Thursday, 31 March 2011

which retailer am I talking about?

They are a major player on the high street, have a good online presence, have been around for years and do great marketing.

They sell clothes which although aren't really my style, I can appreciate the quality and work that goes into designing and making them. However, after buying a present for my girlfriend in one of their stores and experiencing the after-service, my positive comments come to an end.

I had bought her a pair of tights and as it turns out, without her even getting them out the packaging I was told I had got the wrong size. So no problem, I'll just pop in and change them next time I'm passing. As it turns out, it was a problem.

According to the store manager, tights are classed as 'underwear' and therefore not eligable for a refund or exchange - something I would have been told when I bought them. I wasn't. The fact the packaging remained unopened and the seal unbroken didn't seem to matter.

Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Eurostar - not just a new logo

Eurostar this week launched their new visual identity - to coincide with a raft of improvements the operator has planned.

Before and after

Many companies introduce a new logo with the intention of hoodwinking customers into thinking things must have changed at the organisation in question.

Unless changes are made to the product, service or personnel (bascially the things that make up the brand), then people will quicky see through the exercise and it will do little to change their behaviour or attitude.

And this is where Eurostar should be congratulated.

Alongside refurbishing their current fleet, they are launching new menus for Business Premier class passengers created by Michelin-starred chef Alain Roux, offering Business Premier customers guaranteed access to the train of their choice and launching new mobile apps for iPhone and Android users. As an added bonus passengers will also soon be able to book taxis via staff while on board a Eurostar service.

So the new logo sits side by side with a revamped offering - which is exactly the way it should be.
The logo itself? Classy, stylish, sophisticated and well executed. The marketing babble that came with it was a touch too far though.

The work should be left to speak for itself.

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

what have Stacey Solomon and East Midlands Trains got in common?

Only the other week we were praising East Midlands Trains for their ad campaign with celebrity twins Jedward.

Firstly it was different, and secondly, the use of twins was relevant to the campaign.

The company has since employed Dagenham based Stacey Solomon to be the face of its latest campaign - highlighting their great value fares. Whilst Miss Solomon can be classed as a celebrity (she is still riding the back of her recent 'I'm a Celebrity' success) and will therefore guarantee a certain amount of exposure, I'm struggling to see her relevance to either East Midlands Trains as a brand, or her association with searching for great value fares.

The best celebrity endorsements come about when there is a true connection between brand and individual - Jamie Oliver and Sainsbury's, David Beckham and Adidas are two great examples.

Stacey Solomon and East Midlands Trains, I'm not so sure.

See for yourself.

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Asda billboard hides something important

This a picture of a billboard I drive past on the way to work (click picture to enlarge).

Most advertisers appreciate that this type of media should be used to give the passing viewer a quick and memorable snapshot of the product or service in question. In Asda's case - 'Blimey that's cheap, I'll go and buy some'.

But in order to place a value on something you first have to know the quantity the advertised price relates to.

So to the naked (moving) eye, how many bags of crisps or cans of Coke do you get for £4?  The coffee is just about self explanatory but the size of the jar is still open to interpretation unless you have binoculars.

The quantities are actually there, you just can't see them.

And that surely, is the point.