Friday, 23 March 2012

product advertising at its best

Most brands these days, apart from Apple, are too scared to blatantly show you their product and what it can do.

They are perfectly happy to ask you to 'engage emotionally' but not intent on showing you the benefits of their product and why you should buy it over a rival's offering.

As a wise advertising man called Bob Hoffman once said "We don’t get them to try our product by convincing them to love our brand. We get them to love our brand by convincing them to try our product."

Not enough people try to convince these days.

So in honour of this approach we've found a couple of classic ads that tell you how it is. Half time in Corrie would never be the same again if ads in these modern times were like this.

Thursday, 22 March 2012

First and Stagecoach in marketing battle

Well to be honest they're probably not but the headline got you interested didn't it?

If there’s one absolute truth when it comes to writing advertising copy it’s that a well-crafted, targeted headline is the most crucial part of any communication and should always be given the due attention it deserves.

It can be argued that a headline is equal to, if not more important than, the actual body of content itself. The headline is the first thing a potential reader will see and it’s at that point a decision will be made to commit further or move on and read something else. 

If the headline is poorly written and fails to catch the reader’s attention the quality of the material becomes irrelevant. It doesn’t matter if the piece is 20,000 words or 200 words; it all begins with a headline, and a nano second in time.

The best copy knows how to incentivise the reader to keep reading. That's why “how to” posts almost always seem to attract attention. Because the reader instantly assumes that the time spent reading the article is going to be well invested. They believe that they’re going to learn how to do something new and beneficial because the headline spells it out for them loud and clear.

Could public transport marketing learn from acknowledging the importance of headlines? You tell us.

Oxo go back to their roots in new TV ad

Oxo have launched their new TV campaign by paying homage to their traditional family based theme, incorporating a 'current' twist.

The kids have grown up and left home but the parents are still having their influence on what happens at dinner time, although this time it is the Dad who is having his say. Maybe Lynda Bellingham was too busy on Loose Women.

The Oxo team say "We recognise that the 'traditional' roles within the typical British family have changed and that children are just as likely to turn to their dad for advice in the kitchen – or life in general, as they are their mum, which why we've decided to return to the popular OXO family but with the twist that this time, "dad's in charge"

Decent ad, decent packaging at the end too.

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

think different, be different, get rewarded

I'm guessing the cider market in New Zealand is no different to the cider market here in the UK.

Namely a few main players (Magners, Bulmers, Strongbow, Woodpecker) alongside a number of challenger brands like Weston's and Wychwood Brewery. So in essence the big boys and the small boys, with varying degrees of marketing spend all trying to make you choose their brand over a rival's.

A brand with lots of money can bludgeon customers with their message through repetition. However if you have next to nothing you have to be clever, think about the best way to spend your budget and use your brain to get people talking.

This is the story of of how one brand used a great idea as basis for a marketing campaign that had remarkable success.

So could the marketing of public transport learn something from Monteith's approach in being different?

I think you know our answer.

Friday, 2 March 2012

why good writing is like music

Every wondered why some people write stuff that is so obviously more interesting than that of their colleagues?

This little quote not only explains why, but does so in a way that is highly relevant to the subject matter.

Pure literary, musical gold from Gary Provost and his book 100 Ways to Improve Your Writing.

"This sentence has five words. Here are five more words. Five-word sentences are fine. But several together are monotonous. Listen to what is happening.

The writing is getting boring. The sound of it drones. It's like a stuck record. The ear demands some variety.

Now listen. I vary the sentence length, and I create music. Music. The writing sings. It has a pleasant rhythm, a lilt, harmony. I use short sentences. And I use sentences of medium length.

And sometime, when I am certain the reader is rested, I will engage him with a sentence of considerable length, a sentence that burns with energy and builds with all the impetus of a crescendo, the roll of the drums, the crash of the cymbals - sounds that say, listen to this, it is important."

You can buy the book here if you would like to find out more.

Thursday, 1 March 2012

Stagecoach and First working together in Sheffield

Ever wondered what could happen when bus operators put aside their competitive streak and decide to work together for passengers' benefit?

A few months ago, the mhd partnership was approached by South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive (SYPTE) to write communication material for the new Optio scheme, being run by First and Stagecoach in Sheffield, ensuring that the simplicity of the project was reflected in words as well as actions.

The result?

Bus passenger levels have grown strongly on routes in the city with shared ticketing and service arrangements between operators – against an overall decline across South Yorkshire.

Figures released by SYPTE show the total journeys made in the 12 months to March 2011 was 109 million, down 0.75 per cent from 110 million in 2009/10.

SYPTE said that during the last three months to January 2012, there has been ‘significant’ passenger growth on Sheffield’s two routes covered by the Optio scheme, on which First and Stagecoach share operations and accept each other’s tickets.

On the ‘red’ corridor – the 52 route between Woodhouse, Darnall, the city centre, Crookes and Hillsborough – there were 5.16 per cent more journeys made than in the same period a year ago. The ‘orange’ routes, between Halfway and Fulwood, saw a 1.9 per cent growth.

Shared ticketing arrangements were backed by people living along the routes.

One person commented “It certainly makes life easier, especially when coming back from town in a hurry – you don’t have to wait for a particular company’s bus.”

With quality contracts being touted as the way forward in many parts of the country, this approach of operators working together for the benefit of passengers may be a way they can stay in control of their own financial destiny.

I guess only time will tell.