Random thoughts

Well dear readers for the first time in a very long time I thought I’d do a posting not linked to a single theme but just a series of random thoughts zapping around in my mind at the moment. Each of these could be the subject of a separate posting but I thought I’d just shorthand it for fun.

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Brand frivolity

Now I spent 20 years as a marketeer in the telecoms industry heading up numerous activities in sponsorship, PR, dealer and channel management, promotions, literature and PoS, digital activity, website development, corporate hospitality, events and exhibitions, and, not least, advertising. I say not least because advertising usually attracted the largest share of a company’s marketing budget and yet it happened to be the least likeable element of the marketing mix for me. Probably because my personal control was somewhat subjugated by the influence of the expensive advertising agency we usually employed. And they worked hard to keep the whole subject of advertising a dark art only capable of being understood by their extensive team of creatives, media planners, media buyers, client liaison people (bag men and mostly sassy women), talent negotiators, and senior exec’s who only surfaced when it was contract renewal time or when you were being critical of the agency’s work. And then they had a secret hotline to your MD.

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Surfer fun

I think I might have made a decent forensic examiner once upon a time as I notice little things which are a little odd (and sometimes amusing too). For example I’m watching the Quest tv channel on Dplay quite a lot and some of their programmes are sponsored by Argentinian wine brand Trivento. Their marketing team have devised a series of idents – little promo ads – that appear in the commercial breaks promoting the idea that drinking Trivento sets you off on some ‘bold discoveries’. I know, it’s an over-blown idea; where I’m from that’s just a euphemism for getting pissed. I think there are 8 in the series and all are twaddle but the one that makes me smile is a shot of a surfer girl who says something inane before heading off to go surfing. It’s not so much what she says that makes me smile it’s her sense of direction. Have a look at this video and you’ll see her run to the right then suddenly she veers left as if she’s noticed a better bit of sea to aim for.

Well it may not win the award for outstanding comedy performance at the Bafta’s but it never fails to make me chuckle. Little things, like I said.

bafta paulie (did I ever tell you I’ve got two of the little brass winkers?)

Message to oneself

There have been lots of tv ads which have capitalised on the covid crisis to position companies as the most caring of brands. You’ve seen them – that Co-op one with Marcus Rashford aimed at driving donations to food redistribution charity FareShare is a classic. It’s not his woodenness that jars so much as the creative thinking behind the need to create empathy with the viewer. The charitable purpose is absolutely fantastic but that over-familiarity bit where the bloke goes ‘You’re on mute Rashy’ makes me squirm. Check it out…

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Mange tout Rodney, mange tout.

Well it’s ages since I did a posting on a really laughable tv ad but I’ve found one for you dear readers. It’s for Renault’s new electric car range, specifically the Renault Zoe. Now it’s a very nicely produced ad and the background music is spot on, whilst the characters are believable and the creative idea of showing things which ought to be electric being powered by little combustion engines puffing out exhaust smoke, is simply brilliant. So what’s my problem with the ad? Well it’s the female voice-over and she has just about the most ridiculous French accent I’ve ever heard. Like a refugee from ‘Allo ‘Allo. Have a listen (or as we say in Franglais avoir une ecoute)….

 

See what I mean? It’s the best laugh I’ve had since scouser Joey Barton started speaking English with a faux French accent whilst playing for Marseille and that Yorkshire dipshtick Shteve McLaren adopted a Dutch accent in hish tv interviewsch whilst managing Twente. As they say in Peckham, Bonnet de douche my old son…

 

 

shuper shtuff

pp

Trying too hard to Take That

Another posting about tv – this ones all about Suzuki cars’ newest marketing partnership. They have a long-standing sponsorship association with ITV Saturday night entertainment programmes or, put more simply, shows featuring the ubiquitous Ant & Dec. And to back it up they formed an advertising link up with the duo themselves showing them driving around in their cars meeting fans etc for use as break bumper ads around the lads’ shows. I always thought that was pretty lazy thinking. Why target the same audience twice? But all that changed when Ant only went and crashed his actual car (not a Suzuki) whilst pissed and his addictions became public knowledge. Hence a year out of the public eye recovering at the Priory, which kind of created an Ant-sized hole in the Suzuki partnership strategy.

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Sweet

Well you kinda had to experience the 70’s, the decade that fashion forgot so they say and the years of the creepy DJ’s and prawn cocktails,  to comment on it.  Well it was a notable decade for me – the one in which I had long hair, went to Uni, grew a moustache,  got married, started my 30 year career in BT, moved to London, had our 3 lovely daughters (well one born in 1980), moved onto the property ladder, and by the end of it lost the moustache and much of my hair and gave up competitive football. Ahh I loved those 10 years, even the loon trousers and the glam rock music. Continue reading

Tom, let’s talk about Kit-e-Kat

I’ve written in the past about the use of celebrities in tv ads and admitted that we did the same thing at Cellnet, which became O2, in using Joan Collins and John Cleese in two really great ads…and Nigel Mansell and Brian Clough in some pretty wooden ones. I was also in the marketing team at BT, though well-removed from the decision-making process, when  it was agreed to use S Club 7 to front their use-the-phone-more ads.  I still shudder at the memory whilst Bob Hoskins is probably still spinning in his grave. It would have been good to walk…away from that deal. Continue reading