Articles tagged "advertising"

Swedish brand Svedka Vodka is taking Halloween marketing to terrifying new heights with clever campaign ads that ‘haunt’ users.

Svedka is targeting digital-savvy millennials with seriously spooky use of cookies and banner ads, creating eerie banners that stalk users and remind them their every click is being measured, followed and analysed by advertisers.

The terrifying campaign starts with a forced-view pre-roll ‘Curse Video’ on the Svedka website which, once watched, sparks the targeting and retargeting; over and over, the user is hit with unsettling messages - mixed in with suggestions for Svedka Vodka cocktails, of course.

But it doesn’t stop there - the curse messages following the user take information gathered about their internet usage after leaving the Svenda site, enabling the ads to ‘know’ when the user is on mobile, the time they’re online and even if they’re using private browsing.

The messages range from ‘I know you like the wrong vodka’ to the genuinely alarming ‘You shouldn’t be up this late’ and ‘On your phone, calling for help?’.

The only way to break the curse is simple, but potentially worse than the curse itself: visiting the Svedka website and (scream) sharing clickbait articles. If any of the user’s friends click on the article, they’ll find themselves watching the curse video and the whole thing starts again.

It’s probably one of the best Halloween campaigns we’ve seen - at least, that’s what we would say if we hadn’t just watched the video.

You can visit the Svedka Vodka site and curse yourself here if you dare, or find out more on the safety of The Drum’s website.

A creative agency has successfully freed the nipple - on daytime TV advertising, at least.

Breast cancer charity CoppaFeel! won the right to show a bare female breast during daylight hours as part of latest ad campaign ‘Trust Your Touch’, in a video demonstrating how women should check their boobs for anything unusual to spot early signs of cancer.

The notoriously silly-for-a-serious-cause brand’s latest video uses plenty of double-en-tendre and word play to educate young audiences on how best to check themselves for lumps.

A voiceover advises women to ‘point, poke, pat, pull, fiddle, twiddle, jiggle, juggle…’, a series of boob-shaped items help depict each motion, from two wobbly jellies topped with raspberries to disembodied hands squeezing the jam out of two plump doughnuts.

‘We rely on our touch for an incredible amount of things, without even thinking about it,’ says creative lead Lucy Aston.

‘It’s the perfect tool for checking for any changes. There’s no right or wrong way, it’s just important to get hands on and know your boobs. If this campaign can encourage women to have the confidence to regularly touch their boobs, it could help detect signs of breast cancer earlier.’

You can find out more or watch the ad here.


A new exhibition opening in London is celebrating the work of female graphic designers of the 20th and 21st century.

Poster Girls is a new collection at the London Transport Museum with over 150 posters created by female creatives to highlight the contribution of women to the British design scene.

From big names such as Enid Marx to lesser-known artists, the works are an eclectic mix of styles from the last 100 years displayed in chronological order to demonstrate the influence of the era on design work.

The posters are all for what is now TfL, encouraging people to take the Underground to Camden or Euston or to head out to Kent for a day out, all offering a fascinating glimpse into the past.

As well as showcasing the posters, the London Transport Museum is hosting a series of talks and debates with big industry names between now and January 2019.

You can find out more about the Poster Girls exhibition at the London Transport Museum website.


A few years ago KFC was watching sales decline and closing stores; now the fried chicken trade is booming again. So how did all this happen?

At last week’s ANA Masters of Marketing, KFC’s US president and CCO Kevin Hochman joined Wieden + Kennedy, KFC’s advertiser of choice, to discuss how exactly the brand make such a spectacular comeback.

According to Hochman, a number of factors sparked the chain’s decline: the death of the original founder, the larger-than-life Colonel Harland David Sanders who promoted the company shamelessly for years; the name change to KFC in 1991, which sparked (false) rumours that the brand couldn’t use the word ‘chicken’ in marketing materials any more as it served GM chickens; and, in Hochman’s own words, a total failure to connect with  young people.

In 2015, KFC’s parent company Yum Brands announced plans to invest $185m to revitalise the dying brand, acquiring advertising agency Wieden + Kennedy to help along the way.

The first step was to bring back the Colonel, first in the form of comedian Darrell Hammond and later as Rob Lowe, Norm MacDonald and Mad Men’s Vincent Kartheiser.

The original Colonel’s exuberant, extroverted and often eccentric persona was the basis for his return; diving into the KFC archives, the creative team unearthed gems such as an ad voiced by the Colonel himself encouraging those enjoying ‘celestial boating season’ to sample his fried chicken.

“We weren’t sure what celestial boating season was,” said Hochman, “but we liked the idea that it was diving very deep into a specific genre. That’s something that was pretty modern and ahead of its time because that’s what we do today.”

Hochman continues that the brand is determined to keep the brand fresh and unexpected, and frequently changing the Colonel helps with this. Away from TV advertising, plenty of quirky stunts have kept the viral news wheel turning, from romance novels featuring Colonel Sanders and fried chicken-scented candles and flavoured nail varnish to sending a Zinger chicken sandwich into space.

“These stunts do keep us in the news,” Hochman told The Drum. “If we’re in the news more, and the coverage is positive, we tend to get better sales. We see that.”

Resulting in 12 consecutive quarters of same-store sales growth for KFC, and continued growth forecast for the next two quarters, the strategy is clearly working, and shows a fascinating insight into how, with the right attitude and some big ideas, a brand really can turn its fortunes on its head.

You can read the full article here.


An insurance company is using a pint-sized hero to spot - and save others from - all kinds of hazards.

IAG’s latest campaign shows a young girl roller-skating through her neighbourhood avoiding dangers including sunburn, panes of glass and untied shoelaces in the short clip.

The campaign’s message, supported by OOH, is that by working together, AMI and its customers can make the world a safer place. It stems from a number of safety initiatives launched by the brand, from free helmets for cyclists to care packages for vulnerable families.

‘Most of us think of insurance as a safety net, the ambulance at the bottom of the cliff,’ says Alex Geale of IAG, ‘But we’d like to think we can broaden that remit to help people be safer.’

‘Imagine if we did look out for each other just a little bit more, if the world was a safer place. Perhaps we could all enjoy life a little more with fewer fears?’

You can watch the ad in full below (and it’s worth it just for the Digable Planets soundtrack....):

The days of the catalogue were thought to be over, but with advertisers still falling over themselves to harness its power, the format is set to make its digital comeback - on Facebook.

From 19.6 million catalogues sent out in the US in 2007 to just 9.8 million dropping through letterboxes in 2016, the catalogue has seen a dramatic decline with the rise of online shopping. Facebook, however, is planning to counter that.

The social media giant is currently rolling out a brand new ad format called ‘lifestyle templates’, which look and feel like a digital catalogue but offer the added bonus of allowing customers to buy whatever takes their fancy directly from the Facebook advert.

Graham Mudd, director of monetization marketing at Facebook, said: ‘There are elements of the catalogue which are really unique and certainly worth replicating, such as their storytelling potential, but I think there are some elements that we’re bringing to the experience that are really specific to mobile and to Facebook.’

While the catalogue has traditionally existed as a source of inspiration to encourage potential customers to place an order at a later date, the latest tech means it’s possible to provide that inspiration whilst making it more convenient than ever before to purchase instantly. Plus, with Facebook’s mind-boggling amount of user data, the ads can be hyper-targeted to each customer.

You can find out more about the catalogues - sorry, lifestyle templates - here.


Two new advertising campaigns for luxury clothing brand Moncler have employed legendary photographer Annie Leibovitz and Chinese artist Lui Bolin, aka Invisible Man, to create mind-bending print ads.

Bolin found fame creating optical illusions in which he uses body paint to blend himself into nature; in the ad, he dons a Moncler snowsuit and uses his prodigious skill to paint the suit and become one with nature, making himself barely visible in a range of scenes.

For the Spring/Summer campaign, Leibovitz snaps Bolin ‘disappearing’ into lush vegetation and forest settings, while for Fall/Winter Bolin seems to vanish into Iceland’s frozen glaciers.

They might be advertisements, but these mind-bending visual puzzles will make you do a double take and, as a collaboration between two expert artists, they’re just as enjoyable as standalone artworks.

You can see more of the work here.

With the first solar eclipse in decades passing over the US this week, it wasn’t just the public that got excited: brands wasted no time in jumping onto the eclipse-based marketing bandwagon.

Banana sellers Chiquita took to Twitter to throw the idea of a solar eclipse out of the window and instead advise followers to look out for the ‘banana sun’, explaining how an eclipse can ‘temporarily turn the sun into a giant banana’.

DoubleTree by Hilton also joined in the fun, using a cookie and a glass of milk to mimic the trajectory of the moon and sun during an eclipse and encouraging fans to do the same using the hashtag #CookiEclipse.

Pizza Hut suggested an innovative new use for their packaging, sharing a how-to video demonstrating how to view the eclipse safely using nothing but a pizza box.

And cruise company Royal Caribbean went all out and had Bonnie Tyler singing her 1983 hit, Total Eclipse of the Heart, during the eclipse on their Oasis of the Seas cruise ship.

You can see more eclipse-inspired fun from brands here.


A hefty 83% of senior marketers believe that industry jargon does nothing but complicate the world of digital marketing, according to a survey by media marketing consultancy NewsBase.

1000 global marketers were asked to identify the biggest issues facing the industry in the survey, with 8 in 10 respondents citing industry lingo as a problem and accusing it of ‘littering’ the digital marketing landscape.

Many respondents even felt that industry bodies had a responsibility to crack down on the weird and wonderful (and often nonsensical) language of marketers.

A LinkedIn article published earlier this year highlighted the most overused buzzwords on user profiles, which included ‘specialized’, ‘leadership’, ‘strategic’ and, everyone’s favourite, ‘passionate’.

B2B Marketing, however, condemned phrases such as ‘action this’, ‘touch base’, ‘think outside the box’ and ‘bleeding edge’ to the banned bin.

Other issues raised included a demand for greater external monitoring to prevent ad fraud and verify audiences, and 96% of marketers questioned suggested they’d like increased collaboration between brands, agencies, publishers and ad tech providers.

Should the industry really crack down on overusing certain words, or is it a lot of fuss about nothing?


Who doesn’t love a throwback Thursday? We’re looking back at the good, bad and downright mad in vintage advertising, from McDonald’s trying to market itself as a healthy snack to some frankly bizarre cigarette promotions.

Despite the lack of Photoshop or any digital software, advertisers of the past still had a keen sense of creativity, humour and daring. Marketing Maybelline lip glosses - rather saucily - as ‘forbidden fruits’ was just one way they set out to shock parents and attract rebellious teens.

Marketing and design enthusiast Anil Kiral has collected the huge archive of vintage ads and now you can use them to inspire your next project - or maybe just have a laugh at.

You can see the full archive here.


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