Brands

Don’t worry, he’s ok. In fact he’s more than ok as he…

Published on: 28 Oct 2014

A few years ago if a company wanted to advertise their products they mainly used the traditional media methods of TV, radio and print.

Nowadays the world is awash with viral marketing and social media promotion.

Although the main delivery methods used in advertising have no doubt faced rapid change I would argue that the basic technique of getting peoples attention and keeping it until the message is delivered in a memorable way is still key.

The “advert” below is in my opinion a great example of how advertising should be done.

It’s suitable for TV but importantly it’s also got the viral marketing angle to it as it’s great for viewing on computers (and of course pausing and replaying it).

What’s nice about it is that in less than one and half minutes it covers a range of human emotions. There are also no words spoken and the only text comes up at the end.

It also highlights the power of music in advertising. Three well known songs were used so there was no need to specially commission some song writing.

If you watch the advert without the music it has a far lower impact.

Have a look (and listen) and see what you think.

Oh and in case you get concerned mid way through don’t worry as it’s got a happy ending.

The interesting thing about this though is that it’s actually a fake advert. It was created by filmmaker John Nolan to showcase his animatronics skills.

John is clearly a creative genius when it comes to animatronics film making and I’m sure the big cheese companies would love to have somebody with his skills working for them.

More iPhones were sold than babies were born worldwide.

Published on: 27 Jan 2012

“More iPhones were sold than babies were born worldwide”. That’s a pretty staggering claim but Apple have just released their quarterly earnings for the 14 weeks ended 31 December 2011 and the results were pretty amazing with:

Quarterly revenue of $46.33 billion (vs. $26.74 billion in the prior year comparative quarter)

Quarterly net profit of $13.06 billion (vs. $6 billion)

Gross margin of 44.7% (vs. 38.5%)

Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO said that “We’re thrilled with our outstanding results and record-breaking sales of iPhones, iPads and Macs.”

Historically Apple has had an incredible amount of cash on their Balance Sheet (Statement of Financial Position).

Their cash balance continues to grow and their latest results show cash together with short and long terms investments totalling $97.6 billion. If you’re into rounding figures, that’s a cool $100 billion (yes billion and not million)

So, $100,000,000,000 to give the number the full amount of zeros that it deserves.

We’ve blogged elsewhere about Apple having more cash than the US government so I won’t dwell on the cash balance but back to the incredible success of their iPhone sales.

In the 98 days to 31 December they sold 37.04 million iPhones. This averages out at 377,959 iPhones sold per day.

A few years ago the World Health Organization estimated that the number of babies born each day was 365,000.

So, more iPhones sold than babies born.

This does of course does mean that there are plenty of iPhones around to take photos of the newly born babies.

Forget about face creams. The easiest way to make yourself better looking is…

Published on: 01 Aug 2011

… to open up Photoshop and edit your photos.

Julia Roberts is a beautiful woman but wasn’t quite good enough for the cosmetics company L’Oreal.

She was used in adverts for some of their products but in the words of L’Oreal her photos were submitted to various “post production” alterations. In other words her photos were digitally altered to remove any wrinkles that the actress had.

British politician Jo Swinson wasn’t overly impressed with this and complained to the UK Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) arguing that airbrushing created a false impression of what the face creams could do.

The Julia Roberts advert was for Teint Miracle foundation by Lancôme, one of L’Oreal’s brands. Rather than promote the benefits of “Photoshopping images”, the advert claimed the foundation recreated the “aura of perfect skin”.

At the investigation L’Oreal conceded that certain ‘post production’ techniques had been used on the images but argued that the pictures were an accurate representation of her ‘naturally healthy and glowing skin’.

The ASA weren’t convinced by this and concluded that the adverts breached the advertising standards code for exaggeration and for being misleading. The adverts have now been banned in the UK. Interestingly though the ASA only covers the UK so it remains to be seen whether the adverts will still be used elsewhere around the world.

I’m not sure if Julia Roberts is too concerned with all of this though as she has reportedly been paid in the region of £15 million to represent the Lancôme brand.

With a payment of £15 million she won’t need any cream to get rid of the wrinkles but maybe will need some cream to sort out the “smile lines”.

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Would you go to the gym and post this video on YouTube to get a job?

Published on: 11 Jul 2011

Despite most economies around the world looking like they are coming out of the recession, it’s still a tough job market out there and there are challenges in getting the perfect job.

Owen Hargreaves, the former Manchester United player has been plagued by injury during his career. He has played at the very top of the game though having represented England but is currently looking for a job.

He’s no doubt got the skills to play for a leading club and at 30 is still very much at his peak in terms of age.

But what about his fitness levels. Are other top clubs going to pay serious money to employ somebody who may not be able to play if injury hits again?

The corporate equivalent would be asking whether you would pay a significant golden hello and high salary to an employee who may well not be able to work for you shortly after joining you.

“Hats off” to Owen though as he’s taken the unusual step of posting a series of workout videos on YouTube showing him undertaking strenuous exercise. This will hopefully convince prospective employers that he is fit enough to play football again at the top level.

There is one particularly impressive video of him shown below and that is of him undertaking what can only be described as freestyle aerobics on a treadmill.

Personally, I don’t think I’ll try this at the gym tonight though as somehow I feel I’d be unconscious at the back of the treadmill with the treadmill belt spinning around my head within a few seconds of trying to run backwards…

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Surely this should be the Next face of the future?

Published on: 03 Jun 2011

If you visit the website of clothing retailer Next you will see some stunningly good-looking male and female models.

Next is a very successful company. They are part of the FTSE 100 index which means they are one of the 100 largest quoted companies in the UK. Their latest annual results show revenues of nearly £3.5 billion.

They clearly know what they are doing when it comes to marketing and branding.

Or do they?

They have just launched their “Make me the Next model 2011” competition whereby people who think they have the looks to become a top Next model can put themselves forward.

The public then vote for who they think is the best looking and the winner will be featured in Next advertising as well as get a contract with Storm modelling agency.

The screenshot to the left shows the current voting and whilst I’m not an expert on all things fashion I do think that the person who currently holds the top spot is a worthy leader.

Roland, from Belfast, is currently heading up the votes by a considerable margin and surely would make a perfect Next model?

We blogged recently about Henkel’s crowd sourcing campaign being hijacked so is this another example of a campaign being hijacked?

Next are a switched on company and if you dig deep into the terms and conditions of their 2011 model competition you find the following:

“The 250 Finalists will be judged by a panel of judges including representatives from Next and Storm who will pick the 50 who they feel best fit the Next brand and who will make it through to the Grand Final on Saturday 30th July.

The 50 Grand Finalists will be judged by the same panel and 2 winners will be announced at the event on 30th July 2011.”

In other words, Next have sensibly said that they will choose the winning models from the 250 entries with the most votes.

I still think that Roland would make a great Next model though.

Whatever happens this has been a great bit of marketing for Next. At the time of writing Roland’s picture on the voting page has been “liked” 42,000 times on Facebook and he has had nearly 5,000 tweets on Twitter.

Their website has also no doubt seen a surge of visits.

Now, if there were only another 249 Roland characters out there that entered the competition it would make the final very interesting.

Good luck Roland!

 

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You can’t sing like Lady Gaga but if you eat this will you have baby face looks?

Published on: 30 May 2011

Here’s a question to get the marketing part of your brain thinking.

How do you double sales of a product without changing the marketing mix (i.e. without changing the Product, Price, Promotion or Place)?

Well, if the product you are trying to sell is baby food then the answer seems to be courtesy of Lady Gaga.

The average reader of this blog is typically a young (or youngish!) professional and in case you’re not completely up to date with the latest music scene, one of the real stars of the moment is Lady Gaga.

She’s loved for her music and extrovert style and with songs such as Poker Face and Just Dance she is now one of the world’s leading female music artists.

As well as being a music and fashion icon she has reportedly developed a taste for baby food, or the “Goo diet” as it’s now known.

According to upmarket UK grocery website Ocado, since the trendy singer announced that she ate baby food to keep her figure trim, sales of Heinz Mum’s Own Creamed Porridge have increased by 100%, while those for pasta and spaghetti bolognese purees are also up by a healthy 87%.

The “Goo diet” involves having one main meal a day and then combining this with several jars of the baby food throughout the day to stop the hunger pangs.

It’s not just Lady Gaga that is reportedly using this diet. Other stars that have apparently used the diet include Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon and Cheryl Cole.

So, is the conclusion that an unofficial celebratory endorsement is more important than adjusting the marketing mix? In reality, this unofficial endorsement of baby food is in fact an unplanned element of “promotion”.

I have no strong views about this although I do wonder whether there will soon be a surprise rumour about Lady Gaga starting a training programme to become an accountant…

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The Superbrand results are out and it was a close run thing between ACCA and CIMA

Published on: 31 Mar 2010

The 2010 results of the UK Superbrands research were recently announced.

The annual Superbrands programme recognizes the UK’s strongest business to business brands.

For the last 15 years Superbrands has commissioned independent research to identify what are considered to be the UK’s strongest brands. The annual results are in the words of Superbrand “based on the opinions of marketing experts, business professionals and thousands of British consumers.”

It was a close run thing between ACCA and CIMA with ACCA being identified as being number 304 and CIMA being one ahead at 303. It was virtually a tie between the two institutes so it’s nice to know that they are both considered to be top brands in the UK.

In case you’re interested the top brand in the UK according to the 2010 Superbrands research was Microsoft.

The ExP Group