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Second Christmas for Advertisers in Super Bowl 50

12 February 2016

NFL’s biggest day has come and gone and once again the following day’s social media is full of posts about it.

Today brands and companies rely heavily on social media platforms, especially as TV advertising spots now cost up to $6million! Since 2006 the Super Bowl has generated over $2.36billion in advertising sales.

Social media is free promotion for brands, and they are definitely making the most of it.

The importance of social media for brands is at a peak. Brands use social media because it allows them access to a vast amount of people and quickly.  This instant access coupled with the audience of the Super Bowl has had a significant impact on the way in which brands engage with potential customers. This is also reflected in the way in which the media and music industry has changed over the years.

The Super Bowl is like the new Christmas for advertising.

This year alone Super Bowl ads have generated a staggering 476 million online video views and 5.8 million social interactions according to iSpot.tv.

Of the 62.4 million online views counted on Super Bowl game day, Facebook viewing accounted for more than half, and 20 million views that ran on YouTube were organic, or unpaid.

On Super Bowl day Mountain Dew’s #PuppyMonkeyBaby drove the most social activity with 250,000 interactions! The twitter hash tag, was used over 65,000 times on game day. Wow that’s a lot!

Top advert digital activity on the day:

Hyundai (13%), Mountain Dew (12%), T Mobile (11%), Budweiser (5.37%), Doritos (5%)

As well as social media advertisers still fell to the failsafe option of using celebrities for their adverts just to boost the amount of views or interactions. Of those top 5 Super Bowl brands, 3 of them featured an A list celebrity.

With the rise of social media and increasing competition, achieving stand out success is going to keep getting tougher trying to achieve authenticity.

When it comes to the Super Bowl, is it now just a tool for companies to hitch their bandwagon to in order to get recognition from a captive audience. You can see the super bowl is turning more into just a platform for brands, companies and performing artists just to try and reach a huge audience and sell their products to the mass.

And whose had enough of this? I sure have.

Written by Henry Stanford.

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Offensive Advertising

5 February 2016

I am a fan of offense, I like shock value, I find it entertaining to be offended. But I am frustrated living in a world where people are too afraid to say or do something for fear of offending someone. I’m pretty sure everything we say or do will offend someone. So why are we become increasingly worried about it?

I feel the blame lies mainly with social media. With it literally at our fingertips we are all very quick to share things that offend us. Like that guy who spread his legs too wide on the tube this morning #manspreading. We are living in an ever increasing negative world, where people jump to an outlet where they can vent to an open audience. And because it’s so easy to do so are we now more easily offended than before? Are we looking for the next image or overheard conversation to share and vocalise our displeasure about it.

Brands are becoming increasingly aware of this trend towards sharing things we find offensive, and so are pushing the boundaries with their campaigns. Some may argue brands are intentionally offending their audience to push a higher awareness of their products.

With this in mind I thought I’d share a couple of my favourites from the past 12 months…

Protein World’s ‘Are you beach body ready?’ campaign.

This ad for the weight loss meal supplements featured a bikini clad model and the slogan ‘Are you beach body ready’. The ASA received 378 complaints with members of the public claiming the ad was ‘body shaming’ and Protein World were being ‘socially irresponsible’.

Protein World’s response to these claims were unapologetic and stated that its ad did not imply that everyone should look like the model just that people should consider if they are in the shape they wanted to be for the summer. The ASA ruled that the phrase ‘Beach Body Ready’ implied an image as that shown in the ad.

The campaign inspired many spoofs but the following are my two favourites.

Carlsberg ‘are you beer body ready’ featuring an image of a bottle in a yellow bikini.

and an ad by Simply Be which had a slightly more wholesome message of ‘every body is beach body ready’ and an image of plus size model Jocelyn Corona.

My second favourite advertising campaign, to be deemed offensive, is a very recent one. Gourmet Burger Kitchen (GBK) released their new ads last month. They sparked outrage from Vegans and Vegetarians. An ad with an image of a cow and the slogan ‘they eat grass so you don’t have to’ and another with an image of a burger and the phrase ‘resistance is futile’.

GBK issued a statement in response;  

“We love our customers, and we especially love our veggie burgers. We’re just channelling our inner-carnivore a little this January in a you-can’t-be-serious-no-we’re-really-not-serious way. Still plenty of room (and burgers) for the herbivores out there.”

But the biscuit taker of my little list has to be an underground poster from the Motor Neurone Disease Association that appeared last summer.

Featuring a short paragraph from a man called Michael, 34 years old and his confession

‘Last summer I was the only person I knew who didn’t do the Ice Bucket Challenge. Five months later I was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease’

I myself shared this image on facebook with the title ‘

‘Saw this on the tube today. Not quite sure they've got their messaging right. And if this is how it works then I'm definitely due several terrible diseases, not only did I not do the ice bucket challenge but I haven't run a race for life or gone sober for October.’

And it seems I wasn’t alone in this interpretation with yet again, people taking to social media to discuss what message MNDA were trying to get across. Tweets such as ‘what’s the message here? Karma?’ or ‘Do the Ice Bucket Challenge OR ELSE. Because potential donors love being threatened’.

There has always and will continue to be value in the shock factor. Pair this with our ever increasing ease of access to social media and we are effectively creating the buzz around an ad that years ago agencies would have spent fortunes on top television spots for. And we’re doing it for free!

I say fair play to them and I look forward to the next brand who will induce a slight gasp from me and invite me to take my phone out and share a picture of it.

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Walking sucks... apparently.

29 January 2016

Too lazy to walk? Or simply dying to look cool?

Introducing the Swagway – a two-wheeled, self-balancing electric scooter (otherwise referred to as a hoverboard).

Wikipedia describes them as typically consisting of ‘two wheels arranged side-by-side, with two small platforms between the wheels, on which the rider stands. The device is controlled by the rider's feet, standing on the built-in gyroscopic, sensored pads.

Ooh futuristic.

These babies seemed to gain a lot of publicity in the months running up to Christmas, with all sorts buying and riding the craze. The 21st century Marty McFly has flown (hovered actually) into the public eye so furiously it seems there’s no getting away.

So why have these boards gained huge publicity in such a short period of time?

Propelled to fame by a range of celebrities including Justin Bieber (obviously), the Swagway has even been featured in some major music videos and has been viewed by millions across the world.

It’s not all been positive though.

Issues surrounding the legality of using the product on the streets have been raised and one group of unlucky customers reported that their products had burst into balls of fire!

This issue of combusting into flames affected one family in Santa Rosa, California who reportedly had their family home set alight while the hoverboard was being charged (using non-compliant plugs). It resulted in $200,000 worth of damages and the suffocating of their two family dogs.

One of the world’s most popular online market places Amazon has decided to throw in the towel and are offering refunds to customers.

Chairman Elliot F. Kaye of the US Consumer Product Safety Commission had this to say,‘I want to commend Amazon for voluntarily stepping up, providing a free remedy and putting customer safety first.

Whilst also stating he is, ‘pleased that at least one leading retailer is erring on the side of caution.

They say ‘there’s no such thing as bad press’. They also say ‘no news is good news’.

You decide. At least someone is trying to save people’s feet from getting burnt.

I don’t really understand why people would want to just walk quicker when you can just jog for free.

I guess walking sucks.

On the other hand it does show how powerful and influential celebrities have become. For me, understanding the importance young adults and teenagers put onto their idols or celebrities today just shows how strongly self-image is valued.

Anyway, with no need for anyone to walk anymore you’d better be careful.

Don’t go running over any old ladies like the incident with Usain Bolt and the Segway cameraman at the World Champions last year.

Written by Henry Stanford

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A Dangerous Craze…?

22 January 2016

These hover board gained publicity just before the Christmas months of 2015, with all types of people buying and riding the craze.

The two wheel electric scooter.

There has been a group of customers stating there products have bursts into balls of fire and issues regarding the recent publicity of their legality and use. Be careful and don not run over an elderly lady like the incident with Usain Bolt at the World Champions in 2015.

Hover boards have come into the public so furiously and quickly it seems that there is no way of getting away from them. Propelled to fame and now used by an array of individuals in the public eye as well as celebrities. Used in major music videos being viewed by millions across the world. How and why have these boards gained such publicity in such a short period of time?

Wanting to feel like Marty Mcfly is not going to help you walk to your local shop.

This issue of combusting into flames has affected one family in Santa Rosa, California, that has unfortunately set their family home alight. While the hover board was being charged due to non-compliant plugs. Resulting in a $200,000 damages to their family home.

One of the UK’s most popular online market places – Amazon has decided to throw in the towel on the unsafely regulations of the product and have refunds given to customers.

One chairman Elliot F. Kaye of the ’ of the US Consumer Product Safety Commission had this to say,‘I want to commend Amazon for voluntarily stepping up, providing a free remedy and putting customer safety first.’ & also stating he is, ‘pleased that at least one leading retailer is erring on the side of caution’. At least someone is trying to save people feet getting burnt.

I have no clue why these have become so popular. I do not think this craze of the boards will be on fire for long.

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 ch ch ch Changes….

14 January 2016

With the very sad news of Bowie departing earth this week, we celebrate the life and work of the someone who inspired constant change and evolution.

I grew up with Bowie’s music and his cool style throughout his many evolutions in the 70s and he inspired me not just by his music but also by his otherworldly attitude and creativity.

In the small world of promotional marketing we need to take inspiration from him and embrace change and challenge the norms…

Its very easy to fall into the trap of narrow horizons and repetition of concept… so like Bowie I intend to shake off the shackles of conformity and try to be more creative and free in the work we do.

This will be my personal tribute to the Starman.

Written by Simon Stanford

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