News in the Ads #16

Because “every little helps”, here is my weekly gift to you – a round-up of major stories circulating the gossip rounds in advertising agencies this week:

1) Barclaycard introduces new strapline in Christmas campaign
Barclaycard is introducing a new strapline for Christmas and its first national outdoor ad campaign in seven years.

-> With Natwest promoting its “helpful banking”, ING Direct playing the “decent” card, RBS always “here for you”, now Barclays has got in with the act by being “easy”. Created by BBH, the Christmas ad campaign, which launched on the 14th November, includes the strapline, “Barclaycard. Easier”, to promote Barclaycard’s contactless payment system that apparently makes budgeting and payments more simple. Although with my personal experience with Barclays, the word “easy” has never come to mind, nor does it make me feel at ease with the bank’s security system!

2) Waitrose unveils first loyalty card in strategic shift
Waitrose is making its first foray into loyalty cards as part of a strategy to reward customers and better understand their shopping habits.

-> Representing a change in tune – the retailer previously shunned loyalty cards as “expensive and intrusive”, Waitrose have sent out a loyalty card to myWaitrose members and Waitrose customers on the John Lewis Partnership Card database. The scheme builds on the supermarket’s myWaitrose online members club, introduced two years ago and, unlike Tesco and Nectar clubcards, gives cardholders access to exclusive competitions and offers. The scheme was launched in partnership with direct marketing agency Kitcatt Nohr Digitas. In other Waitrose news, the retailer has just opened its first branch to carry fashion in Canary Wharf, in addition to making a £19m commitment to continue to match Tesco’s prices.

3) WPP increases investment in China’s digital industry
WPP has invested further in Chinese in-game advertising company InGameAd (IGA) for an undisclosed sum.

-> In a sign that reflects China as a major growth market for the marketing services holding company, and a signal of the growing importance of games as an advertising tool, WPP has participated in a second round of financing in order to maintain its minority stake in the six-year-old Chinese company. Currrently, Greater China is WPP’s fourth-largest market, generating revenues of more than $1bn.

4) Beatbullying signs up global brands for internet march
Global brands including Facebook, Universal Music and Stardoll are supporting a virtual march across the internet in aid of the children’s charity Beatbullying.

-> In a massive anti-bullying protest, the charity Beatbullying is hoping to get more than two million people to march virtual avatars across as many websites as possible – in the first global, online march for children’s rights. The event marks anti-bullying week and will take place over 48 hours from 1 to 2 February 2012, and will finish at a virtual representation of the United Nations building in New York. A further aim of the campaign is to ensure the UN includes the term “bullying” in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC). Those helping the cause include Twiggy, Jedward and Pixie Lott, and Mediacom who secured free advertising space from global media owners.

5) Nokia puts Lumia to the fore in global campaign
Nokia is reviving its Snake game for a series of high-profile homepage takeovers to back the launch of the Lumia 800, its first Windows phone, as part of an £80m global brand campaign.

-> Rekindling an old addiction on mine, Nokia have reinvented the Snake. On the 15th November, an estimated 14m web users were invited to play an one-off version of Snake on sites including YouTube, MSN, Yahoo! and The Sun. The game had a little twist, with players moving the snake around the page in order to ‘eat’ pieces of content on the sites. The game was created by direct and digital specialist Wunderman, to tap into that nostalgia and ‘latent affection’ for the brand while engaging with customers; and frankly its worked on me.

Nokia's reinvented online snake

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