Monday, 16 December 2013

Sorry I spent it on myself...

It has been far too long since I last wrote a blog post, probably because I have graduated and entered the crazy world of being a grown up and working full time. Working as a Brand and Marketing Executive at Liquid Agency based in Nottingham, time seems to have flown by and before I knew it, I’ve been working for six months and it’s half way through the festive season.

Which leads me onto this post. Christmas is by far my favourite part of the year and not just for the never ending presents or the amazing party buffets but for the battle of the best Christmas campaign. We all love the classic ads from Coca Cola and Boots but each year there is one campaign that always seems to shine through. And for me it’s Harvey Nichols ‘I spent it on myself’ campaign.

As you watch the video above, you smile as you think the concept of the advert is humorous but not the most ground-breaking you’ve ever seen. Until it reaches the end and you realise that the budget gifts featured in the advert are actually available to buy in store. That’s right, you really can buy someone  a Harvey Nichols branded bath plug this Christmas. And boy do I have some ideas on who will be receiving some elastic bands and tooth picks this year. In my search to purchase one of these gifts online I was redirected to the ‘I spent it on myself’ page, where each novelty gift was strategically placed alongside a luxurious Harvey Nichols item. Side by side, the products were highlighted with the message ‘for you’ and ‘for them’. Targeting those customers who understand that a little something for their nearest and dearest means a bigger something for themselves.

I think what I love the most about this campaign is how refreshing an idea it really is. Year after year we see agencies creating Christmas campaigns that go for the emotional pull or the uplifting story but this is just about indulging yourself. Which although sounds selfish and yes Christmas is meant to be about sharing and giving, it's nice to see some originality breaking through. 

 And let's face it, I can't wait to give my stepmum some Lincolnshire gravel this Christmas. 

Wednesday, 3 April 2013


Probably the only way to describe this film is unwatchable. I found the video whilst reading about whether charities are going to far with their shock tactics and after watching this I am genuinely speechless. The video was released by Save the Congo to help increase awareness of the link between minerals used in UK mobile phones and the use of rape and murder as weapons of war in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Making the controversial decision of setting the film in an english home with a british family, the charity questions - “Would we accept it, if it was happening here?” 

Part of me feels like I never want to see the footage again but part of me is sat here thinking everybody needs to see this at least once to be aware of what is actually going on. I find it sad that charities feel it has got to the point where creating this type of campaign is the only way to get through to people, but if it is, then I applaud them for opening my eyes and actually having the courage to present something so harrowing. Im not sure I could ever work on something so intense, and Im not sure I fully support the way they have visualised such graphic scenes, but I do know that I signed the petition straight after watching it and surely that was their ultimate goal? I think a lot of the time we don't feel an urge to support organisations and charities because they dont directly affect our lives. But by creating a video that has a much stronger relation to us, it makes people realise how unacceptable these issues really are. Credit to Dark Fibre, Jo Bains, Angela Dixon and Thea Wellband. 

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

If fast food could talk...

So some of you might know that for my final dissertation Im looking at how the animal rights organisation PETA could adopt a new strategy and method to change people's views on veganism. The challenge for me? I love meat. And have no intention on changing my mind any time soon. As Ive looked at PETAs work and other animal rights charities, Ive noticed the overuse of shock tactics are leaving viewers feeling uncomfortable and ashamed, which nobody should be made to feel about something that society has taught us. In particular I watched this video from Mercy for Animals, an organisation I was unaware of until now. With the aim to expose what really goes into fast food meat, this talking sausage tells his dramatic life story and the horror he's been through. As I watched the video I wondered how it was going to make an impact, and suddenly the screen splits to the video footage of trapped animals and meat being processed. And now Im left feeling shocked and disgusted by the concept. But its not going to stop me from eating fast food. Although many campaigns can make people question themselves as meat eaters, a lot of the time all it does is spark conversation for a short amount of time. If animal rights organisations are serious about turning more people vegan, they need to understand that lecturing them and referring to them as 'animal abusers' is not the way forward. Stop trying to think of controversial adverts and the craziest publicity stunts and start educating people on how they could do better. 

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

The Harlem Struggle

I have to admit when I first saw the Harlem Shake I spent good hour after watching all the videos on Youtube, thinking of ways that I could recreate my own. But today I came across a slightly different version of the dance that has sparked controversy worldwide. The Dutch Parkinson's Society released the video, 'Worst Shake Ever' that shows society chairman Eric Roos, shaking out of control after not taking his medication. Designed by Saatchi and Saatchi the strapline reads - 'Shaking, fun for some … daily struggle for others.' With the aim to raise awareness of the disease, the video has received mixed reviews with many feeling offended and finding the overall approach distasteful. Personally I think its genius. The fact that Saatchi and Saatchi have acknowledged the success of the Harlem Shake and applied to an organisation that struggles to gain media attention at the best of time, is brilliant. Tapping into worldwide trends is something that more brands should be taking note of, whether it be social, cultural or environmental. With over 90,000 views its clear that they have reached their goal of raising awareness even if it has caused a stir. 

Monday, 18 February 2013

Durex delivers.

When I first started watching this I thought this definitely had to be a joke. But no Durex really are about to create the best delivery service yet, SOS Condoms. For those unfortunate situations where your not quite prepared, the new location based app service discretely delivers condoms within the hour between 4pm and 4am. Accomadating to the universal issue of never having a condom when you need one, Durex in Dubai are the first city to be blessed with the new campaign. But visit the website and vote for the city you want to next have this service and you too could be saved from that awkward situation. Whether it be a pizza delivery or being pulled over by the police, Durex are there for you. Demonstrating their ability to always be ahead of the game, as cheesy as the video is, this is probably one of their best ideas yet. Get voting if you want London to be the next place.

Friday, 25 January 2013


So Ive finally sent my dissertation to print, the thing that has been driving me crazy for the past few months. I mentioned in my previous post that I was looking at ways in which brands could use location based advertising to target customers passing by. To be honest I have actually really enjoyed writing about it, although slightly sick of it towards the end the idea of geofencing could be the future of marketing. This might not make complete sense as you've not read my dissertation but here are some infographics I designed to sum up my whole idea. Enjoy, and let me know your thoughts!

Wednesday, 16 January 2013


So for the past couple of months Ive been writing my dissertation on the use of geofencing. For those of you that don't know geofencing is location based promotions sent to your phone via text. Quite a few brands have started using it like L'oreal, Starbucks and the North Face offering coupons, discounts and brand information. As Ive worked on my report Ive realised how successful geofencing could actually be in the future, however one thing that Ive noted is if brands want to move forward with the idea they need to be different. 

In South America Guetamalean shoe brand Meat Pack have set the path for all those considering location based marketing.The shop chose to use the app Hijack to create a much more innovative way to earn discounts. Every time a customer entered a competitor’s store, they would receive a message with a timed discount, starting at 99% off and slowly ticking down until the customer raced to the Meat Pack store. According to marketing blogger Mark Brill, ‘The campaign saw over 600 people ‘hijacked’ from stores and the fastest to get there managed to received an 89% discount.’ The idea of not only taking potential customers out of competitors stores but actually lurring them into your store with a timed discount is genius. Possibly one of the cleverest ways Ive seen a brand increase footfall and in return sales.