Tag Archives | advertising

Feeling emotional

rolls royce adWe’re rapidly heading towards 29 March 2015, when those of us in the UK have to set our clocks forward one hour for British Summer Time.

I don’t know about you, but I always have to look up how to do it. I’m not the only one, as shown by this quote from Simple: Conquering the Crisis of Complexity by Alan Siegel and Irene Etzhorn:

“The more luxurious your car, the more likely its owner’s manual will fill your entire glove compartment, and you still won’t be able to reset the clock.”

The world’s most famous copywriter is probably David Ogilvy. And his most famous ad is probably the one he wrote for the Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud in 1958.

The headline read: Continue Reading →


So much wrong with this sign…

Welcome sign

On arrival at Beckenham Junction station, visitors see this sign. There’s so much wrong with it, I hardly know where to begin. Let’s unpick it, piece by painful piece.

At the top it’s headed ‘Infopoint’ and ‘Welcome to Beckenham’. So let’s assume its objective is to provide people with useful local information.

Below the heading is a giant ad for a Chinese Restaurant. In Bromley. Which is the neighbouring town. If the ad does its job and persuades you to go there, you will leave Beckenham immediately. I’m sure that’s not the intention. It is slightly worrying that they were unable to sell that ad space to a restaurant that’s actually in Beckenham.

Below that ad is a map of Beckenham. This might actually be useful, except it’s at knee-level and the road names are so tiny you would have to crawl on the ground to read it. It’s not fit for purpose.

Both sides of the sign are given over to advertising, which presumably funds it.

However, most of the ads are badly thought out too. For example: Continue Reading →


People LOVE their Macs. Nobody loves a PC.

I’ve recently had a nightmare with Microsoft. I pay a monthly subscription to use their cloud-based Office for Mac software, but the system suddenly withdrew my access, claiming that my username and password were wrong.

They weren’t.

I Googled for solutions. Microsoft websites are horrible to navigate but eventually I found and read the knowledgebase. I contacted support. I had instant chat conversations that led nowhere. I phoned helplines but got lost in the hell of “press number this for that”. I tweeted them in despair but got no acknowledgement.

Five days later, my Mac prompted me to download an Office update. This solved the problem but left me with the impression that Microsoft just don’t care about customer service.

On the other hand, Apple products just work. Their website is clean and clear and their people are human.

That’s why customers like me are happy to pay more for essentially the same thing.

This ad captures the difference.

Top tip: People buy on emotion (Apple understands that). What emotion do people feel about you, your product or your service? And how can you use that in your marketing?


What’s wrong with this ad?

A warm voice reads: “You wouldn’t shampoo without conditioning, so why not use a combination thrush treatment like Canesten Combi to soothe the external itch AND clear the internal infection.”

First, I reckon some people DO shampoo without conditioning.

Second, there is absolutely no logical connection between washing your hair and treating thrush.

Third, saying “use a treatment like Canesten” almost encourages people to check out similar alternatives.

Hmm, you wouldn’t write copy without using a copywriter, would you?


Dear Royal Mail

parcelsThis red envelope was delivered today >>>>>>>>>>

Please note that I don’t care how much you love parcels. Of course you love them. You get paid for delivering them. I, like all your other customers, only care about What’s In It For Me.

Here, your lovely choir sings along to the new “We love parcels” ad.

As I ranted in my previous post, customers don’t care what YOU love, they only care what THEY love. The tagline should be something like:

“You’ll love the parcels we bring you”


“Delivering parcels you’ll love”

or – if you must –

“We love parcels as much as you do”

Top-down messaging? Pack it in!