Monday, 1 December 2014

Santa is Old News.........

............and it's only December 1st!

If, like me, you're sick of the christmas battle of the ads already, then perhaps we should all sign a petition to delay the christmas exposure?  Will it be John Lewis and that poor little boy with no mates, Sainsburys with their controversial depiction of the first world war Christmas Day truce or M&S with their ads which always get me excited that the stores will be transformed with goodies I won't be able to resist, yet without fail, leave me wondering how there can be such a chasm between their branding and the reality of their offering.  Or even Lidls in their quest to overcome customer perception and get us all to switch from our comfortable stalwart shopping favorites to an unknown, German entity which actually offers just as much quality at vastly reduced prices? The list goes on.

Who will get more online hits, in store sales and who cares?

For all my bemoaning, Christmas for our family is a time of great excitement,  spending time with family and friends, huddled round the fire, relaxing, eating, drinking, revelling in the children's excitement, making it a special time for loved ones and not-so-loved ones alike!

If there was a national ban on christmas advertising until December 1st then there would be less time to spend money, less time to get worked up about it all.  Why should we be driven into parting with our hard earned cash as early as October by retailers?  Today is the 1st December and I feel like we've had Christmas twice over already.

In future, why not wait until December? Then, let the festivities for the true countdown to Christmas begin.


SIGN HERE.................

Thursday, 27 March 2014

3 little words

No, not I love you!

This month saw Santander launch their biggest ad campaign to date with their 'Simple, Personal, Fair' message.  Santander state in the new campaign that these 3 little words sum up their banking service.  Keith Moor, chief marketing officer at Santander, explained “Our brand new campaign is about showing customers how we aspire to be Simple, Personal and Fair, showing them we are listening and doing all we can to build a better bank........” Whether or not this is their actual customers opinion or what they would like their opinion to be (!), it set me thinking.

Our strapline at McCann Erickson was always 'Truth Well Told' which was indeed what we always strived to do as marketeers.  However, confining your company's service or offering to 3 little words is quite a tricky ask?  Although it does focus the mind.  Why not give it a try?

What 3 words best describe what your company offers?  It might take you longer than you thought!

For Footprint Marketing I would choose 'Experienced, Focused, Accountable'.

Bye for now!

Thursday, 13 March 2014

Less is more!

If I threw 5 tennis balls at you how many would you catch?

If you're anything like me, you'd drop them all, but I guess the more agile amongst you might catch one but certainly not all 5!

However if I threw a single tennis ball, you're much more likely to catch it!

The same principle applies to advertising, if you have 5 different messages you're trying to get across in your advertisement, chances are your audience won't take in any of them.  If your advertisement is too busy, if there's too much information to wade through, take it from me, your reader won't read it.  Looking at the press advertising this week in our local paper, I am mortified by the number of advertisers who will have spent a lot of money on their precious advertising space, only to fill that space to the gunnels with headlines, offers, deals, long paragraphs of text, not to mention beautiful photographs which just don't reproduce well in black and white! 

When you're placing an advertisement, think about the environment in which it will appear, chances are you'll be surrounded by similar busy, content filled advertisements all jostling for readers attention.

My advice is to stand out from the crowd, stop the reader in their tracks, remember one word 'KISS', Keep It Simple Stupid!

Stick to one tennis ball!  In other words, one clear message and execute that message clearly and succinctly.  You have a very limited chance to grab and hold your readers attention so make sure they get your message within a few precious seconds before they're on to the next page, offer, deal.

Less is most definitely more.

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Space hoppers in the hall of advertising

Handcuffs, sketchers and a lot more besides!

Click on the link:

This is one of my commercials from the 'hall of advertising', rewind 20 years and it was pretty cutting edge!! Yes really! The task was to launch a hip and trendy music station with limited budget.   The campaign was loud, proud and ever so slightly offensive, running as a cinema commercial, supported by outdoor posters.

Imagine if you will, a 3metre by 6metre road side poster depicting pierced nipples, tampons and condoms scattered around Bristol city centre.  Church goers were not amused with the pierced nipple version appearing outside their front door!  It caused a stir and consequently Galaxy 101 got loads of FREE publicity off the back of it! The lady sporting the 'pierced nipple' was even interviewed on local TV.

All in all, a successful campaign, which far outreached the scope of the original budget because the creative was clever and controversial.

The moral of the story.............think outside the box!!

Thursday, 27 February 2014

"I love it when a plan comes together"

Ok so I'm not 'Hannibal' but I wholeheartedly agree!

The plan this week is a 'Marketing Plan' - a framework of planning up and coming marketing initiatives for the next year.  So that as a business you can be proactive to existing and potential customers needs, not reactive.

Planning ahead gives you the benefit of exploiting any seasonality there might be to purchasing your products or services, linking your product to industry initiatives, exploiting publicity opportunities, maximising your creativity so you stand out from your competitors and build in response mechanisms so that you can track who responds from seeing what advertisement, poster, leaflet, online post?  That way you can work out what works and what doesn't!

Planning doesn't mean spending more it just means getting cleverer at what you're doing.

Happy planning.

Monday, 24 February 2014

The Silly Stuff Works

By now, you'll probably have seen the new commercial and may, like me, have been humming along to Starship's 'We built this city' on the school run.  The bicycle pumping, determined looking little girl cycling around her cul-de-sac with very cute kitty singing along too, is hard to resist.  A feel good ad currently wealding 4.5million youtube hits.  Well done Three, it's catching on!