LOreal gets into a Spot of Bother!

Now many of us watch ads with a pinch of cynicism at times, thinking “Are those eyelashes really real?”, “Is it possible to have such smooth skin?” etc. This is exactly why LOreal has just recently clocked up a number of complaints regarding the true state of Cheryl Cole’s hair.

The ad campaign features Cole talking about how the product makes her hair feel “full of life”, and this angered a number of people due to the fact that Cole’s hair has been styled with hair extensions. The 40 viewers who complained to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) believed that it exaggerated the benefits LOreal Elvie products can have on hair, as Cole used extensions in the ad to get her look.

After analysising the ad the ASA concluded that the “ads did not misleadingly exaggerate the effects of the product”, but what do YOU think?

Personally, I feel this is the area of marketing that can ruin people’s perception of marketers, leaving them looking like con-men/women who are simply after money, money, money- But we are not all like that I can assure you! The ad is yet another company jumping onto the ‘beauty ideal’ bandwagon which the fashion industry created to make people feel scared of being themselves and pressured to look a certain way. I don’t agree with it, and feel that products should sell themselves in a credible and genuine way. Putting extensions in the woman’s hair on the ad isn’t showing the effects of LOreal products, it’s showing how great their hair stylist is.

There should be more companies ready to listen to the customer and deliver what they want and need, the focus should be on making the customer feel great, not the model in the ad!

Have a wonderful day,


Win their Hearts & Success will Follow

In a world full of media messages and news, the task for any marketer nowadays is to successfully cut through all of the ‘noise’ and reach their customer. Many businesses used to believe that the main way to sell a product or service was to create long fancy names alongside complicated terminology, and the customer would fall at their feet begging to buy the new product or service. Now whether that worked for a time is debatable, but to operate like that in today’s marketplace is suicide!

Customers don’t want to be preached at, they want to be romanced & feel special! The task for the marketer nowadays is to communicate with the customer and KEEP that connection fresh and up-to-date. It’s not all about selling selling selling, the focus has turned now to creating good quality customer relationships to allow the customer to fall in love with the brand/company. Once they are hooked onto the brand then they become advocates of the brand, and encourage others they know to use the product or services (which is a valuable tool for any company!). So how do we do this?

Well it’s all about passion. The brand needs to have passion for what they are doing and create their own buzz around themselves. A good way to do this is the creation of promotions or ad campaigns that create a talking point to get people excited about the brand and what is being sold. It’s all about enthusiasm, passion and genuine belief in the product or service. After all if you don’t like believe in the product, why would anyone else?!

These regular promotions and forms of communication with the customer (this needs to be unrelated to selling at times to ensure the customer feels appreciated and cared for by the brand, and not used purely as a money making tool) will keep the brand appear interesting and valid in people’s lives. If there is no enthusiasm or activity a brand can go stale and once customers lose interest they are ever so hard to win back!! So keep professional but do so in a passionate and enthusiastic way!!

Have a wonderful day,


Adding a New Dimension to Marketing

Now today I have brought you a new World Cup themed ad campaign with a unique difference…

I’d like to introduce you to Sony’s 3D TV ad campaign that will grace our screens 11 June. The ad is scheduled to coincide with the with the World Cup’s opening match between South Africa & Mexico, conveniently the Sony 3D TV’s will go on sale the day after! (12 June). This is an excellent example of how to best plan your timing, to enhance the impact of the ad message. The product now serves a purpose other than replacing an old TV, it will give the viewer the best World Cup experience! (well that is at least what Sony hopes you believe)

The TV campaign, created by ad agency Anomaly, displays a number of striking clips in between a football game being played. The montage of strong, punchy images creates a dramatic and interesting experience for the viewer, which subconsciously stirs emotions felt during a football game (such as the heighted intensity when a goal is to be scored, the intense interest when a pivotal tackle is happening etc.). The ad is shot in a fuzzy ‘fake 3D’ to generate more interest into the new Sony 3D TV product range. During the ad Sony tells the viewer “not to adjust your set” and suggests that “maybe it’s time to buy a 3D TV” – A very witty & humourous message, that is also very to the point!

I think that this ad will be very effective at capturing the target audience’s attention. I believe that a lot of men, in particular, will watch the ad and feel very excited about the games that are to follow. This excitment is likely to lead them on to buy a new 3D TV, as they will not want to feel deflated at the prospect of watching the World Cup on a normal 2D screen, after Sony has told them all about the potential of 3D TV! This type of advertising focuses heavily on making the new upgrade seem very eletist, similar to Sky’s HD, suggesting that you are missing out if you do not have the latest advance in technology.

To get a sneak peak of this new ad simply follow the link below to Media Guardian:


Have a wonderful day,


Why Technology Reuse fails

Today, a lot of stress is on code reuse, in the IT industry. In fact, the industry is thriving on the same. The problem is every business requirements have its very own set of specific needs which often are not met with by using standardized software packages and code modules, besides other barriers to success.  Ideally software should be designed to complement and automate business processes. But since this becomes costly, modules and packages are standardized and IT business analysts try to fit the standard things to all problem domains. The net result is mayhem and chaos.

In theory, organizations should recognize the value of systematic reuse of internal assets and reward internal reuse efforts. In practice, many factors act as barriers to success in technology reuse. Software reuse often fails for the following reasons:

  • Organizational impediments: In house developing of software systematically, to create reusable software assets requires a deep understanding of application developer needs and business requirements. As the organization size grows, coordination problems are often a major challenge.
  • Business need impediments: Similar business units within the same organization often have different needs which are not always apparent. Trying to force fit the same solution to different problems is a sure recipe for chaos.
  • Economic impediments: Supporting the development of reusable technology requires an economic investment, and often IT teams operate as cost-centers and thus their priorities are ignored.
  • Administrative impediments: It is hard to document reusable technology properly for usage across multiple business units within large organizations, although the same may be reusable in the smaller business units. Hence business units may end
  • Political impediments: The teams that develop reusable technology are often viewed with suspicion by the rest of the technology team, as they may no longer be empowered to make key architectural decisions. In group rivalry is also a major barrier to the development of reusable technology.
  • Psychological impediments: Application developers often feel “top down” reuse efforts as an indication that management lacks confidence in their technical abilities and an insult to their capabilities.

Work, Rest, Play for England!

As promised I have another World Cup themed ad campaign to show you…

Last October it was announced that Mars would have a five-year partnership with the Football Association. So following this news Mars has teamed up with ad agency AMV BBDO, to bring the nation a TV campaign with a definite football feel.

The TV campaign features John Barnes, an England footballer, rapping to New Order’s World In Motion. The ad is very upbeat, with plenty of energy & humour. The ad instantly brings a smile to my face & I’m sure there are thousands of like minded viewers who feel the same!

The ad begins with a guy laying in the sunshine listening to some cheerful music on his stereo.  He is then interupted by John Barnes who is carrying a Mars cassette & begins to rap to the music. There is plenty of green grass & beautiful weather in the ad to give it a happy, summery feel. This happy feeling continues when Barnes begins to dance to the music in a very humourous way! When Barnes begins to dance & rap to the music the viewer is glued to the screen, which allows Mars to effectively deliver their football message.

All the different elements within the ad are thought through, to ensure that once all the parts are combined together (i.e. the slightly dated music & clothing, lots of smiling etc.) the product is a very light-hearted and care-free campaign. It is also great to note that, during the ad the viewer can see many people wearing football clothing, and the colours chosen for the extras in the background follow with the white & red on the English flag. The fabulous thing about these extras is that they were the winners of a competition Mars ran earlier this year to appear in the TV ad campaign. I think that this ad is brilliant, and not only is the ad viewable of the TV screen, there is also an extended version available to view online at www.marsbar.co.uk!

Mars has demonstrated what a well thought through ad looks like, it is extremely clever, really fun & encourages everyone, even those not so keen on the sport, to get involved with the World Cup & support the English team!

More World Cup campaigns will be coming your way soon…

Have a wonderful day,


FIFA 2010 the other side

Madness. That’s the only word to describe FIFA World Cup 2010 South Africa. Making the headlines have been the big strikers, players who in days will become larger than life personalities & coaches with their strategy. All of a sudden football fanatics have left hearing Pink Floyd or Metallica and drudging themselves downloading the Kaans football song. From T-shirts of once favorite footballer to wrist bands and bandanas. People debating their hearts out over football statistics. Its all happening here. When wise men proclaim of football being the religion I can evidentially understand why.

The world cup for the first time is being hosted on African soil. More reason for South Africa to rejoice over Morocco & Egypt who also were in the run to host the world cup. But lets look at the other side of this entire event. The side less talked about, the economic side.

FIFA 2010 the other side

In choosing South Africa to bring the World Cup to Africa for the first time, FIFA was not only looking at what the country already offers – world class transport, telecommunications, tourism and sporting infrastructure, and people renowned for their passion and hospitality. They were looking ahead.

South Africa is reported spending in the tunes of R5 billion on building and renovating the ten stadiums where the games are to be staged and R5.2 billion on airport up gradation and R3.5 billion on improvement on road and rail network. The country has also put in significant efforts to ensure that the Gautrain, a high- speed rail link between Johannesburg, Pretoria and Johannesburg International Airport is completed.

Consulting reports speculate that the World Cup will inject approximately R21.3 billion into the South African economy, while generating as estimated R12.7 billion in direct spending and create an estimated 159000 new jobs. This sure is to do South Africa more good than just for the game.

With the estimated 3 million visitors for the tournament, the tourism industry will be on a all time high. This apart all the infrastructural developments carried on are benefiting the various constructions and engineering companies in the region. They all will get a slice of the cake.

The huge injection in the economy has been good but what is more meaning full is the indirect benefits that the region will experience. This will help in a sustainable economic lift in subsequent years. This event will change the perception that a large number of foreign investors hold of South Africa and Africa as a whole. This event will not only contribute hugely to South African socio economic growth, but to the development of the continent as a whole.

This merely is not just going to a sporting event where 90 minutes decide the fate of a team. Where impulse run high, adrenaline starts pumping when at the last minute the striker takes a shot at the goal. Beyond all this high tension entertainment that will merely last for 1 month is a strong economic connotation. It is a way to bring economic prosperity to a country or more so a continent as a whole that has been neglected for ages now.

A Sparkle of World Cup charm

Now I’m no fan of football, but what with a certain sporting event coming up soon, I thought that this would be a fantastic time to have a look at how companies are using the World Cup event to their advantage to persuade customers to purchased their product/services.

I have already seen many ad campaigns with a World Cup theme. I think that incorporating football into the ad will allow companies to highlight their unique marketing messages very effectively. It allows companies to be affiliated with the World Cup, which will in turn allow millions of people to see and interact with their brand on an international level.

Kit Kat – Cross Your Fingers Campaign

This ad campaign is based upon such a clever idea. The well-known Kit Kat product is made up of chocolate fingers, and the campaign effectively associates the product directly with the World Cup fan crossing their finger’s for luck. I love the simplicity of the idea, it’s great. Nestle is also running a promotion which is allowing the company to interact even more with the nation.

Stay tuned for more World Cup Campaigns…

Have a wonderful day,


Bic-cause they’re amazing!

The well-known ball-point pen manufacturer, Bic, is launching an innovative marketing campaign aimed to highlight the level of quality and value in it’s Crystal range. The 12-week campaign, developed by integrated marketing agency Space, hopes to engage customers with the product by challenging consumers to finish the ink in their Bic Crystal pen and return it (with the packaging and receipt) in order to win £10 cashback prize.

This creative idea is based on independent scientific research which concluded that Bic Cystal pens write for longer than rival brands. The campaign uses the strapline “Bic Crystal Takes You Further”, to strengthen this brand message of longevity.

Press ads are planned to feature in lifestyle magazines, including Heat, Now and Closer. The campaign will also use outdoor ads, online marketing, in-store promotion and social media to ensure the marketing activity is fully integrated.

I think this campaign is fabulous! It shows how a simply product, such as a pen, can be the centre point of an exciting promotion. I am keen to give the challenge a go!

Have a wonderful day,


Marketing using Technology-The Sales and Marketing Productivity Systems

Over the past three decades, subtle changes have taken place in the theory and practice of marketing which has been reshaping companies. These changes have also been evident in marketing and management related information systems. The transaction based view and relationship based view of marketing is no more. Today, it is the era of information marketing or as popularly called database marketing.

More and more companies are contemplating the need to control an ever larger and rapidly changing market  structure and the competitive environment. The information processing requirements of companies are expanding  as their industries become more dynamic and volatile. To handle the increasing external and internal information flow and to improve its quality, companies will need to take advantage of the opportunities offered by modern information technology (IT) and information systems (IS). Information System is the intersection of  technology (IT) with the processes and people that drive the business.
Managing marketing information by means of IT has become one of the most vital elements of effective marketing.  By collecting and sharing marketing information and by using it to promote corporate and brand image, IS offer new ways of improving internal efficiencies of the firm. Information systems allow dynamic marketing  communication between personnel in corporate planning, accounting, advertising and sales promotion, product management, channels of distribution and direct sales. Information technology-based marketing database systems (MkIS) have been in vogue for a pretty long time without getting the importance it deserves, especially from the SMEs. Research has indicated that it is the bigger MNCs which have embraced technology for marketing earlier. Traditionally, MkIS has been seen as a system to support marketing management in its decision making. However, it has been found out that the impact in terms of  percentage on sales, have been much more for SMEs. In addition to the management perspective, MkIS can be an essential tool for the entire marketing organization. Some  researchers have classified IS in marketing by the tasks for which they are customarily used.

Few such systems are gaining popularity day by day, thanks to the marketing of the benefits by IBM, Oracle and SAS. One such of the more popular systems, an emerging concept of marketing and sales productivity (MSP) systems, consists of four subsystems: salesperson productivity tools, direct mail, telemarketing and sales management, is getting popular day by day. However, these new, more operational, IS are yet to realize their potential in the context  of the MkIS concept.

Marketing Systems

These sales and marketing productivity tools combine many of the features of database, catalogue and contact management softwares with often a unique opportunity management and quotation module. Also, they combine the rich features provided by decision support systems made for sales forecasting and planning. Research has indicated that sales are often boosted by as much as 30% by adopting an MSP system such as these.
These new generation information systems controls every aspect of your marketing and sales from cold prospecting to even confirmed orders or e-fulfillment. These even help to integrate and co-ordinate sales and marketing activities for sales pipeline tracking and maximize potential return. These systems are expected to encourage best practice and introduces customer focused methodology to the business. These also enable telesales prompts that develop cross selling opportunities which affect the overall sales by often as high as 80%.

It is time for every marketing manager to rethink, how to drive his sales using the information at his disposal and rethink the entire sales strategy.

The Digital Age Cannot Resolve Everything

Its funny how much inadvertently we tend to depend more and more on technology to run our lives. So much so, we fail to understand how much it has actually taken control of the way we do our everyday work. While technology has, with no doubt, made its impression on the progress of mankind, what has it taken away? Few years hence, will we become toys in the hands of intelligent technologies, as our fiction movies sometimes depict?

Technology truly has become so much more than we give it credit for. Wonder when the days for e-mailing pizzas as attachments will come. Any ideas Google, are you listening?

Or is there a cause for a serious alarm?