Friday, December 18, 2009

Aviation Advertising: Benefiting from BA's Balls-Up

Although two years does not qualify as a long and illustrious marketing career, I’ve been around enough senior marketers to know that referencing your competitors in campaigns is an issue that splits hairs and divides opinion across the board.

I, for one, believe that each marketing campaign has its own set of rules, whilst many companies in certain sectors employ ‘comparative marketing’ as the de facto practice (supermarkets being the worst, and most repeat, offenders).

Although British Airways has now had its proposed Christmas strike deemed illegal in a High Court ruling, the past few days has seen a glut of aviation advertising, all of which has very cleverly referenced the farcical goings on at BA.

Here’s my favourite piece of press advertising from this week; a simple strapline from BMI. When commercial opportunity knocks, referencing the competition can be a clever and effective strategy – especially with copy this good.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

You've Been Hit By, Some Smooth Advertising...

The high-profile and sudden death of Michael Jackson this July was perhaps one of the year’s biggest news stories. Tributes have consistently poured in from across the globe, including some more appropriate than others.

Using an incredible simplistic yet effective piece of design, BBDO has designed this brilliant memorial piece for MTV in Germany, using a combination of ‘charity ribbons’ and the late singer’s iconic legs to pay homage to this enigmatic performer.

Such elegant and simple design is often the most effective.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

iMarketing - Apple Copywriting

Apple is a brand that exudes cool in an effortless manner. Of course, this is all a fa├žade; the branding is in fact the result of clever marketing and the best expertise in the business.

Apple is one of the few brands I allow to bombard my inbox with sales marketing, despite the fact that I can barely afford a Granny Smith, let alone a shiny new iPhone. I allow them this pleasure purely to see what their talented marketing bods are up to and with festive marketing going into overdrive, thought that I’d share this ad with you all:

I could sit here and analyse the strapline’s meaning, however it’s elegant simplicity speaks for itself. Great copy from a great brand, this is a first-class example of relating the Christmas theme to product’s unique feature. ‘Cracking’ (ho ho ho) stuff.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Facebook: The Godfather of Social Media and its Identity Crisis

LinkedIn, Twitter, Ning, blogs, mobile applications: 2009 is undeniably the year that social media hit the mainstream, fast becoming ingrained in daily life and accepted by society at large. Whilst the glut of social media options now available to us ensures that we are able to communicate and brand ourselves more thoroughly than ever before, what connotations does this hold for Facebook, the Godfather of social media?

Prior to 2009’s social networking revolution, Facebook was social media. Before ‘tweet’ became a verb; before the gardener’s dog had his own blog; before we had mobile applications that showed us where cash points were, we were quite content to post a few pictures on Facebook and scrawl messages on each other’s walls. But times have changed, and in social media, that change ain’t renowned for happening slowly.

A Twitter friend of mine, @WendyJacob, whom I have also had the pleasure of meeting in real life, has used her insightful blog to discuss the function of Facebook in today’s social media-rich world. She argues that she uses Facebook purely for social reasons, which I believe is a vital question that social marketers must address.

Around eighteen months ago (comparable eons in SM terms), Facebook was your one-stop shop for social media. Comfortable cornering the market, Facebook users used the site for everything, from personal branding to chatting with friends and playing games. As we sit upon the cusp of 2010 however, an abundance of options offer us specific channels for each purpose of our lives, social and professional – so what does this mean for Facebook?

In short, Facebook is like a middle-aged father suffering an identity crisis. Threatened by the arrival of trendy new kids on the block, the site is struggling to incorporate a variety of features in order to keep up with the leading pack and offer all users everything they could possible want. It shouldn’t.

The age-old LinkedIn vs Facebook debate still rumbles on in social marketing circles. Sure, Facebook has an undeniable larger reach – put simply, it is the largest network of people in the world – but quantity does not necessarily equate to quality.

The success of channels such as Twitter, LinkedIn, blogs about gardening and applications for gaming geeks all succeed due to one common theme – they serve a specific purpose. For the majority of Generation Y (and I include myself in this demographic), Facebook will forever connote fun, friends and frivolity rather than a professional ‘Brand Me’.

Recruiters and marketers may wax lyrical about Facebook’s reach, but as with all marketing, it’s about hitting the right people in the right channel – and Facebook should remain a playground rather than a board room.

Am I alone in this sentiment?

Breathtakingly Simple...

Following on in a similar vein from the previous post, I have stumbled across yet another example of simple copy that results in a big impact. This American advert for Wonderbra, by Saatchi and Saatchi, simply uses the brand name, inserting an extra ‘d’ to connote the effects of the product in question.

Quite simply, breathtakingly simple.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Copy Doesn't Have to be Long...

Some of the most effective marketing communications are successful due to their simplicity. This stunning new anti-smoking advert uses only three words, but the impact is undeniable. Click on the picture to enlarge it...

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

The New Meerkat?

It is only extremely rare and isolated incidents when I become a man of very little words – and this is one such time. Drench, a bottled water brand in the UK, has launched a stunning new campaign featuring hamsters which can only be described as an assault on Compare the Meerkat’s ‘cutesy’ throne. Enjoy…