Shocked by marketing, controversial advertising, advertising content

Shocker: Some Advertisers Like Controversy

Original Marketing

Big business advertising and controversy have always had a close relationship. It’s no accident.

Yes controversy is usually courted with purpose and yes there is no bad publicity (almost).

This video by The Richest shows some of the more ill advised campaigns from recent years.

Although I don’t think any executives here went hungry as a result of the public’s reaction (well maybe one did), a few certainly lost some sleep.


Thank you for reading

image from freeimages

Content marketing film, content is king, marketing content

Documentary Shows Why Content Is King

Digital Marketing, Original Marketing

In a world of expensive TV and print advertising and growing pay per click search engine spends, this documentary may force you to rethink your marketing.

Content is still king and the rise of You Tube, blogging and social media has leveled the marketing playing field.

Creating original, engaging content is very possible, even for smaller organisations.

I found this film to be truly inspiring and scribbled down pages of ideas while watching.

I hope you get as much from it as I did.

Thank you for reading.

image from freeimages

you tube marketing popcorn

Top 10 You Tube Campaign Ideas

Digital Marketing, Original Marketing

If like me you spend a lot of time watching videos online and aren’t particularly fond of things like cats and make-up tutorials, you may have seen some of these videos.

If not, you’re in for a treat and who knows, maybe something here will inspire you in your own marketing.

There is no set criteria for awarding places on this list. I have just picked videos that have held my interest, remained in my memory and inspired me as a marketer.

Yes, they are just the ones I liked.

I’m fickle like that sometimes.

10. The Human curl

Coming in at number ten is Bic’s human Curl. Bic had fun demonstrating the qualities of their product in this one and have had 3.2 million views as a result.

9. Dumb ways to die

This is possibly the most successful public services announcement of all time. It was made by Metro Trains in Melbourne, Australia and, as it has had over 127 million views, I think they’ve gotten their message across.

8. Interactive Zombie Movie Adventure

Hell Pizza New Zealand have put over 12 million viewers through their interactive zombie movie / pizza advert. Hugely original and great fun. Probably not for the very young however.

7. The Evolution of beauty

This may seem like a strange entrant to the list but I think Dove have tried to do something important here. The video had 2 million views in the first two weeks after posting.

6. Telekinetic Coffee Shop Surprise

This one has almost 66 million views and rightfully so. It is awesome. The reason it’s not higher up the list is that it’s promoting the release of the Carrie film in New York. This means they had the talent, cash and know-how already at hand to pull it off without a hitch.

5. Push Button To Add Drama

I love this one. I’d love to find that button myself. The TNT drama TV station provided a real treat for over 54 million Youtubers with this one. It was used to launch the station in Belgium.

4. Christmas Miracle: Real Time Giving

West Jet’s hugely successful video is the most sentimental video on the list by far. I defy you not to smile while watching this. It’s created almost 45million viewers, and a handful of happy flyers too.

3. The Man Your Man Could Smell Like

Anybody who has ever watched Youtube has been wondering when the ‘Old Spice Guy’ was going to make his appearance. And in truth, most lists like this will have him in first place.

The campaign has completely turned around a brand that had attracted the dreaded ‘old guy product’ tag. This video alone has over 52 million views. Over a million of them may be mine…

2. Will It Blend

Blendtec finish in a well deserved second place because they have shown marketers everywhere that any product is capable of creating a viral marketing buzz.

I can’t quite put my finger on why this works so well, but I’ve watched many of their videos more than once. If a company that makes plain looking blenders can generate 10s of millions of views without any budget to speak of, what’s your excuse?

1. These Blades Are F***ing Great

The Dollar Shave Club video series has it all.

This start up went truly viral after it’s first video, allowing the business to grow and grow. I’ve posted the original video along with the follow up and an interview with Dollar Shave club CEO Michael Dubin.

On the back of releasing the first video the company has over 1.7 million product subscribers, has raised $50 million in capital and has developed a range of products.

And to answer the question on everyone’s lips…

Yes, they can supply luxury butt wipes. Enjoy. (the video that is).

If anybody has any favorites not on the list I’d love to hear about it. Please comment below.

Thank you for reading.

image from freeimages

shocked by marketing

Proof Marketing Can’t Perform Miracles

Original Marketing

Don’t you just love America?

Land of the free, land of the brave and home of the infomercial.

I’ve seen some ill conceived contraptions in my time but this top ten list of marketing mishaps by is on a whole other level.

How some of these items made it to market is beyond me. As for the poor souls tasked with the job of marketing this junk… I have no words.

Be advised, I’m purposely posting this video as far away from any gift giving holidays as possible. My conscience couldn’t take it if I was responsible for a reader actually buying somebody one of these things.

image from freeimages

copywriting audience, marketing audience, target audience, audience persona

DIY Copywriting: Know Your Audience

Copywriting, Original Marketing

Recently a business owner friend of mine asked me to have a look at the newspaper ad he’d been running.

“It’s nice”, I said cautiously,  “except… it’s not clear on exactly what you sell, the benefits you provide, why people should visit or even who it is you’re talking to”.

Ah sure it’s just to get my name out there somehow. None of my customers probably even read that paper anyway”, he abruptly replied.

When my eyes returned from the heavens, I asked him to put the kettle on. This would take a while.

You can’t hit a target that you can’t see.

Why do so many companies send out the same marketing messages month after month not knowing exactly who they’re aiming at?

Every business has an ideal customer. Or at least an ideal customer type. If you’re not clear on who that is, you’re doing one of two things no business can afford to do. Either you’re spending more than you need to on marketing, or you’re not attracting enough customers.

Do not despair.

Understanding your customer properly may take some time and effort but you’ll be glad you took that time.

Start by creating 3 – 5 customer personas, depending on the type of product or service you sell. This will inform you on how best to speak to them and what they need to hear. As this is a DIY article I won’t go into advanced research methods, for now common sense will do.

Ask yourself, your colleagues and even existing customers to help you answer the following questions for each persona:

How old are they? Are they married, working or staying home with the kids?

Where do they live? Are they educated? Do they drive or use public transport?

What’s the household income? What’s important to them: quality, price or style? Are they on social media? What paper or magazine do they read?

What are they like? Where do they go and with whom? What are they into?

How busy are they? How can your company improve their situation?

I could go on but you get the point. With further research you can find out how many of these people actually exist, essentially learning the true size of your market. For now though we’ll concentrate on who they are. Get to it.

If you’ve answered most of the above I have great news.

By now you’ll have begun to understand which channels they’re most likely to come into contact with your message through.

And you’ll have an idea what tone, images and benefits they’ll respond to best. And, maybe more importantly, which ones they won’t.

To illustrate this point, watch the following two videos and try to reverse engineer Dove’s persona building process. Dove is selling what is basically the same product here but to two different personas.


I think it’s a fantastic example. And I love the moisturising technology and unloved armpit concepts.

They’re both fun adverts. Both selling basically the same product but in different packaging. Their personas are probably identical in many ways – salary, lifestyle and education, but the approaches needed to reach men and women are poles apart.

Using what we’ve discussed here today will make a huge difference to your marketing and advertising results. This process can be time consuming and many businesses will hire a marketer to do everything for them. Whether you’re spending time or money though, the process will ultimately pay for itself.

Thank you for reading.

image from freeimages


How Simple Can Advertising Be?

Original Marketing, Traditional Marketing

How hard can it be to create a quality marketing message…

Much effort involved?

Actually, yes. And quite a bit really.

Sure, we’ve all seen Mad Men. Drinking all day, popping out to the cinema when bored, to the bit-on-the-side when we’re feeling frisky… best job in the world we cry!

Add to that, many of us have heard the old chestnut: the creative process cannot be rushed’ – probably by some hipster type from the office upstairs as he stares at a tree for hours seeking inspiration. Infuriating yes, yet there really is more to it than that.

Marketing messages usually do appear simplistic. And in truth, creating that is the hardest part. 

Bord Bia for example are a prolific advertiser in Ireland and have enjoyed much success. Their communications often seem subdued, if emotive, and have proved reasonably effective. Here’s an example of a ham and bacon TV advert:

It’s a beautiful ad. Makes me proud to be Irish. I’m sure the tourism board love it too. How wholesome we are etc…

The “star of a million sandwiches” line is superb, inspired even.

The ad as a whole, all 30 seconds of it, is hardly memorable though. Talk yourself through the when, where and what of the ad without watching it back…

That’s what I thought. Same thing happened to me. Ham, fields, guy with a beard.

simple advertising, advertising bacon meme

Future Bord Bia Advert…?

I’m sure a lot of work went into that marketing communication, but talk about playing it safe…

That’s right, it probably wasn’t as simple as it looked. In fact I’m sure it wasn’t. And that’s the trouble with generic marketing from a governing body responsible for a whole industry – they’re too worried about upsetting somebody.

As a business owner you won’t make this mistake… Put it on the line. Or don’t. But do something original.

Sometimes you need to upset the status quo, to rock the boat a little.

Sometimes it takes more genius, especially in Ireland, to have the craic and not take ourselves too seriously. Give the public something they’ll really enjoy while staying true to your brand.

I can’t get enough of the comic masterpieces Bloom and Rocket Science Productions have created for Brady’s Family ham.

Below is one of my favorites, and, as an Irish man, I know the cultural note rings truer here… (at least ham-wise)

Spoiler Alert: The following advertisement may seem familiar to some viewers.

Now I’m not saying this advert is simple, but the concept is. It works really well in building awareness and attraction for, let’s face it, an otherwise dull product.

So next time you struggle to generate a buzz around your product, think ham.

I have and I’m off to make a sandwich.

Thank you for reading.

image from gentlemint