Category Archives: Brands & Marketing

Have a Camper Day

I just stumbled across a video of the Have a Camper Day iPad / iPhone app.

It’s gorgeous here today in London (far too nice for me to be stuck in doors working, but needs must!)… anyway this app would brighten up the gloomiest of days, and by the look of the forecast I might need it tomorrow!

If you don’t have an iPad or iPhone, not to worry, you can still use it in all it’s glory on their Have a Camper Day website

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9 Out of 10 Cats With Opposable Thumbs Prefer Facebook!

I caught this advert at the weekend, I thought it was wonderful… although it didn’t make me want to rush out to buy some Cravendale milk! Also worth noting is Cravendale have created an online campaign around this advert, encouraging viewers to follow them on Twitter or like their Facebook page, buts what’s telling is that they have 33,ooo Facebook fans but only 3,500 Twitter followers, or another way of saying it, is that 9 out of 10 cats with opposable thumbs prefer Facebook! (maybe I’m getting my advertising messages confused!)

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The Computer Says No… So Do I

I’ve just spent an hour on the phone with Barclays Bank and I accomplished nothing, except making my mind up to change banks.

I won’t go into details, except to say that in May last year I applied to have a couple of ISA’s transferred from Barclays to Santander. It’s now February and Barclays have only managed to do one of them (although not until November!), but only after my chasing them repeatedly, as to the other one, as it’s been so long, I now have to start the process again and reapply!

But that’s not all, I’ve been paying monthly for a Barclays Premier account for over 10 years, (that adds up to about £1,500) and not seen a single benefit of having had it, so I want to downgrade my account, or create a new one with my standing orders, direct debits etc remaining in place. But to do so I have to go into a branch! why? You’ll love this… because I’ve been with Barclays too long?!?!?!?

Yep you heard right, I’ve been with them too long… I opened the original account in 1985, so I cannot downgrade it, as it’s an account that Barclays no longer offers… create a new one you suggest… not as simple as you’d expect, to create a new account I have to go into a highstreet branch with photo ID?

I’ve had a Barclays account for more than 25years, if anyone knows who I am, my income, my buying practices, where I live, my lifestyle, it’s Barclays… yet I have to go into a branch to prove who I am, and ironically, probably to a customer service agent that is younger than my account!

Yet I can call Santander’s transfer team and do the entire thing over the phone, automatically including all my direct debits etc, without once stepping into a branch!

So I put the question to the guy from Barclays, “I’ve been with you for 25 years, I have several personal accounts plus 2 business accounts, yet to create a new account I have to go to a branch with a passport to prove who I am? yet I can call Santander right after this call and have one created in minutes… now, which one do you think I’m going to do?”

“I assume you will call Santander”

“You’re right”

and I did

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Is 2011 The New 1984?

It was broadcast just once during the 1984 Super Bowl, but that’s all it needed, as when Ridley Scott directed Apple’s iconic and multi-award winning 1984 advert, he created an advert that captured the very essence of what Apple was at that time. The underdog, fighting against the tyranny of the corporate machine, hoping to bring choice to the consumer. Jump forward 27yrs, the tables have turned, Apple have without doubt become their nemesis of years gone by (they are now the world’s 2nd largest company in value terms!)

I’ve been an Apple user for 25yrs (since 1986), I’ve bought more Macs than I care to remember (probably more than a 100 if I include my businesses and employees), yes I’ve got several iPods laying around the house on shelves and in drawers, Time Capsules, an Air Express connected to my music centre, a Mac Mini under my TV (no Apple TV), a couple of iPhones and of course an iPad… so yes I’ve bought heavily into the Apple eco-system over the years. I’m not one of those Mac is better than PC bores, each to their own is what I say, I’ve made my choice… the better informed one of course.

Although they’re not the first to do so, even Apple did it themselves by adding an iPod to the woman to launch the iPod, plus see DoubleTwist’s Choice video below… but Motorola’s Xoom advert that aired during yesterdays’ Super Bowl and parodies Apple’s 1984 advert, by turning it on Apple becoming the very thing they poked fun at originally, is very clever, or is it? As a longstanding Apple user, yes I understand the sad truth that Apple has changed, and not for the better… plus I’ve seen the original advert, but most of the white ear bud wearing iDrones won’t have, these guys are blindly buying into the iOS platform (you only have to see the last video below for a parody of that), these guys will likely miss the subtlety of the advert, or worse still, they may take offence at being portrayed as iDrones?

Either way, it made me smile when I saw the advert, but it won’t make me run out to buy a Xoom

Original Apple Advert

Motorola Xoom

iPod Version

DoubleTwist Parody announcing Choice

iPhone 4 vs HTC Evo AKA I would like an iPhone 4

Digital Adverts More Effective Than Static Print Adverts

No real surprises there, but it’s good to have some data to back up the claim… Now here’s a title that just rolls off the tongue! Digital Ad Engagement: Perceived Interactivity as a Driver of Advertising Effectiveness snappy eh?

Apart from the title, the PDF is worth a read (if you’re into advertising and marketing that is), but if you prefer something a little shorter, or even a short video that explains the PDF, have a look at the article on the Adobe Digital Publishing Blog.

An incredible sound bite from the video starting at 1 min 30 secs, “every advertiser experienced an increase in brand awareness, with several advertisers seeing percentage increases of 3-4 times!” a 300-400% increase, now that’s impressive!

But it’s not all rosy, as digital magazines on the iPad are already in decline, after the initial gold rush users are losing interest in the digital versions. Wired, which sold 100K issues of it’s first iPad release, then managed to sell an average of 31K in the following months, with only 23K for October and 22K for November (for comparison they sold 130k printed versions in Oct-Nov). Reasons why I believe this happening continued in a separate post

Obviously this increased brand awareness is only an advantage to advertisers if magazines can retain digital user numbers, and that unfortunately is where they’re still getting it wrong!

The Verizon Waltz

It wasn’t long ago that Verizon were parodying Apple’s “There’s an App for That” adverts, in order to gain subscribers from AT&T to their own network, but it appears the two network giants have made up and become friends in their latest joint advert! Or maybe they’re both worried about the latest T-Mobile advert, which highlights how both of their networks are somewhat lacklustre in comparison!

If Ad Agencies Did Birthdays

Getting your message across in an engaging and amusing way, especially when making fun of yourself is a great approach, the agency John St, have done just that. They’ve managed in a subtle way to show that they know what they’re talking about and how with their approach they can help future clients achieve the same results, but rather than showcasing a large campaign, they’re created a client case study of a child’s birthday party!

And of course, the proof is in the pudding, the video is itself becoming viral, genius!

I first saw this in Phil’s Unionversity site.

Who Trusts You With Their Name

This was originally written Wednesday 1st December.

I’m currently on my way to Heathrow Airport… I received a phone 4hrs ago, I had no idea at the time that it would result in my being in Lisbon this evening.

I won’t go into details, suffice to say, a colleague I’ve not seen in ages, has an unexpected problem, caused by the adverse weather conditions across Europe. He needs a solution, he needs it quickly and he doesn’t have the opportunity to deal with it himself… The pressure is on and he needs someone he knows he can trust… so he made the call.

I’m not saying I’m the A Team, or that he couldn’t have turned somewhere else, I myself have a select few friends and colleagues I know I can turn to, people I’ve worked with for years , people I trust 100%, with whom I don’t have a split second of hesitation putting forward or trusting my name or reputation… but it’s comforting to know that when his reputation is in the mix and he needs to reach out in a hurry, he knows there’s someone he can turn to.

Behavioural Dynamics Methodology Explained

Here’s a great video explanation of Behavioural Dynamics given by Nigel Oakes

“The BDI Methodology was originally developed in response to the need for an empirically-founded and demonstrably effective model of communication. The resulting Methodology takes a behavioural approach which focuses on influencing groups.”

Behavioural Dynamics Institute

Animation by Cognitive Media

Busking? There’s an App for That!

Here’s a wonderful example of grass roots viral marketing, or is it?

when you have a need to get as large an audience or following as possible…

Start by (and the is the hardest part of all) with an original idea, something remarkable

then make it easy for users to pass on links of your product or discuss it, by utilising social media networks

to create as big a buzz as possible try to piggyback off a product or brand that already has a huge buzz and audience who are already talking about it, as yours will benefit immensely from this brand association, in this case the iPhone… but be careful with this, choose your brand association carefully, it needs to be aligned to your own core values and brand proposition, plus don’t get dwarfed, you want people saying how good your product is, not how good your viral marketing idea was!

In this case I think the later may happen, but it’s still a wonderfully inventive idea and should boost Atomic Tom’s recognition and standing (I certainly hope it does)

if you like the tune you can get it on iTunes

via Engadget