News in the Ads #2

An aDpraisal round of 5 key news stories buzzing around Ad-World this week-

1) Usain Bolt, the new ident for Channel 4

On the 8th August, Channel 4 launched an ident featuring Usain Bolt, in which the world’s fastest man is transformed into the network’s logo. Bolt is shown striking his signature “lightning bolt” pose after winning a race in front of a packed stadium.

-> This advert represents the first time that C4 has used a human in one of its ident (a big change from the bushes, buildings and roller costers previously shown) in a decision that was described as technically challenging to carry out, with the background added digitally later. The advert is being broadcast as part of the run-up to Channel 4’s coverage of the IAAF World Athletics Championships, with Bolt being strategically employed as the key crowd-pleaser due to his global sporting stardom.

2) Specsavers drops ‘should’ve gone’ strapline in koala ad
In an ad selling the Specsavers’ low-cost contact lens, the creative director of Specsavers comments that “Rather than overtly stated, our familiar ‘Should’ve gone to’ catchphrase is implied – it would have been heavy handed to use it in this context.”
The question I’m asking is- how is a koala bear relevant and is the absence of their key catchphrase a good move?

-> While I like koala bears, in this instance, the koala bear’s nosiness and alpha-male behaviour irritates me. His whole inclusion in the advert seems completely out of place- he seems to be in a British city (?) and more bizarrely needs contact lens. Am I missing some zoological fact, where koala bears are known to have bad eye-sight? Otherwise, the advert is well executed, but seems to focus on price rather than the comfort, etc of contact lens, which as a contact lens wearer myself, I find the more important.

3) Number 10 sets up unit to lead PM’s campaigns
Downing Street is to boost its marketing expertise with the creation of a unit to run campaigns championed by David Cameron and Nick Clegg, as well as focusing on improving the co-ordination of Whitehall communications.

-> The introduction of this unit follows announcements that the COI (central office of information- which commissions public information films and government advertising and publicity campaigns) is to be closed in March, with a loss of 400 jobs. The COI has already seen a 68% reduction in spending, from £532m in 2009/10 to an estimated £168m in 2010/11, during the current administration.

4) London Riots: Social Media Mobilizes Riot Cleanup
After days of riots in London, thousands of Londoners and worldwide supporters are taking to social networks to help reclaim the streets of London.
While rioters took to the underground paths of BlackBerry Messenger to organize, the highly spreadable mediums of Twitter and Facebook have shown to be the perfect platforms for mobilizing cleanup organizers and followers in the early aftermath of the rioting.

-> Social media has become the ideal medium for organising action (it must be said both good and bad) and reaching to a mass audience, with the @RiotCleanup Twitter page amassing more than 50,000 followers in fewer than 10 hours and consistently broadcasting cleanup locations and times, along with other pertinent information regarding the initiative. Social media therefore gives enables anyone to help with the clean-up efforts, whilst spreading the word more quickly and with on-the-minute information. Moreover, with ebay and gumtree offering to to identify and remove any listings linked to criminal activity, it is positive to see a mass of good will being reverberated online.

5) Murdoch trumpets News Corp’s performance despite hacking scandal
Media mogul Rupert Murdoch last night told analysts the hacking scandal engulfing his empire has had no “material impact” on News Corporation’s performance outside the closure of the News of the World.

-> Media king, Rupert Murdoch told reporters that News Corp’s operating and financial performance this quarter had been “exceptional” and the full-year results were “solid”. Well, when you consider his global earnings world-wide, perhaps the write-off of one paper isn’t too damaging, even if Murdoch was “shocked and appalled” by what took place in “one small corner” of his global holdings. Miaow, I sound catty.


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