Author Archives: Alex King

Why brands should spend longer writing their promoted trends

TwitterlogosOne of my more terrifying moments as a junior copywriter was being asked to write a promoted trend (aka promoted tweet/hashtag) for an FMCG client.

It scared me for a number of reasons: the cost (up to £120,000), the all-eggs-one-basket nature of the media, the knowledge it would greet Twitter users all day long – and finally, the shoulder-shrugging attitude from the client and agency.

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On poetry in adverts

Cathedral City

Do you long for a bit of modern verse to pop up during the Corrie ad break – or do the rhythmic rhymes drive you mad?

If it’s the latter, you’re not alone. Here’s one copywriter’s view on the situation – written, of course, in the form of a poem…
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Back of the net! The story of Alpha Papa’s abso-ruddy-fantastic marketing drive

alpha papa alan partridge filmNorfolk’s North Norfolk’s top mid-morning disc jockey isn’t to everyone’s taste. While his fanbase is obsessively loyal, his appeal is far from universal. Try to describe to someone who doesn’t ‘get him’ (especially someone young, or not particularly au fait with the extremes of British comedy) exactly why Alan Partridge is such a comedic figure, and you’ll struggle to put your finger on it.

Adjectives thrown my way when asking Partridge-lovers what makes him so special included “cheesy”, “mundane”, and “moronic” – hardly descriptions that would convince non-fans to give him a go on the big screen.

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Why can’t we carry brand tone of voice into social spaces?

Social issues: Why can’t we carry brand tone of voice into social spaces?The Condescending Corporate Brand Page on Facebook has given us all the chance to chuckle at ourselves self-depreciatively in recent weeks. And while not every post appearing on there is necessarily ‘condescending’, the page has undoubtedly shone a light on an issue that’s seriously troubling the industry – why on earth do so many brands continue to talk to their Facebook fans and Twitter followers as if they’re a bunch of illiterate eight year olds?

OK, that’s a big overreaction – but this is a big problem, and it needs to be addressed before it spirals out of control. Read more on Why can’t we carry brand tone of voice into social spaces?…

Is a hashtag enough of a call to action on a press ad?

London’s hosting of the 2012 Olympic Games caused an inevitable deluge of sport-related advertising – whether the brands in question were ‘Official Partners of the Games’ or not. Amidst the monsoon of press ads, all featuring desaturated shots of sportspeople looking a bit too serious, I noticed something: almost all of these sport-focused brands’ expensive creations signed off with nothing more than a hashtag as a call to action.

Whether we were being told to #makeitcount by Nike, #takethestage by Adidas, #winfromwithin by Gatorade or #witnessmyrevival by Lucozade (whose revival exactly?), it was clear that it was all about the hashtag. When this dawned on me, I was – despite working in digital advertising – rather taken aback. Read more on Is a hashtag enough of a call to action on a press ad?…