Catvertising: why more ad agencies need to learn to laugh at themselves

Catvertising is the latest YouTube sensation to ‘go viral’, with creators, Canadian advertising agency John St., undoubtedly now reaping the rewards of global awareness. How did this little 150 second clip gain nearly 1 million views? And what other agency can claim that from what is essentially a promotional video? Quite simply because there is something for everyone: People love the cats, brand-side marketers enjoy the mockery of typical agency showreel videos and every other marketing consultancy around the world is wishing they thought of the idea themselves. In terms of a strategy for new business, this ticks every box: … Continue reading Catvertising: why more ad agencies need to learn to laugh at themselves

The M&S Tortoise

Being the brand geek that I am, this blog is no stranger to featuring my favourite print ads (and I’ve recently started a TV ad playlist on my YouTube channel to capture my broadcast favourites too). So here’s a little charmer from this morning’s press (this particular execution sat in the Daily Express). He’s cute. It’s a tortoise. In a woolly bobble hat. Heating his home. What’s not to love? But largely, it is all about timing. And that is the beauty of tactical advertising. Over the last 10 days, London has become considerably colder, with those annual domestic arguments … Continue reading The M&S Tortoise

Mercedes-Benz on the runway

Thoughts welcome on the LFW advertising offering from Mercedes-Benz: I’ve been meaning to post this ad for a while but, if I’m honest I haven’t quite figured out if I think it is freshingly and strikingly simple, or just plain dull. On first sight, it struck me as a very straightforward concept, that perfectly conveyed the brand partnership between the luxury car dealer and Fashion Week. The runway as a road, M-B as the only vehicle suitable to transport you down it – or, as a metaphor for life’s runway. Thus the glamorous audience feasting on the fashions falling off … Continue reading Mercedes-Benz on the runway

Shall we take a taxi darling? No, I think I’d rather drive…

In Rob Walker‘s must-read brand/consumer relationship book Buying In, he states: “Wherever a new kind of audience or public forms, a new ad venue is created.” This is hard to deny, which is why we see advertising space on every possible communication platform – from bus stops to the adhesive back of car park tickets. Cab receipts are no exception and I’m always interested to see what brands feel they can derive revenue from using this space. Well, from a recent cab ride in London town I can conclude that dating sites fall into this category. What prompted me to … Continue reading Shall we take a taxi darling? No, I think I’d rather drive…

Hiscox insurance calls a spade a spade

Snapshot while waiting for a train this morning – a strong outdoor ad from a potentially dull brand. CBS Outdoor Advertising did something equally striking when catching the eye of bored tube commuters at Hammersmith station a few months back. This time, insurance company Hiscox are out to prove that they speak plainly to their customer base, cutting through all the usual jargon spouted by a lot of their financial and insurance competitiors. In this case, literally calling a spade a spade. If my Blackberry photo resolution isn’t quite up to scratch, the copy reads: It’s a Spade. Not an earth … Continue reading Hiscox insurance calls a spade a spade

When headphones became jewellery

I’ve been loving the flurry of luxury brand advertising dominating the glossy pages of all national newspaper supplements from last weekend onwards, marking the onset of London Fashion Week – or #LFW as Twitter users have re-named it in a hashtag frenzy of fashionista gossip. No doubt a few more highlights might make the pages of this blog before the week is out, but one particular Links of London ad caught my eye in the Sunday Telegraph’s brilliant ST Fashion. As preposterously be-jewelled neckpieces provided ostentatious frosting to the sharp tailored lines of the suited collections strutting down the runway, Links … Continue reading When headphones became jewellery

Lions rugby ads – the good, the bad and the worst

As we’ve recently been on the topic of brands capitalising on big sporting headlines, I thought it apt to take a look at two Lions rugby-themed ads which caught my eye this week. And for rather different reasons. HSBC, main sponsor of the British & Irish Lions team have thrown a shed-load of their marketing budget at above the line activation of the sponsorship this summer – and rightly so as their main sporting sponsorship property deserves. Amongst a huge range of creatives, sits the ad below, which I just love. It’s simple, brand-warming and conveys their grassroots-rugby-support message brilliantly: (Although … Continue reading Lions rugby ads – the good, the bad and the worst

Wimbledon brands serve up ace advertising campaigns

Loving the start of Wimbledon this week, as ever, and as players descend on SW19, all sorts of fun advertising begins to emerge. Already, on day 1 of the Tournament, three different Wimbledon-associated companies have made their mark. A big favourite of mine from last year was the Evian outdoor campaign (sorry folks, couldn’t find an image online anywhere annoyingly…) that turned their well-known mountain logo into upside-down strawberries drizzled with cream. Simple but oh-so effective. This year, parent company Danone have apparently gone all out in an effort to make Evian synonymous with British tennis, spending no less than £3m … Continue reading Wimbledon brands serve up ace advertising campaigns

Keira causes a stir for domestic violence charity

Since The Duchness, Ms. Knightley seems to have been fairly distant from our screens. But rest assured, soon we will be seeing a lote more of her – even in the breaks. Her latest commercial, a far cry from the sultry glamour of her Chanel shoot, is for the charity Women’s Aid, helping sufferers of domestic violence overcome their victimisation in the home. Naturally, as with the Think! road safety campaigns, the subject matter is fairly graphic, so the subsequent controversy is inevitable, but the result is a powerful message that, along with an A-list celebrity attachment, should rouse considerable … Continue reading Keira causes a stir for domestic violence charity

You can be certain you’ve worked in an office too long when…

I did tweet this earlier on Twitpic, but it provided so much amusement to my housemate and me yesterday when we were waiting at Hammersmith tube station, that I decided to post it up here too for all and sundry to appreciate. I hope you can make out all the text (click here for the full image), as it’s really hilarious. And, hands down, the longest time I’ve ever spent staring at a tube poster. The perfect illustration of how powerful outdoor advertising can be when it’s done right, and the simpler the better. And who was the source? CBS … Continue reading You can be certain you’ve worked in an office too long when…