News in the Ads #23

23 is one of my favourite numbers so, with a smile, here is my top 5 stories in Communications this week. –

1) Bakers creates TV soundtrack just for dogs
Bakers, the Nestle owned pet food brand, has created an ad for dogs, which includes a high-pitched whistle that can not be heard by humans.

-> This campaign teeters on the thin red line dividing the lush fields of creativity from the overgrown mess constituting craziness, and frankly I think it leaning towards the latter. I believe that this ad might have more bark than bite, as the thought of my dog howling at the TV does not get me leaping towards the tills. However, I do rather like the idea of extending the concept of “consumer engagement” to include dogs, and viewing an advert with a soundtrack of “whistling, barking and bell-ringing” – a nice change from gocompare and webuyanycar…

2) Dove erects Valentine’s Day ‘tweet screen’
Dove, the Unilever-owned beauty brand, has rolled out a screen in London’s Victoria station, which displays tweeters’ responses to questions about women and beauty.

-> It has to be admitted that I am not enamoured by the V-day, and even less so Valentines-related advertising, which nearly inevitably fall into the cheesy, over-commercialised sector, with this one exception for Field Notes (well worth watching). However, this campaign, created by Billington Cartmell, takes a more romantic stance by asking commuters “what makes you feel beautiful?” and so forth, with answers displayed on the station’s large Transvision screen. I think it is a little too personal for a train station (not entirely sure how honest you can be in that scenario), but I think that it works well with Dove’s wider branding. The brand ambassadors on hand with white tulips is a step too far however.

3) Say goodbye to depleted phone batteries on nights out

-> Say hello to the Juicebox, a the pay-per-charge phone-charging station that is currently making waves in New York, and – wires crosed, will be coming soon to Europe. Juicebox is currently in early development but there is already huge demand for its global spread. I predict big things. The Juicebox works by patrons swiping a credit card to unlock steel cubbies that securely power up their phones—for a nominal fee of $1 or $2, bargain.

4) HP targets clubbers with David Guetta campaign
Hewlett-Packard (HP) is appealing to clubbers with an internet video series starring DJ David Guetta that will feature product placement of its computers and headphones.

Be prepared to see a lot more of this man

-> In a potential case of ‘spot the logo’ HP have created a digital campaign that will include features of David and his wife (who knew?!) Cathy living the high-life that HP clearly envisions as being brand-worthy. The ‘One Day & One Night’ campaign will be seeded on Dailymotion and YouTube at the beginning of March – it will show footage of Cathy visiting Carnaby Street with friends, while David will be shown performing in Brixton Academy. How they are going to include the headphones in is beyond me. The campaign was created by French music marketing agency My Love Affair, which was recently launched by Cathy Guetta herself. Paris, Cannes, Ibiza and Mykonos will also feature as clubbing locations… so the campaign works as a nice bit of place-promotion too.

5) ASA bans Ryanair calendar girls
Ryanair has been rapped by the ASA over two press ads that featured “offensive” images of the budget airline’s cabin crew posing in their underwear.

-> I often think that Ryanair’s bizarre marketing and PR tactics operate as a form of distraction for the airline’s flying experience.. this ad proves no exception. The “sexist” ad features cabin crew in underwear and has been banned for being sexually offensive and likely to cause offence. The “red hot fares & crew” press ads ran in several major newspapers, including the Independent and the Guardian, and followed from the airline’s 2012 cabin crew charity calendar, which showed women posing in their bra and pants. The question that arises from this is do Ryanair’s staff really want to be air hostesses?!

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