News in the Ads #33

My knowledge of current affairs is pretty dismal, despite my misguided belief that I am made for pub quizzes. As such, let this news-related, advertising-worthy post be a lesson to myself as much as anything else… enjoy!

1) “Do it. For Chicago”
Chicago’s NPR station, WBEZ, is making a more intimate appeal than usual during its current membership drive. Rather than simply asking you for a few bucks, the station is asking you to “Go make babies” with other “interesting people”—who may be likely to become “interesting people” and future WBEZ listeners themselves.

Go make babies WBEZ

-> A strange bit of logic – who exactly listens and makes love? But nevertheless a unique idea, and I love the idea of children growing up listening to the same station as their parents. I also admittedly like the hippie-vibe behind it – one like-minded, passionate Chicago community making as many babies as possible. Ultimately, I would be interested to know what consumer/media insight led to this idea. At the moment it reminds me of the Mentos “National Night” campaign.

2) O2 “Beyoncé” by VCCP
O2 has unveiled a new ad by VCCP starring Beyoncé. It promotes her upcoming UK tour, for which O2 customers can buy tickets ahead of the general public as part of the mobile network’s Priority promotion. The spot, which features new music from Beyoncé, shows the singer and the crew from her tour in an opulent setting reminiscent of Marie Antoinette’s court, but with a modern twist.

-> I got a little bit red-faced with Orange (now EE) when I saw this advert – a mere viewer to a VIP experience with Beyoncé. My second response was doubt – was this really her or a convincing lookalike? Finally my dad nailed it by asking “what is she wearing?” To which I had no answers. A fabulous advert but for no real (what marketers like to call ‘rational’) reason.

3) Eurostar capitalises on Beckham publicity with ad
Eurostar is making the most of the publicity around David Beckham’s arrival at French football club Paris St Germain and his promise to give his wages to charity, with a light-hearted ad highlighting its “transfer fee”.

Eurostar Transfer offer

-> There was much debate in my household of DB’s future choice of transport and Eurostar was a narrow first. The ad was created by the French ad agency CLM BBDO and the white text is underlined by red and is set against a blue background, above a red silhouette of the Eiffel Tower. A bit too French for my liking (I would have preferred some reference to his English roots), but a good example of reactive, real-time advertising in practice.

4) Twitter buys social TV firm Bluefin for around $70m
It’s being reported that Twitter has made what is its biggest acquisition to date, outstripping that of TweetDeck, with the deal to buy social TV analytics firm Bluefin Labs, which if anyone was in any doubt, underscores the increasingly close relationship between the social network and television.

-> Dual-screening is a term that I hear everyday, working in a media agency – with each type of media owner desperate to get their fingers into this growing and bountiful pie. Nevertheless, this acquisition signals an attempt to address the difficulty in determining the success and effect of social (and so forth). The four-year-old start-up attempts to do this by focusing on measurement of social media conversations about TV and claiming to be able to quantify audience engagement in the same way that Nielsen quantifies ratings audience viewership of TV – good luck to them.

5) Brand Genius Quiz: Test Your Marketing IQ

-> Not strictly a story as such, but this marketing quiz puts me at the bottom tier of brand geniuses. I would like to think that after a few more “News in the Ads”, I would know which American chain sells the most hot dogs but I think that is unlikely. Anyway, a measly 27% means that you can read this and then win.


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