How banning Iceland’s advert boosted their brand

How banning Iceland’s advert boosted their brand

For many brands, their Christmas advert is the pinnacle of the advertising calendar. If that advert was banned from television it would be sensible to assume it’d be a devastating blow to a brand’s Christmas campaign. However, Iceland have managed to use their advert’s ban to their advantage.  On November 9th, Iceland tweeted “You won’t see our Christmas advert on TV this year, because it was banned. But we want to share Rang-tan’s story with you… Will you help us share the story?”  You may have seen their advert before, it was released by Greenpeace a few months ago. But Iceland have used it to highlight their stance on palm oil.  The advert was blocked by ClearCast for being “overtly political.” An advertising disaster? Not for Iceland.  Their original tweet has 90,215 re-tweets, 95,206 likes and 5,100 comments.  It has been shared by James Corden, Stephen Fry, Bill Bailey and Paloma Faith. James Corden’s single tweet was viewed 13 million times.  The story has been covered by The Guardian, the New York Times and the Telegraph.  A petition to get ClearCast to reconsider their judgement has over 590,000 signatures.  The video of the advert on YouTube has received over 3 million views. Their 2017 advert only drew 97,000 views by comparison.   People have commented that Iceland knew the ad would be banned but marketing director Neil Hayes has denied this.  “There’s some compensation is the fact that it’s gained a bit of momentum and people are watching it on social media. But I would still have loved to put it on primetime TV as our main ad,” Neil Hayes What...
The countdown has begun!

The countdown has begun!

It’s that time of year when the Christmas advert competition begins to heat up, and here are some of the contestants so far. Aldi – Kevin the Carrot 2018’s Aldi Christmas advert sees the return of Kevin the Carrot, but this year he’s driving a truck that looks a lot like the iconic Coca-Cola lorry. The advert ends on a cliffhanger (literally), and it looks we’ll have to wait for a second advert will reveal Kevin’s fate. While we think Kevin is a sweet character, the use of the Coca-Cola truck seems as odd choice. Argos – Christmas Fool Another brand employing a character for their festive advert is Argos. Their gremlin-like creature causes chaos around the house, until the Argos delivery man shows up and splats him. We can all relate to the carnage the character causes, and Argos’ same-day delivery is definitely appealing! Amazon – Can you Feel It? This ad features singing boxes, similar to a style they used earlier in the year. We think the singing boxes don’t feel very festive to us, perhaps because the song isn’t a Christmas classic? What do you think? Tesco – However you do Christmas Another brand sticking to a similar style is Tesco with their “Food Love Stories” campaign. It features families saying what Christmas means to them; chocolate, sprouts, staying in, going out etc… Similar to the Amazon advert, we think Tesco could have done more than using a tried and tested style.  Debenhams – Do a bit of Debenhams There’s no better feeling than when you’ve really nailed your gift choice! The Debenhams advert taps into...
‘Customer experience is as much about perception as reality’

‘Customer experience is as much about perception as reality’

Increasing satisfaction doesn’t always require costly service improvements – sometimes shifting expectations is equally effective for much less investment. In the early 2000s, the management at Houston airport was dismayed by the number of passenger complaints it was receiving. The main issue was delays at the baggage carousel: by this point passengers were often at the end of their tether and even trivial delays tested their patience. In response, the airport approved a hefty budget for more baggage handlers. At first, the cash looked well spent as waiting times dropped to eight minutes, about average for an airport. But complaints remained stubbornly high. The authorities considered hiring more baggage handlers but that was prohibitively expensive. Instead, the managers took a psychological approach: they focused on improving the subjective experience rather than the objective reality. One fact they had discovered earlier became key: people spent about a minute walking to the carousel and eight minutes waiting. The authorities re-routed passengers after passport control so they had to walk further. This meant they spent about eight minutes walking to the carousel and just a minute waiting. Even though the time they picked up their bags was the same, complaints plummeted. In the words of Alex Stone, who reported on the Houston redesign for the New York Times, “the experience of waiting is defined only partly by the objective length of the wait”. What matters more is perception and an unoccupied wait feels far longer than an occupied one. The academic evidence This claim about unoccupied time is not just an anecdote. In 2002, three Dutch researchers – Gerrit Antonides, Peter Verhoef...
UK government to hit Facebook, Google and Amazon with digital services tax

UK government to hit Facebook, Google and Amazon with digital services tax

The government will soon impose a ‘digital services tax’ on UK revenues generated by “established tech giants” like Facebook, Google and Amazon. The 2% levy was announced by chancellor Philip Hammond in the Autumn budget today (29 October). It will come into force in 2020 following a period of consultation. The announcement follows on from heavy criticism about the amount of tax tech behemoths pay to the treasury. In most instances they are gleaned from ad revenues – in comparison to their UK profit. How much tax do tech giants pay? Facebook UK revenues: £1.26bn Tax: £15.8m (2017) Amazon UK revenues: £72m Tax: £4.5m (2017) Google UK revenues: £1bn Tax: £36.4m (2016) Snapchat UK revenues: £26m Tax: £360K (15 months to Dec 2016) Twitter UK revenues: £76m Tax: £1.2m (2015) Without going into detail, Hammond said the levy wouldn’t apply to “small UK startups.” But instead be targeted at profitable digital services companies that generate “at least £500m a year in global revenue”. Kill or cure?  Ahead of the announcement, IAB chief executive Jon Mew argued that such a levy risked harming the UK digital ad market. “While the government has said it wants to focus new measures on larger businesses, it would be difficult to avoid collateral damage across the sector and a negative effect on competition,” Mew warned. “A tax on revenue would create a disincentive for competitors to set up and grow in the UK market. And would impact on mid-market players who drive competition and provide choice.” Mew suggested that if the government was truly committed to leading the charge on innovation-friendly regulation that supports the growth of the tech sector then...
What will advertising on voice sound like?

What will advertising on voice sound like?

The voice boom is coming, so brands need start shifting their focus: Forget what advertisements in the future will look like – what will they sound like? The rising popularity of voice-enabled devices, be they digital assistants or smart home speakers, means advertising on such platforms are emerging – and paid opportunities are almost non-existent. Consumer trusts isn’t there Microsoft’s head of evangelism for search, Christi Olson, said her company isn’t yet advertising on its platforms because consumer trust isn’t there yet. The company ran a survey that found consumers are unsure of how their data is being used, and when exactly the devices are listening. Cautious advertising This friction may hinder paid advertising opportunities, but it isn’t deterring consumers from engaging with voice-enabled devices. Information from Alpine.AI shows there are over one billion voice searches per month on smart assistants, as of January 2018. Jim Cridlin, global head of innovation at Mindshare, explains this consumer-platform relationship as a ‘trust truce,’ where consumers are using a device that meets their needs, while companies like Microsoft, Google, Amazon and Apple are taking a cautiously deliberate approach to advertising so they don’t alienate users. “It’s not that brands don’t want to take advantage of [paid advertising opportunities],” Cridlin claims. “I think it’s the other side of the equation. It’s the platform owners that aren’t yet ready for brands to advertise their content. They want to get the behavior in place, go from the trust truce to one of total trust, before they introduce advertising on their platforms.” Using data to enhance The simple fact that speaking is easier for most users than typing means voice-enabled...