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Halifax: It’s Not Me, It’s You

This post has been brewing for quite some time now. I’ve been a very lazy blogger of late – posting YouTube clips does not a world class blog make.

(NB – Not that I’m labouring under the misapprehension that this is a world class blog you understand – but at least it’s better than some of the shitty blogs built by clueless dolts who think a boring corporate blog equals a cutting edge soshall meedya strategy.)

Having said that – this post will of course feature some YouTube clips – in order for me to illustrate my points. But there will also be some writing too. Mmmmm writing.

So, to the point. Or, erm points… Whatever.

I think the new Halifax ads are absolutely fucking gash, so I thought I’d write them a letter.

Dear Halifax,

You and I have been together since I was 5 when my Dad opened me up an account – I think the account was called the Little Xtra Club. You had some sort of Henry’s Cat rip off as your mascot. But I loved you then. You used to send me stickers and stuff.

Over the years your advertising has been kinda vanilla. In fact I remember nothing of your adverts at all before Howard, the bottle-top bespectacled wonder. To be honest I only thought the campaign was ok – but lots of other people loved it… He even appeared on an episode of the Office (which is the best bloody show in the world, ever).

Now I understand that all advertising campaigns must come to an end, as such poor Howard went the way of the gold blend coffee couple.

But seriously, I’m wondering what in the name of arse you were thinking with your new creative.

Lemme break it down for you.

You expect us, the viewers to believe that you’ve some sort of radio station, somewhere in your ivory tower. A radio station seemingly staffed entirely by ex-cashiers and the like. None of them are very good at being radio DJ wotsits. In fact they suck really hard. Which I’m guessing is where the humour is supposed to come in. Trouble is, it isn’t funny.  Not any of it. It’s just bloody embarrassing.

And there’s more:

And more:

And there’s even more… but I can’t seem to find them on YouTube and it was depressing me so I stopped looking.

I’m kinda at the end of my tether here Halifax. To date I’ve given you about all a girl can give. My current account; various savings accounts; a credit card and of course my mortgage is with you.

I’m not saying you have to bring back Howard, but seriously; unless you can come up with an advertising campaign which doesn’t make me embarrassed to bank with you I’m going to start seeing other financial institutions.

It’s not me, it’s you… I just don’t feel like you understand me any more.

Love,

Hannah

xxx

PS I don’t want to pay for a current account. Particularly not when it doesn’t even come with stickers.

I Heart Charlie Brooker

Read Charlie’s rant about the World Cup (he’s also a bit rude about Avatar – which I entirely approve of).

I would quite like to marry him. But I can’t, because he’s already engaged.

Bah.

Take Me Out

Dear God I watch some bad TV. I really must stop it.

Surely there could be something better which I could be doing with my time… Like possibly gouging my eyes out with teaspoons.

I just caught the last 15 minutes of Take Me Out. It’s dreadful. I mean really dreadful. Seemingly the idea is that a gaggle of women – I’m guessing 30 or so – doll themselves up (actually doll seems to be the operative word – there were lots of Barbie types – and more sequins than you could shake a stick at… Perhaps that’s where I’m going wrong… There’s not enough sequins in my wardrobe) then stand behind little desks with buzzers on.

A boy comes down in a lift type contraption and his aim is to get himself a date.

The girls get to opt out of the process at any time by pressing their buzzer. If they press the buzzer their light goes out and the boy doesn’t get to pick them.

Effectively there’s three rounds. The girls can opt out purely based on the look of the guy when he comes down in the elevator. That my loves is round one.

In round two the boy performs some kind of ‘talent’. Hmmm it’s a little like a beauty pageant. The girls of course can decide that his talent sucks ass and can again opt out at this point.

Finally in round three they show a hideous big brother stylee audition video. Again here the girls can elect to opt out.

Now the boy gets to call the shots… Assuming of course that anyone’s still got their lights on… The phrase the lights are on but no one’s home springs to mind at this point.

So if there are more than two girls left the boy gets to turn off the lights of those who he doesn’t want to take out. Nice.

Finally with just two girls left he gets to ask them a question, and from this he will then decide who he wants to go on a date with.

It’s not at all shallow. Seriously, I mean it’s obvious to me that some very real, lasting relationships are bound to follow. It’s like a meeting of minds. These people are connecting on a very deep level. No really, they are.

Bah.

At least on Blind Date there was a chance that you could go on a nice holiday (although mostly people picked the envelope which said Blackpool rather than the Bahamas).

I think the peeps on this show get to go to Manchester’s premier nightclub.

Still, I suppose that there’s every chance that if (shock, horror) you find that you’ve nothing in common with your date you can always nip to the loo and then not come back…

 

Image credit evelynishere

So Who the Devil Are Thinkbox?

There’s an ad running on TV in the UK at the moment – a guy on a therapist’s couch recites lines from various famous ads –

So little Mummy and me were sat watching Christmas TV (I’m guessing it was either Poirot or Miss Marple – it usually is) and the advert came on.

Mumsy pipes up – “Who are Thinkbox?”

Sadly enough I happen to know (that’s what working in marketing does to you, turns you into a blurry know all) that they are the marketing body for commercial TV in the UK – basically they’re to TV what the IAB is to online. 

So essentially they’ve created a TV ad to remind everyone how great (or perhaps effective) advertising on TV is.

Makes sense, right?

Well, maybe. Or maybe not. TV advertising is an effective medium… but it’s mass market. The idea of extolling the virtues of TV advertising in a mass market way seems a little odd. Only a itsy bitsy teeny weeny percentage (yep that’s an officially recognised mathsy statistical term) will be in control of a marketing or advertising budget.

An even itsy bisty teeny weenier percentage of those will have a marketing or advertising budget that will stretch to a TV campaign. These peeps are the ‘target market’.

And of those who are ‘target market’ – how many are going to be convinced by this campaign in any case?

Don’t get me wrong I think it’s a ‘nice’ ad (sorry if that sounds mean, I feel a little bit mean today). They’ve picked out some memorable ads.

But, is it the best way for them to reach their target market? I’m not so sure.

And, perhaps most importantly – given that they are the marketing body for TV advertising – shouldn’t their TV campaign (in an ideal world) be a glowing example of how to use this fantastically effective medium?

Lindsey Clay, Marketing Director for Thinkbox says:

“This is something we’ve wanted to do for some time and we’re delighted our shareholders have invested to make it possible. We obviously believe in the unrivalled power of TV to deliver business success and it has never been more important to make sure every brand understands what TV can do for them.”

Lindsey, I know I’m pissing on your cornflakes but your objective “to make sure every brand understands what TV can do for them” is woolly at best.

How are you going to measure that? TV reaches people, not brands.

Your objective, surely is to ensure that the right people, at the right organisations consider TV advertising as part of their marketing mix.

Will your TV campaign do that? Maybe.

But, is your TV campaign the most effective way to fulfil your objective? I’d suggest maybe not. Which coming from the very body extolling the efficacy of TV – well it jars somewhat, doesn’t it?

Wallace & Gromit Google Doodle

It’s Wallace & Gromit’s 20th birthday – and they’ve got their own Google Doodle:

 

This might just be my favourite Google Doodle to date.

 

Update – I might have changed my mind. Today in America they got this Google Doodle:

It’s Sesame Street’s 40th Birthday. Which means Sesame Street is older than me… Which makes me feel younger – you can see where I’m going with this, right?