Monday, 31 December 2012

Best ad of 2012

This year has seen a variation of memorable ads; Vinnie Jones’ British Heart Foundation, Inferno’s Listen to the Kids, Skittles Midas touch, Guardian’s Three Little Pigs, and the ever-irritating Go Compare and Wowcher ads.

However, I felt I needed to write a post on my favourite one of 2012. Not just an ad but the whole campaign by AMV BBDO that has been running since 2010; Snickers – You’re Not You When You’re Hungry. The ads are still shown today and I think they have remained the best of the year.

The message that you’re not yourself when you’re hungry is massively relatable on a global scale. I know for a fact that I turn into a diva/zombie/monster when I’m starving, and it’s something that everyone has experienced. This is why I believe it works so well. Message aside, the idea of using celebrities who have played notoriously evil characters, or those who have exaggerated their negative stereotype, is genius. The most popular one in the UK is the football locker room ad called ‘Divas’, starring Joan Collins and Stephanie Beacham,

In the US, they had a version featuring Joe Pesci which was hilarious…

 And also the Betty White version, which was shown at the Superbowl 2010…

“After only three months of the campaign in market, the brand not only reversed declining volume sales, but experienced franchise volume sales growth driven by singles gains that surpassed the objectives of 3% and 5%.”

There was a Twitter branch of the campaign which saw five UK celebrities post very out of character tweets. Once they generated enough confusion, they posted a photo of themselves with the chocolate bar and quoted the now famous tagline.

This plan got masses of coverage in the press and media and it just shows how influential celebrity endorsement can be. This is the first time I’ve actually really liked the celebrity endorsement of a product because they are mocking themselves by taking the public’s perceptions of them and having fun with it, all whilst reaching out to the audience on a very personal, relevant level.

To end, here are some print ads from the campaign that I thought to be amusing. Here’s to more great ads in 2013!

Thursday, 29 November 2012

Grammatically correct graffiti

How many times have you sat on a pub toilet and read all the scrawlings on the back of the door? And how much does it amuse you to, not only see a spelling mistake, but to see someone has come along and corrected it. I am a bit of a spelling and grammar nazi myself, and I can't help but correct people when they say 'should of' instead of 'should have', or when they pronounce schedule like 'SKEDule' (we Brits say SHEDule).

Anyway, I was walking to work today in Richmond and I passed the newly constructed Pret. It's still all boarded up and on the front I spotted this:

This blatant error sparked a two-person correction! The person with the pencil violently circled it and wrote 'Plural!!', and the person with the pen was clearly not impressed and gave it a shameful -1 out of 10 and slapped Pret with an F-. Poor Pret wouldn't even get into sixth form with those grades. You'd think, with the sign being so large, that the mistake would have been obvious to spot, considering all the various people it would have exchanged hands with in the process? 

Anyway, made me laugh, despite the fact our country is so uneducated about our own language.

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Clean up your profiles! Future employers are watching you...

Imagine if the deciding factor of you getting that dream job or not, was based on whether you’d chosen the hilarious kebab on the toilet photo, or the classy dinner party photo, to be your Facebook profile picture?

We all use Facebook to stalk our friends/friends of friends/people we hate..

…but what we often forget, is that our future employers can stalk us too.

I have just come across this fascinating infographic by Career Builder called ‘What do employers find when they search for you online?’ which has stats on how many, and which type of, employers use social media to scope out candidates as potential employees.

A growing 37% of employers in the US use social media to search for you, with Facebook being the number one stalking method, closely followed by LinkedIn and Twitter. The reason most of them pry is, not because they are trying to catch you out, but because they want to see if you present yourself professionally and if you’d fit in at their company.

If there was one time that it was acceptable to Google yourself, this is it. When I Googled myself, one of the first pages that came up was my MySpace page; an account I haven’t used for many years, yet it still displayed facedown starfish drunken photos from my uni days and was littered with swear words. I swiftly deleted it. Next was my Bebo (wtf) and other random things I had signed up to. My phone number, comments and photos… I was all over the Internet! I needed to clean it up.

According to the reports, 49% of the time someone is struck off the list it’s because they have displayed a provocative photo or inappropriate information. Other reasons are evidence of drink or drug use, racism, bad mouthing their job, or simply bad grammar.

Not that my profiles had that anyway, but I felt it needed to be cleaned up. Now, you can openly view my Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Blog, my website, and Single Creatives. My Facebook is there but it’s under extreme privacy settings, and I keep the ones that are publicly viewable clean from bad language or incriminating photographs. My job revolves around search reputation and social media, so I can’t afford to have anything that makes me look unprofessional.

Sadly, your online life now acts as your CV. It’s brutal and invading, but that’s social media for you. However, you have the power to make people see what you want them to see, so start Googling yourself!

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Hooks get a New Look

A quick blog post in my lunchbreak.

When shopping on Saturday, I found these little beauties in the changing room of New Look.

I love them! And it did actually make my life easier not having to remember which sizes I'd kept and which ones I'd discarded. You may wonder where is the 'Definitely Not' hook? Well, how very sneaky of them - there isn't one! 

Sunday, 11 November 2012

My Top 5 high-quality content eCommerce sites

‘Patience is a virtue’

A lovely saying, isn’t it? Although, I presume the person who invented that adage never had to sit at a computer and trawl the web for information he couldn’t find, all the while blocking pop-ups and being directed to places he never wanted to go. There is never a more infuriating time to encounter these issues than when attempting to purchase something online, and some eCommerce sites don’t make it any easier. When a customer is parting with their money on your site, the last thing you want to do is stress them out, confuse them, or make yourself look unreliable; because inevitably, that person won’t return.

The EasyJet website is a prime example of a bad eCommerce website. They are my regular airline because they are marginally cheaper, but trust me; you pay for it in other ways – perhaps high blood pressure or alopecia. When I recently booked some flights, I wanted to have all 4 of us on the same flight, but 1 of us needed to get a different flight home. This was not allowed so I had to make 2 separate bookings and pay 2 booking fees. Then, when I wanted to check-in online the night before the flight, I couldn’t find my account page and no one responded to my panicked email when EasyJet said my booking didn’t exist. I chanced it at the airport and it was fine, but these grey hairs will be with me forever.

As a consumer, there are a few basic things I need from an eCommerce site:

- It should be immediately obvious to me what you offer on the homepage. If I have to search for more than 8 seconds, I will click off.
- It has to be aesthetically pleasing. Don’t distract me with epileptic graphics. Keep it simple and clear; let your items do the talking.
- A search bar, nice filters and sorts; so I can browse back and forth between pages and not get lost in a vortex of sub-categories.
- I don’t want to have to register to buy something.
- I need to have PayPal as a paying option.
- I need it to arrive on time.
- If I have a problem, I need to be able to speak to a real person, not an automatic response or a voice machine.

Good eCommerce website number 1: Amazon
I’m not going to bother saving the best for last, you knew it was coming. Amazon, you’re easy, you’re thoughtful, you remember what I like. I come back to you because you are cheap, but you have never failed me in quality or delivery time. You’re like a great husband - reliable and trustworthy. Yes, there is a lot going on on the pages, but it makes up for it in every other aspect.

Good eCommerce website number 2: Asos
Asos has a simple layout that allows you to search by size, material, label and colour. On each item of clothing there is a catwalk video where you can see the dress properly, how it moves, how it hangs. When it’s delivered to you, (always on time), it comes with all the papers and free postage stickers inside in case you want to return it. The most hassle-free clothes shopping experience.

Good eCommerce website number 3: John Lewis
John Lewis’ site is classy, comforting and homely, which is exactly what you want from a business that sells homewares. They have perfectly captured their brand and encompassed that in their site. Smooth navigation, easy checkout and friendly customer service. It is one of my top online stores.

Good eCommerce website number 4:
This is one of these sites that you can instantly tell how much thought and attention to detail they put into their work. Beautiful trinkets speak for themselves on this simple, yet very personalised, site. You can browse with ease with the ‘recently viewed’ list at the bottom, and the photos are very artistic. This makes me want to spend more time on the website, which is a huge credit to them.

Good eCommerce website number 5: Staples
‘What a weird and dull choice to include!’ you say. Well, actually no. Taking in consideration the unpredictability of the average working day, the stresses and mistakes… it’s nice to actually have something to rely on. Office supplies make the workplace go round, so when we are short on anything, I can whiz round their impressively extensive site, look at my last order history which is saved, and know that it will be delivered on time. Their tagline; ‘Staples: That Was Easy’, took the words right out of my mouth.

So I have prattled on for ages now, and it should be pretty clear what makes a good eCommerce site. It sounds boring, but the key is user-friendliness. If your website isn’t designed with your target audience in mind and based on what they’d like to see, then how are they going to believe that you sell anything they’d want?
Still struggling? The answer is simple; take a look at your website and ask yourself; 

‘Would YOU buy something from your site?’

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Disney's top hottest males

If you are new to my blog, I feel I must clarify that this is my first post of this... variety. I usually talk about ads or marketing or amazing things I've done, but a recent conversation about how hot Simba from the Lion King was, sparked a lot of thinking on my part about attractive animated characters. So much so, that I felt compelled to share my conclusions with you. So, in no particular order and subject to change, here goes...

1. Simba - Lion King

Quoting my friend from the aforementioned conversation, 'I think it's his hair; it's all messy and sexy.' So, could it be the tousled hair that makes Simba so irresistible? Is it his playful smile? Or perhaps his goal-orientated nature and eagerness to be king? Whatever it is, he is one hot cub.
*NB. Simba's hotness is strictly confined to his childhood years. When he walks over that log and sings himself into adulthood he loses all appeal.

 2. Prince Eric - The Little Mermaid

Definitely one of my favourite human princes. Not only is he the most attractive with his black hair and blue eyes, but he is a NICE GUY. When he found out Ariel couldn't talk or walk he could have thrown her back in the sea but no, he is clearly pro-disability and loved her for who she was. Swoon.

 3. Aladdin - Aladdin

What they called a 'street rat', I suppose we'd now call a chav; running amok, stealing, carrying a knife, getting in trouble with the law.. who knew he would be such a heartthrob? Well, everyone loves a bad boy.

 4.  Prince Philip - Sleeping Beauty

Prince Phil gets two photos because he is just so bloody buff. Tall, dark and handsome, great singer and an edgy dress sense. He would fight gargoyles, thorns, fire and a dragon just to give you a snog. 

5. Beast - Beauty and the Beast

I have to be clear when I say I mean the actual beast. Not the human. 
Dark, brooding, mysterious... A tormented soul is hot. Girl's love peeling away the layers of a man's soul like an onion; breaking them down with lots of 'what are you thinking?' and 'we should talk about it'. Beast is like the perfect project. Don't forget he is minted and lives in a mansion. 

6. Robin Hood - Robin Hood


Steals from the rich and gives to the poor, much like the tax man, Robin is another bad boy to add to the list. He loves old people, poor people, kids... you just can't find anyone half decent looking who does that these days.

7. King Triton - The Little Mermaid

This strict, law-abiding merman has a ripped bod, flowing locks and a throaty laugh. Triton is what you'd call, a DILF. I do not care that he is half fish, I would disobey him just to get a good spanking.
Too far?

Monday, 22 October 2012

An ad that made me laugh out loud

KFC - "Monkey Bites"

Joke so bad that's it's good

Making things happen with Google Chrome

Do you remember Google Chromes' 'Dear Sophie' ad from a year or so ago? An emotional journey of a dad who writes emails to his daughter every day since her birth, documenting every little thing, so she can read it back when she is older. I'm not going to lie, I'm jealous of Sophie. I only have a few photos and worn out anecdotes to prove that I even was a child.

Personal feelings aside, it was a lovely ad, and I was very pleased to see that Google Chrome have kept up these moving stories. The most recent one I have seen now is Julie Deane. Take a look -

Not only is this a well-shot and thought out ad which tells her story seamlessly, but it is a brilliant 'How To...' for people looking to get their name/product/business out there. With the recession, people are becoming a lot more entrepreneurial, and deciding to make something of themselves on their own. This ad is really relevant to today, which makes the public pay attention to it. Mainly I like that Google Chrome has shown just how easy it is to promote over the internet nowadays, and how it's changing the way the world communicates. 'The web is what you make of it' is the most apt tagline for these ads.

Sunday, 21 October 2012

Brad Pitt perfume faux-pas

I'm going to say something here and I hope you don't scold me for it; I don't like Chanel No.5. I think it is too harsh and smells like a musty old woman. 'Oh but it's Chanel, it's a classic!' That may be so, but it's not to my taste, just like crocs, baked beans, and Gary Barlow.

I feel I had to write something when I saw this new ad for Chanel No.5. Take a look and you'll know why:

Firstly, what the hell? Brad, what are you talking about?

It reminds me of when I visited an art gallery years ago; the exhibition was filled with abstract pieces, there was even a canvas with a simple blue square that had aspiring art critics gasping with awe. I saw a few people gathered round a model of a fire extinguisher, searching desperately for the meaning and to connect emotionally with this piece. Turns out it was an actual fire extinguisher, created only for putting out potential fires in the gallery. This ad is like that fire extinguisher; if you look at it for what it is, it's a bunch of nothing words that people, who clearly don't know what real art is, try to make into something more. Something that only they 'get'. It's just pretentious.

Even Brad commented, 'The beauty of [the perfumes'] success for all these years is both elegantly simple and complex at the same time. That’s what I see being the appeal of this campaign ; it goes beyond the abstract of emotion or beauty to evoke what is timeless, a woman’s spirit.

Guys, it's a perfume.

Okay, so I know it's hard to advertise a perfume. There is not much you can do in terms of selling it without smelling it, so I understand why all perfume ads show glamourous women and a beautiful elegance; it's selling the feeling. And it must be harder to advertise one that has been around for nearly a century, so I see why they changed the spokesperson to a man, and tried to make it different. But there is something missing. I think what it is, is that most people who watch it will probably scoff or say 'huh?' There is always a line you can cross when you're trying to be 'arty', I've crossed that line many times to the point where I've evolved an idea so much that it ends up being so far away from my original point, that no connection is made and I have to end up explaining it to people. 

Ads should be 70% explained, with 30% left for the audience to work out. We don't want an in-your-face explanation, and we don't want to leave feeling baffled; instead we like ads with a little intelligence, ads that recognise that we are intelligent too. I watch this and feel like it's a battle of the minds.

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Why Twitter is wicked, and why PR needs SEO

"Dinner with the girls" is something I have been participating in since my friends started renting and buying. Long gone are the sporadic drunken weekday meetings filled with risqué conversation. Now it's a long process involving diary checking, rescheduling, and conversations where we talk about babies, mortgages, complain about jobs, complain about the government, complain about money... all part and parcel of entering our late 20's. Once, at one of these dinners, I was talking to my friend about Twitter because does the marketing for a huge, world famous brand. She shrugged, ‘I don’t see the point in Twitter’. Now, this is not the first time I have had to defend Twitter.

Twitter has got a bad rep because of trolls, 'beliebers', mouthy footballers, and other idiots who actually say the word 'hashtag' without knowing what it means. I can understand why some people don’t use it and don’t ‘get it’.

I was explaining the benefits of it and how she could integrate it into her work. Twitter is the perfect place to find out what people think of a brand and it enables you to communicate directly with your customers. It's a free focus group: something I thought was already known and integrated into all marketing companies.

What is it with companies who don’t realise what is good for them and what will benefit them?

I'm mainly thinking of PR agencies' lack of SEO, and vice versa. Many PR agencies don’t understand that Google and social media are essential for their audience outreach. And sure, SEO can work well alone; creating backlinks and getting rankings (oooo rrraankingss) – but most of SEO content is weak and just focuses on keywords, and anyway, who knows if this content is being exposed in the most effective way? This is why PR and SEO would work so well together. SEO could create white hat content; quality, relevant content that is meaty and interesting, and PR would get it out there, creating a network of links that the audience actually want to see, thus the better they will rank! (And I mean ethically rank, not bought rankings)

If you want to get anywhere in your business, you can’t waste time believing that ‘old school’ methods work, you need to wake up to what your audience are doing TODAY. It seems very obvious to me, which is why it frustrates me when people are ignorant to social media and shrug it off as a waste of time. How silly will they feel when they are left behind!

Sunday, 30 September 2012

Tique Booty

About a year ago I wrote a post on Tique Booty, my friend's vintage clothing stall, located in Kingston Antiques Market. I decided to rewrite the post because the business has impressively grown since then, accumulating a wider range of more classic, diverse pieces and has earned a devoted following.

Over the past year, Tique Booty has moved twice. First, to Kingly Court on Carnaby Street, where they set up shop in a pop-up shop called 'One Month Only' - they stayed on there far more than one month due to their success. Now, Tique Booty resides on Market Row, Brixton - a far more urban area, which, some would say, is better for their target market.

Tique Booty Launch Party Sept 2012

Tique Booty are passionate about clothing and this shows in their stock; British and American fashion, all from different eras, different cultures and a huge range of styles, not just limited to clothing; but also art work and home furnishings. They are open to pretty much anything, but the only thing they don't compromise on, is quality. "Clothing must be characterised by excellence, maturity, and enduring appeal

The shop itself is achingly cool with it's indoor brick walls and graffiti splattered shutters, and the service is nothing but welcoming. Usually the vintage world can be a bit pretentious, but once you step inside you'll probably be roped in to having a casual beer and a chat with the owner, Richard. Tique Booty's personality is perfectly reflected in their own beautifully designed website; with professional shots of the clothing, trendy videos, and information on the extra services they provide, such as clothing rental, clothing swaps, specific searches, and haberdashery.

Tique Booty has grown incredibly in just a year, just think what could be possible this time next year. My advice may be biased, but it's true; keep an eye out. They are going to be big.

Sunday, 23 September 2012

Getting Rosie Arnold to see my work (and how to get someone to see yours)

This is a post I have been meaning to write since May, because in May I wrote a letter to BBH's Deputy Exec. Creative Director and D&AD president, Rosie Arnold.

I saw a presentation she gave about how there are not enough women in the creative industry, and I found her so inspirational that I was driven to contact her. I did my research and found that we both studied at Central Saint Martins, which was a great starting point, and that a couple of the accounts she works on at BBH are Persil and Axe, two brands that I'd already created my own ads for (see 15ish posts down). A funny obsession of Rosie's is that she collects old, squashed soda cans that she finds; a habit that she has no explanation for, only that she may 'find a use for them some day'. I found this hilarious as I have a similar habit; taking photos of license plates that spell short words. I also have no reason for this obsession, apart from the belief that I will use them one day for something amazingly creative. She is smart, funny, has a successful career, has a family and is actually pretty fit. I was determined to get a reply.

So, with my completed 6-page letter full of images and sketches that began with an enticing first paragraph to draw her in, I posted and emailed copies to her. I found out her PA's e-mail and asked her to make sure Rosie got this letter and let me know when she got it and when she read it. I hounded this poor girl for days. Until the day Rosie got my letter...

 I was amazed and so pleased, as you can imagine. Rosie Arnold read my words and had my crappy drawings in her hands and said she 'REALLY LIKED MY IDEAS'. Holy crap. To cut a long story short, I had a lot of back and forth with her assistant who was unbelievably helpful (shocking to see someone just helping you just to be nice these days), but nothing came of it. We couldn't find a date that suited and then 2 weeks later I got my job so my chance of a meeting became near impossible. I do hope that somewhere down the line in life our paths will cross and I can express how great I think she is and we can laugh about the time I stalked her. Perhaps brainstorm some ads, throw around some ideas in a boardroom, braid each others' hair.... or maybe just absorb her wisdom and advice over a coffee.

The main thing I have learned is that if you want to contact someone of a high position to get them to see you/your work/your CV, then you need to make it personal. No generic e-mail that sends to everyone in your address book. You find out about that person, what they do, what they like, what will get their attention. Make yourself relevant and interesting, and most of all, BOMBARD that person until they notice you.

Saturday, 1 September 2012

Editing website video for FQC Solutions Ltd

Look at these blog posts now coming in thick and fast!

This week I bought the domain and it is sitting there, waiting. What should I put on it? My work history has been...well, colourful... and I have done a bit of everything. But not enough of one thing to make a website out of. I'm guessing my website should be like this blog, only with different pages for my drawings/designs, thoughts and ideas, projects I'm involved in, and videos I've edited.

Speaking of which; I was recently asked to edit a video for a website. The company is FQC Solutions Ltd (Food Quality Compliance), and I was given footage of a presentation given by the Managing Director, David Brown, on 'Quality and Food Safety Management'. The video is designed to go on their website and give potential clients an idea of what kind of advice they can offer to other companies.

It's a simple video, but there is a clear and inspirational message; that FQC Solutions care about your brand and, more importantly, want you to care about it too. Not only that, but they know the industry thoroughly, and know what they are talking about when it comes to the regulations and high standards of food quality and safety.

Friday, 31 August 2012

Facebook Funnies

My last few posts have been pretty text-heavy, so i thought I'd provide some light relief with some photos that are on some of my favourite Facebook groups. I don't really like to join Facebook groups, I find that you're always bombarded with notifications and your newsfeed looks a mess (I like mine to look neat and aesthetically pleasing).

Badly Stuffed Animals:

Dog shaming: (this is actually a tumblr/website, but just had to share)

Embarrassing Nightclub Photo of the Week:

I'm a Creative:

Thursday, 30 August 2012

Logo Drawing

Once I got my job in digital marketing, I never thought I'd get the chance to put the old pencil to paper. No sketching, scribbling or designing the old school way.

Luckily for me, a company that does the PR for our company wanted a new logo. The owner wanted a hand-drawn design of a jaguar to go with their company's name on the website and business cards. I was more than happy to oblige and I came up with this:

I handed it in and they gave it to a graphic designer who touched it up and put it with the logo. The final result has just been shown to me today!

I see it has been made quite dramatically different what with the shading and that, but I am still very pleased with the outcome, pleased I got to doodle for the day, and pleased I haven't forgotten how to draw!
If you want to check out this brilliant PR company (shameless plug!) go here:

Thursday, 23 August 2012

The power of social media - The Coyne's got Craig David to attend their wedding

For my 11th birthday in 1996, I planned to have a Spice Girl's themed party. I was totally and utterly obsessed with them and thought it would be amazing to have them there. I wrote them a very polite letter, asking them to attend, and posted it off to the fan mail address that was at the bottom of their monthly newsletters. I may have been naive, but I whole heartedly believed that they would have read my letter and exploded through my door, doing back flips and flicking peace signs.

Now, fast forward 16 years (cripes), and a whole lot has changed thanks to the internet. Kids have the opportunity to be in direct contact with their favourite celebrities, follow their every movement and perhaps even have them write back. This makes me feel sorry for my poor, expectant 10-year-old self.

Case in point; my friend's brother and fiance really love Craig David and wanted him to come to their wedding. In pure 21st century social media fashion, they put a video on YouTube of themselves rapping to the tune of his song, '7 Days', about how they want him at their wedding. Then they started tweeting him on Twitter... #getcraigdavidtoourwedding and got friends to retweet it. The video went viral and Craig David obviously noticed these pleas filling up his Twitter account. He replied saying that he would attend and everyone got really excited. But who actually thought he would? A celeb flying from L.A for free just because he was asked? Not bloody likely.

But, oh wait... shit yeah there he is -

The story of Theo and Lisa's success has since been published in The Daily Mail, The Metro and The Sun, and I assume they will all be best mates for life. (Really resentful towards my parents that I was born a decade too late and never had this chance with the Spice Girls)

In my job I work mainly in the social media sector. Every minute is on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn... - my focus is audience outreach, getting peoples attention, and also proving to my parents that what I do IS a proper job and to my friends that Twitter IS useful and effective and is changing the way the world communicates. This is big fat proof of the power of social media, and I still think it is under-estimated and unappreciated by companies.

Get on the Twitter wagon, for God's sake.

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Olympic branding to the extremes

A month has passed with no posts written. Apologies, I'm not with it.

Before I got my current job, I had already signed up to work at the London Olympics for a couple of weeks so I was kindly allowed to take this time off. I worked at the Wimbledon tennis, waitressing for stuck up, preppy, business people who had paid over a grand for tiny portions of poor quality food. I have been in the waitressing industry on and off since I was 15, but obviously had forgotten the horrid feeling of being treated like a servant; especially when one man held out his glass for me to top up without even looking at or thanking me. I remember thinking, as I was standing behind him with this huge bottle lingering over his head, why have I come back to this? Even for two weeks?!

Anyway, when I worked there, I saw the bar was serving something called 'No.1 Fruit Cup' - I thought, "that's odd", and got on with my life. Only much later in my time there did I realise it was actually Pimms. Someone told me that it was because of the branding regulations and that Pimms was not an official sponsor of the Olympics.

I then started noticing all these weird things. You know like when someone tells you a word that you have never heard in your life, and then the next day someone says it? It was like that. I noticed all the shops where I live had abstract Olympic squares instead of circles. Some shops said 'Lnodno 1202 Oylmicps'. I saw people on TV using their laptops but with stickers over the labels. I understand the branding laws and why they are in place; you can't not sponsor the Olympics and have your company advertised to the world, and those companies that did pay millions towards the games deserve to have exclusive rights. I'm just glad that having armed police around didn't squash the spirit of the supporters and they found other ways to show their patriotism and have fun with it. It's meant to be fun!

I found this image from the front of spoof magazine 'Private Eye' which made me laugh. Coke was an official sponsor...

Monday, 23 July 2012

Olympic Greatness

A shocking amount of time has passed since I last did a blog post. Basically it's because I have a job in digital marketing now and when I come home from work the last thing I want to do is look at another computer screen. However, I always see and do things that I want to tell you about, so the intentions are there! And so I will make a comeback by talking about the Olympics. Well, I'm not going to talk about them, I'll share the BBC's epic Olympic advert... here it is, full length: I saw this a couple of weeks ago and, considering I'm not too fussed about sports and the Olympics, this filled me with excitement and anticipation. The graphics are awesome and, paired with the swelling music, it really captures the tension and importance of the games. I am a changed person and am now really looking forward to watching them and being proud that London is holding them. The million tourists can be overlooked for a couple of weeks...

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

M&S Everyday Food ad

I know that M&S is viewed as quite a luxury...from the posh food-porn ads, to the very middle-class home and clothing ads. Their expensive products are just not ideal for the majority of people's weekly shop, losing potential customers to cheaper stores like Tesco and Sainsbury's. As Vince Noir from 'The Mighty Boosh' accurately said, "She shops at Marks for her 'bits'. She doesn't do her main shop there. No one does."

Then comes this 2012 ad:

I already have an emotional connection to M&S, they can do no wrong in my eyes, I have grown up with them in my life. But even I wouldn't have gone there for my everyday items. This ad brings to my attention that they stock some well-priced items. There is beautiful art direction as usual, and they have kept their classy look whilst trying to appeal to a wider market by showing they are 'cheaper'. I'm not sure how effective it will be though, as M&S have a strong reputation that may be hard to shake. I mainly love the fact that, unlike their food-porn ads, they don't focus on any food or make it look particularly appetising, but instead show the remnants of the food. A really different and clever way of advertising.

Tuesday, 15 May 2012


On the 18th and 19th of June this year, SEO company, Distilled, will be hitting The Golden City for one of their infamous 'SearchLove' conferences.

"Search marketing insight conference? Boring", I hear you say. Well, no actually. These conferences have had some serious rave reviews. For example,

'Learnt more in two days than I can implement in two months or even years!'
- Darren Sheffield: Red Mud Media Ltd

'Just take one of the presenter's actionable tips and your conference is paid for. Take the hundreds that were given out and you'll be busy making it rain money for your clients all year.'
- James Piper: SEO Specialist at Vector MediaGroup

So what do these Distilled conferences offer that others don't?

Firstly, they choose the best speakers from around the world, the experts of SEO. The speakers' content is relevant and advanced, no waffling, only the essentials; tips, advice, up to date findings, expert knowledge. Distilled love sharing knowledge and educating people, and this is reflected in their conferences where they give you the tools to take away and implement into your own business. This year they have key speakers from big names such as SEOmoz, SEER and 97th Floor, with sessions on a range of topics such as; advanced link building strategies, integrating social media into you SEO activities, and how to use new web technologies.

Not only does the 2 day conference offer many of these inspiring 45 minute talks, but also site Clinic appointments which is where, before the conference, you can submit your site and enter the problems you're experiencing. An expert SEO consultant will go over this information and then meet you at the conference to give you tips and advice on how to improve and tackle these issues, one on one.

Hailed as 'inspirational' and 'motivating', SearchLove will be of great benefit to you; a chance to learn, network, and send you off with a positive attitude and refreshed confidence in the potential of your business.

Buy your ticket here: