Tuesday, 28 September 2010

there are some things you just can't control

East Coast are in the papers today for something that according to them 'was standard across the train industry'.

And maybe this where the problem lies.

The story involves a gentleman, who having bought an advance first class ticket for travel between Birmingham to Durham, decided to get off one stop early at Darlington - as it was closer to his home.

As far as he was concerned he had paid for the journey in the first place and simply wasn't using all of the ticket he had purchased. Unfortunately the station's ticket barriers didn't agree and wouldn't allow him to exit.

Staff at East Coast Trains then ordered him to pay £155 - covering a full first class fare between Birmingham and Darlington.

Now 'rules' may be rules but maybe it's time common sense became common sense, otherwise all your efforts in getting more people back on to public transport may be in vain.

Read the full story and what East Coast had to say for themselves here.

Monday, 20 September 2010

one million FREE bus tickets to be given away

Greener Journeys is the UK bus and coach industry’s campaign encouraging people to switch from cars to buses and coaches.

Their current campaign is the ONE Billion Challenge: Remove one billion car journeys from our roads over the next three years (2011-2014) by getting people to change just one journey a month from the car to bus or coach.

This morning Sir Moir Lockhead, Chief Executive of FirstGroup was speaking on Radio 5 about the campaign to give away one million free bus tickets, click here to hear the interview.

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

100,000 seats for £1

National Express is giving away 100,000 coach seats for £1 each.

There is a catch, as usual:
  • They're available in limited numbers (100,000 I suppose).
  • For selected journeys only.
  • Book before 31 October 2010
See if you can find one at a sensible time here. I couldn't.

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Stansted Express campaign fails to impress the ASA

National Express Group, owners of the Stansted Express, have been reprimanded by the advertising watchdog over a recent ad campaign.

The posters which highlighted the Stansted Airport to Liverpool Street Station service, were deemed to have misled travelers in to believing the service could reach 'central' London in just 35 minutes.

Unfortunately, 35 mins will only get you as far as Tottenham Hale - hardly the bright lights and glitz of the West End that most people would class as the heart of the capital.

However you can get to the service's destination, Liverpool Street Station, in just 45 minutes - a whole 10 minutes later! Maybe National Express - instead of trying to justify the 35 minute inclusion - should have spent a few quid on some amended artwork and another round of production - then be satisfied with a well executed piece of advertising.

Is the additional journey time likely to be that off putting in comparison to the more expensive modal choices? Didn't think so.

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

the ad medium with greatest impact is...

Well according to a new Deloitte report based on a 2,000-strong YouGov survey, definitely not online if that's what you were thinking.

Unsurprisingly for us but perhaps so for the marketers we work with, the results are refreshingly old fashioned.

Online came in last place with a whopping 3%, preceded by cinema, leaflets, posters, then radio at 15%, magazines at 17% and newspapers with 30%.

And the winner - achieving an impressive 56%? Yep, you guessed it - the old has-been medium that is TV.

So next time your agency suggests ploughing all your budget into online, just remember that decisions should always be based on facts not current trends.

Friday, 3 September 2010

an outstanding viral, but will it sell any Tippex?

Tippex has gone viral with a very nicely produced interactive YouTube campaign, titled “NSFW. A hunter shoots a bear!”.

At the end of the video the hunter erases 'shoots' from the title with some Tippex and then you can type what the hunter should do to the bear.

Although it's very impressive, it's not completely original. Burger King and their ad agency Crispin Porter + Bogusky released 'Subservient Chicken' in 2004 and One Of The Lads released “Car Wash Girls“, around about the same time. Also isn't “NSFW” in the title a bit of a cheap shot? The campaign could have done just as well without it.

Another thought is that the majority of people flocking to YouTube to interact with this campaign probably haven’t picked up paper and pen in years, let alone Tippex. Is digital the correct medium to advertise correction fluid? Maybe, I suppose only time and sales figures will tell.

Nevertheless, great viral campaign.

Thursday, 2 September 2010

Foster's convert bus shelters to beach huts

Phone boxes and interactive bus shelters across the UK are set to be changed into beach huts in a series of special builds for the latest Foster's campaign.

The activity brings to life Foster’s new ‘Good Call!’ campaign that sees Aussies Brad and Dan offering “no worries” advice over the phone to British men from a sun-kissed beach Down Under.

From 30th August phone boxes in JCDecaux’s StreetTalk portfolio will have turned into beach huts and interactive ads will be installed in bus shelters in the drinking hubs of major cities throughout the UK.

The interactive ads will present people with four problematic scenarios to which they have to select the most appropriate Foster’s-related “Good Call” answer. Should they pick the ‘correct’ answer a ‘Good Call!’ message will appear.

Wider activity included a series of hugely popular TV commercials with the next spot launching mid-September, plus outdoor point-of-sale activity. Brad and Dan are also available to answer anyone’s queries via their Facebook page.

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

keep promises to keep customers

Companies that keep their small promises have a much easier time keeping big ones. 

If an organisation commits to - answer your call withing three rings or respond to you within 28 days or pass your concerns on to the managing director - and sticks to it, they earn a reputation.

That reputation makes their communication worth more in the eyes of every consumer.

Guess it all depends on what you want your company to stand for.