News in the Ads #31

Today’s news is ‘news’ in the novel sense to me as, after a week basking like a lost whale in the Egyptian sun, the prospect of returning to work is ominous. I feel a little of that pre-exam dread when your mind temporarily wipes of formulae on sitting down to two hours of maths. Bad times – my only hope being that less is indeed more, and this post makes it past the delete button of your inbox. However, fortunately I am doing a little in the way of office preparation and here are the five Adland stories under ‘revision’…

1) Bombardier ident banned for linking beer to sex
Bombardier, the Wells & Young beer, has had one of its idents for its sponsorship of primetime on UKTV channel Dave banned for linking sexual activity to an alcoholic drink.

-> Bombardier the character behind the marketing for the Wells & Young beer has been truly put on the naughty step after Ofcom ruled him too sexual for our screens – oh the power of beer and the ‘beer goggles’ that come with it. Although the ident does not show any drinking, Ofcom ruled that because a sexual act was implied and the Bombardier character is intrinsically linked with an alcoholic drink (alongside fighting, success and pure alpha-male-ism), the idents were still in breach of broadcasting rules. Bombardier’s raised eyebrows say it all… Tut tut.

2) Wonga in talks to be Newcastle Utd shirt sponsor
Wonga, the controversial short-term loan company, is in talks to be the next sponsor of Newcastle United, replacing Virgin Money.

-> Ideally sponsorships are supposed to show an exchange of values, the new partner building or supporting the credentials of the brand. However, in Wonga’s case, you have to wonder whether this £5 million association is positive. Wonga has been criticised for the high interest it charges on its loans, which can carry an APR of up to 4,214%, much higher than most other lenders; as well as its means of debt collection. Both of these do not shout ‘wear me’ for the 2013-2014 season and beyond – even in reference to the Northern ‘magpies’.

3) Expedia goes personal

-> Not really a ‘story’ as such, but I love this new brand direction by Expedia. The travel site have partnered with travel bloggers to create a rich, sometime user-generated, content around its users. Without smelling of cheese, ‘Find Yours’ is all about building memories and understanding its users on an individual level; rather than browse-click-buy. The courage and humility to speak out about same-sex marriages is also a draw – enjoy.

4) Mercedes turns to press to promote Twitter-led TV ads
Mercedes-Benz is running press ads flagging up this weekend’s [6-7th October] special TV ads that will give viewers the chance to determine the storyline via Twitter.

-> A great example of multi-channel integration in action, Mercedes has used press, outdoor, cinema, TV and Twitter to promote the launch of the car marque’s new A-Class vehicle to younger consumers. The campaign by Abbot Mead Vickers features a musician, played by Kane Robinson, and a professional driver who are chased by authorities on their way to a secret gig. At the end of the first two ads viewers will be asked to choose what the characters should do next. They can vote on Twitter with the hashtag #YOUDRIVE. Twitter data then reveals the percentage of viewers who voted for each outcome, affecting the final ad. I like the effective use of media, and how the campaign drives (could not resist) viewers to get involved.

5) New trailer release for Skyfall with Adele

-> Probably old news by now but I like to end each post on an upbeat vibe. That and I cannot stop listening to it. Written by ADELE and Paul Epworth. Skyfall is the official theme song to the upcoming James Bond film.

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