Sometimes I get ridiculous ideas in my head and I just try everything until I either fail miserably or complete my ~vision~. A lot of these are arts and crafts based. Just ask my roommate Emily about our room and battle over the ethereal glowing cloud I wanted to put in it. I think I get it from my Mother – we have a giant … Continue reading I tried to make a snapchat filter for my apartment.
Brands love to jump on a trend, even if it doesn’t particularly relate to them. Lenovo have done a great job of both doing this and making fun of this at the same time. They are using the Superbowl AND the current Facebook influx of short recipe videos (Tasty, Proper Tasty) to advertise their new laptops, but in a tongue in cheek kind of way. … Continue reading Advert of the Week – Lenovo
It’s a bit crazy how much brands pay to have airtime during the Superbowl. It’s become a place of big players. And now, it’s not only about getting the ad up there, it’s about being the best ad up there.
So yeah, you’ve got to have a lot of cash to waste on media buy, as well as probably a whole team and a whole bunch of other cash for production. Costs are up around 11% this year, to roughly $5m per 30s spot. Yes, you read that right – five million dollars for 30 seconds. In other words $166,666 per second. And that is literally just to show the advert. That doesn’t include any production or planning costs. As fun as they are to watch, I actually prefer more subtle and clever ways of engaging in this space that consumers have welcomed as an advertising hot spot (cue reference to the epic reaction of Oreo to the Beyonce blackout).
However, despite my reservations about the ROI on this, it undeniably draws an enormous audience, both live and for a few weeks after whilst the best is debated. Particularly in markets where the Superbowl itself is mostly irrelevant (sorry America), the ads still have some pull for consumers.
“No amount of homepage takeovers, no amount of native content, no amount of posting would bring you the reach and the impact that a Super Bowl ad would.” – SoFi COO Joanne Bradford.
First things first, American TV is basically 75% adverts. Therefore, I could not possibly fit all of them in one post. Someone else could be bothered though (probably because they were getting paid to do it) and you can find that here.
I’m in two minds about this one. On one hand, I feel like its a bit weird giving an old man who needs a nurse/carer the keys to one of the fastest cars on the road. On the other hand I like the concept about the car bringing anyone to life. And obviously the backing of Bowie is a nice touch (I wonder if that was a last minute decision or, well I don’t want to say luck but….). There’s the undertone of ‘Murica which is essential in all Superbowl ads. If it were me, I would have the line “Chasing the moon brings out the best of us” instead of “Choosing the moon..” but I’m not an agency creative.
Okay let’s ignore how Americans pronounce Hyundai as ‘hun-day’. I really like this one. You don’t see car adverts aimed at exclusively women very often but I think they’ve made it work. It reminds me of this diet coke advert. Plus – Ryan Reynolds. This advert is actually one of two – the other staring Kevin Hart.
Avocados from Mexico
Love this advert. It’s the second time they have advertised in the Superbowl. It’s comedic, light-hearted and current. I think this is going to be one of the winners this year.
How much ‘Murica can you get in an advert? Not much more than Budlight have managed to pack into theirs. But it’s the good, kind of making fun of themselves but kind of not, type. Not the Donald Trump type. Star-studded. Good, but also almost forgettable (particualrly to the international audience, which isn’t really their audience so we’ll forgive them).
Budweiser, Bud Lights’s older brother, have gone for the opposite approach. Featuring a British actress (Helen, obv) warns against drink driving – which is actually a big problem in America. Good use of airtime from them, but could be more attention grabbing to get their message over.
Who can resist a teeny tiny baby sausage dog? Not me. Simple ad, simple idea. Now give me a puppy.
SO CREEPY. But also strangely effective….
I really like Taco Bell’s marketing. They were one of the first to adopt Snapchat, and their Twitter was on point before Innocent knew what Twitter was. This is another well thought-out campaign. A little while ago they released a heavily edited announcement that they were doing a Superbowl advert this year. Since then they have released sneak peaks of their advert, but NO ONE knows what they are promoting yet. They are also giving people the opportunity to pre-order the mystery item to receive it before anyone else. Yep, they want you to buy something when you don’t even know what it is. Good work from them. I imagine they have a lot of social planned too.
Intuit/ Death Wish Coffee Company
Following on from last year, Intuit is giving up it’s paid for spot to a small business again. This year’s winner is the above. The ad itself is eye-catching, starting as if it was a movie trailer. For Intuit the idea is a good one, showing how it supports small businesses in a real way, rather than just talking about it in an advert. Bold move considering how much spots go for but amazing opportunity for DWCC.
Promoting their new Amazon Echo, they have released ads starring Alec Baldwin who is throwing #BaldwinBowl. This advert came first, followed by the above. I think the above is better. It’s short, to the point and showcases the product in a obvious but not gauche manner.
In a weird twist of events, Axe have produced an advert encouraging men to embrace their imperfections – something mostly reserved for adverts towards women. But hey, it’s all about equality these days, so I’m liking it. I wonder how many Mom’s are going to go out and buy Axe for their sons to say “see! girls will like you for you”.
Big and bold from Superbowl first timer Paypal. Really liked this one. It almost plays like a mood film. I would say it definitely would get people to stop and think about using Paypal.
Hopping on one of the biggest 2015 meme’s is T-mobile. If I didn’t know any better, I would have said they took some cues from the Orange Wednesday adverts. Still think last year’s featuring Kim Kardashian was better, but this is still good.
On the digital and second screen side, Snapchat is going to be a big player this year. They have been amping up their live content, giving out news for the local area, and collecting global shareable stories that let people from across the world engage with big events. With Superbowl being one of the biggest, I’m expecting a lot of action from Snapchat itself as well as brands. The big question is, how much is it going to cost a brand to have a sponsored filter or story on game day?
If you want to re-watch last year’s ads, find them here.
If you want to watch some of the best from the past, you can take a look here.
Now that the festive season is over, all of the major brands will be frantically looking over agency reports telling them how well their millions were spent. Who came out on top? Who drove the footfall? Let’s find out.
I have to admit that being in the US has me a bit out of the loop in the general conversations surrounding the adverts, so bear with me and feel free to comment and disagree. If you want to re-watch any of the ads, find them on my blog post here.
John Lewis – 24m views on YouTube
The advert cost £1m to shoot and a further £6m was spent on in-store advertising and taking TV slots in advert-breaks (Telegraph, 2015). It was highly anticipated, and on the whole did not disappoint. Their philanthropy and awareness angle – taking a page out of Sainsbury’s 2014 book – was well received.
As a result, John Lewis recorded record retail sales for the festive season. Revenues were up in the department store around 6.9% from last year.
“the John Lewis department stores raked in record revenues during clearance sales, which began online on Christmas Eve.” – Financial Times
I thought their through-the-line was excellent. Their digital engagement was clearly thought-out and planned. Their app was good, well designed and functional (or so I’ve been told).
Warburtons – 3m views on YouTube
A new entry to the Christmas ad stakes this year was Warburtons. They didn’t start small however, and well all out with a singing and dancing collaboration with the Muppets. The Telegraph declared it to be the winner of 2015.
“The Giant Crumpet Show” was found to be the most effective advert, with an engagement score of 7.2, compared to the average of 4.5. It was also found to be a persuasive sales driver, scoring 3.5 compared to the average 2.9. – Kantar Group
Awesome work from them. I wonder after this success they’ll do it again next year?
Sainsburys – 29m views on YouTube
Sainsbury’s went in a completely different direction to last year’s controversial wartime advert, but with similar success. With a whopping 29m views they’ve out-done everyone else with their animation story. PR Week’s poll also saw it being voted viewer’s favourite advert.
“Sainsbury’s is expected to reveal a 0.7% fall in sales at established stores in the three months to the end of December” – The Guardian
Although this seems bad, it is actually the smallest growth decline out of the top four – so it’s kind of a win? In a declining market (around 2bn year on year), you’ve got to take the ones you can get.
Overall, it seems that everyone loved it.
Aldi (mock John Lewis) – 2.1m views on YouTube
Whether it was their intention or not, Aldi made headlines with their second Christmas advert for 2015. They had a planned campaign, which did well but not spectacularly, however it was their mocking of John Lewis which launched them into the spotlight this year.
The internet went a bit crazy for it, and I have to say I loved it. They produced it with a rapid turnaround and hijacked the ad to convey a very brand appropriate message for themselves. It felt like an Aldi ad through and through, and they managed to get on the John Lewis hype.
The discounters have been winning the grocery wars for a while now, and this Christmas was no different.
Lidl – 700k views on YouTube
The Lidl advert is one I really liked this year, and it looks like they’re starting to catch up with Aldi’s marketing success.
House of Fraser – 400k views on YouTube
House of Fraser has done pretty well this year. Although their 400k views pales in comparison to the supermarket giants, consumers voted that they enjoyed theirs the most of all the fashion retailers.
We did have some rogue entries from other countries though, including this Spanish lottery one with 5.1 million views on YouTube.
I like to have gel nails at pretty much all times. I feel bare without them, and even if I decide to give them a rest, I tend to get a gentle (or not so gentle) reminder from my Mum and Sister that unpolished nails are not a sight to be seen.
However, I am pretty busy. Fitting in full time work, a part time post graduate and a social life is pretty hard.
The Glam App is beauty on demand. With the push of a button, The Glam App delivers beauty experts to your front door. Offering services that range from a blow dry, to make up applications, or just a simple polish change there’s no need to leave your house, when we bring the salon to you.
With only 180 likes on Facebook and 1 rating on the app store, they aren’t doing so well with uptake. It’s only available to use in the US, but with locations in every major city I would have expected a bit more engagement from beauty addicts like me.
What is even more surprising is that it was launched by Cara Santana (actress), so you would think you would get a lot more celebrity endorsement.
I downloaded it and had a look around. The app is really easy to use, and designed simply but stylishly. Gel nails (which would be my go-to) were priced at $65, which is double what I would pay at a salon. Maybe if I was desperate I would pay $40, but $65 seems steep, even with the home visit.
This could be why they haven’t had much success. Particularly in a city like New York where there is a nail salon every block, paying double to have someone come to your house seems like a celebrity luxury not many are willing to pay for.
Similarly I find it hard to believe someone would pay $100 for a half up-do, or some of the other hair styles they are offering.
Great idea, good design, but not executed well enough in terms of price. But hey, I might not be their target market.
Check out this blog post on the other apps trying out the same concept.
The sharing economy is a phrase that has started to buzz around. It essentially refers to the move towards the practice of renting or sharing rather than ownership. For example, Freecycle, shared offices such as WeWork and even crowdfunding platforms can all be included in this. The movement has also been dubbed ‘the Airbnb generation’. It is the sharing economy that is going to be the driving force (lol) of self-driving cars…or so we are being told.
I have talked about driverless cars briefly here before, but I read a really interesting article on the Wall Street Journal during my daily scrolling that I found very interesting and therefore wanted to discuss/share.
Before we get into it, can we all just think about how sweet a proper system of driverless cars would be? Very few accidents, sleeping in the car on the way to work, NEVER GETTING LOST (i.e. a problem for me every day). But the practicalities of it go much further beyond this.
This article in the Wall Street Journal outlines some of these practicalities. It basically points out that for 95% of a car’s life, it just sits there. It waits for us to finish work, or waits for us while we sleep. This is where driverless technology and the sharing economy collide. If you only need a car for 5% of its time, then you can share it with 20 other people. Essentially, the end of car ownership for the masses has been predicted.
This also means that you can get the car you need for the occasion and need state. Just one of you going to work? Smart Car. Needing to transport Ikea furniture? Land Rover. Family trip? Volvo. The flexibility of this idea plays into how we live our lives today: getting personalized service, when we need it.
This also stands to reason that there will be huge efficiency gains. No traffic (less cars, better road control) and fuel efficiency gains should be huge – particularly considering car companies plan on driverless cars being cleaner vehicles. Of course, one of the biggest appeals of this system is cost. You only pay for what you use – that 5% – rather than 100%.
“Beyond the practical benefits, autonomous cars could contribute $1.3 trillion in annual savings to the U.S. economy alone. Global savings? Somewhere in the neighborhood of $5.6 trillion.” – Ravi Shanker, a Morgan Stanley analyst covering the U.S. auto business to the WSJ.
Although this will obviously spell declining sales in cars, the industry is already looking forward to this and how they can be players in the movement. Don’t forget, driverless cars means more people using cars: children, the elderly, the disabled, the blind, banned drivers.
“The benefits for these groups would include independence, reduction in social isolation, and access to essential services.” – WSJ
Obviously the road to driverless cars has been a long one. Google’s been at it for a while, as have other major car manufacturers. Nissan are aiming to get a full driverless cars on the road by 2020, with a ‘highway assist’ car coming in 2016 (so soon!). So if you’re thinking about buying a new car in the next 5 years, I’d hold off: you might be buying into a dud investment.
Andrea Ahrendts has been mentioned on my blog before: here, where I discussed her pioneering Burberry’s use of technology during her time there as CEO. She has since moved on from Burberry and is now the SVP for Retail and Stores for Apple. That’s a big job (there are 459 stores in 15 countries), but one I have no doubt she can handle.
She has been ranked 25th in Forbes’s most powerful women list, 9th most powerful woman in the UK, and 29th in Fortune’s most powerful woman in business. #goals. See at the bottom for a huge list of others.
She is the only female executive at Apple, and was reported to have earned the most out of anyone in 2014 (around $70m if you were wondering).
“With a total compensation estimated at about $82.6 million, Apple retail chief Angela Ahrendts was the highest-paid female executive in the U.S. last year,Bloomberg reported last week” – Business Insider
She started her career in New York in the fashion industry: most notably at Donna Karen and Bendel’s.
She joined Burberry in 2006, and over a number of years as CEO she not only halted the brand’s decline, but raised the company’s worth from $2bn to around $7bn. She was reportedly the highest paid CEO in the UK, making around $26m.
She was snapped up by Apple in 2014. Tim Cook said that “the moment I met her, that was it. And then it was all recruiting.” In true modest female fashion, she is said to have downplayed her achievements: “She says she told Cook, “ ‘Don’t believe everything you read. I’m not a techie.’ And he looks at me, and he goes, ‘I think we have enough techies here.’ And I said, ‘But you don’t understand. I’m not even really a great retailer. I hired great retailers.’ And he said, ‘Well, last time I looked we were one of the highest-productivity-per-square-foot stores of any company on the planet. So I think we have a lot of those too.” – Business insider.
Despite these humble statements, Cook is overjoyed with her work at Apple. “I knew she was going to be off the charts, but she’s even more off the charts than I thought. She came in so fast. There was no [learning] curve.”
Apparently she drinks copious amounts of diet coke. Same babes.
Oh and she’s also been made a Dame. Looking at others in comparison to Ahrendts is like ‘do you even business?’.
I was expecting a lot of John Lewis ad spoofs. I was not expecting one from, essentially, a rival brand. Although they don’t compete a huge deal in terms of sales, in the bid for Christmas media space, they certainly do.
This was extremely responsive from them, and although they claim it was spontaneous, I have my doubts. Serious amounts of planning and production go into TV adverts so it’s hard to believe it’s off the cuff. Either way it was very timely.
John Lewis have said they are “flattered”.
“Jean quickly became a national treasure for her love of our Oliver Cromwell London Dry Gin when she first appeared on screens in 2011. We’re confident our customers will be excited by her return this Christmas.
“Our latest advert highlights Aldi’s ongoing commitment to offering high quality products at unbeatable prices that shoppers will be over the moon with.” – Jonathan Neale, the joint managing director of corporate buying at Aldi, to Campagin Live
Adrienne Lofton is the SVP for brand marketing at Under Armour. She has delivered campaigns for Levis’ and Target, and is making her mark under the innovative sports brand.
“Innovation is really simplistic at the core. People talk about it being some huge technology, something scientific, but it’s really identifying a need and creating an innovative way to solve for it.” – Adrienne Lofton
AdWeek named her in their 2015 Brand Genius list.
The ‘I Will’ campaign competes with Nike in its simplicity and effectiveness. It won the Cyber Grand Prix at Cannes Lions, and its proving to work – having already overtaken Adidas in sportswear sales.
“She pushed for the right creative risks at the right times, which was key to getting the work to where it ended up.” – Julien Cheevers on Adrienne Lofton
Just another girl, giving it her all and killing it.
Halloween is over and Christmas is here. Well certainly in the advertising world it is.
So I thought I would bundle together all of the adverts worth mentioning from the UK Christmas circuit 2k15. If you think I’ve missed any, let me know in the comments!
All in all, brands seem to have moved away from emotional storytelling this year. Perhaps this is because there was too much competition in 2013 and 2014 that they just weren’t standing out now. However, as a result, none of them hugely popped for me. But that’s just my opinion.
So sit back, grab a cup of tea (and maybe a biscuit) and start watching.
I’ve not loved the past two adverts from John Lewis (don’t hate me – I feel like it’s sacrilege not to like them). My favourite is still 2011. However, that does not mean that I don’t admire them for their pretty solid through the line planning and campaign execution in both 2013 and 2014. They were thoroughly successful. It was this very through the line approach that allowed their digital spend to go up while instore sales fell. I have heard that this year they are upping their digital spend, so I’m interested to see how that goes.
This year their tagline is ‘show someone they’re loved this Christmas’. It’s a nice advert, but it didn’t have the usual John Lewis pop – BUT- I will give them the fact that it was unique (as I felt a lot of brands re-mashed old ideas this year). I have a feeling they’re trying to extend beyond the advert though. Strangely, it drew parallels to the direction TV Maxx went this year – see further down.
UPDATE: I’ve just read that the ad aims to raise awareness of AgeUK. It doesn’t make this clear but it’s a noble cause and I like that they’re using their Christmas-power for good. Seems like they’re taking a page out of Sainsbury’s book, who raised 500k for the Royal Legion last year. The landing page they’ve set up is great, and outlines where this digital spend has gone (an app, which looks like it will be great for engagement). I do find it interesting that they’ve continued the in-store presence as a place to visit, because it’s not very Christmassy, so it will be interesting to see if there is as much appeal here as there was with #bearandhare and the penguin.
Now I am sure we all remember Sainsbury’s advert from last year. Controversial, but I loved it. It was relevant and handled sensitively. I don’t think it undermined the story, it felt relevant for consumers and related well to the brand. This year the brand are waiting until a fairly late 12th December to launch their ad.
This year they have reignited ‘Christmas is for sharing’ with a very different story line. At 3 minutes 30 seconds it’s a pretty long advert, so don’t expect to see the whole thing on TV a great deal. It’s half animation, half RL and gives off the air of a children’s short program more than a TV advert. This makes sense as they worked in collaboration with a children’s illustrator, as they have also produced a book for which the profits will go to charity. They could have made this much more emotional, but perhaps chose not to after last year. I don’t think it’s a bad thing as the message is still conveyed. Personally, it doesn’t feel particularly ‘on brand’ to me. Sainsbury’s wouldn’t have been my first guess. I am also curious if they are planning to bring this in store beyond the book..? Someone in the UK will have to let me know on that one.
I liked Paypal’s advert. It’s not one usually on my radar, but it told a nice story, and conveyed what Christmas is actually like for parents now. Long gone are the days of hurrying around all the stops and sneaking presents in while the kids are at Grandmas. Instead online shopping is the way everything seems to be going – even if this info-graphic suggests it’s still weighted to physical shopping. Despite this, I feel like it doesn’t do a huge deal for the brand.
This advert has garned some attention. In my opinion, it’s not as good as last years, but that’s just me.
A wild card entry to the Christmas game, this year Sky movies have gone all out. Big and bold, you expect nothing less from Sky. Movies are normally a huge part of Christmas, especially for kids, so it makes sense.
I like the tongue-in-cheek approach that Harvey Nichols have been taking for the past few years. They would be much less relate-able to the wider consumer market had they not done this. They’re also another one who are really good at bringing their adverts into store, like their customisable christmas cards from last year, or the ‘I spent it on myself’ bit and bobs from 2013.
This year they prompt people to avoid #giftface .Similar to Curry’s ‘spare the act’ concept.
It’s the 20th anniversary of Holidays are Coming! Doesn’t time fly? It’s an all time classic. It does make me think however that they might be mixing it up and doing something different next year. I guess we will have to wait and see.
I do have to say that Coca-Cola make it very hard to find any of their British/US adverts on YouTube.
Coca-Cola also do a Santa Claus variation every couple of years. This one is my favourite. This one is the most recent I think – but as I said it’s pretty difficult to find their adverts due to the set up of their YouTube channel.
I also really like this Christmas experiential campaign from them.
I didn’t really get it. I love Billy Elliot as much as the next guy, but what do Burberry have to do with it? Am I missing something? What’s going on? It’s kind of like the creative team in charge were watching Billy Elliot on a hangover, realised their deadline was on Monday and so just picked it as a theme and called all the celebrities they had in their phonebook and went ‘done!’. I watched it twice and I’m still confused.
They even threw a whole event around it, which was documented on Snapchat and had a performance from the West End. I’ve sung Burberry’s praises in the past but this missed the mark for me. The print campaign looks gorgeous though, and the ad feels Christmassy.
I have liked the boots adverts in the past. Obviously ‘here come the girls’ is a classic. I loved 2013. Equally last years was lovely. Boots have moved away from storytelling this year, choosing to urge consumers to #discovermore in their product range.
I really really liked this years advert from TK Maxx. It gave me some Love Actually vibes which is always a good thing, and in concept they’ve done well. Usually, I can take it or leave it from them, but I feel like this year they’ve hit the nail on the head. Moving away from family, their tagline is ‘love your neighbour’ and enocurgaging people to buy a little something for those around them. It made me want to be generous with my gift giving this year. Saying this, it did remind me of the 2013 advert from Boots.
Nothing revolutionary from Waitrose this year. Classic family around the food.
A brand close to my heart, Anchor have released a Christmas advert this year, running with the same characters they created for their previous advert.
Super cute and captures the not so great (but still makes it Christmas) side of Christmas. I am sure this will resonate with their target audience.
Marks and Spencer
In John Lewis style, M&S had a teaser trailer for their ad. Was this necessary? Probably not. I quite liked ‘follow the fairies‘ from last year, and really liked the fairytale christmas from 2013. This year they’ve decided not to tell a story, but go for a classic M&S advert. Bright and catching visually; alright concept, good execution.
Interesting take by Asda this year. They’ve completely moved away from the family/food focus. If they didn’t have the logo flash up at the end, I could never have guessed that it had come from Asda. Perhaps this is the new integration of the Walmart brand we’re seeing? Undecided on this.
I was surprised to find I really liked Lidl’s advert from this year. It made me laugh and it was light hearted. It was also followed up by more video content. It’s a bit different, but not too different. Good job, but I’m not sure if it’s going to drive footfall. They’re all about low prices, and this has been skimmed over a bit here.
I kind of hated last years advert from Morrison’s. However, I know that it wasn’t made for me, and I think it definitely hit the objectives they set out when they went to make it, but apparently it failed to boost the sales that were so critically needed. This year they’ve dropped Ant & Dec. Whether this is because they had strategic reasoning, or Ant & Dec just became too expensive, I’m not sure.
They’ve gone much simpler, with a 30s spot focusing on the food. Feels like they’re competing with Aldi here (quality with the low price), which of course they are in a market sense.
This was Aldi’s advert from 2014. This year, they appear to have moved away from one main advert, and have done a short series on ‘SpecialBuy Stories’ that will be available, including stocking fillers etc. These seem to take all of the noise out of things and just focus purely on the products. When people have less time to watch TV and pick up presents, these are pretty good for saying ‘hey look, we have this stuff you could give to XYZ and it’s pretty cheap’. See the others here. They did get in trouble in August for this advert, as it had a ‘distinct whiff of Christmas’, which people deemed just too early.
They have now released a 50s spot tying all these things together, which is basically the same one they released in August but more Christmassy – so they clearly had the August one planned in to ease people into their Christmas advertising.
Not on The High Street
Not one of my usuals, but it caught my attention this year. Not for the advert (which was watchable but not attention grabbing), but for the YouTube playlist that they have put together to support it. Half content, half adverts, these were what I liked best about their approach.
Curry’s PC World
Not on my original list but people have been loving it. A series of funny adverts starring Jeff Goldblum. Entertaining and engaging. They definitely win points from me. The two below are my favourite but there are a couple more on their YouTube channel. I really like the variation of doing a little series of ads.
When I watched this I thought two things. 1) good idea because everyone buys a dairy milk advent calendar! 2) are they trying to be the new Coca-cola trucks?
I have no doubt they’re going to roll this out for experiential, and maybe they’re hoping after the Coca-cola trucks 20th anniversary that they’ll step away from it and Cadbury can step right in to take it’s place.
Watch some other ads here: