Monthly Archives: January 2012

It’s an Argos Christmas

Christmas is always the busiest time of the year and it doesn’t help than the day you decide to go out and do all your Christmas shopping, so does everyone else, and your stuck in a stuffy and overcrowded department store trying to find the perfect gift for your loved ones. Argos, this year was trying to promote their online shopping reserve and collect system. The TV advert shows a family of aliens visiting a shopping centre and questioning why humans don’t just use Argos to order online and collect in store instead of the stress and strain of shopping during this busy time.

Personally I felt quite negative towards this advert from a young adults perspective but thinking from an creative or planner I could see the execution being well thought out with strong references to the proposition has shopping with Argos could be less stressful and easy with their online service.

The aim of the advert was to increase the amount of online activity for Argos and to create an online presents for Christmas shopping. Objectively the brief was to encourage people to shop online but using aliens to express this wouldn’t have been my first connection or idea. However in relation to the advert and strategy I felt the message was clear.

During the advert there are some questionable features including the mother daydreaming about Justin Bieber, a young singer, generally adored by young children, not adults, which personally I can see being taken the wrong way in relation to our society or culture.

Another questionable feature of the advert is although the famous Bill Nighy who starred in Pirates of the Caribbean and Love Actually plays the voice of the father alien and Caroline Quentin from Men Behaving Badly playing the Mother Alien, the feeling of the advert can shy away when the voices are heard, as this can be seen as a distraction from what the meaning of the advert is and what they are trying to say and instead the consumer trying to guess who plays the voice over for the aliens, including comments that the children in the popular programme Outnumbered, played the children voice overs, when in fact they do not.

After discussing the advert with people and consumers I feel the strategy behind the advert had been crafted well with the meaning of the advert clearly represented with the aliens discussing the stress of Christmas which people can relate to, but although the message is clear with an emotional link of consumer buying, focusing on the behavior surrounding Christmas stress, but obviously not to the aliens.

Overall the execution of the advert is clear but with mixed opinions as to whether the aliens are creepy or funny, the question now is, was the collect and reserve system a success for Argos.



John Lewis… its christmas time

Christmas is always a favourite time of the year, the presents under the tree, the Christmas roast dinner or the snowball fight in the garden. But what we seem to forget that Christmas is a time for giving and being with the people we love. John Lewis’s new Christmas advert (The Long Wait) shows just that, that it’s better to give than receive. The advert features a seven-year-old boy counting down the days till Christmas till he can finally give his parents his present. I feel the advert is a warm and loveable advert and that John Lewis focuses their feel good message of what the real meaning of Christmas is.

The advert is a complete contrast to the usual Christmas adverts one see’s on TV or a billboard these days. With the concept of the advert surrounding the idea of “gifts you can’t wait to give” as John Lewis tag line, it works well with turning the traditional notion of Christmas and children waiting for the famous Santa to come deliver their presents on Christmas day, and using a child to promote this idea of it is better to give than receive, which could emphasise the idea that parents are trying to teach their children about the meaning of Christmas and the meaning of idealising present giving.

In the advert John Lewis are trying to emphasise, taking your time on buying gifts for loved ones and going that extra mile, although the advert does emphasise the meaning of their proposition (for gifts you cant wait to give) they don’t emphasise that going to their stores will help consumers find that prefect, but the uses of such a powerful advert with a clear and clever message keeps the awareness and word of mouth marketing clear in people’s minds.

Looking at the awareness John Lewis had gained through this advert it is clear that they succeeded greatly. The advert was first launched on Twitter and YouTube to generate impressions and marketing through conversations and was then later aired on TV first viewed during ITV’s X Factor talent show which was great strategy within timing the advert. With over 4 million YouTube this advert definitely was something to talk about this Christmas. The relationship between the advert and its target audience can relate well with the traditional notion of family value, which could be any family in any part of the country. John Lewis have been using mini film techniques to capture the audience’s attention for many years now and this film style seems to be creating engagement and getting consumers aware of John Lewis as a company but not necessarily surrounding their products, most advert’s on TV seem to focus on showing their cheapest deal in store today or their amazing offer on a particular product but John Lewis focus of messages that could link presents with their company but also to other companies which either can be seem as selfless, or a mistake. Personally with the amount of attention surround this advert, John Lewis didn’t need to worry.

Virgin Atlantic

Virgin Atlantic have always been a popular airline but unfortunately with competitors like British Airways and Easy Jet it is hard to encourage people to fly with your airline. In October 2011, Virgin Atlantic release a new TV advert showing the glitz and glamour of their airline, the main feature of this advert was to encourage people to fly with Virgin Atlantic and experience the dazzling world of their airline. Using digital effects and classy colours along with stylish music, Virgin Atlantic has recreated a James Bond themed advert with a fashionable edge to their airline. Using the famous band Muse’s cover of Nina Simone’s Feeling Good track, the atmosphere of the advert is very classy and elegant with a sexy vibe to the airline.

The fact the advert doesn’t really tell a story but focuses on different aspects of their airline, for example the airhostess and the pilots looking glamorous and sexual gives the air that this is an airline of style and importance. I feel the advert wants to give the consumer the impression of charm and attraction, and seems to focus its target audience towards more high flying and business people who travel a lot but also want that comfort and care at the same time in my opinion this could focus on a more male demographic.

When watching this advert, to me it screams 007, especially the relationship with Golden Eye and Die Another Day starring Pierce Brosnan, with the women jumping through the screen in the opening credits of the films. The fact the advert has a emphasise on this style of filming relates well with people who enjoy action films like 007 and the emphasis of a suggestive and sensual women gives this feel to the advert.

The aim of the advert is to encourage people to fly with Virgin Atlantic, unfortunately even though this advert I feel it is cleverly constructed, there is an element of this luxury airline being rather pricey and the stereotype that only business class would receive such style and elegance on board. But then when we move to the end of the advert personally I feel the airhostesses and pilots are talking comically but unfortunately with the feel of the advert it didn’t come across as humorous. Also the emphasise that the airplanes associates itself as a woman has the element that women are graceful like this airline.

The advert has an air of fantasy becoming reality, the celebrity feel of people taking your picture, the elegance of the hostess filling your martini glass, the cheeky smiles of the sexy pilot. The element of class and emotional trigger of pure quality is being sophisticatedly portrayed in the advert and helps convey their message well.

Overall the construction and execution of the advert is well versed, a great advert with a sexy refined style with its tag line “your airline’s either got it or it hasn’t” and this advert has shown in my opinion it’s definitely got it.

Yeo Valley

So you have £5 million to create a one-off television advert that must be as successful hit and generate over 9 million impressions through YouTube and twitter along with word of mouth marketing, and all of this must surround a two minute video talking about milk and yogurt. So how do you do it?

After the success of the Yeo Valley Rap broadcast in 2010, Yeo Valley were determined to create the same reactions, with a £2.5 million TV campaign featuring a fake boy band called “The Churned” who sing about the wonderful world of natural farming, Yeo Valley want to tell consumers they are in harmony with nature and show how passionate they are about organic natural farming. BBH has chosen to use the very popular talent show X Factor, to air another song based advert. The fact that Yeo Valley used their entire budget in one advertising campaign seems rather risky but personally with the amount of attention it works incredibly well.

The connection of Gary Barlow one of the judges, as a member of a world wide popular boy band (Take That) along with Louis Walsh, the manager of two most successful boy bands in the pop world (Boyzone and Westlife) I felt, linked well with the advert’s content and a strong emphasis on the branding strategy.

The advert features four band members wearing white tops, which I feel could link in with the idea of pure farming as white is a very pure colour, singing about natural farming, they then dress in farmer clothing and walk out of a barn into a field, (on the same location as the previous rap advert was filmed). The target audience is very focused towards music lovers but personally I feel more towards female audiences due to amount of male content in the advert but also BBH has used a female character to attract a male audience to. Overall I feel the advert is well executed, with strong references to the idea of natural farming but with a comic edge to the scenes, which I feel can appeal to all ages.

The objective of the advert was to create awareness of Yeo Valley and their natural farming. The fact that in the advert, the boys are singing enthusiastically about farming shows a clear execution of what the advert wanted to express. The link between the times when the advert was aired is also a huge advantage to the execution of the advert, as many people watching would believe this was linked in with the talent show. Immediately after the video was aired Yeo Valley became a number one trending topic of twitter and the video itself was viewed more than 133,000 times on YouTube and generated 9.6 million “tweet impressions”. Along with the advert, a sing-a-long version was posted on the popular social networking site Facebook, and the song itself charted to number 32 in the ITunes chart within hours of the showing. Overall another successful advert from BBH, which using an interactive element has created a strong positive campaign for Yeo Valley.


The Future of Social Media

The Future of Social Media

With the rise of  social networks such as Facebook and Twitter and the rise in businesses using these platforms to communicate with consumers, where will social media stand in the future?

The amount of growth and engagement in the Internet is growing immensely, every day, month and year software is being updates and developed. The amount of information now being stores on the web is increasing daily, Facebook, Twitter many other platforms are using data collected from users to create new and exciting technology to help you as a consumer work, communicate, and broaden your digital footprint.

Mobile marketing is another factor in social media that will develop as the years go on, mobile devices now have applications that are being used for different needs on a daily usage but still companies are trying to create more and more applications for these smartphones and tablets that will help consumers go even further. With the development in technology social media will develop with it and so will mobile networking, for example with the new software from Apple called Siri, users can now send messages, schedule meetings and make phone calls simply by talking to their phones. Is this what the future will be like in 10 years time where we start talking to machines instead of people.

Cloud computing is another new and simpler way of communicating, storing and engaging especially for business. Cloud computer is a delivery of computing, where resources information and software can be stored within different devices such as phones, laptops, servers and tablets. Through this technology we can now exchange information in the forms of apps which cost less and more secure and reliable, which can be customised to suit your needs.

However with the rise in social media, there is always a downfall. Here we enter the Digital Darwinism era, where the evolution of consumers behavior when society and technology evolve faster than your ability to adapt. The influences of the Internet now disrupt the business world with the decisions consumers now make with purchasing products and services, local businesses need to work to keep up with the age of social media otherwise be left behind. With many companies now going out of business it makes you question is social media a good thing or a bad thing?

The future of social media could be about businesses focusing, not on the number of consumers in their communities, but the levels of engagement to the extent of them knowing too much. Relationships could become broader with people being able to talk to other from across the world in 3D. Mobile technologies could dominant the culture we live in to the extent where we don’t even see each other. Companies could be able to know exactly what we want, without us having to look to far. But the power of social media is a scary but astounding phenomenon it can be impossible to predict what will come next but with what has come out of social media so far, we are onto a pretty good start.

The Social Media World of Politics

Social Media and Politics

Politics is always a touchy subject, voting for a political party is always a difficult decision but how do these parties use social media to help their campaigns. With the use of social media campaigners now have a huge opportunity to communicate with a greater scale audience.

In 2010 the general elections was one the biggest topics in the country. Three top candidates in the running, David Cameron, Nick Clegg and Gordon Brown, all with a message and campaign strategy. A way of pushing voters to listen to what each candidate had to say, YouTube and Facebook united together to create the Digital Debate where YouTube and Facebook users were asked to submit questions to ask the politicians. With over 5000 questions submitted the response was a phenomenon. The questions were then put to a vote and over 180,000 voters chose their favourite question to ask. Ten of the most popular questions from across five categories including; law and order, health and education and economy were submitted to the party leaders. Their video answers were then recorded and uploaded on YouTube where users could make opinions and

comments on each video. Along with the video posts, Facebook created a page called Democracy UK on Facebook, where users could read up on the general elections and the current events happening at the time. Along with a Facebook event called “Rate the Debate” where users could watch the leader’s debate on Sky News, and vote whether they were liking what was being said or not through a polling system which then lead to a meter showing the highs and lows of the debate. On the day of voting, Campaigners used Facebook as a way of getting people to vote with a helpful reminder at the top of people’s news feed to promote people to go vote and show that they voted.

Local politicians again have a great source of power when it comes to social media through social networks such as Twitter local MP’s can contact voters directly through messaging and tweets. Looking at the idea of B2C marketing, and the relationship driven methods of building relationships with consumers and engaging them to a level where they are
remembered, MP’s can use this type of marketing to promote themselves.

Along with political campaigning, there is political events and uprising, and again social media is playing a more active role in politics. Looking at the social media influences in the Arab Spring, social media changed the way stories and news was broadcasted. For example in Egypt, live broadcasting of the events were being uploaded onto the internet within minutes, along with YouTube videos messages such as a young girl who posted a message to the Egyptian President, President Mubarak about her thoughts on the current protests in the country.Juju’s Message

Journalism and the Power of Social Media.

Social Media and Journalism

Social media is becoming more popular as the years go on, the development of products surrounds the idea of social media, and the advantages it has. But social media isn’t just about marketing and selling. Journalism is now being challenged with social media, and becoming more common through the web.

Journalism is now becoming a two-way street in relation to social media, the amount of information and facts being driven onto the Internet is now becoming more widespread. News consumption is accessed and consumed more with the public over the internet and this can be through technology such at mobile phones or tablets, but all these devices lower the barrier to the public and social media is now making it easier and more accessible from users to publish articles and stories through social networking sites, blogs and review sites.

There are two types of journalism I want to focus on, citizen journalism, and traditional journalism, both accepted as news worthy reading but now citizen journalism is starting to challenge and populate journalism. Traditional journalism factors around technical support, such as cameramen, editors, researchers and so on, whereas with citizen journalism can use simple but effective ways to broadcast news through camera phones and handheld camcorders which in turn can be linked to the internet within seconds through social networking platforms. With traditional journalism they use online portals and high entry support to broadcast news which creates high barriers to shot for. Whereas with the help of social media, citizen journalism can now use social networking platforms such as YouTube and review sites such as Mashable to broadcast their stories and articles which now breaks down the barriers and lowers the communication levels. Along with the levels of communication, the additional social media channels now challenge traditional journalism where journalists can now broadcast.

Such newspapers as the Guardian and The Independent are now resorting to social media to broadcast to a wider audience and due to these increasing statistics 51% of 18 to 24year-olds with a social networking profile agreed that they often find out about breaking news stories first via a social networking website. Many journalists are now having their stories read through social apps such as Facebook and twitter as a way of communicating with the public.

Personally I feel traditional journalism is now becoming seen as more negative in the eyes of the public, after the phone hacking scandal arose in the public’s interest in 2011, traditional journalism has now become frowned upon and with serious privacy issues needed to be dealt with. The idea of hacking into someone’s phone is rather extreme but when concerned with a murder victim it’s a more serious issue. The news of the world was a national newspaper, which it seems would stop at nothing to reveal information and “gossip” hacked into Milly Dowler’s phone during investigations into her murder. Ironically the newspaper The Guardian first reported the allegations. “And was a turning point in the hacking affair, contributing to the closure of the News of the World and the establishment of the Leveson Inquiry into media ethics.” Has journalism stooped so low as to this type of pain and unjust actions of the media? Unfortunately these events are still under investigation. Which makes me question the values of journalism and the value of human rights.

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