Tag Archives: photography

The Best of a Marketer’s Diary (May 2012)

In April we completed our first year of Marketers Diary posts. So we owe you a 2011/2012 end of year results post. This will follow later this month billed as The Marketers 2011/2012 Diary Awards. We will also be bringing you our Jubilee brand bandwagon post observations.

But for now, in time honoured tradition, we’ve stuck with picking our favourite marketing communications from the best brand activation examples out there from May 2012. Or as Ricky Martin might put it the Thor amongst the lesser competitors in the process.

This month we have seen the poster sites and TV screens blasted with a mish-mash of Jubilee, Olympic and Euro 2012 event leveraging ads. Some good, some bad, some just on a different (weird rather than wired) planet. It has almost felt that to not be topical, is to stand out at the moment! So with commendations to Direct Line, Emirates and City of Westminster who didn’t quite make the grade this month, we bring you the winners.

Best Campaign Idea – Wed 2nd May – Stella Cidre

First we had, ‘it’s not cider, it’s cidre’ and now we have, ‘into a chalice, not a glass’. So we move from an execution to a campaign. Nice work agency suit for turning one-off into a campaign with legs (or perhaps it was always meant to be). And congrats to planners and creative too for finding more content to make interesting within campaign theme. Although you might get stuck on ‘bar’ and ‘beer mat’ doesn’t have the glamour that glace commands. This whole package is just popcorn perfect and is doing a brilliant job in detaching the provincial perception of stella with this chic offer. Great all over. Not that I’m a cidre drinker – but I may just be tempted. and then art direction creates a great european art film effect too, adding to the romantic allure.

Best Brand Activation – Wednesday 9th May – P&G

This looks like a very interesting brand activation campaign. And one where I can look at the streets of London to see whether it has had impact – because they should be cleaner. On paper (or rather at the ad agency SPARK session), this idea looks like a perfect leverage of the Olympic sponsorship by P&G….let’s see how it works out in reality – hopefully it lives up to its promise and is more than just extra litter on the streets for the PGCapitalCleanup team to manage. I am sure it will. And will probably sign up myself to experience how it all works….and do my bit.

Best demonstration of an App in print – Thu 24th May – Halifax

This Halifax ad caught my eye initially because it didn’t have a member of staff in it! And then I realised it couldn’t as it’s a remote service. That must have been an interesting ‘brand identity police’ discussion because they are a brand you think about for their personal service, and personal has always meant ‘people’ to them.

But what I really liked about the ad was it’s simplicity, which will undoubtedly have a high perceived value to those in the market shopping for a new home (sadly a segment only slightly larger than The Eldorada Fan Club currently). But as a brand ‘innovator’ and a ‘we do mortgages’ message it stands out. Good work. Most are focusing on the technological wow of smartphone capability, especially in FS. The winners here will be those that move from technological to psychological propositions – because whether its tech or not, that’s what always gets consumers engagement.

I hope you’ve seen these ads and they caught your eye too. And if you haven’t I hope you see sense in our wildly inferred interpretations.

Posted by Christopher Brooks, Founder Lexden

Lexden is a marketing strategy agency which creates unordinary propositions to motivate customers and deliver commercial advantage for brands. 

For more information on how we can help you, contact christopherbrooks@lexdengroup.com orajairanawat@lexdengroup.com, or call us on T: +44 (0)20 7490 9123.  And you can follow us on Twitter @consultingchris.

The Best of a Marketer’s Diary (March 2012)

Since May last year I have been capturing ads which have made an impression on me and tried to explain why. I look around all the time for marketing messages (it’s part of my job) and attempt to choose one each day which really stands out, to me. At times, the pickings are pretty lean. But on occasions true gems emerge. Each month I publish the previous month’s highlights.

In March I have found a mixed bag. The deluge of disappointing Olympic executions continue to underwhelm. Fortunately, there are some really smart media placements and clever emotionally engaging ads out there at present to restore the quality balance.

In the ‘oh my goodness, did they really do that’ bracket we find soft toy incentives in exchange for credit card take up and José Mourinho’s brand continues to be butchered by an asset management company. 

But at the other end of the quality scale, the following are at the top of my crop:

Best alternative pricing message – Marks & Spencer

This isn’t just pricing. This is M&S pricing.

Who else can pull this off? They are bundling product and selling it cheap and yet we still look at it as a ‘Saturday indulgence’. With many brands looking to move away from fruitless pricing strategies, this is a prime example of how to do it without compromising the brand.

Best use of a celebrity asset – Vitamin Water / Jessie J

So let’s get this straight, it’s not about the price tag. Jesse J is hot sponsorship property at the moment and she doesn’t mind playing the game. From tights to flavoured water, she’s helping brands get some bang for their marketing buck. With her music on teenagers ipods, her face all over the billboards and personality arriving on BBC prime time she’s a short cut for what’s hot for the mainstream late thirty somethings. Vitamin Water have done more with the property than most linking the Olympics tie up of P&G with a party and a specially designed bottle. Not quite brand activation in the league of B&Q (our current favourite in this space), but a country mile more sophisticated than slapping Jose’s face on your ad and calling your asset management business ‘the other special one’ (sadly a true story).

Best innovative use of a conventional media – Sky Atlantic/ MadMen

This is as much for the 60s ads that ran in the first episode ad breaks as for the posters. Such an impression have Stirling, Draper and the gang made on us that we need only a straight shot of a character to start drooling over the anticipated new Mad Men series. Bit too much of a sepia wash for my liking on these – it’s as if we were going back to the 40s rather than rushing from the 50s into the 60s (but given it’s Mad Men, they are forgiven of course).

And the significant PR coverage from this stunt hasn’t escaped my notice either. With one commentator perfectly stating how the ad break can often ‘rip’ the viewer from the mood and atmosphere created by a period show back to the present. But not on this occasion, the ads respect the show!

April 2011 will be the last monthly post before the Best in Marketing Communications 2011/2012 grand final. Until then, I hope you enjoy these March highlights. For the full March selection visit the flickr page http://www.flickr.com/photos/66864671@N00/

Posted by Christopher Brooks.

Lexden is a marketing strategy agency which achieves cut-through propositions for our clients. To do this we look beyond the familar towards the unordinary. 

To find out more about what we do and if that might be of interest to you please visit our website lexdengroup.com

Or contact christopherbrooks@lexdengroup.com or ajairanawat@lexdengroup.com, or call us on T: +44 (0)20 7490 9123. 

Best of ‘A Marketers Diary’ (September 2011)

Each day we are bombarded by thousands of advertising messages. But just how many of them do we actually consume? We decided to collect just one example of a communication every day and explain why it had caught our attention. Here are September 2011’s offerings for your consideration taken from ‘A Marketers Diary 2011-2012’.

BEST COPYWRITING

Tuesday 6th September 2011 – Extra chewing gum

The copy is exquisite. You can hear Ben’s voice when you read it. Yes, it’s that authentic. They’ve really understood the proposition and creatively dramatised it. Lovely ad and a great ambassador in Ben who is seen as Farm stock turned adventurer rather than reality TV star come good(what was the name of that island on BBC’s Castaway again?). Visit http://www.worthchewingover.com to read the copy in full. There are also other executions.

MOST TIMELY MEDIA

Saturday 17th September 2011 – Wickes

In my market town, you don’t often see much transport media. So when this drove by early Saturday as I walked across town I noticed it. And do you know what – the very next day I found myself in Wickes looking for a storage unit – coincidence?

By the way Wickes is not a place you will find small storage units.

BEST PRODUCTION OF A TV AD

Sun 18th September 2011 – Virgin Airlines

I love the production values and humour in this Bond inspired ad. In fact, I say shhh at home when it comes on. I don’t think I say that for any other TV ad. Just great. And of course it makes me feel that Virgin is a cooler airline for me to consider. Image links to video of ad.

From ‘The MarComms Diary 2011-2012’. http://bit.ly/tOZ48B

Posted by Christopher Brooks, Director Lexden.

Lexden is a marketing strategy agency which creates unordinary propositions which motivate customers and deliver commercial advantage for brands. To discuss how our approach can help you with your burning platforms, contact christopherbrooks@lexdengroup.com or ajairanawat@lexdengroup.com, or call us on T: +44 (0)20 7490 9123, M: +44 (0)7968 316548. And you can follow us on Twitter @consultingchris.

The activist, Barclays, a bike and the winning proposition

Last week I cycled my Boris Bike back to Sun Street as I do every night. The Sun Street station is next to the newly created Bank of Ideas which has been opened by the anti-capitalist protesters. I see the same people outside every day and always say hello.

But on this occasion a clean shaven, very tattooed and heavily pierced man approached me from their HQ smoking a roll up. He first asked if I’d like to pop in for a cup of tea. I always run the gauntlet to catch the train, so politely declined.

As I was securing the bike before heading to Liverpool Street station he asked, “how’s this bike scheme work then?” So I explained it from my perspective: I can get across London for £1, it’s a lot more convenient than a car, bus or the underground and I get good exercise too. He took a draw on his cigarette.

He was just about to walk off, unimpressed, when I mentioned the ‘new perspective’ advantage I get as well. He asked me what I meant. I explained that when you are on your bike you see London in a totally different way. You spot buildings, pathways and routes you wouldn’t otherwise. You get to see London from an alternative vista, which helps you appreciate it more. And you don’t feel hurried, like you do on the pavements or in a car. I finished by saying that I feel I am now much better in tune with the pulse of our city.

He smiled. I realised that whilst the rational benefits were irrelevant to him, the idea of a new experience resonated. “I think I’ll go for a ride tomorrow”, he concluded.

As I headed off, I realised this should not have been a surprise to me. At Lexden, we work with our clients to help them reach better outcomes by developing emotionally driven propositions which are of importance to their customers. And here was just another example of how powerful that can be when trying to engage an audience.

Although as I walked to Liverpool Street, the rationally minded Sun editor in me couldn’t help writing tomorrow’s headline: “Barclays sold to activist for £1”. 

Posted by Christopher Brooks

Lexden is a marketing strategy agency. We take customer insight and convert it into commercial advantage for our clients. To find out more about our approach and results for our clients, contact christopherbrooks@lexdengroup.com or ajairanawat@lexdengroup.com, or call us on T: +44 (0)20 7490 9123, M: +44 (0)7968 316548. And you can follow us on Twitter @consultingchris.

Best of ‘A Marketers Diary’ (November 2011)

Each day we are bombarded by thousands of advertising messages. But just how many of them do we actually consume? We decided to collect just one example of a communication every day and explain why it had caught our attention.

The full set are available on flickr (consultingchris), but each month we will showcase our favourite pieces; most engaging communication, most compelling idea and best media placement. Here are November’s offerings for your consideration.

BEST MEDIA PLACEMENT

Monday 7th November 2011 – Network Rail

This is a safety ad at Victoria station from Network Rail. I really liked the briefcase and wallet detail which softens the ‘white outline’. Having spent time in Turkey I saw how you make ambient and outdoor work really well. The UK lacks creativity in this space. Or maybe it’s health & safety restrictions!

MOST ENGAGING COMMUNICATION

Tuesday 15th November 2011 – Volkswagen

Lovely piece of comms from VW. As a previous owner of 3 different soft tops, it caught my imagination and reminded me of racing around in my Spider and how much I miss it. I’ve got a feeling, thanks to Instagram 1974, we are going to see many 70’s styled shots in ads as well over the next year or so.

MOST COMPELLING IDEA

Tue  29th November 2011 – Innocent

This idea came out last year, and I am glad to see it back on the shelves at Boots. I can never quite get over the price barrier of an Innocent smoothie but as these have a charity donation and you get a free egg cosy, why not. They remind me (and I hope I am not alone here) of the Flumps from children’s TV in the 80’s. Great idea and the most unique way I have ever seen for a drink to achieve stand out on the shelf.

Posted by Christopher Brooks, Director Lexden.

Lexden is a marketing strategy agency which creates unordinary propositions which motivate customers and deliver commercial advantage for brands. To discuss how our approach can help you with your burning platforms, contact christopherbrooks@lexdengroup.com or ajairanawat@lexdengroup.com, or call us on T: +44 (0)20 7490 9123, M: +44 (0)7968 316548. And you can follow us on Twitter @consultingchris.

Best of ‘A Marketers Diary’ (October 2011)

Each day we are bombarded by thousands of advertising messages. However, how many of them do we actually consume? We decided to collect just one example of an ad every day and explain why this communication caught our attention. And each month we showcase our favourite pieces; most engaging communication, most compelling idea and best media placement.

Here are October’s offerings for your consideration.

MOST COMPELLING IDEA

Tuesday 11th October 2011 – Canada press ad

I liked this press ad because it’s trying to be an online ad in print. A potentially smart approach given the likely affluent older demographic audience. All the digital trimmings are in place on the ad and it made me think immediately to check them out online through my social media connections rather than their website. It came across as a brand that knows its digital and how to use it.

MOST ENGAGING COMMUNICATION

14th October 2011 – Green & Blacks double page press ad

I’ve pieced this together because it spread across two sides of the Evening Standard. Friday night, heading home straight after work and as a father of two Friday night means home, cosy on the sofa with popcorn viewing and TV treats. To be reminded of the G&B range like this was brilliant – I used it like a menu. To get comms to work like this, beyond an ad, is rare and memorable. It hits the spot.

BEST MEDIA PLACEMENT

Monday 31st October 2011 – Royal British Legion bikes

Is this great or graffiti? Do Barclays know their bikes have been hijacked by the RBL, of course they do. And by using a space not normally advertised on they’ve created brand comms arguably as memorable as a press ad or poster (of course integrated with them and it’s more powerful). The marketer in me says well done RBL for taking over an untapped space. But to be honest it has got me thinking more about whether this is smart from Barclays’ perspective or will it lead to Barclays Bike scheme now being targeted by guerrilla advertising too by second string advertisers copying the initiative without Barclays’ say so? As I was taking this pic a second bike pulled up and the chap said to me, ‘good isn’t it. I don’t need to buy a poppy with one of these on the bike’. I read that Barclays are contributing £1 for every ride this week. Even so I hope that rider’s view is not a popular one. Nice work Barclays and RBL.

Posted by Christopher Brooks, Director Lexden.

Lexden is a marketing strategy agency which creates unordinary propositions which motivate customers and deliver commercial advantage for brands. To discuss how our approach can help you with your burning platforms, contact christopherbrooks@lexdengroup.com or ajairanawat@lexdengroup.com, or call us on T: +44 (0)20 7490 9123, M: +44 (0)7968 316548. And you can follow us on Twitter @consultingchris.

Inspiring European Bistro experience now being served in Shaftesbury

When you arrive at Shaftesbury, you encounter what you would expect for a quintessential British town on the outskirts of the New Forest. There are inspiring views of rolling hills, charming craft and trinket shops, an eclectic selection of architecture spanning four hundred years and on this occasion, he legendary Golds Hill. And once you’ve exhausted yourself across the cobbles you need to reflect over a drink and a bite to eat, perhaps in a traditional English Pub or quaint tea rooms? However, if you look a little harder you will find the most incredible European Bistro you could wish to find as a more than the capable alternative. It’s a hidden gem, much like the red painted wrought iron bench on Golds Hill.

The Ridings is one man’s gastronomic vision realised. From the incredible Dutch lighting designs to the impressive full working AGA and the sumptuous green paint from the Little Green Paint Company which adorns the wall like a captivating oil painting or pop art print. And it is this achievement with simplicity through well casted artefacts which makes it so unordinary. It’s more like a work of art than a bistro. And you can see owner John Batt’s commitment to create the perfect experience in every paint brush stroke applied and polished glass chandelier piece. It’s simply exquisite.

 

Each aspect is so well crafted and brilliantly executed, it projects itself as a tribute to interior design as much as a beautiful bistro experience.

You walk in and are greeted by the fragrant aromas coming from the soup vessel. The offerings when we arrived were Apple or Orange and Carrot soup. And that’s another important aspect of the brand; elegantly simple menu achieved by blending a range of European dishes and ingredients in to different but intentionally uncomplicated dishes. Sandwiches were available, but only two; open hock ham or open cheddar cheese, both supported with rich chutneys. The cleverness of the restricted choice, is a strength because time which others spend juggling twenty different covers is spent instead on looking after customers. The food is amazing and equal to the surrounds.

Variety is served up in the flavours in the original dishes, but compromise is not welcome here in either the menu or the surrounds. From the mouth watering Italian cream cakes to the German honey on the Belgium waffles everything is taken a step further to create a unique experience.

It’s beautifully crafted by John. He’s been in Holland for twenty years, but a chance sighting of the property years ago helped him fall in love with the concept of his own bistro. Some twenty years later it he has side stepped from being a successful Dutch interior designers to start what he (and I agree) will become a new genre of bistro.

We were served by a very energetic and charming waitress who seemed to really love her job. We found out she doesn’t even work here, but popped in for a coffee earlier in the day and asked if she could hang out and help.

When you arrive, you are transported to a world where bistros are designed as they should be and run as they could be. John understands the importance of being a commercial success and has therefore identified other ways to ‘sweat his assets’ with the bistro becoming a restaurant in the evening. For this John hands the keys over to a friend to takes over on the proviso the brand is maintained. Also a shop has also popped up in the corner of the bistro offering customers the chance to purchase all the ingredients used.

I really hope John’s attention to detail approach to give dinners a memorable experience works, blossoms and permeates throughout the bistro world. In fact, we understand examples of his unique approach have started to appear in the other café’s and tea shops in Shaftesbury already! Theft or flattery? Jon would say the latter, of course.

If you don’t fall in love with The Ridings when you are in Shaftesbury, I’ll refund the difference between this experience and what you might expect from a café or tea shop. If you do love the approach and recognise the difference it makes to your visit, spread the word.

It’s an unordinary approach in a very established town, but there lies the charm. It defies convention and has found a way to stand out in a more memorable way. 

Lexden is a marketing strategy agency which creates unordinary propositions to motivate customers and deliver commercial advantage for brands. For more information on how we can help you contact christopherbrooks@lexdengroup.com or ajairanawat@lexdengroup.com, or call us on  T: +44 (0)20 7490 9123. And you can follow us on Twitter @consultingchris.