TV advertising

Could he help you with marketing?

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How do you try to improve your business and marketing success?

Obviously you know that the best way of learning is doing. But that can be a very expensive way of learning what works – and what doesn’t.

Do you ever study, attended seminars or use consultants?

I ask because I attended the Nottingham Post Business Summit the other week. It had four seasoned speakers including Josephine Fairley, co-founder of the Green & Blacks chocolate brand.

But the stand out speaker for me was a guy called Geoff Ramm; someone I’d never heard of before the event.

He gave thought provoking marketing advice on getting your brand to stand out from the crowd. And showed some great examples of how people had done this on a shoestring.

Some of his stories were downright hilarious.

He has written a book called OMG Observational Marketing Greats, which I think I might add to my reading list.

You might want to do the same.

Or speak with him directly to see how he could help you.


How this simple idea will improve your advertising. And you can watch an example here too

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If you’ve ever tried to create advertising you’ll know it’s not just hard. It’s very hard.

In fact Leo Burnett, one of the most successful advertising men of all time, famously said: “I have learned that any fool can write a bad ad, but that it takes a real genius to keep his hands off a good one.”

So, how can you avoid being the fool and become the genius?

You can start by using the problem / solution concept. Or in other words, work out what is the number one problem your prospects face right now – and give them a solution.

And make your solution better than your competitors. And by better, I mean: cheaper, quicker, faster, easier to get hold of, smaller, tougher, more luxurious or anything else that will make people buy your products / services over your competitors.

Sound easy? It’s not. But at least the problem / solution concept gives you a place to start creating your advertising.

Here are just two obvious examples of this concept that you’re probably already aware of:

  • Anadin: “Tense nervous  headache? Nothing acts faster than Anadin!”. This problem / solution advertising concept ran for over 30 years.
  • Specsavers. All their advertising shows the problems you get into by not being able to see properly. And their slogan “Should have gone to Specsavers” is the solution. In fact, this slogan is now commonly used be people all over the UK when someone does something obviously wrong. By the way, this does something else brilliantly too, which is get the brand name in the slogan.

But what about the example I promised you. The one you can watch right now?

It’s a Thomson Holidays TV advert featuring a guy called Simon who has, through the relentless drudgery and stress of life, turned into an ogre. But he becomes human again thanks to the restorative powers of a holiday.

The advert ends with the line “ It’s amazing what our holidays can do”.

There you have it. A simple problem / solution concept using this guy, Simon the ogre.


But the advert has a couple of other elements you should always try to use to improve your advertising.

The first is the advert grabs your attention. It’s visually unusual. Your intrigue is aroused. You subconscious is saying “What on earth is this ogre doing with this family.”

The second element is emotion. In fact, I think the advert is quite moving. We can all see ourselves turning into Simon the ogre with the pressure of daily life. And how we might sometimes look to our loved ones. Our wives and children.

Whether the advert will be a success or not is not down to my opinion. Or anyone else’s for that matter. It is down to the sales results of Thomson.

But if I were a betting man, I’d wager a few quid this will get their cash tills ringing.

You can watch the full advert here:

I’ve created lots of press adverts, outdoor and direct mail, but this is my first cinema effort. And I’m pretty happy with it too.

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It will be played before every feature film shown during Summer Nights, a fantastic cinema initiative by Derby Quad which brings classic and contemporary films together with fabulous locations throughout Derbyshire. All presented on a giant screens.

Flint Bishop is the headline sponsor of Summer Nights and as part of a wider promotional mix we get to show an advertisement before each film. And I decided the best way forward was to capture the essence of the festival whilst communicating the Flint Bishop brand delicately.

So I shied away from ‘over killing’ our credentials and services as, to be honest, I think this would just irritate people and give a negative, rather than positive, feeling.

I’m pretty happy with the results and a big thank you to Phil Higgins, the Digital Producer at Derby based independent design studio Katapult.

I’d love to know what you think?

Cathy Pacific AD campaign pulled containing uber ironic slogan.

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The Hong Kong based airline has recently delayed a high profile advertising campaign, due to launch next month, after photographs of crew members allegedly engaging in a sexual act were published on the internet.

The slogan for the campaign was to be: “Meet the team who go after the extra mile to make you feel special.”

You couldn’t make it up!

According to Bob Bly we might see more advertising tosh!

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I was discussing the topic of my first ever blog post with a marketing colleague of mine this morning – the fact I think the Halifax ISA Baby TV advertisement is tosh of the highest order. However she made a very good point and one that marketing, and particularly advertising folk, forget all too often. That is, it doesn’t really matter what I think of the advertisement. All that counts for the Halifax is how successful the advertising campaign has been at generating enquires for its ISA products. In the words of advertising copywriting guru Bob Bly

“The goal of advertising is not to be liked — it is to sell products. The advertiser, if he is smart, doesn’t care whether people like his commercials or are entertained or amused by them. Commercials are a means to an end, and the end is increased sales — and profits — for the advertiser”

Based on Bob’s quote I guess you can be assured that, if the Halifax processing department is currently knee deep in applications, the ISA Baby advertisement won’t be the last incarnation of their dreadful mock radio show campaign!!!!!!!!

I love advertising but……….

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I love advertising. TV,  press, outdoor, online viral etc. I guess its becuase I work in marketing (to be precise, legal marketing). I don’t have a particular favourite marketing comms mix element as I’ve seen fantastic (and sometimes crap)  creative work across all channels. But no matter how creatively brilliant, dull or just downright  irritating I have found an advertisement I have never felt moved enough to take pen to paper, or fingers to keys, to complain to anybody about it. Although it would appear there are  people who do just that as the Advertising Standards authority (ASA) have recently published the top 10 most complained about UK advertisements of 2010 – and public enemy No1 is Ireland’s biggest and most successful bookmaker Paddy Power.

I’m not sure if the Halifax ‘ISA Baby’ TV advertisement fits the date criteria for the recent ASA list but if it did, surely it deserves the No1 spot for just being utter shit. Crap concept, dreadful acting and very, very irritating.