Friday, 31 October 2014

the energy company, the orangutan and the PR waffle

Utilities supplier Scottish and Southern Electric (SSE) has recently launched a TV advert.

As usual we can look at the concept of the ad, and the background to actually making it (below).

And then the actual ad itself (below).

So what do you think?

Is it memorable? Possibly ('that ad with the orangutan').

But will you remember it as 'that ad with the orangutan by SSE' (quite important if it is to achieve anything in the form of ROI)? Absolutely not.

And from a brand perspective, what has an orangutan wandering the streets of a city, got to to do with SSE (in particular) selling you energy? You guessed it, nothing.

When questioned on their approach, a spokesperson for SSE came up with the following - which is about as far up the PR waffle tree as you can get;
"We want to find new and innovative ways to engage with our customers and in turn encourage them to engage with the energy they use; that’s what the ad is about, and most people agree that this is exactly what we should be doing as a responsible company. We’ve had overwhelmingly positive feedback so far from customers, who understand the message the ad is communicating."
I don't know about you but 'engaging' with my utility company isn't high on my list of priorities after a day at work. If my gas and electric both come on at a flick of a switch, the tariff is competitive and they answer the phone/email back when I have a query - then there's not much engaging to be done to be honest.

The ad is exceptionally well produced and the CGI is out of this world but that's about it. It does nothing to set SSE apart from any other energy company out there, and is most definitely a case of too much style over too little substance.

Friday, 17 October 2014

New York promoting itself to New Yorkers

NYC & Company, the marketing and tourism arm of New York City, has produced a "See Your City" campaign urging New Yorkers to get out of the house and explore the city's five boroughs.

To be honest I'm not massively au fait with the city's boroughs, let alone the neighbourhoods within them, but from a creative perspective the works showcases a lovely series of illustrations. Unsurprisingly the campaign drew inspiration from vintage travel posters, which Emily Lessard, creative director of NYC & Company, said was an attempt to "reframe the familiar as foreign and idealised" in an attempt to sell New York City to New Yorkers.

I'm not sure the city's residents will fall for Emily's 'reframing' to be honest, but it's a tidy piece of work all the same.

You can read a bit more about the full campaign here.

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Guevara, Lincoln and Marley get all pixelated

Say hello to Che, Abraham and Bob - three fellas so iconic, you might even recognise them even your eyesight is a bit dodgy.

And that's exactly the point of this campaign from Eyezone in Dubai. If you can make out a pixelated American president you've never met but not everyday boring Tim from accounts or bland Mary from sales, then you might need a bit of assistance in the optical department.

Good idea, good execution.

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

want to see how Virgin Trains make a tv ad?

Over the past few months we've shown you how both First Great Western and National Express made their TV adverts, and now it's the turn of Virgin Trains.

Like the previous posts, the video below is the thinking behind it and what, as a viewer, you are supposed to take away from it.

And this is one the work that will be appearing on your screens.

According to the agency's creative founder, it's portrays the fact you feel 'awesome' after travelling with Virgin Trains. I don't know about you but on the rare occasions I feel that great I've usually got a spring in my step rather than something in my life slowing me down.

As a general rule I'm a big fan of all Virgin Trains advertising but this just isn't happening for me. Is it an ad for awesomeness (as per the tag line), and ad for relaxation (the whole slow mo thing) or an ad for the journey time between Manchester and London? It's all a bit disjointed.

It's also a little strange that they are using Liverpool Lime Street as the back drop to advertising journey times between London and Manchester.

Great sound track though.

Monday, 6 October 2014

Lidl school Morrisons over their price match offer

It's often said that 'challenger brands' need to be quick off the mark to take market share off their larger, more established rivals - and this ad from Lidl is no exception.

Following Morrisons recently launched (not so simple) price promise, Lidl decided that they had a nice little angle to come back at them. And they let the world know what is was in Saturday's Sun.

Despite this, I still think Morrisons could make a statement reply. Product selection, customer service, specialist staff, help with packing etc etc are all areas where they would feel superior to Lidl - but the odds on them doing anything are minimal.

It seems that despite middle of the road supermarkets losing market share hand over fist to challengers such as Lidl, they only want to compete on price, and not their points of difference.

And if they keep this strategy up over the long term, there is only going to be one winner. 

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

we help UWE students get it more

It's not every year a university students' union kicks up a stink about their incumbent, contracted bus supplier and offers your client the opportunity to bring a bit of competition to the routes.

But that's exactly what happened to First Bus in Bristol a few months ago. Without naming operator in question, the guilty party were charged by the union with not delivering on the basics - poor punctuality, poor network coverage etc - so our guys were determined to combat the uni's concerns with their proposition. We were delighted to help them in bringing the marketing to life.

They kept their proposition nice and simple with new routes, great frequencies, and later services. Suffice to say we thought we'd keep things simple with the creative execution too.

A few 48 sheets, 6 sheets, press ads, mailers, pull-up banners, exhibition stands, web banners, t shirts, timetable holders and digital screens later - we had a cracking little campaign to entice the students to jump ship.

The lovely UWE students like it as much as we (and the client) do.

town centre 6 sheets (click to enlarge)
fresher fair leaflet (click to enlarge)
fresher fair stand (click to enlarge)
student magazine advert (click to enlarge)
staff t-shirts (click to enlarge)