Friday, 26 February 2010

the church - are you having laugh?

Think you could increase your customer base ten-fold just by being different?

Well, you'd be right. One reverand with a sense of humour has decided to entertain parishioners and passers-by at his church in north London with a series of witty posters aimed at growing his congregation.

Reverend Paul Sinclair initially came up with the ideas himself but now has people, impressed by his approach and wit, sending them in for use on the 6ft banners. His flock has since grown from just 12 to over 100.

For all of you marketers who think being different doesn't work - take note!

Read the full story and see lots of his other witty banners here.

Monday, 22 February 2010

Michael Palin's a big fan of Wrexham and Shropshire Railway.

The Midlands' most loved train service is coming under threat. BBC's Inside Out West Midlands investigates and asks Michael why they are so loved.

Michael Palin is launching a new train onto Britain’s most popular railway. He's a big fan of the Wrexham and Shropshire service.

Passengers also love the service that the rail company is providing. But despite Wrexham and Shropshire’s popularity, they’re under threat. In fact, in the next two weeks, they may get news which will mean the whole company has to shutdown for good.

So would it really matter if the service did close? Is it really as special as people make out?

The show is on today, 19:30 on BBC One (West Midlands only)

click here to read the full article

Wednesday, 17 February 2010

TfL launches new interactive bus map

Transport for London has launched a new on-line bus tool that aims to provide passengers with better travel information.

Passengers can search for information using a postcode, street name, route number or place of interest, and the tool will display the nearest bus stops, details of the bus routes that call at the particular bus stop, and the current bus route timetable.

Cleverly it uses the familiar Google maps interface with some custom add-ons to make a really simple, clear and easy user interface. And it is considerably better than this load of tosh.

Nice one TfL. check it out here

are you a believer?

'You don't sell someone something by engagement, conversation and relationship. You create engagement, conversation and relationships by selling them something.'

How many marketers do you think really believe this?

Taken from the excellent Ad Contrarian website.

new burger ad is absolutely king brilliant!

The new TV spot for Burger King is complete genius.

It's seems so obvious,  I can't believe nobody has done it before. But that's the thing with amazing ideas - anybody can have them, but it takes a great creative mind to spot it and turn it into an effective ad.

It's something you can see being copied in pubs up and down the country. A great example of how to inspire 'word of mouth'.

Well done Burger King for having the king balls to do it.

Tuesday, 16 February 2010

first things first

FirstGroup scooped a host of awards at last week's Eversholt Rail Business Awards, including the prestigious Business of the Year honour.

Chairman of the judges Steve Agg, said: “The judging panel were almost overwhelmed with the strength of the entries from FirstGroup this year. To have achieved such a high level of performance, across so many disciplines, makes them worthy winners of this award.”

First are a long standing client of ours so we are happy to share in a little bit of their glory!

The full list of winners can be found here.

Monday, 15 February 2010

Arriva Trains Wales miss the point. #Fail

The whole point of a company using twitter is that is supposed to enable them to 'engage with the customer in two-way conversations', rather that just just talking at them, like traditional marketing channels.

So it quite ironic that Arriva tweeted this on Saturday...

"We are unable to respond to messages direct on Twitter. Please contact our Customer Services team with any enquiries. Thank you"


Friday, 12 February 2010

rail passengers hate facing the music

Passengers worried about their safety want abusive and rowdy passengers stopped from catching the train and more visible police and staff readily available for help.

A new report by Passenger Focus says the majority of passengers are generally satisfied with their personal security at the station (64%) and on the train (73%), but of those passengers not satisfied, the anti-social behaviour of others was their primary worry.

the man your man could smell like

Quite simply one of the best ads I've seen for ages...

...just a shame it's American, like all the good ads at the moment.

they want to be in your arms, but you want to be in the stands...

This rather brilliant ad by Puma entitled "Hardchorus" breaks at half-time in ITV1's coverage of the Bolton v Spurs FA Cup match on Sunday... err... Valentine's Day, in case you forgot.

Filmed in The Beehive Pub, Tottenham it features the sing Truly Madly Deeply - sung by a group of genuine Tottenham fans and singers that are football fans, to their other halves for Valentines Day.

If you got to: you can personalise the video and send it to your other half for Valentine's Day. Sweet.

Tuesday, 9 February 2010

London Midland's great escape

London Midland are running their ‘Great Escape’ promotion again, after the first one which ran last Christmas was such a success.

Between 13 and 21 February you can go anywhere on the London Midland network for just £10 – or first class for £20.

There are 50,000 Great Escape tickets available that can only be bought at staffed stations on their network.

disgruntled ScotRail passenger writes song in protest

A ScotRail passenger that has been waiting 53 days for a refund on his rail ticket has become so annoyed he's written a song and a blog post about his ordeal.

Jamie Anderson bought a full fare, fully refundable, sleeper ticket for a journey to be taken on 16th December. Cost £118.50.

On 14th December he cancelled the journey with ScotRail and raised a refund request and was told that this would take around 10 working days as the refund would need to be ‘manually’ requested.

After 53 days and numerous phones calls he still has no refund. So he's written a brilliant parody based on the Take That song, patience.

Check it out below and click here to read the full blog post.

Monday, 8 February 2010

an ad about ads - how many can you name?

Coy have created a 3 minute animated ad all about, well, advertising.

As you’ll see, there’s a million and one references in there, from the Hamlet cigar chap to the Sony rabbits and some Skoda cake cars. It's for this year’s Creative Circle awards, and it’s really good.

Just shows the power that the best creative ideas have. They're still recogniseable even when done in a completely different style.

Thursday, 4 February 2010

history lessons by train - the smart choice

Wrexham & Shropshire have teamed up with Glyndwr University to offer a really unique idea - history talks with a difference.

Travelling on-board the 07.23 Wrexham & Shropshire train from Wrexham to London Marylebone, Rod Playford presents a 2 hour session (conducted via headphones) on London's history covering;
  • Samuel Pepys' London,
  • Christopher Wren and the re-building of London after the Great Fire
  • How the Welsh Tudors shaped London

Chiltern prove our point

Chiltern Railways have just announced an increase in overall satisfaction levels to 91%  - figures taken from the latest National Passenger Survey (NPS).

Marketing Director Thomas Ableman details their strategy as getting the basics right; listening to what passengers want and understanding that passengers need good value, great service and a train that arrives on time.

As we have consistently said, get the basics right and they will come. Congratulations to Thomas and his team.

Read the full story here.

Wednesday, 3 February 2010

who's making money out of social media?

Another great article from The Ad Contrarian website discussing, not the merits of social media, but who the platform really benefits most - agency or client.

Think your agency might be a little too keen to put you on the social media bandwagon and increase its revenue stream?

Click to read the full article here.

Tuesday, 2 February 2010

man has logo tattoo for free rail tickets

An Aussie man has had a train company logo tattooed on his back - so his parents can get free rail travel around Europe.

Grant Burton had wanted to get his parents something special for their 40th wedding anniversary, but being unemployed he hadn't got much spare cash.

Knowing his parents always wanted to go to Europe, Grant contacted train firm EuRail and asked them if they would give him two passes if he did something crazy to promote their brand.

Monday, 1 February 2010

everyone else should just make socks... because they're crap.

Pringle of Scotland commissioned artist David Shrigley to create a humorous short animated film about life behind-the-scenes at Pringle to celebrate the brands return to Milan Fashion Week.

The animation, showcased during Pringle of Scotland's menswear show in Milan on 18th January, depicts the making of jumpers and cardigans over the past 195 year history of the Scottish brand.

It's really quite brilliant and completely different to the usual formulaic advertising we're used to seeing.