Posts Tagged ‘advertising’
In marketing, what goes down well in the office ideas pod might actually be a teensy bit dodgy in real life. Like this alleged campaign by Intelligent Marketing Solutions (the clue is in the name), who are apparently paying people to pose as shoppers and demand that Typhoo is stocked in more stores. By generating a fake demand for it, they obviously hope that sales will increase.
But, er, isn’t this all a bit dodgy? Take for example, the email from IMS to its secret shoppers:
‘We have been asked by our client to contact Sainsbury’s by the following methods [email, Facebook etc] to ask why they no longer stock Typhoo tea in a specific store (the stores will be listed) and to ask if this product can be restocked. Rates of pay are £1.50 per call, with the exception of the letter and telephone assignment, which are paid at £2.50.’
The online ‘assignment’ involved stores all around the country, and shoppers were asked not to identify themselves as marketing lackeys. But the plan is now apparently on hold after the media got wind of the email.
It’s still not clear whether IMS is working for Typhoo, or on behalf of some crazy tea head who is willing to pay thousands to see their favourite brew back on the shelves. What’s the betting it IS Typhoo? After all, it tastes like pond water, and the only person who ever buys it is your gran.
Tesco have announced that they’re going to be getting really creepy and installing screens at 450 petrol station forecourts which allow advertisers to use facial recognition software while filming your face, so they can glean information about you and tailor which adverts are shown while you queue at tills.
This technology is being deployed in conjunction with Amscreen, who just happens to be owned by Lord Sugar. And you can see their dead-eyed pitch below.
This Minority Report style meddling is known as OptimEyes and it films you before feeding all our faces into a data stream which advertisers can then manipulate.
Defending his technology Sugar said: “Yes, it’s like something out of Minority Report, but this could change the face of British retail and our plans are to expand the screens into as many supermarkets as possible. The OptimEyes does not store images or recognise people but just works out gender and sorts customers into one of three age brackets.”
Changing the face of British retail? Maybe we should all change our faces with masks to muck up this snide device? Either way, Tesco will have this Amscreen deal in place for the next five years.
Since Facebook took control of Instagram, it was clear that, at some point, the photo-sharing app was going to have to earn its keep. It didn’t take long for an announcement about adverts appearing on people’s timelines of sunsets, dead-eyed cats and dreary vistas of nights out.
Ads will begin appearing in users’ feeds this week and in a blog post, showed what they’ll look like. They picked two artsy-fartsy ads, but you can imagine ones for penis growth pills and weight-loss regimes won’t be nearly as tasteful. That said, IG will be hand-picking the early advertisers, with Levi’s and Ben & Jerry’s first in the queue.
The main difference is that these commercials and normal photos is that, in the right corner, users will have a blue arrow icon and the word “sponsored”, just so you don’t get confused. You’ll be able to tell IG to hide it or tell them why you don’t like a given ad.
Is this all a bit intrusive, or is it a fair trade-off for a free service?
Fairy Liquid’s age old claim that it lasts twice a long as other brands has been contested by its closest rival, Persil, who say that the latest ads for Fairy are false and their claims are unsubstantiated. But the ASA has overruled Persil, after they found that Fairy really DOES last twice as long.
Persil got in a lather over its new campaign, featuring the slogan ‘Fairyconomy’, and a picture of bottle of Fairy with an equals sign – followed by a photo of two bottles of the ‘next best-selling brand.’ According to Nielsen data, that brand is Persil.
Persil challenged the ads, saying that it was an unfair comparison, and no mention was made of the actual size of the bottle of Fairy.
But the ASA threw out the complaint, saying that Procter and Gamble could prove it: ‘We sought expert advice on the robustness of the evidence provided by Procter & Gamble. The expert considered the test reflected the practices of consumers and demonstrated that Fairy lasted at least twice as long as Persil. On that basis, we considered the claims that Fairy lasted twice as long as the next best-selling brand had been substantiated.’
Is this the beginning of washing up liquid war? Will there be a Persil Challenge? Either way, things are going to get nasty, and er…bubbly.
Just when you thought Ryanair couldn’t get any eye rollingly tacky, they’re now introducing plans to turn planes into flying billboards. As a spokesman explained, in typical Ryanairspeak, planes are going to double up as ‘Britain’s largest – and cheapest – advertising medium.’
The move comes after Ryanair announced an uncharacteristic 21% dip in profits last quarter, which the airline say was related to rising fuel costs and the early Easter. Michael O’Leary, never one to miss a money making opportunity, is frantically trying to claw it back. As a result, businesses will be able to advertise on the plane’s fuselage and its wings for 12 months at a time.
In another money saving bid, Ryanair pilots have also been asked to fly more slowly to preserve fuel and reduce costs by 15%.
So picture your next holiday. It takes you a day and a half to get to Fyzyzyzczyk airport, (300 miles away from your destination) because you’re going at 3 miles an hour. Not only that, but you are crammed into a tin can with ‘Barry’s Red Kola’ written on the side and ‘Carpet World’ on the wings.
Not exactly the golden age of travel, is it?
The future is a dark and horrible place, thanks to two inventions that are being flaunted around by absolute madmen.
First off, is Microsoft’s new touchscreen that can touch you back. The screen mimics how physical objects feel by offering ‘tactile feedback’ to users (which will make pornography a whole new frontier).
Microsoft say this haptic technology “[does] for the sense of touch what computer graphics does for vision.”
The continue: “The force-feedback monitor responds to convey the sensation of different materials: The stone block “feels” hard to the touch and requires more force to push, while the sponge block is soft and easy to push.”
Naturally, Microsoft aren’t thinking of bongo films, but rather, they’re hoping this will be useful for the medical profession, with one of the engineers saying: “I could see an image of the front of a brain and pushing a finger through the layers of the brain to travel through the data. I could imagine receiving haptic feedback when you encountered an anomaly, such as a tumor, because we can change the haptic response based on what you touch.”
The rest of us meanwhile, will be pretending to finger cam girls.
Elsewhere, a German firm want to give us all talking windows, presumably for awful adverts, which will give the sensation that the sound appears to “come from inside the user’s head” when passengers lean against them. Brrr. Train rides are going to grim when you’re minding your own business trying to have a kip.
The Talking Window campaign idea was shown off at the International Festival of Creativity in Cannes last month with developer BBDO saying they’d received “highly encouraging first reactions” from those who tested it.
BBDO say: ”Some people don´t like advertising in general. But this is really a new technology. [It might] not only be used for advertising, but also for music, entertainment, mass transport information, weather reports and so on.”
It’s only a matter of time before these two technologies are combined, putting voices in our head while our touchscreens grope our nether-regions into a pulp.
The World Health Organisation are totally in a McFlurry with fast food companies, who they say are finding underhand ways to get round the current rules on advertising junk food to children.
While the ASA have clamped down on junk food ads during children’s programmes, kids are still exposed to the dubious delights of the KFC Ring Zinger or the Domino’s Hot Dog Hoop Pizza during ad breaks for shows like Britain’s Got Talent and the X-Factor – which have 1 million child viewers.
Food companies are also making themselves known on social media networks and on websites popular with younger audiences. Kids are also being drawn in by ‘Advergames’ – ads with interactive content from fast food and confectionary companies.
‘Children are surrounded by adverts urging them to consume high fat, high sugar, high salt foods, even when they are in places where they should be protected, such as schools and sports facilities.” Said Zsuzsanna Jakab, director of WHO in Europe.
The problem seems to be that the way children are consuming culture is changing. 85% of children aged between 8 and 11 are regular Internet users, and one in eight
spoilt bastards kids in that age bracket also own a smartphone. Which means that just clamping down on ads between kid’s shows is obviously not enough.
The WHO report suggests that despite regulations, ‘children in the UK appear to be exposed to just as much food advertising as before full regulation.’
But how can we protect our children? Bombard them with adverts for cabbage instead?
Or maybe we could just say ‘No, Kyle, you can’t have 25 packets of Wotsits and a KFC Krushem with extra Maltesers. Have a banana and shut it.’
Microsoft have filed a patent which could reward users for watching advertisements. The patent is called the ‘Awards and Achievements Across TV Ecosystem’ and it could well be tied in with the new Xbox.
The details released about the Xbox One mentioned the console’s use for TV, along with the new Kinect system.
The patent stated: “Traditional television viewing experiences tend to be passive and do not frequently provide opportunities for a viewer to engage with the programming.”
It added that the “proliferation of digital video recording devices” makes it difficult for advertisers to “introduce their advertisements to viewers.” By monitoring the viewing habits of viewers, this new system could “encourage a user to watch one or more particular items of video content” by offering “awards and achievements.”
Of course, using the word “achievements” suggests that Microsoft won’t be doling cash out, but rather perhaps, in-game unlockable content, free gamer trophies or rewards like “coupons for an advertised product or service, or an actual product.”
What do you make of that? Direct rewards for watching adverts? Does that seem like a fair trade?
Ever since Warrington-born sausage roll botherer Kerry Katona came on the scene brandishing with her relentlessly chirpy coke habit, she’s been in a shedload of trouble.
Now, her new ad for payday loan company Cash Lady has been banned for being a blatant attempt to encourage daft young lasses to get into debt. (Cash Lady offers a gobsmacking APR of 2000%).
‘We’ve all had money troubles at some point, I know I have.’ drones a pissed-sounding Kerry. ‘You could see your bank and fill in loads of forms, but is there an easier way to get a loan … So if you need extra cash go to http://www.cashlady.co.uk. Fast cash for fast lives.’
Responsible, eh? Well the ASA didn’t think so, and it got pulled after receiving 29 complaints. PDB UK, who trades under the Cash Lady, defended their decision to use Kerry, saying their customers would be able to relate to her. (Yikes!)
Katona, who was declared bankrupt in 2008 after she spent all her money on Aston Martins, marching powder and chicken jalfrezi, is the perfect poster girl for debt, but the ASA upheld complaints that it encouraged others to be as stupid as she is. Changes must be made before the ad can go out again, they said.
Perhaps the new ad should instead show Kerry in disarray, the wind whistling through the hole in her septum, raking through some bins at the back of Iceland for a stray prawn ring and 250 Hoisin duck filo parcels?
Eye tracking technology is something marketing gurus get their coke spoons in a twist about on a regular basis. It’s so…Robocop! It’s so futuristic! You can like, see inside people’s BRAINS and sell them what they’re thinking about right now! (in my case, usually chips).
Until now, it’s been pretty duff, but now researchers at Lancaster University have developed an advertising system called ‘Sideways’, which zooms in on faces and eye movements while people are shopping. Then a video screen can show them ads related to what they were looking at as they shopped. More usefully, it can also allow people to use their eyes to control advertising on screens, or scroll through content. An eye swipe, if you will.
Senior researcher Andreas Bulling says it can monitor the eye movements of 14 people at a time using a camera positioned behind the screen. “The system detects the faces of people walking by and calculates where the eyes are relative to the eye corners.” He explained.
The creators hope it will be in use in shops within 5 years, but it’s hard to see how this will work for targeted ads. I don’t know about you, but I look at a lot of things I’m not particularly interested in every day, because I have EYES, and that’s what they do – they look at stuff. Pigeons. Dog poo. Tins of beans. So if this catches on, expect to see a lot of ads you don’t give a toss about.
Business as usual, then…
Everybody universally loathed the original Go Compare ads, so a new campaign was created to acknowledge the fact it was so hated, featuring the Go Compare man being kicked in the stomach by Stuart Pearce and blown up by Sue Barker in a balaclava. Clever eh? Oh I bet there were some wry meta chuckles in the idea pod that day.
But those smart arsed advertisers have been hoisted with their own petards, because now THOSE adverts have become the most complained about ads of 2012 – with nearly 2000 complaints.
31,298 complaints were made to the Advertising Standards Authority last year, mostly from people with nothing better to do. Thanks to the big response to the Go Compare ads, complaints about financial services ads skyrocketed by 86%. The Wonga ads, with their cunningly hidden terms and conditions, were also on the ASA list of doom.
People also took exception to Channel 4’s ‘Bigger’, ‘Fatter’ ‘Gypsier’ campaign to promote My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding, which was third on the list with 373 complaints.
But nobody is more hated than the Go Compare man. It’s enough to make poor Gio Compario sing a heartbreaking aria from Madame Butterfly as he waits for the exhaust fumes to fill his Vauxhall Nova.
If you ever had the slightest ambivalence about children, those computer generated Evian babies would have put you off procreation for life. Well, the weird mutant infants are back to torment us, but this time, they’re not on rollerskates. It’s worse than that. MUCH WORSE.
Called Baby and Me, the new campaign shows a very French, very balding hipster in a V-neck seeing his young self reflected back in a car rear view mirror, then in a mirrored window on the street. Soon, other passers-by stop and see themselves as babies too and they all do a ‘funny’ dance to ‘Here Comes the Hotstepper’ by Ini Kamoze – and the world just got that bit more rubbish.
The first Evian campaign to show the dancing babies was the most viewed advert when it came out in 2009 – now this one has notched up over 20 million hits already. It seems that the world loves babies doing improbable things even more than it likes cats falling off tables.
It all just makes you want to get your water from the tap and throw the Internet in the bin, doesn’t it? I need a drink.
While some people in media still think non-print outlets are nothing but a fad, the rest of the world progresses onward and newspapers are dying left, right and centre. A huge growth industry is advertising through mobiles and the market has seen a spike in spend.
Mobile advertising has nearly tripled to record levels, with UK digital ad spend hit £5bn for the first time. Huge. Advertising through UK mobiles grew a whopping 148% year-on-year and it doesn’t look like slowing down.
With around two thirds of the population having a smartphone or tablet, there’s a lot of money to be made.
Only five years ago, mobile advertising was making a weedy £25m. In 2009, mobile accounted for a paltry 1% of the total UK digital advertising market.
“There is simply so much buzz around mobile,” said Tim Elkington, director of research and strategy at the Internet Advertising Bureau. “Marketers are becoming more attune to the ‘always on’ nature of consumers who expect to engage with content wherever they are.”
The 4G rollout is only going to see ad spend increasing and marketing companies will increase their interest in social networks.
You wouldn’t expect Courtney Love to be brand ambassador for anything remotely socially acceptable. I mean she’s not going to be flicking her rat tails for L’Oreal or smoothing her gnarly track marks with Oil of effin’ Olay, is she?
So the decision to feature Court in a quite stunningly hilarious ad for Njoy e-cigarettes seems just right, somehow. E-cigarettes, with their mystery non toxic vapours, share all the unpleasant/exciting characteristics associated with actual cigarettes, but you can’t chuck anyone off the Megabus for pretending to smoke a clown fag. Similarly, Courtney is disturbing and inappropriate, but she’s there, and there ain’t nothing you can do about it.
The ad is an undisputed classic, featuring a ravaged, decadent Courtney at the kind of swanky party she would definitely not get on the guest list for, being told off by a haughty dowager for lighting up.
‘Relax’ she growls, like the Oscar nominated badass she is. ‘It’s a f***** Njoy.’
Sheer marketing genius.