News in the Ads #15

My round-up of 5 top stories bombarding TV slots, online, agencies and all things “communication” this week-

1) Outdoor owners show their support for Poppy Appeal
On 11/11/11 at 11 O’Clock, Ocean Outdoor and Outdoor Plus marked Remembrance Day silence at by suspending their usual digital screen schedule to display The Royal British Legion’s Poppy Appeal ad for two minutes.

-> Where I was working there were a few angry murmurs as HR forgot to send out the email asking for a moment’s silence, so this dedication to the cause, across Britain’s digital screens, strikes me as a nice touch. The campaign was part of a wider outdoor campaign to support the Royal British Legion’s Poppy Appeal and celebrate its 90th anniversary. The campaign was planned by Media Square agency CST The Gate and WPP’s out-of-home arm Kinetic Worldwide, with space donated by the media owners. It follows on the back of a rather sweet facebook campaign to get users uploading poppies to their profile pictures.

2) Walmart rolls out new mobile apps
Walmart is releasing new apps for the iPad and iPhone to make shopping more interactive. The world’s largest retailer says the apps will enable a “seamless” shopping experience “both in-store and online”.

-> Another sign of the offline world going online as Walmart have introduced an app that includes barcode scanners, coupons, Apple’s Siri voice command, and a budgeting tool – allowing customers to share reviews, find the exact location of products in stores and shop efficiently. The device is being described as both a “loyalty card” for customers and CRM tool for Walmart to provide a more personal customer relationship.

3) Motorola ‘life proof’ ads banned after phones crack
Motorola adverts positioning its Defy handset as “life proof” have been banned by the ad watchdog after a number of viewers complained their phones had broken.

-> The not so life-proof phone it seems as ASA received 3 complaints from viewers about their phones breaking after being dropped ‘accidentally’ from the height shown in the ad. My cynical side tells me that these drops could potentially have been challenges to test the phone’s strapline as Motorola insists that the Defy model is more durable than its competitor products because there was only a 1.5% probability of the product failing. Try enforcing that statistic at a student party…

4) Comet sold for £2
Loss-making electricals chain Comet has been sold to a turnaround specialists group for just £2, in the latest sign of the dire state of UK consumer electronics spending.

-> £2 pounds for Comet makes buying a sandwich from Lidl look extortionate parent company Kesa sold the company to OpCapita, an investment firm which specialises in turnaround situations, with a £50 million dowry. The retailers’ sales have been plummeting – down almost 20% for the first six months of its financial year. The plan is for OpCapita’s investors to put £30m of cash into the business, but I worry that the future is not sparks and rockets for Comet.

5) Frankie Cocozza painted out of the M&S x-mas advert
Former X Factor contestant Frankie Cocozza is to be axed from Marks and Spencer’s Chrismtas advertising campaign after he was asked to leave the show due to rule breaking and alleged cocaine use.

-> In a example of making a bad advertising job even worse, M&S have withdrawn Frankie’s solo scenes from an advert that features all of the X Factor finalists singing When You Wish Upon A Star. The bad-boy image apparently not working with their brand, but as this post by Adturds so amusingly questions, surely x-factor and M&S are a poor combination alone?

Spot the difference

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