Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Agadir - 2010

I'm quite a fan of this ad.

Made by a Cake for the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society comes this as to push keeping the International Whaling Commission ban in place.

The initial black and white, the very appropriate track by The Horrors with the final colour reveal works for me.

I am anti-whaling, so I can't say that it changed my mindset, but it did remind me about what is going on in the world and how a collective of representatives from all nations are making a decision on the lives of some of the most amazing creatures on earth.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Billboard Practice

I've talked about how much I like billboards before. I think they're great. Visually they are very high impact, they get a lot of notice.

Being new to Auckland I'm not so boned up on Auckland politics. I know John Banks and thats about it, so when the billboard I walk past every day on Pitt St had a skin for Len Brown I found it quite interesting.

Advertising and Politics - good times.

The problem with billboards is that they are easy targets. Case in point - when I walked past Len Brown's billboard today.

So this, unfortunately does not work in Mr. Browns favour. He is now paying to tell all passing pedestrians and commuters is that he has people out there who are so opposed to his running for Mayor that they would go to this kind of effort to deface his billboard.

Now, could just be random vandalism, but nonetheless, still tells a tale.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Bad Taste Thursday - Vampire Diaries

So, much to my (male) flatmate's dispair, Go Girls finished last week, which means this week, we have Vampire Diaries. From what I can tell, it's kinda Twilight for TV.

Now, if I were in charge of programming at TVNZ, I would have thought this programme would have sit very nicely on a Friday, but what do I know?

That's not the point of this however. I was doing my daily trawl of the main publishers to see who is doing what, and I gotta admit, I got to Yahoo and was a bit taken aback.

So I totally understand trying to promote a new programme, however I feel as though there was not a huge amount of thought put into situational placement and creative.

Why? Well, you see, the first thing I saw when the page opened was the image of the woman with the headline "Police Fear The Worst" and then all of a sudden these freaking crows come across the page.
Same thing when I hit MSN. None of the stories are quite as obvious behind the expandable banner, but its still crows flying across my screen.
All banners leading to this:
Something just doesn't sit well with me that on 2 publishers homepages, publishers which report news stories, someone would think that crows (which in this show I believe represents death or at least the vampires) wouldn't be the most appropriate choice of visual representation when you consider the possible stories and headlines.

Just feels inappropriate. Now, if this was over the Entertainment sections on either of the sites rather than the homepage, that I could understand; In fact I think it would be very appropriately targeted at the demographic whom they are trying to reach. Totally on board with that idea (and surely it would be cheaper too - don't TVNZ have to save like $20mill or something? Isn't that why they're taking away 10% of agency commission?).

Then I got a heads up from my TVNZ rep this afternoon pointing me to their TV schedule page to check out this banner:

Also promoting The Vampire Diaries. Why is this banner roses while the other is crows? The roses could have worked just as well on YX or MSN. Just doesn't make sense to me.

Now - as an interesting aside (I am writing this while checking out the first ep) - Impulsive you clever kids, perfect synergy for sponsorship and great ad (to be fair - not my cup of tea, but I think I'm quite a way outside their target audience) all while driving to a nice little facebook community. Bonus points to you.

Just lost bonus points. It's been 20 mins and I've seen the ad 3 times. Already bored of it. What's up with that? Trying to boost your frequency?

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Something with more substance

Social Medi-duh
Told you - more substance.

Please can people STOP paying money for courses on Social Media. Please. Or at least, just use it as a last resort.

Why? You may ask. Well, this is the thing about social media. It is a medium which is not only evolving everyday, it is also a medium which has no definitive structure or guidelines. There is no way to place absolute value on the work that you do in this space, but know that it is a space you should be aware of.
Recently there was a Social Media Club held at Ogilvy I think. Paul Webster from Facebook and Tom Osborne from Wag the Dog were 2 of the people who spoke. I didn't attend. Thought about it, decided I'd rather go for a run in the freezing cold.

At any rate, I did watch the tweets come through. What I severely dislike, more than anything else, is people who criticise but never attempt themselves. I did not have to be there to know that Tom was talking about the 2 degrees Facebook strategy which involved a calendar of 2 status updates per week + conversation with customers who engaged with them. Pretty quickly the tweets about how 'Facebook shouldn't be held back to restrictions and interactions should be fluid' came through.
Now, having spent some time talking to Paul from Facebook about not pissing off your fans - 2-3 status updates a week max so that you're not spamming people and they end up hiding you - I agree with the strategy. Yes, have a conversation with people that come to you, but don't broadcast too much because people will hide you and then forget about you. I don't want to point fingers, but there are certain 'Social Media Strategists/Experts/Gurus' out there who have friended me on Facebook (believe me, they're on a list) who have been guilty of spamming my news feed and I have hidden all posts from them. This is the pinnacle of what a brand wants to avoid.
If you are responsible for a brand and want to get into the Social Media space, before you spend any money take a minute to find out from friends/family why and how they use social media. Most people on Twitter are pretty strong advocates and are more than willing to teach others about it, as it helps build their community.

You don't need to dive head first into the deep end, take a week to listen to what others are saying and run some searches for keywords which pertain to your brand. If your brand comes up, certainly respond, but otherwise just check out what's going on. Once you've witnessed some of the conversations which are taking place, you'll probably feel a lot more comfortable about participating in them.

Total self promotion - but check out Twitter for Beginners Part One, Two, Three and Four if you'd like a bit of a kick start. I wrote this for the most amazing woman in the world (she knows who she is) who had a Twitter account but wasn't using it as it seemed too hard. I am please to announce that she is rocking Twitter now.

Look, at the end of the day, we all started out 1 tweet at a time, even the Social Media 'experts'.

If you want to pay someone to teach you about social media - pay me. My email address is on the right hand side. It'll cost you a coffee, or a wine. Probably a wine. If you're still at a loss and want to do it yourself, then go on a course, but give it a shot first.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Bad Billboard

So, following on from my post about the Mini Billboard which was pretty huge & cool, this is what I would call a horrible piece of billboard creative.

This is just down the road from where I work on Shortland Street.
The biggest issue I have with this is the ridiculous amounts of copy. What the frick? Standing across the road I couldn't read it properly, how is someone driving past meant to take a message out of it?

So often people make the mistake of translating a magazine ad onto a billboard or adshel - but it just doesn't work. Outdoor shouldn't be copy heavy.

Also, if for whatever ridiculous reason you're going to put this much copy on a billboard, use black text on a white background. So much easier to read.

If anyone has the patience to stand there and read this billboard - can you tell me what the message they are trying convey is? I get that it's for Racket bar - but that's it.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Feeling spammed Onecard

Thanks one card. I am feeling thoroughly spammed.

So I understand that I signed up for this. I supplied my email address, but this is getting a little ridiculous.

Here are my emails from OneCard over the period of one month:

19 emails. 19. Are you kidding me?

So, part of this is my fault because I mistakenly said that I was close to a Foodtown and a Countdown but my goodness, that is a lot of, for all intents and purposes, spam.

Also, the part of this that makes me most annoyed is how they sent me an email asking for feedback, which I tried to give (I told them they were emailing me too much) and got this error message:
Oh dear. For goodness sake, make sure things work before you send them out to your database! Then I got even MORE emails telling me that the feedback thing didn't work. Fair to say I didn't bother to submit my feedback again. This is my feedback. Don't send me so damn many emails.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Bite out of Telecom

I'm not a big fan of Telecom, in fact we have just swapped our home phone and internet over to Vodafone because we reached our GB limit and they throttled our usage - I would have preferred they just charged me rather than not being able to load pictures onto my blog - but that's beside the point.

So, I get that they probably don't pay all too much to be on the Yahoo homepage, but I do quite like this expandable banner:

Bite. Bite. Bite. Bite. Bite.
It wasn't too intrusive, disappeared quite quickly and you could replay it if you wanted to. It was good. Kinda how I think an expandable should be.

Pity their advertising doesn't make me like their brand or product. At all. Actually, similar to Yellow, seeing their advertising just reminds me about the money they spend on marketing instead of fixing their product.