(Possibly) The Most Loved TV Ads of All Time

Advertising is all about being remembered:  We Buy Any Car goes for a ridiculously repetitive (dare I call it) slogan where as Go Compare chooses the slightly more subtle beat-them-around-the-head-with-puns-and-bad-rhymes approach – but no matter how annoying as they are or how mad they make us, we all know them…  And therefore I have to consider them very successful campaigns.

Earlier this month BOTTLE PR posted a blog presenting a selection of The Worst TV Ads of All Time, and although they missed a few (I feel the Covonia and Five Bingo adverts should be firmly shouldering their way into the mix), that blog got me thinking; we all know there are adverts that we love to hate, but what about those adverts that we love to love?  Which adverts will we remember for years, not because of a hideous jingle or dancing dog, but because we actually liked them?

1. Cadbury’s Caramel

Just the sound of that Bristolian lilt brings me right back to my first job working in a Cadbury’s Outlet.  This campaign brings back such feelings of nostalgia that Cadbury’s brought the Bunny out of retirement earlier this year to tempt people back to the brand post Kraft  take over.

2. Total Greek Yoghurt

Now somehow I’ve managed to completely miss this advert (thanks @Deveta for this suggestion) – but by just reading the You Tube comments I can see what an impact it has had.

3. Muller Corner

A personal favourite of mine – Ok, so she’s a cow, but  what lady doesn’t know what Mary’s going through?! 

4. Guinness

I don’t remember ever seeing it on the television and yet I know the words by heart.  The winner of countless awards, I just have to see a single frame to know the advert, the concept and the product.  I don’t even like Guinness, but hey, who’s for a pint of the Black Stuff?!

Looking back at these much-loved ads, it really makes me wonder why the emotion that some Advertising Execs choose to tap into is anger?  Yeh it works in the short-term, but ultimately We Buy Any Car is an ad we’d all love to forget.

But for now, we just can’t.

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Tamara Drewe: Just not Bridget

There’s something about naming a story after the lead character that, to me, creates a sense of intrinsic Britishness. I’m reminded of my first encounter with the tales of Mary Poppins, Harry Potter and Oliver Twist, the smell of the pages as I followed the title character through the chapters, and the over-arching sense of quality.

So when I settled down to watch new Brit-Film Tamara Drewe I was expecting something special.

Having seen the trailer, I was expecting a romantic comedy set in the county, full of mishaps and providing a nice variety of laughs.  What I got was a strange meshing of Bridget Jones and Midsomer Murders

The film is an adaptation of Posy Simmonds weekly Guardian comic strip, which is in itself a reworking of Thomas Hardy’s classic Far from the Madding Crowd, and features a Brit-heavy cast, with a number of whom offering truly stonking performances – hats off to odious Roger Allam as novelist Nicholas Hariment (who actually made my skin crawl), and Tamsin Grieg as his long-suffering wife Beth.

However, aside from some strange plot twists (involving noses, cows and rock stars) which left me feeling somewhat bemused and down-right puzzled, I found Tamara Drewe to be a refreshing direction for British cinema.  It’s just a shame that the title character is actually the least interesting of the bunch…

The story centres on columnist Tamara Drewe who returns to her childhood village after the death of her mother.  But rather than sorting out the estate and returning to the Big Smoke, Ms Drewe finds herself gathering the attention of a number of the villages men-folk… helped along no-end by a pair of bottom-clutching denim shorts.

Tamara Drewe is a prime example of a film that would have been more enjoyable if the trailer hadn’t tried to make it seem something it simply wasn’t.  Whilst this farce is frothy and often frivolous, it’s generally not laugh-out-loud funny – and the ending didn’t leave me with the feel-good-movie-afterglow I was predicting…

Tamara Drewe is definitely worth is watch – just don’t go expecting Bridget Jones.

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How do you use LinkedIn?

It can sometimes be difficult to get that work-life balance

Today office conversations turned to LinkedIn. Or rather “the point” of LinkedIn.

Whilst the office debate came up with some very valid comments, after mulling it over for a few hours I’ve decided that they don’t actually sum up the whole breadth of LinkedIn…

“It’s basically an online CV.”

Whilst in its essence this is true, LinkedIn is much more than a digitized Curriculum Vitae.  LinkedIn allows you to really unpack your achievements in a much more targeted and in-depth way than the traditional 2 pages of A4.  Within a few clicks a simple job title on paper is transformed into a mine of information; a potential employer can learn not only about your skills and employment history, but also they can find out about your company,  your role within the company, and even what your colleagues think about you.

It is the power of “Recommendations” that really catapults LinkedIn to a completely different realm to even a statically hosted online CV.  Here, potential employers don’t have to simply take you at your word; if you’re good at what you do, your colleagues can shout it from the rooftops.

It’s you with your professional hat on.”

Personally, this is what I believe LinkedIn should be: a professional persona representative of you in the workplace.

However, the waters can be muddied when users choose to sync their LinkedIn profiles to their ones on Twitter…

You wouldn’t apply for your dream job with a CV covered in coffee-mug rings, or attach of photo of yourself on a night out to a job application – so why do people choose to link their personal Twitter streams to their professional online persona?  Drunken Tweets may be amusing to your followers, but they won’t necessarily impress a potential boss.

So whilst generally I’m all for integration, personally I’m all for keeping these two platforms separate.   My tip: if you want to be able to Tweet on LinkedIn, make sure you keep a beady eye on your Account Settings and make use of the #in hashtag.

“I only ever Link with people I know really well.”

This is a bit of a bone of contention with me.  Firstly, whilst I can understand that a connection acceptance could be interpreted as a “stamp of approval”, this would surely leave the “Recommendation” function some-what redundant.

And secondly, how do you decide who you “know really well.”  Social interaction has gone beyond lattes over lunch, or a heart-to-heart over cocktails.  If you only link with people you “know really well,” how do you categorise your Twitter followers?  As LinkedIn is focused on networking it seems silly to exclude business contacts made on Twitter, from your LinkedIn connections.  If anything, I think a wise LinkedIn user should aim to move contacts made on Twitter on to LinkedIn in order to develop business relationships more fully.

The thing is, I’m in no-way a LinkedIn whiz-kid.  The lively office debate today proved to me that LinkedIn is used many ways to varying success – and this is just my interpretation of how LinkedIn should be used.

So if you’ve got any tips on how to get the most out of LinkedIn please feel free to share… and a Recommendation or two wouldn’t hurt either. :p

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Where Facebook Places needs to get it right

For those in the know geolocation networking should be the next big social media wave to ride.  But with Foursquare and nearest rival Gowalla failing to make a mainstream splash, will the launch of Facebook Places be any more successful, or will it drown in obscurity?

Personally, I love the concept of  grabbing my smartphone, meeting friends spontaneously in Starbucks and getting a badge for my social efforts (yes, I did love getting stickers as a child…), but with the recent press focus on the ‘dangers’ of  identity theft from SMN sites, geolocation networking asks a lot of a hesitant user.

Mobile technology has come a long way

Mobile technology has come a long way

Even though most of your personal details are protected, it seems that disclosing your location may just be a stage too far.  Users simply do not want to be “stalked.”

But people who write off geolocation networking at this early stage are forgetting that the social media world is a dynamic one; a few years ago, posting personal videos on Youtube or SMS length messages on Twitter would have seemed equally bizarre and over-familiar.  So it may take a while for geolocation to really catch on – and only once users stop frantically scrabbling for their security settings.

However, although there is great potential for marketeers to use Foursquare for really targeted campaigns, I doubt that geolocation networking will ever truly rock the social sphere.  Foursquare in its current form is plain boring, a blip on a map will never replace the charm of a well placed Twitpic, and delving for your phone for manual check-ins seem somewhat socially awkward on a night out…

Geolocation attempts to strike the impossible balance between privacy and stalking.  And to be honest the technology has a long way to go.  So unless it is somehow able to solve these core problems I doubt Facebook Places will ever be as successful and as widely used as it could be.

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One reason for thanking Facebook

I have a lot to thank Facebook for.

Tweet. Check in. Status update. Follow. Blog.

The social media world is filled with increasingly numerous ways to connect to friends, colleagues, family and strangers.  Whether it’s nurturing contacts on LinkedIn or engaging like-minded souls on Twitter, social media networking has become more and more crucial to both the commercial and personal spheres.

Recently social media blogs such as Social Media Today have tended to highlight the positives Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Foursquare etc have for monitoring customer reactions and generating elevated levels of customer retention. Whilst I understand, and have implemented successful social media campaigns for business, last week I was reminded about just how much we rely on social media in our day-to-day non-business lives for support and guidance.

Social media has gone far beyond being an online photo album to share with acquaintances.  It has become a place of genuine emotion and opportunity – an intangible extension of offline life.

For those of you that don’t know last week I suffered a bereavement. One of my very best friends lost her long and brave battle to illness.  My world was turned upside-down, and I struggled to come to terms with the dimmer world that reality had become.

But within minutes there were friends grieving openly on Facebook, and strangers offering me support and much-needed *hugs* on Twitter – and this computerised outpouring felt completely natural.

Social media has now been embraced as a way to directly reach out to people.  The offline and the online coming increasingly closer together.  Meet-ups, Tweet-ups and Twestivals bring people with shared interests together. And it’s not just LinkedIn that’s the place to cultivate job opportunities: Bottle PR have set a challenge to social media lovers to connect with them, with a job up for grabs at the end of September.  No need to fill in endless application forms, and sit through brain-frazzling interviews trying to explain skills and past successes – here your skills are assessed, in real-time, and the applicant has to be pro-active in order to be successful.

Twitter, Facebook and their contemporaries have become deeply engrained in our social communications.  We share our successes and failures, our laughter and our tears –  just as much as our likes and dislikes.  We are used to the idea that you should be able to use social media to execute a campaign or to promote a product, but we’d all be fools to ignore how much social media has expanded organically into every facet of modern life.

My friend’s funeral was attended by several hundred people – many of whom only found out through Facebook.  Social media ensured that my best friend had the send-off she deserved.

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