesco cock up with buttermilk (and other logo fails)

Our favourite though, just for the sheer size of the distribution, is the One Euro coin that placed a nice cock and balls into the pocket of every man, woman and child who lived in the EU. Easy to miss, thanks to missing Norway off the map, everyone ended up with a Scandinavia that looked like a very accurate outline of a man’s parts. Fabulous.

euro Tesco cock up with buttermilk (and other logo fails)

Like we said, feel free to send us your own favourites, or indeed, complain about how you’ve seen all these before and how perfectly good sites are succumbing to Buzzfeed-style reporting.

Regarding the latter – we won’t hear your moans because we’re too busy laughing at things that look like wonkers.

The best and worst UK hotels revealed!

October 27th, 2014 No Comments By Ian Wade

hotel 300x300 The best and worst UK hotels revealed!A survey by Which!!! to find out Britain’s best hotel chain has revealed Sofitel as the winner. The upmarket version of Novotel has rooms at £144 a night and only has three branches in the UK.

The runner-up Premier Inn, offers 650 hotels in the UK, and is more the hotel of choice for those on a smaller budget.

Eligible hotel firms were judged in nine categories, including cleanliness, customer service, food, and value for money. The rest of the Top five were Warner Leisure Hotels, Hampton by Hilton and Q Hotels.

However at the other end of the chart lurk Travelodge, Britannia Hotels and Old English Inns/Hotels. Shall we have a look at the chart in full?

Yes, let’s:

Name                                    Average Price    Customer score

Sofitel                                     £144                       83%
Premier Inn                          £61                         82%
Warner Leisure Hotels    £128                       80%
Hampton by Hilton           £80                         78%
Q Hotels                                £102                        78%
Marriott Hotels                  £110                        73%
DoubleTree by Hilton      £112                         72%
Holiday Inn Express         £72                          72%
MacDonald Hotels            £124                        72%
Novotel Hotels                    £97                          72%
Radisson Blu                       £111                         72%
Holiday Inn                         £88                          71%
Ibis                                           £63                         71%
Crowne Plaza Hotels        £107                       70%
Ramada                                  £75                         69%
Best Western                       £92                         67%
Hilton Hotels                       £110                       67%
Ibis Budget                            £32                        67%
Copthrone Hotels              £86                         64%
Mercure Hotels                  £93                         64%
The Hotel Collection        £109                       63%
Jurys Inn                               £87                         62%
Days Inn/Hotel                   £55                         61%
Thistle Hotels                      £101                       61%
Travelodge                            £44                        60%
De Vere Hotels                    £115                       58%
Principal Hayley Hotels  £120                       55%
Old English Inns/Hotels £70                         50%
Britannia Hotels                £56                         33%

Poor old Travelodge. But hey, with average price of £44 a room, it’s good for romps with your secret lover or somewhere to be sick in and crash after a work’s party.

No power cuts this Winter, vows Davey

October 27th, 2014 2 Comments By Ian Wade

day2energy bkgd2 660x852 232x300 No power cuts this Winter, vows DaveyThere will be no power cuts this Winter. That, is what UK Energy Secretary Ed Davey, has vowed.

The government were moved to comment on the unrest that the UK could be thrown back into the 1970s when it was power cuts ahoy. Davey has also claimed that a back-up plan is ready to be set in motion should anything actually go wrong.

One of the plans involve is where firms could be paid to generate their own electricity and factory production could be shifted to non-peak times.

Fears of what was called an ‘energy crunch’ were heightened after several fires and incidents at power stations, along with the closure of others.

Davey said: “We have extra contingencies on top of the caution, and extra contingencies on top of the contingencies.”

“They [the companies] volunteer to get payments – if the National Grid say, ‘we want you to come off the national grid for a few hours and generate your own power’, you will get paid for that. That is cheaper for the consumer than building an extra power plant. Cheaper, quicker and industry likes it.”

“And some companies would change their behaviour, voluntarily, and be recompensed for it. Turning down their refrigerators by a degree, or changing a shift pattern for a week so staff come in earlier… the idea is to move factory production away from peak demand periods.”

The UK is looking down the barrel of an energy crunch over the next two winters when the capacity margin – how much its total generating capacity outstrips expected peak demand – is expected to shrink to as little as 2%.

In addition to all this, Davey also advised households that they could be saving £200 by choosing a new energy tariff: “I want people to get a better deal on their energy bills. Some of the new smaller suppliers are cutting prices and forcing bigger players to respond. Over two million people switched energy supplier between last October and March this year as competition hots up.”

KFC launches the heart attack snack

October 24th, 2014 No Comments By Ian Wade

Well hello coronary and cheerio clean arteries as KFC Korea have just unleashed a bit of a beast.

Their Zinger Double Down King – which sounds a bit like a name for a mattress – takes no prisoners with two piece of fried chicken sandwiching a bacon cheeseburger.

LOOK AT IT.

zinger 429x500 KFC launches the heart attack snack

It contains 750 calories. Just as a comparison, a Big Mac from McDonald’s is about 550 calories and that’s lower than some sarnies from Pret.

There’s no news as to when – or if – it hits the UK, but it’s slightly more welcome than Ebola, and if you’ve gotta die of one or the other, we know which way we’d go.

Failing that, you could always go to Korea.

Toys R Us ban Breaking Bad figures

October 24th, 2014 1 Comment By Mof Gimmers

breaking bad 300x182 Toys R Us ban Breaking Bad figuresToys R Us have pulled Breaking Bad figures from their shelves after a campaign by a concerned ‘Florida Mom’.

She started a petition to get the collectibles off the shelves, because they’re related to a violent TV show about crack cocaine. Of course, these figures could only be found in the section designated for adults, but there you go.

The stars of the show aren’t best pleased about it either. Aaron Paul who played Jesse Pinkman tweeted: ”Wait, so @ToysRUs pulled all of the Breaking Bad figures from their shelves and still sells Barbie? Hmmmm…I wonder what is more damaging?”

He added: “And what about all of the violent video games you sell @ToysRUs ? Do you still sell those? Florida mom really messed it up for everyone.”

Toys R Us said in a statement: “Let’s just say, the action figures have taken an ‘indefinite sabbatical.’”

Bryan Cranston tweeted his ire too: “Florida mom petitions against Toys ‘R Us over Breaking Bad action figures.’ I’m so mad, I’m burning my Florida Mom action figure in protest,” adding: “Toys R Us puts Breaking Bad toys on ‘indefinite sabbatical.’ Word on the street is that they were sent to Belize. Nicely played Florida Mom.”

So there you have it. America, where you can’t buy toys from a toy shop, but you can get a free gun when you take out a loan. Crackers.

Will the NHS now pay you to lose weight?

October 24th, 2014 1 Comment By Thewlis

fat and happy Will the NHS now pay you to lose weight?Bloaters are always being told about the downsides of being a bit porky – heart disease, diabetes etc- but there’s never been any good news.

Until now. Now, it actually pays to be overweight. A new report by NHS England Chief Exec Simon Stevens outlines a massive £8bn deficit in NHS funding over the next five years and outlines a number of ways in which the gap in finance can be filled. One idea is to reduce NHS spending on all the fat people, by paying them to be less fat.

The report outlines how employers are a key partner in forcing people to lose weight, and how they could reward employees, in cash, shopping vouchers or with prizes, who successfully lose weight. The idea, of course, is that the money the NHS pays out in reimbursing employers will be more than outweighed (arf arf) by the savings for not having to buy more super-sized beds, for example.

But is this really a good plan? While people carrying a few extra pounds who are thinking of slimming down are going to be chuffed at gaining a few quid for their troubles, isn’t this a bit unfair on those who don’t need to lose weight? What about all those people who have spent a fortune on slimming clubs so they aren’t overweight any more? That could be a bit hard to swallow. Should slim people start eating all the pies now so they can get heavy enough to lose some weight and pocket the cash?

And would such a scheme create a different kind of environment at work? Would people who don’t lose weight feel ostracised or even overlooked for promotion? Do you really want your employer knowing how much you weigh and giving you cash on the basis of your poundage? And what about the poor old self-employed- do they just have to stay fat?

Of course, this is not policy, merely a recommendation as to one way to plug a funding gap. But people used to say they’d never be able to ban smoking either. Perhaps overweight people will one day be a distant memory too…