Monday, 22 November 2010

celebrities endorse train travel

Over the past week or so, a few famous people have been vocal in their support of train travel.

Rio Ferdinand can be seen here using a Virgin Trains service from Manchester to London and saying 'I love traveling on the train - it's nice and easy. You can get up and have a stretch.'

Actor John Barrowman appeared on the Radio 1 Breakfast Show with Chris Moyles last week and praised the service between London and Glasgow, whilst Manchester City (perhaps the world's richest football club) were taking the train back after their game against Fulham in London yesterday.

Not sure about you but if I was running one of the TOCs in question, I'd be working mighty hard to see if these sort of 'endorsements' had any promotional legs.

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Stella Artois fails to find perfection

Stella Artois is positioned as a premium lager - at the top of its tree and proud to be reassuringly expensive.

But if you're claiming to be the best, you've to back it up in everything you do.

And that includes your advertising.

Having simple grammatical errors so prominent is just not good enough when it comes to justifying your premium positioning.

Back to basics I'm afraid boys.

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

M&S CEO hits the nail on the head

Marks & Spencer CEO Marc Bolland has recently identified a number of changes he intends to make in the iconic organisation.

One of them concerns the promises their all singing, all dancing advertising campaigns make - the latest of which can be seen here.

Marc says 'It’s also been apparent in recent years that the glitzy image that M&S portrays in its advertising with stars such as Twiggy and Dannii Minogue, doesn’t translate terribly well to the store experience shoppers find on the high street.'

This is an observation that many marketers around the country should be able to identify with regarding their own product.

Customers would much rather companies under promise and over deliver, rather than over promise and under deliver.

Back to basics right?

Monday, 8 November 2010

calling all marketing managers...

The following ad copy was supplied anonymously to Campaign magazine and we'd like to share it with you.


"It's unwise to pay too much, but it's worse to pay too little. When you pay too much, you lose a little money — that is all. When you pay too little, you sometimes lose everything, because the thing you bought was incapable of doing the thing it was bought to do. The common law of business balance prohibits paying a little and getting a lot — it can't be done. If you deal with the lowest bidder, it is well to add something for the risk you run, and if you do that you will have enough to pay for something better."

A great point, well made Mr Anonymous.

I think it's up to the agency to put a value on their work and, as a by product,  educate the client as to why they cost that little bit more than the competition.

Thanks to the guys at Sell Sell for this.

Friday, 5 November 2010

the power of Think Different

In 1997 TBWA\Chiat\Day, a Los Angeles based ad agency, developed the slogan 'Think Different' for Apple Computers.

The positioning was to form the basis the legendary 'Crazy Ones' TV commercial, initially played during the 1997 Superbowl.

The ad paid homage to those in society who were a little bit wacky, a little bit crazy, who believed they could change the world. Einstein, Martin Luther King and Ghandi all fell in to this category.

Not everyone in America at the time felt that being different was acceptable in society - and the email opposite (click to enlarge) is testimony to that. It's from a guy who saw the ad, to the guy who made it.

Just shows the effect advertising can have when done brilliantly.

Never see the ad? Check it out.

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Grand Central Trains offer MPs free travel

Grand Central Trains is offering free first class return travel to London for any MPs whose constituencies lie on their route.

The offer, which is estimated to cost the company over £60,000 a year, is something Grand Central has done since its first route was opened between Sunderland and Kings Cross in 2007.

MPs can only claim the cost of an anytime standard open ticket following reforms brought in after last year’s expenses scandal, so by opting to take a the free first class option on offer they are saving the tax payer money.

As one commentator put it 'It's not actually costing the company a penny if the seats aren't otherwise sold. They're getting free publicity and the ear of numerous members of parliament; quite a savvy bit of business.' Think I'm inclined to agree.

Maybe more TOCs should be this clever with their own self promotion?

Read the full article and comments here.