News in the Ads #13

The unlucky 13th round-up of Adland happenings falls spookily enough on the week leading up to Halloween.. so here are 5 stories that gave me the chills and thrills.

1) UK will enter recession, suggests consumer confidence index
The country will enter another a recession as a result of plunging consumer confidence, the GfK NOP Consumer Confidence Index suggests.

-> A tale of doom and gloom on the high street as plunging consumer confidence has resulted in poor sales for retailers like Argos and Mothercare, and an loss of 23,000 jobs from the sector since last year (and I always thought that working at Gap seemed a viable last option). The index is at -32, a figure that has only happened twice before in the the index’s 37 year history (the last time being 2008… how depressing).

2) MC Hammer makes a come-back, this time as a rival to Google
Stanley Kirk Burrell, better known as the ‘90s hip-hop icon with the baggy, shiny pants and a cocksure, can-do attitude, has shaped for himself a 21st century media image steeped in cult allure: spectacularly imploded pop star, mixed martial arts talent manager, cash-for-gold TV spokesman—and tech entrepreneur.

-> A true story- MC Hammer (the king of the Harem pants) has created a search engine, or as he calls it “relationship engine”, called WireDoo that goes beyond “10 blue links of keyword results” to find related information and display it one place. How very wacky of him, but also brave as no-one has managed to beat the big G yet.

3) Barack Obama turns to Tumblr to secure presidency
Barack Obama is to use free blogging site Tumblr as part of his 2012 presidential campaign, after famously using social media during the run up to the 2008 election, which saw him become the US president.

-> President of America and it seems too of social media, now that Obama has Tumblr, Facebook, Foursquare and Twitter campaign pages. The Tumblr page will be used “to encourage voters to share their own campaign stories and show a more down to earth side to the campaign.” A lovely tale of collaborative and engaging politics, although the Film Ides of March, that I saw on Thursday, tells me otherwise. Obama now has more than 23 million fans on Facebook, while more than 10 million followers on Twitter.

4) Morrisons ad banned after pester power complaint
Morrisons has been slammed by the advertising watchdog for encouraging children to ask their parents to visit the supermarket in order to win tickets to Disneyland Paris.

-> The ad by DLKW Lowe features children cheered up by the prospect of Morrisons, significantly because of golden ticket competition to win a trip to Disneyland. Either that or the kids love shopping. The advert drew complaints from three viewers who believed it was specifically targeted at children, despite it being shown in between shows for adults. Slight emotional blackmail nonetheless? I would still say yes to Disney.

5) London developers receive high praise from Facebook
London developers most active and innovative in Europe, says Facebook.

-> A talk from Facebook to promote the new additions to the Open Graph API to 400 developers in London began with some flattery as Ethan Beard, Facebook’s director of partnerships, began by praising London’s developers before bigging up the power of Facebook’s social approach. No surprises there then. He also discussed a new introduction to Facebook- the Ticker, which takes multiple app-related updates out of the News Feed and boxes them off in a way that’s less distracting and obtrusive… finally!


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