Latest Posts

Nostalgic Christmas ads might be a thing of the past

bear and hareAnother year brings another fanfare as mid-Autumn ads from the big brands are rolled out to entice consumers to spend big both in-store and online this Christmas.

Last year we had Debenhams highlighting its elegant clothing, M&S taking us down the rabbit hole, and of course – who can forget – John Lewis’ Bear and the Hare. Christmas ads inevitably form part of the national psyche in the run-up to the festive period, so it’s crucial that brands get it right. It’s a huge opportunity to connect with and reach consumers at a time when their attention turns to budgeting for Christmas.

The best Christmas ads can warm consumers to a brand by harnessing the emotional attachment many people have with the period. However, get it wrong and you risk being remembered for all the wrong reasons long after the decorations have come down. So what do I think we can expect this year?

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Happy 20th birthday to the display ad

cakeThis week exactly 20 years ago, the very first online ad, by AT&T, was introduced to the world. It had a 44% click-through rate, and marketers were ecstatic.

This ad from AT&T that appeared on HotWired.com (now Wired.com) was simple, yet effective, and was enough to launch an entire industry over the next two decades.

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Clinique brings socially-activated art to Covent Garden

The OrbLook up if you’re passing through Covent Garden this weekend.

Beauty brand Clinique will be suspending a glowing orb eight metres above the ground from 31 October to 1 November – its first social media-activated art installation.

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Stop. Check. Post?

Why an unfocused social-media strategy is a waste of moneyWe are in an age of Too Much Information. The proliferation of social media, coupled with our desire to share every moment of our lives with friends and followers means we’re constantly exposed to (depending on how old you are) babies, weddings, foodporn, running routes, holiday photos and party pics.

Sharing is a huge part of being social, and keeping up to date with these events is why so many of us are addicted to checking social media, even if we don’t always want to admit it. However, we do have a breaking point. Everyone has ‘that’ friend on social – the one who takes sharing a step too far, spewing out updates on the most mundane aspects of their lives to clog up our news feeds. And it’s not just our friends who are guilty of this cardinal social media sin – brands are at it too.

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Johnny Cupcakes bakes a Linkin Park Halloween treat

slide-4This Halloween brand partnership made me smile. Two very cool brands coming together to create something unique, a great customer experience and a real word-of-mouth generating promotion.

Legendary rock bank Linkin Park have teamed up with innovative fashion brand Johnny Cupcakes to deliver a unique, limited edition Johnny Cupcakes t-shirt. Not only that but Linkin Park are giving away their fan club Linkin Park Underground membership with every t-shirt bought.

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Brand death: 6 reasons not to delete Twitter accounts

twitterbirdsIt’s becoming a fashion statement: “I’m leaving Twitter.” But, whilst indulgently retreating into the digital shadows is a fine attention-grabbing tactic for cosseted celebrities, brands should think twice.

This time last year, the pop group Girls Aloud had 109,000 Twitter followers. Then the band split up, deleting its Twitter account. Becoming what one follower called a “ghost band” deprived the girls and their label of any future opportunity to market still-available archive recordings.

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Adapt or die in the face of online piracy

google+ : users are spent less than seven minutes on Google's social network in marchThe internet age and an ongoing battle with copyright infringement has left many music and entertainment companies struggling to survive. In an industry increasingly ruled by Darwinism, firms must ‘adapt or die’ in the quest for success.

In its annual piracy statement published earlier this month, Google pledged to take further action to combat online piracy, promising to list legal and reputable sites such as Spotify and Amazon Prime in drop-down boxes at the top of searches for music and film content.

It has also promised, after initial reluctance, to take measures to penalise sites that link to illegal content, reducing their prominence in search results. However, take a closer look and it becomes clear that the legal services listed in drop-down boxes will be adverts, with firms having to pay for the privilege to confirm their legitimacy.

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What does the Candy Crush lifecycle mean to mobile marketers?

Candy Crush by m01229:FlickrOne of the most popular games over the last two years, Candy Crush, reduced its 2014 forecast in August after reporting lower-than-expected second-quarter revenue. This caused some unwarranted hand-wringing in the press about the future of mobile games.

To analyse this lifecycle trend, we gathered our own data from five mobile games that have been out for over three years, with over 20 million downloads each, including two simulation games, a trivia game, a card game, and a family game. What we found is that Candy Crush is experiencing a completely normal cycle of usage. Read More »

Top take-outs from this year’s MIPCOM

Simon Cowell mipcomThe 30th edition of the annual MIPCOM TV market set a couple of records last week with 112 countries and 13,700 delegates attending – both all-time highs. Furthermore, of those who attended it has been reported that 1,300 were acquiring digital and VOD rights.

Many themes were explored over the four days but below are my main takeaway points for those who didn’t get to attend.

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Will VR take off as a mass consumer product?

VR by Adi SetiawanThere’s been a wave of positive press for virtual reality (VR), which is driving momentum of interest in this new medium. The promise of engaging consumers worldwide with mind-blowing personal experiences is closing in. But we won’t be able to mesmerise on a macro scale until VR headsets become a mainstream product. So the crucial question is – does VR have a chance of reaching mass adoption, when all the naysayers insist it’s limited to gaming geeks?

Let’s face it, we’re all inherently escapist. Watching TV is a universally accepted form of escapism. So 125 years after the first moving images, isn’t it time for a medium that delivers more than the passive entertainment of traditional TV and film? Now that a user-friendly and well-functioning version of VR has finally emerged, I firmly believe it will crash into public consciousness… especially as it’s gaining so much early positive exposure. Read More »