News in the Ads #25

My 25th News in the Ads and somehow that makes me feel older than my 23 years. Over the past 7 months these posts have divulged 125 pieces of topical Communications information and here is a further 5 stories to add to that mix –

1) Carbonated drinks dominate in recessionary climate, says Britvic
Carbonated drinks are dominating the soft-drinks category as the recession causes consumers to trade out of pure juice and still drinks and go “back into brands they know”, according to Murray Harris, Britvic’s customer management director.

-> Goodbye healthy and hello sugar – in times of economic difficulty, consumers are turning to Coca-Cola and Pepsi for solace via the burgeoning take-home channel. The former remains the most popular take-home brand, growing 7% in value to £1.1bn, while Pepsi comes in second, with an overall sales increase of £328.7m, a jump of 10% since last year. However, the biggest rise of all was experienced by Red Bull whose value increased by a energy-topping 11%. With a probable rise in long sleepless nights and days spent ‘putting in the hours’, this does not surprise me.

2) Kleenex to run ‘wipe away’ campaign for beauty line
Kleenex, the Kimberly-Clark owned tissue brand, is launching a £2m campaign for its skincare range this week, using the strapline “wipe away your day”.

-> In the latest campaign for Kleenex, JWT have developed one of the most depressing tag lines that I have ever heard – the thought of someone weeping into a soggy tissue immediately comes to mind. However, the adverts featuring “embarrassing but humorous” situations that young women can find themselves in, are designed to suggest otherwise. These incidents include calling a boss at work “dad”, to slipping over in public or talking to a mannequin in a shop window instead of a real person… all, which in fact, would make me cry.

3) Consumers complain of technology fatigue
British consumers are suffering from fatigue when it comes to technology brands such as Apple and Facebook, despite the phenomenal hype surrounding the launch of products like the latest iPad.

-> The latest reaction to the Apple’s most recent product launch was its most despondent – even those I spotted queing in Westfields seemed less enthuisastic than usual, the line that much shorter. According to exclusive research conducted for Marketing, almost 22% of consumers are ‘very bored’ or ‘slightly bored’ of Apple, while 40% are ‘indifferent’ to the brand. The findings illustrated that a feeling of worry was felt by many consumers with some unwilling to part with cash for fear their devices will be quickly superseded by updated versions, and a quarter scared of having expensive devices stolen. Worringly for Apple a further 8% of respondents felt ‘pretentious’ about the technology brands they used, just 6% felt ‘cool’ for using the latest devices. The question therefore is has Apple got too big for its boots?

4) Waitrose launches Easter ad starring 10-year-old ‘Heston’
Waitrose’s Easter television campaign will star a 10-year-old from Essex who plays a “mini” Heston Blumenthal, in a flashback to the 1970s.

-> In what must have been a very challenging casting decision, Heston Blumenthal features with his ‘mini me’ in this nostalgic advert for Waitrose as the chef reminisces over the scent of Mandarin Hot Cross Buns. It is rather quaint stuff by BBH clearly playing to M&S’s middle class and family-friendly heritage, but I think the acting and meaningful stares by the mini Heston is inspired. Shame about the hair…

5) Mobile adspend soars 157% as FMCG and retail brands follow consumers
Big-spending brands in the FMCG and retail sectors have significantly boosted mobile adspend as they move to reach the growing number of consumers using mobile devices to interact online, according to an IAB survey.

-> The elusive year of the mobile might finally be nigh as large brands like Tesco, Marks & Spencer, Procter & Gamble and Unilever have supposedly boosted investment in mobile advertising, in an effort to reach what internet analytics company comScore claims are the 58% of Britons accessing content via apps or the mobile internet each month. According to the latest figures from the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) and PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), UK adspend on mobile media totalled £203.2m in 2011. This growth is attributed to the growing penetration of smartphones among consumers, the rapid uptake of apps and social media, the availability of cheaper data packages, and more consumers using their mobile devices to access the web while watching TV.

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