News in the Ads #20

After much delay and the gradual failure of a few New Year Resolutions, I give to your my 20th (!) round-up of what has been going on over the last week in the world of advertising. Pens at the ready.

1) Lucozade sport – out with the music, in with the sport
Lucozade is revamping its strategy behind Lucozade Sport and is replacing rapper Tinie Tempah with a clutch of sporting stars to front a new advertising campaign.

-> Given the name of product, a strategic shift towards sport seems inevitable and perhaps rather obvious. Although the choice of choosing suitable sports stars seems rather tricky (football wise at least). In the end runner Mo Farah, triple jumper Phillips Idowu, gymnast Louis Smith and Manchester United footballer Ashley Young got the vote. Grey have produced four 30-seconds ads and outdoor ads for the multi-million campaign, which revert back to Lucozade Sport’s core roots under the slogan “Faster. Stronger. For Longer”. It’s not a complete goodbye to Tempah however, as he will continue to support Lucozade Energy.

2) Netflix goes live in UK and Ireland
Netflix has pulled the trigger on its UK and Ireland launch with a price point of £5.99 and €6.99 for a monthly subscription and the lure of a month’s free trial.

-> It has been a long time coming – including one failed attempt 7 years ago – but the US internet-delivered streaming service is now available in the UK, including on all three major games consoles, the iPad and iPhone, Android tablets and phones, LG Blu-ray players and Samsung Smart TVs. However, the service faces tough competition from the likes of Amazon’s LoveFilm, Sky and Virgin Media. Netflix’s solution? Since its launch Netflix has been racking up content deals and launches with films and TV content, in addition to partnering up with Facebook to launch a social app with the result that you can see what films your friends are watching.. which could get rather interesting.

3) TfL excludes payday loan companies from big money sponsorships
Wonga.com and other payday loan companies are to be banned from signing major corporate sponsorships with Transport for London (TfL), following the highly criticised deal with Wonga for New Year’s Eve 2010.

-> I have got very little to comment on this apart from a huge sigh of relief. Wonga’s more-than-infuriating oldies are best avoided in the morning commute.

4) McDonald’s targets coffee drinkers
McDonald’s is taking on coffee chains with a TV ad that focuses on the conversations people have while enjoying its hot beverages.

-> Move over the Big Mac, and hello the ‘McCaffie’ – in the latest McDonald’s ad by Leo Burnett, snippets of conversations and emotions are stirred over a cup of the Yellow Arches’ finest coffee. In my opinion, it is all a bit Eastenders, Coronation Street and Friends rolled into one, but I appreciate the fact that McDonald’s trying to change its image and this isn’t too bad an attempt – no burger munchers or the famous french fries in sight. Whilst “eradica beans” sound wonderfully exotic.

5) BT drafts in students to replace Adam and Jane
BT is to unveil an umbrella campaign to replace its long-running activity featuring characters Adam and Jane, introducing a trio of student characters in sitcom-style ads.

-> After 6 years showcasing the speed and communication capabilities of BT, Adam and Jane are saying goodbye to our screens. I am actually slightly frustrated that they are not leaving in a more dramatic style – disappearing in wedding bliss seems a little dull. However, the first ad with the new student trio was released on 14th January, featuring Jane dropping off her son, Joe, as he starts at university, where meets his new flatmates, Simon and Anna. Picking future romances or even careers for these three could be intriguing…

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