News in the Ads #19

It’s that time of the week again when, courtesy of Campaign, Brand Republic and Marketing Week (amongst others) that I round up the weekly goings on in advertising and beyond. It won’t give you thrills but think of it as brain food, inspiration or even pub quiz knowledge.

1) Welcome back Panasonic
Japanese tech brand Panasonic is to launch its first smartphone in Europe in March 2012, seven years since it last sold mobile phones outside its home country.

-> While I would imagine it being slightly odd carrying round a Panasonic phone (my mind firmly stuck with them and their TVs, which look surprisingly similar to this new phone), Panasonic has decided to crack the lucrative smartphone market. The phone will feature a D-shaped design, a slim bezel with an OLED screen (*puzzling), and will be waterproof (ideal for the British market). It will also operate off an android system, and – before you ask – the phone will be released in April 2012 (3 months prior to the Olmpics, which Panasonic sponsors).

2) Hornby brings out first TV ad in three years
Hornby, the model railway brand, is making a play for Christmas with its first TV ad in three years, showing a man growing up with its train sets.

-> Yes the advert is slightly cheesy but I love Hornby (my brother was a fan, and incidentally my dad too) so I think it is great that Hornby are appealing to the “younger generation” – in other words, the x-box crazed, “hoody” Facebookers of today. Bring on the trainsets. The ad was created by Sassy Films and was released during key English and Scottish Premier League matches – a genius way of getting men to reminisce over their beers during half time.

3) Twitter Redesign Emphasizes Simplicity, Brand Friendliness
Twitter executives unveiled a new version of the company’s website and mobile apps today in San Francisco, one that should make the messaging service friendlier to both casual users and advertisers.

-> AdWeek speaks and changes are ahead for Twitter. With more and more people becoming interested in the site, a redesign is planned which will make the site’s capabilities clearer to new users, and the hashtag transforming into a “new URL”. Scary stuff. The redesign will involve Twitter being divided into four main areas. There’s the Home section, where users see tweets from the accounts that they follow. There’s the Connect section, where users can interact with and search for other users. In the Discover section, users can search find all the tweets around a specific topic, as indicated by hashtags, and view personalized news recommendations. And the Me section is where they’ll find their own user profiles. Is it just me, or does this sound more confusing?!

4) Morrisons clinches top spot in Adwatch 2011
Supermarket brand Morrisons has clinched the top spot in Marketing’s Adwatch of the year charts, ranking 2011’s most-recalled advertising.

-> Often I fail to understand advertising, and this is one of those cases. Morrisons’ advertising (recently the Christmas one with Flintoff, some painful innuendos and a ferris wheel) has been voted the most memorable, due to “its consistent and recogniseable” positioning. This might well translate as viewers really liking Freddie Flintoff a lot. DLKW Lowe and MEC are the agencies that manage the account.

5) Apple Mac App store hits 100m download mark
The Apple Mac App store has reached the 100 million download mark, less than a year after it launched.

-> Apologies for bringing up Apple too much, but for me Apple has become synonymous with a consumer interest in new technologies. The online app store has achieved tremendous success – within 24 hours of its launch in January this year, the Mac App store received more than one million downloads. While in total, there are 500,000 Apple apps, and it has 18 billion app downloads to date. Some might say that Mac owners spend too much time looking at screens.

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