Max Colson: Tales

Photojournalism MA student at the LCC

Posts Tagged ‘marketing

Ken dumps Barbie and Barbie gets locked up (Greenpeace’s latest protest video)

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Greenpeace have produced a YouTube video of their latest protest activity against the toy maker Mattel. In this video we find that *horror of horrors!* Ken has dumped Barbie because he is not happy that the packaging of her toys is made of paper culled from deforestation. In the subsequent PR stunt outside the Mattel HQ Barbie is eventually jailed by the Police for protesting against Ken’s claims and explains that:

“I’m Barbie, as long as I look good who cares about some tigers in some distant rainforest…”

I may be just a humble stills photographer but I take stuff like this as inspiration. This may have a nice big marketing budget behind it which has helped it become the PR stunt that it is, but at its core its just about sitting down and thinking simply about what you want to communicate, how you want to communicate it, the best location to communicate it, and pre-empting what you think the real-world effects of your activity will be and working with them (the person who knew that the Police could be manipulated to create the real-world arrest of Barbie is very, very on the ball.)

Really, really slick. And more importantly, completely sharable.

*I say thankyou to Benedict Pringle who writes the very readable and succinct Political Advertising blog for bringing this to my attention.

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Marketing the revolution in Egypt

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vodafone egypt video

The last frame from a video produced by Vodafone's advertising agency after the Egyptian revolution

I’ve been reading a few posts from various sites, which have been dealing with the response of advertisers (as in companies like Coca Cola, Pepsi etc etc) to the Egyptian revolution. I’d thought I’d summarise the bare bones of the articles.

Here’s the Wall Street Journal’s article from a few days ago on this:

“Since thousands of protesters ousted former President Hosni Mubarak in a nearly three-week revolt, the enthusiasm for revolution has been redirected and repackaged for television ads, billboards and jingles selling products including hair gel, soft drinks and candy…

Ad spending in Egypt actually increased to about $329 million in May from $310 million in February, according to data from Ipsos, a global advertising and marketing research firm.”

The most interesting of these is a controversial video (which actually looks like it was intended to be a submission to an advertising awards show – it’s got engagement stats and everything) that was produced by the advertising agency JWT, for its client Vodafone. This strongly suggests by quoting specific tweets from Twitter & YouTube* that Vodafone  played a role in the revolutionary solidarity at the time.

*user comments quoted are:

“Vodafone inspired us before the revolution by their power to you ad. it was touching and inspiring when they said “it’s everyone’s power” “[sic]

“The new Vodafone Egypt campaign is amazing inspiring a generation to change their country” [sic] – most importantly this the endframe of the whole video

Here is the video which has now been taken down from YouTube because of a ‘copyright claim’. It is still available on Daily Motion however:


Both JWT and Vodafone have since distanced themselves from the video and Vodafone has done so at the most length, which can be seen in the following statement which was published on the Brand Republic website:

“Vodafone Egypt denies responsibility for the video that circulated on social media channels including highlights of a Vodafone commercial. Hatem Dowidar, CEO of Vodafone Egypt, confirmed that the company does not have any connection to this video and had no prior knowledge of its production or posting on the Internet. He added that Vodafone Egypt is part of a global Company that has strict policies refraining associating the Brand name with any political or religious affairs of any country in which it operates.

“Dowidar further clarified that this video was produced by JWT company for its internal use and not for public display, and he added that Vodafone has never used this video and is not responsible for its messages or claims.”

Additionally both Coca Cola and Pepsi have also produced much less arrogant videos in the revolution’s aftermath which celebrate people power using some easily recognisable visual metaphors:

Coca Cola

Pepsi

Obviously these latter two adverts are interesting in a completely different way to the Vodafone video.  These well-produced adverts are good examples of how the visuals can be used in quite an evasive fashion; whilst these images endorse the idea of change they actually visualise little else apart from the generics of people power. But considering no one can really predict with any certainty where Egypt is going politically this is nothing but good old business sense I guess.

Sources:

Wall Street Journal

Brand Republic

Fast Company

Stoopid advert

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Cultural stereotyping now comes in brightly coloured Japanese animation variety

Written by Max Colson

June 14, 2011 at 9:35 pm

Priceless – TFL’s new ‘art’ advertising campaign

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TFL lost property

A poster for Transport For London's 2011 Lost Property Campaign

A great idea is a great idea. This one comes from the field of advertising. TFL’s (Transport For London) recent art exhibition for their lost property office is very nice. Let’s break it down.

Real World Problem: The issue that TFL had was that only a few people were coming to lost property to claim stuff because they had already assumed that their property was stolen immediately after they left it on the tube (I surmise).

Creative Challenge: How does one suggest that the above isn’t true?

Creative Solution: Create an art exhibition out of the art objects left in lost property (cos let’s face it all of the electronics and clothing articles would have actually have been stolen).

This campaign is very slick because it communicates the value of the objects that end up in the lost property in a way that will appeal to a broad range of people, whilst cleverly using objects that actually don’t have any financial value (ie which are the ones that are mostly left in lost property). The power of words like ‘exhibition’ and ‘curation’ are impressive here.  As is the way that we perceive art. If you would like to see exactly how these marketing techniques work you can now actually buy posters of this unclaimed art from TFL’s shop. It is very savvy.

But more to the point who in their right mind is really going to ever give two hoots about a lost property advertising campaign unless it’s sexed up like this?

Ohhh sexy, artistic lost property. It’s very well done.