Frijj – incredibles campaign

Whilst doing the mundane weekly shop in Tesco this week I stumbled across the new range from Frijj – 3 brand new milkshakes that had absoultely no appeal to me but, at a guess, I’d say I’m not the target audience for these raspberry jam, honeycomb choc or Sticky coffee range! Admittedly I stumbled across them as they had taken off the whole of the reduced items section (something that might not suggest positive sales or poor over-ordering by the Tesco buyers) but this isn’t a critique of stock replenishment at my local store…

New Toffee frijj milkshake flavour

Toffee frijj - not my cup of tea!

Having a snoop around online when I got back I soon found this is a new brand launch and has been supported by a digital campaign to embrace the unexpected – with an initial digital game of “You LOL you lose” which will be followed in September with a pet translator app…

The game sees you confronted with multiple YouTube clips and using webcam technology you have to keep a straight face.

Unfortunately the technology is hyper sensitive and is a very false environment. The slightest twitch of the head, sticking your tongue out or even fast blinking (yes I tried all of the above) causes you to lose even if you stay firmly straight faced. The video clip I stumbled across promoting the game equally shows individuals with such an exagerated laugh I was begining to wonder if I simply dont find YouTube funny as I’ve certainly never found anything as amusing to justify a head back gaffaw – a gentle giggle and a share maybe…
With the predictable share functionality to beat and share your scores amongst your Facebook or Twitter clan this campaign feels like it could have done something much bigger, or cleverer. The concept of using facial recognition for scoring is great but due to its hyper-sensitive and false environment it really feels this is a try it once gimmick – maybe like the milkshakes….

Social specialists (Arghhhhhh……!!!!)

No really.

I get that when new channels emerge new specialists spring up. Mobile = mobile agencies. AR = AR agencies. Apps = Application agencies I agree with this, I’d use these agencies and I understand the logic that not all agencies have all the skills (nor should have the skills to do everything under one roof) but what I am getting increasingly frustrated with is agencies that call themselves “social”.

Social agencies, as they call themselves, are positioning themselves as the future of digital. Clients, whom previously have never seen senior support are suddenly being asked “how will this campaign work on Twitter/Facebook” and, in response, we’re seeing new agencies being added to rosters as the social specialists.

Okay – I work at 20:20, a full service digital agency and yes, I’m responsible for social media so perhaps I am bias BUT I dont believe the future of social is going to be maintaning a brands Facebook Page or Twitter account. Give it 18 months and consumers (and brands) will be sick of receiving status updates from brands asking them what they are up to this weekend and, yes, yet again, we will be back full circle to it being about content. Yes social agencies can create applications (or at least have the ability to outsource them) but it’s back to the age old problem. Digital is constantly changing. A good full service agency will evolve to take into consideration these skills because, of course, they are VITAL to the success of the brand and use these, along with the skills and experience it’s learnt over the last 10 – 15 years to understand it’s role in the digital strategy.

Facebook isn’t a strategy – just like ITV isn’t a strategy. It’s a tool. There are lots of them about. Understanding what’s in that toolbox and using everything to the best of the ability is what makes great digital campaigns and for the future creating meaningful connections via social channels is key in that success.

The banner ad….

I rarely spend time in my role thinking about the humble banner ad – they’re something that comes through as a given request on a media plan and sort of just gets done by the studio.

Earlier on I saw a study by Google that spoke of a fall in CTR year on year (0.09% down from 0.1%). Whilst only 1 click in every 1000 feels extremely low when you compare that to that age old, did they actually read our magazine ad (let alone bother to action anything on the back of it) it suddenly feels slightly more positive.


CTR by media typeIt does make you wonder though whether creativity has gone out of the display ads. I remember  would labour over a display creative brief and agonise over whether this is the right ad for the target audience, the brand and the website. Now, more often than not, these briefs go straight over my head. Seen as production jobs not as a creative, or consumer challenge. Is this really the case? Should we not be nailing creativity in each and everything we do?

Interestingly I think it was the arrival of social and the focus more on getting the content right that saw this shift. Suddenly the destination has become more important than the journey to get there because, if the interaction is right, they’ll tell their mates and you wont have to spend a penny more on the ads…

This is a naive approach and, if anything, this article serves as a reminder to me that each and every stage of the journey needs to be as important – how to weave it into the thinking at the start needs to become critical so it doesn’t become that forgotten craft and CTR continue to plummet as creativity, and consumer apathy, increases to our faithful internet wallpaper friends – All hail the banner!!

I talk, I watch, I tweet…

I was looking into some stats the other day around the usage of social media and how it’s shaping how we use (and discuss) the big events in the news.

If you start off and use the latest Kate / William Royal wedding saga it’s evident how much digital chat it got purely from looking at your own social media pages but, in actual fact it score 74 updates  per second (facebook) and 68 updates per second (Twitter) – Unbelievable numbers but still only rated as Number 6 in the top 10 web events of all time. 

Kate and WIlliam Royal wedding balcony kiss

Royal wedding: 2011.

So what was the top 3 (according to Akami)

  1. World cup qualifiers/Wimbledon match   (June 24th) :   10m vpm (meaning 10 million page views per minute: to the web)
  2. Champions league / European cup   (Nov 3rd):                     6m vpm
  3. Wold cup championships   (June 3rd):                                       6m vpm

Interestingly again is that this trend appears to only be going from strength to strength as all of the top 10 happened in the last 12 months (suggesting ongoing growth or accessibility of WWW) but also 4 were current affairs driven and 6 were sport driven.

Even when we can’t be out of home, involved in the action be it with mates or in the local – we’re still craving opinon, debate and banter – and logging in is giving us the ability to do just that.

For brands the impact of real time advertising to move to the next level is immense (for brands brave enough to take that leap) and, for people, we continue to shun real world and become more involved than ever in relationship with our brightly lit, temptingly tappable, laptop friends.

Social media rage…

So, I was on Facebook again (that default activity when you’re up at 6am, a little bit bored and you find yourself on Facebook without consciously even navigating your way there) and got rage at yet another brand, giving me yet another pointless update.

Yes I’m enjoying the sunshine, having a good easter, the bunny has got me eggs, I’ve had a roast dinner and the BBQ has been on which I enjoyed with chicken and a glass of Jacques cider (seeing as you asked) but for the love of god why does a brandreally care…

You don’t.

AND more importantly (as your digital agency should be pointing out)  you shouldn’t.

I think there is a big piece of education work here for brands… Would you have sent out an email everyday asking people how they are? (NO) would you have posted a constant stream on your website for people to read what they already know is happening? (NO) Would you talk in you TV advert about the fact it’s BBQ time even though you’re a healthcare brand? (NO)

so please STOP doing it in social media. It’s not big and, although someone has probably told you it is, it isn’t clever.

I don’t want to harp on about content is king and relevancy is queen (see other posts!) but go back to the basics (please!!) social media isn’t a stream of status updates, nor is it a competitions application. It should be part of your digital strategy not a stand alone broadcast .

Right that’s more than enough Facebook anger for one day. Back to the sunshine….

The death of books?

I love books. I like choosing a book by its, spine, a cover, a good review and I love picking it up and turning the pages.

I’ve always said I can’t imagine reading a book on an eReader but recently I’ve started to question how long I will resist getting one. I’m now used to reading news on my laptop, opting for paperless comms from brands and browsing pretty much anything on my iPhone.

Looking at a recent statement from amazon they stated that their US book business saw is now selling more Kindle books than paperback books. Since the beginning of the year, for every 100 paperback books Amazon has sold, the Company has sold 115 Kindle books.

Does that make paperback readers a minority or simply mean those owning an eReader buy more books?

Although the UK is by no means seeing penetration at this level, Chris North, managing director of Amazon, said that the Uk was heading in the same direction…

So, how long till I get a kindle… I reckon by 2012 I’ll have succumbed!

Another terrible campaign… this time its No7

So after I declared my hatred of the irritating pantene/cat deeley/swissh campaign I was upset this morning to see another ad that appears to be a direct copy.

Dont upload a swish, upload a wink….. *yawn*

– these ads are so similar I’m sure the same concept boards could have almost been used.

That said Boots have at least made some positive changes within their exquisite curl campaign…

  • The campaign URL is more memorable
  • They allow video and photo uploads
  • The campaign sits within Facebook allowing user interaction with the brand, and the brand is responding quickly
  • The prizes, although low value, are encouraging trial by proving lots of product winners

And No7, despite your terrible advertising, I’ll still buy your mascara – because it’s good, not because of a wink, and an exquisite curl sample would be lovely 😉

Lets shift our budget to social media…

Digital sometimes feels like one big circle. From shifting all money onto banners, to websites, to emails, to search and now to social one thing is clear – brands are still focusing on one part of the channel rather than a diverse channel that has many components.

I’m not disagreeing with the fact that social media is inevitably worthy of a brands attention – it is. But what I would be wary of is brands seeing it as a replacement of their website. Somewhere that they can now house content instead of a brand site.

To name one example Brand republic said yesterday…

according to comScore, Bacardi’s unique visitor numbers fell 77% between 2009 and 2010 – it is understood that the company will be shifting up to 90% of its digital spend to its presence on Facebook in the next one to two years.

Does Bacardi really need to shift this high proportion to Facebook? What happens IF the platform as a whole sees a decline? What’s the context of this quote? Is it shifting it’s spend (and it’s content) to facebook OR shifting it’s advertising focus to Facebook? (with it’s content being enabled to live across an array of platforms). With a decline in brand site visitors it makes sense to house content where the consumers already are but what brands do need to be mindful of is that simply having a presence is still not enough.

Facebook (and the majority of social networks) work on a real-time basis. Brands who simply post a status update and “expect” consumers to see it will gradually see a decline in engagement as consumers feeds get more and more crowded, and like the email mechanic that came before it, begin to simply ignore or unsubscribe from messages that are too frequent or irrelevant (which I’ve ranted about before!). Brands will simply end up in the same scenario but a different platform – people will ignore them on Facebook rather than ignore their brand sites.

For me it’s not a channel challenge, it’s still a creative challenge.  If it’s a good idea, that you advertise and tell people about, that people then talk about and that people then engage with its irrelevent where it sits. It’s the content, not the final platform delivering that content, that is still king.


Okay – so I know it’s February, and I know Xmas is well and truly over (and they are selling easter bunnies alongside valentines crap in my local garage) BUT I stumbled across this viral when I was looking over the IAB showcase winners from last year and it made me chuckle!

I love the way AKQA, and the client, have embraced all the qualities that Pot Noodle is. Slightly grim looking, slightly (okay very) chavvy and possibly consumed by the lower end of the socio-economic scale that most brands will quietly omit from their marketing efforts.

It makes a pleasant change from brands that crop the reality out of their marketing in favour of that one sexy consumer who “happened” to fall into shot!

Love it!


It’s good to see the good people at Orange are ressurecting the internet balloon race  that saw fantastic results and a whole host of awards for Poke London a couple of years ago.

I think the problem with digital is that people get so hell bent on innovating they forget that there is room to improve on campaigns that have previously worked. Admittedly this doesn’t give brands the right to role out the same campaigns year in, year out, with small design tweaks and copy changes (to save in production) and yes, I’ve had to ressurect plenty of those for clients… But to find a formula that works, isn’t yet tired, and can be improved on is something that marketers have done for years but seems more frowned upon in the digital space.

Will be interesting to see how this campaign works in relation to the last when it launches on the 8th November but, until then, don’t forget to get your balloon!