Archive for the 'advertising' Category

How to use Twitter for marketing and PR

twitterIn the absence of any great social networking or Web 3.0 developments since Facebook, Twitter has appeared and become the Next Big Thing even though (go on, admit it), you Don’t Really Get It. I don’t blame you for thinking this, because in the virtual world, something has to be the daddy, even if it doesn’t deserve it.
If, like me, you read blogs by advertising mavens, marketing gurus and the gods of PR, you will know that Twitter is a much-discussed topic. After much argument, the opinions of the hundreds of conversation igniters have been dissected, examined and finally distilled into what can be safely considered the consensus view. So here it is, the definitive answer to the question: “How do I use Twitter for marketing and PR?


Swearing and shagging? It must be a viral

It’s almost as if a time machine has whisked us back to the heady days of, oh, 2005ish. That’s when the good old video viral ad was at its height. I used to run a secret area on our company intranet where all the latest noteworthy virals would earn a short run. Around 2006 there were fewer and fewer good ones, and I closed the secret site because of the severe lack of quality.

“Quality” is subjective. Remember that this was before social networks and YouTube took off, so the majority of video virals had to be good enough for people to be willing to email chunky attachments to each other. Controversy gave the viral its fuel and longevity.

The following three examples are current and come from the 2005 drawer. They’re not particularly artistic or outstanding, but have that cheesily slapdash quality typical of the genre. Now they live on YouTube, where they can exist for far longer while their creators promote them via social networks, blogs and (of course) email.

The Greenpeace viral is ridiculously inept, but is just about safe enough for work (with the sound down). The message is confusing, combining shagging with saving the forests. This, at a time when overpopulation threatens the ecosystem.

Guinness claim this one’s not official, and are set against it. Oh sure, like the protest isn’t going to generate more interest, eh? Anyway, the product is not one that’s normally associated with sharing, as suggested here.

And here’s a good example of an obscure brand punching above its weight by employing a little star quality.

Germany delivers an operatic surprise

I was fortunate to see this ad while in Germany for a few days. This is a real moment from last year’s series of Britain’s Got Talent.

The script reads “Life gives us extraordinary moments. The beauty of it is that we can share them.” Although the concept of bringing people together is nothing new from telecom operators, I think this execution really hits the spot for Deutsche Telekom.

The expressions on the judges’ faces, beginning with boredom and even (in Simon Cowell’s case) contempt, and their subsequent reactions are completely genuine.

Two sweet touches: The singer, Paul Potts, went on to win the show; At the time of this audition, Paul Potts was a mobile phone salesman.

Link to original clip from the show with more background.

Get that off my Goddamn bus (what would George Carlin say?)

Scepticism is a useful base from which to observe society’s trends. The trouble is, when you’re a regular consumer of blogs and podcasts on the subject (I like the flattering label of “science-based reason”), it’s difficult to blow away the natural bias that makes you think that your way of thinking is catching on.
If it is, and you believe the papers, then Britain’s fast becoming a nation of miserable geniuses.
So, if your sceptical nerves are ringing from seeing biblical quotes on the sides of buses, then cheer yourself up by pledging a fiver to a campaign to inject some atheist love into London’s clogged arteries.
If enough people chip in, then you could see the message “There’s probably no God. Now stop worrying and get on with your life” zipping around London.
What’s doubly amusing is the Guardian article referred to on the campaign page. In it, the reporter reveals that the aforementioned religious messages were accompanied by a website address which threatens unbelievers with spending “all eternity in torment in hell”.
As the recently deceased George Carlin said, “He will send you to a special place, of burning and fire and smoke and torture and anguish for you to live forever, and suffer and burn and scream until the end of time. But he loves you. He loves you and he needs money.”

The day we came over That Heinz Ad

The otherwise generally OK Heinz Ad With Those Blokes Kissing (which was watched chez Houghton with a chuckle by the kiddies) raises an interesting issue. The furore over the apparently Gay Kiss has led to calls for the now-removed ad to be reinstated.
Now think about this. If we all want it to be reinstated, will it be because it is Right And Proper (i.e. shouldn’t have been removed in the first place and we want Heinz to show some balls, er no, I mean spunk, no, I mean backbone), or because we just want to piss of those numpty Daily Mail readers and Jon Gaunt?
I’m all for winding up Daily Mail readers and Jon Gaunt, but it’s hardly the basis of a good advertising campaign, is it?

(Fake but plausible Daily Mail front page courtesy of Daily Mail Headlineinator)

Shades of Titanic

This is peculiar. The following ad for the Halifax bank was apparently launched in 2003 and is being re-hashed and re-aired. I’m not entirely convinced that retail banks should be trying to project an image of overbearing chumminess, even if they’ve been running a cheerful campaign consistently for years.
We’re in a period of unprecedented consumer cynicism and the banks are right at the top of our shit list (at least according to last week’s Moodier Britain report from McCann Erickson), having been happily throwing cheap credit at us for years. It may be unfair to tar them all with the same brush, but ostentatious advertising like this isn’t going to inspire confidence in their ability to handle our money carefully.
And it doesn’t help that the imagery employed here is ripped straight from Monty Python’s Meaning of Life, with a splash of Titanic. Not the best subliminal message to be projecting when just a few short months ago, we were wondering which high street banks were going to hit the wall.
As I said… peculiar.

Agency: DLKW

Smelling blood?

I’ve been greatly enjoying DDB’s work for Harvey Nichols, and think this latest idea is a cracker. Appearing in virtually every newspaper (often at the foot of stories relating to falling house prices, stabbings and general doom and gloom) I wonder if it’s a deliberately ironic comment on the state of the nation, or simply a delicious visual pun.

Self-important bit

I’m Victor Houghton, a, er... something or other in one of the UK’s largest advertising agencies. My job title has a comma in it, which is embarrassing. I’m the chief finder-things-outer with a splash of trends who is lucky to work with all the major functions of the agency, even though I am most closely associated with strategic planning. Everything in this blog has most probably been stolen from other, infinitely more talented people, although the opinions are most definitely my own and not those of the agency.



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