Wednesday, 25 January 2017

Manchester's tram network gets it spot on

It's rare you get a transport operator that has the balls to do a piece of communication without a logo on it.

But that's exactly what Transport for Greater Manchester did in this campaign to get people back on the tram after a long period of restricted access to the city centre.

No doubt they needed a bit of persuasion from their creative agency, Dinosaur, but kudos to them for seeing it through.

Not usually a fan of overly digital campaigns but I think this one has a really good balance and shows off the benefits of leaving the car at home in a fun, engaging way.

Round of applause to all concerned.

You can read about the campaign in full over on Dinosaur's website here.

Tuesday, 24 January 2017

cheesy lifestyle imagery does nothing to encourage bus use

Creating a great advertising campaign to encourage people to use the bus isn't easy, and nobody should ever say it is.

Many people would agree the bus suffers from an image problem - based on opinions of the product itself and a perception about the type of people who use it. It's the responsibility of client marketing team and their agency, to do all they can to change this - producing work that is engaging, exciting, appealing and of course, consistent. Changing opinion one campaign at a time.

However, the one thing we see on a regular basis that lets the industry down is the over-use of cheap 'n' cheesy stock imagery. You know the type of thing - a 2.4 family out shopping with colourful bags, sharply dressed men in suits commuting, groups of young women clinking champagne glasses - executions that have a very dated feel to them.

We're convinced this approach does more harm than good. Using imagery that is so far from people's perceptions, and most probably reality, yet says to people 'These are our customers, and you could be one of them'.

The frustrating thing is, we know why it's done - mainly because it's cheap and quick for the agency to do and stops them having to come up with a real idea. The type of idea that their hourly rate should return. The type of idea that makes people sit up and think 'What, a bus company did that?'

If you're going to use imagery as a key feature of your campaign, do it properly. Pick three or four shots that do the work justice and plan them/art direct them as if your brand's reputation depends on it.

Whatever you do, stay away from the cliched, cheesy lifestyle images found on photo libraries.

Monday, 23 January 2017

the new Sainsbury's ad - Yum or Yuk?

Sainsbury's launched their latest TV advert this week, and judging by comments on their YouTube channel, opinion is divided.

The work is the first from Wieden + Kennedy, ending a 35-year relationship with AMV BBDO, which had included some classic ad campaigns, from Mog’s Christmas to Jamie Oliver’s endorsement of the brand.

So what do you think?

Here's some of those YouTube comments -

'Well i liked it enough to come here to re watch it so...i heard it and loved it...'

'Food Dancing (Yum Yum Yum) is an advert that desperately tries to be spontaneous and carefree but ends up being cheesy and contrived.'

'I like it' 
(straight to the point this person)

'I heard this hideous racket in a Sainsbury's in Suffolk yesterday . Most people froze on the spot, or cringed. Even the shop assistants pulled disapproving faces ! Whichever ad agency thought this up, has no idea what the profile of the average Sainsbury's shopper is like !'

I would imagine the objective is to get more people to shop at Sainsbury's rather than getting those who already shop at Sainsbury's to spend more, so the work has to stand out for people to at least question their current shopping habits. So surely it's better to produce a 'love it or hate it' campaign that polarises opinion rather than something that's been done a thousand times before and is totally vanilla? 

To that extent, the styling of the ad is different enough to get noticed, whilst the song and the way it is performed is different enough to get remembered. Put those two elements together and with a bit of luck you might just be on to a winner.

Friday, 6 January 2017

challenging the rail establishment, German style

So you're fed up with the Deutsche Bahn and decide, with a little help from your friends and a few quid via crowd funding, you can do a better job.

This is the story (German with English subtitles) of how a group of people in the know launched a new daily service between Berlin to Stuttgart, with the aim of offering a real alternative to the establishment. With refurbished rolling stock, super fast internet connection throughout the whole journey and fares no more than half the Deutsche Bahn equivalent, Germany's first challenger train brand has just got off the ground.

You can find out more about Locomore story here.