Tag Archives: Video

Video of the Week – Sainsbury makes us remember that Christmas is for Sharing.

Sainsbury’s is the third largest supermarket chain in the United Kingdom. For this upcoming Christmas, they have released a special commercial. To commemorate the 100th anniversary of the start of the First World War, the retailers partnered up with The Royal British Legion to make a commercial based on true events that occurred in December 1914.

The ad takes place in December 1914, just four months after the beginning of WWI. The movement of the war is already over. Soldiers are now entrenched and spend most of their time hiding and sleeping in the mud. But one event changed the first months of the war. According to historical reports, on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, soldiers on the Western front from Germany, the British Empire and France made an unofficial truce where they could meet in No Man’s Land, exchange souvenirs and small presents, sing songs and even play football – or soccer as you call it in North America.

In early December, soldiers from both sides stopped the fighting for a short while to rest and recover their dead. In some areas, they even exchanged conversations. Mid-December, German soldiers started to decorate their trenches with candles and small Christmas trees and ended by singing Christmas carol on the 24th – such as “O Tannenbaum” (O Christmas Tree) and “Stille Nacht, Heilige Nacht” (Silent Night). British and French soldiers sang these songs in their language in response which led to an uncommon moment of peace.

This moment is well-known and even led to a few movies. The ad by Sainsbury’s used information about the “Christmas truce” event and partnered with the Royal British Legion, to make this ad as precise and real as possible.

This ad depicts a true and emotional event that happened 100 years ago. Even if the Great War was one of the deadliest wars with 16 million dead, human behaviour and sympathy led people to make a short truce to exchange with an enemy that they never saw and get back their dead to give them a proper burial instead of a mortar hole in No Man’s Land.

This video relies on something that everyone can do, even the men at war: share. It doesn’t matter your religion, your gender, or your race – sharing is one thing that we can all do at least for Christmas. The chocolate bar featured in the 3-minute film is available in every Sainsbury’s for £1 and all profits will be donated to The Royal British Legion.

To me, this ad is almost a documentary to educate younger people about that period of history and to make everyone remember that Christmas is about sharing no matter what the circumstances. You have one month to keep that in mind!

For Iceland Foods Christmas isn’t that special

Good morning December! You’ve finally arrived. We can finally admire your Christmas commercials without feeling too awkward. You never let us down, with your gorgeous and poetic advertisements. But we’re also really amused at the terrible ones!

On today’s Bad Marketing post, we will see a commercial that comes from the other side of the Atlantic, where Her Majesty rules the Kingdom. The United Kingdom has given us a treat with this commercial from Iceland, a food-retailer business specializing in frozen food.

This Christmas commercial features Peter Andre, a British singer, presenter and TV personality. Although I’m not a good judge in this instance, by the reactions of the ladies in this commercial, he must be quite famous and attractive!

The ad starts with an elderly couple doing their groceries at Iceland, when the woman notices Peter Andre. Her husband says that “it isn’t” him, but the woman is quite sure! So Andre takes notice and replies “it is!”

Here’s the joke – he’s not talking about himself. He’s talking about the cake in his hands – the “winter berry glistening gateau” – which he’s thrilled to find at £4 (about $7). “It is!” refers to a festive Christmas cake.

As Andre is ogled and hit on by various ladies at the Iceland grocery store, he can only focus on the Christmas cakes, their deliciousness and their excellent prices. The tagline “That’s why Peter goes to Iceland” ends the commercial and serves as a reminder that cheap products doesn’t mean cheap quality and aren’t only reserved for low-income families.

Where this commercial fails is on the way the message is sent. It’s not just a Christmas commercial. This ad could play at any time of the year, all you’d have to do is remove the garland and Christmas packaging. The cheapness of the products is not so much of a problem. But focusing on it for a Christmas commercial is a bit too déjà-vu as you can see the same kind of commercial during the rest of the year.

You can’t continue your campaign just by hinting that the products are for Christmas. This is a terrible idea. Your daily consumer already knows who you are and your prospects won’t be more attracted to your store than before. It is the same kind of ad they saw the rest of the year, and if they didn’t become one of your customers, chances are that this one won’t help either. As a result, this is why it’s featured in our Bad Marketing blog post!

Video of the Week – Martini Plays on its Italian Roots

Martini launched its new campaign a couple of weeks ago with new commercials and the hashtag #BeginDesire. Spoiler alert: It’s beautiful.

The world famous Italian aperitivo brand has been on our tables since 1863! Made by 3 distillers from Turin, Alessandro Martini, Luigi Rossi and Teofila Sola, the first mix of vermouth and gin was the Rosso. The Bianco, the one that is most commonly known today, was only introduced in 1910 and has been part of James Bond’s – shaken, not stirred – Vodka-Martini cocktail since Ian Fleming’s novel Diamonds are Forever in 1956. James Bond couldn’t represent the Martini brand better as his character incorporates all of the elements of Martini: elegance, glamour and desire. After all, it is an Italian brand !

In this brand new ad, Martini has chosen a poetic route to launch it new campaign with a full 2-minute-long commercial. A classy Italian man finishes his drink at a small caffè and then magically disappears. The young waitress picks up his drink and notices two words on the little Martini napkin: Begin and Desire. From now, a long and poetic run takes place in the streets of Rome.

The man that was drinking earlier, is now on the top of a building standing against a giant Martini sign. With a sign of his hand, the man makes the word Begin appear on the ground and then make it slip it into a little cobblestone street as an invitation. The woman, intrigued, approach carefully the street corner before a man with the word Desire written in the back of its suits grabs her hand to bring her in a crowded and running mob. The soft and simple music gets higher with light notes like a puppet show. The man standing against this huge Martini sign keeps orchestrating the mob, and making the words Desire and Change here and there, but also controlling people’s actions to interact with this young and beautiful waitress. He is like a puppet master, like he was the spirit of Rome, the one that controls everyone’s decisions.

This young waitress is then orchestrated through several fantastical occurrences within the mob of people, until she is put by herself in front of a building with the words “Il Futuro Sei Tu” which literally means “the future is you” just as the music stops. Now she is facing a decision: should she take this suitcase which magically appears next to her?

As the music starts back, she’s grabbing the suitcase and starts running and enter the building that was facing her which turns out to be a train station. She jumps into a futuristic train and discovers a new set of words on the napkin she was holding: Desire Begins Change. The puppet master has finished the job as he blows a kiss while the Martini sign lights up.

This fabulous commercial, directed by Jake Scott, brings everything that represents Martini. The glamourous waitress, the elegant puppet master and the invitation to desire. After seeing this, you are eager to rediscover Martini again, you want to share a classy Italian night with some friends or with your lover.

This ad brings a poetic touch that isn’t often seen in advertising, and for that reason, it is our video of the week!

#Badmarketing – How a Commercial Can Backfire in No Time

Alright players, gather round, Sony PlayStation has a commercial for us. Well, they already removed it from their YouTube Channel, but this is the internet. Once it’s online, it’s hard to take away!

With the launch of the new Xperia Z3 phones, Sony introduced a quite interesting feature to its PS4 and PS Vita: The Remote Play. Now you can keep playing a game from your PS4 on your smartphone and your PS Vita screen. No more limits – you can play anywhere.

To introduce this impressive feature, Sony decided that they should play on the word “play”. They employed TBWA (Brussels) to make the commercial, which is the same agency, but from Paris, that did this controversial poster from 2012:PS VitaWhat could possibly go wrong, right? Well pretty much everything.

The ad starts with an attractive female doctor that knows “you’ve already done it today, and [she] bet[s] you really enjoyed yourself”. Hum… is she referring to the glass of water I had earlier? Then she’s mentioning that you might be doing it “in your bedroom, under the blanket” or perhaps you prefer “the kitchen or on the toilet”. I guess not. She might be thinking about a more playful thing that men do: masturbating.

Then sensual music starts to play as she says, “You no longer have to feel ashamed” since “everybody is doing it because it’s fantastic”. To increase the power of the subliminal message, you have a close-up shot on her lips as she says, “you can do it all day long”. She ends the commercial by inviting you to join her while grabbing her PS Vita and starts to play. Then the double entendre is revealed, “PS Vita Remote Play Never Stop Playing” appears, explaining the point of those 40 seconds of awkwardness.

The traditional ending titles for PS4 “This is for the players” makes you realize something even stranger than the iMac G4 sitting on the doctor’s desk. Why would you use such a cliché to promote a feature to your players. Is every player a sexually frustrated 15-year-old boy, like the stereotype assumes? They reinforce a stupid cliché that people love to spread: a gamer is a teen male that has issues.

Sony’s hardcore gamers are 20 to 35 years old, and there are more women playing than most people imagine. According to the Entertainment Software Association (ESA), the average age of a gamer is 31 years old! About 32% of the players are between 18 and 35. And women account for 48% of gamers! Of course, these numbers can be biased by the fact that the smartphone made video games much more easier to access than before but still! If you look at these facts, it flies in the face of most common clichés that have been used for years by the “video games = violence” club.

I know that the commercial could still make you laugh for some random reasons, but let’s be honest, this cliché is not helping the video game industry! I guess this is why Playstation decided to remove the video only a few days after a lot of bad reviews and comments on their Youtube Channel.

A great decision that would have been greater if they didn’t think to make this commercial in the first place. This is why, it features on today’s #BadMarketing.

Total is committed to better energy, but is it committed to better commercials ?

Total SAOn today’s Bad Marketing, we are looking at the new commercial for Total, a French multinational, which is one of the six major players in the oil industry. They have been on the news lately due to the recent passing of their CEO, Christophe de Margerie in a plane crash at the Vnukovo Airport of Moscow in Russia. They only have 415 gas pumps in North America, but have almost 15.000 employees working in the oil, gas, solar and petrochemical industries.

On a more positive subject, Total is currently using the “Committed to better energy” campaign with its hashtag #MakeThingsBetter.Total and Publicis Agency have partnered together since their 2013 deal. According to its site, Total has launched this campaign in more than 20 different countries to improve awareness and growth objectives.

You know what also happened this last decade in more than 20 different countries? 59 oil spills. That said, Total has a lot to do to be seen as a positive company. As the oil industry isn’t the most transparent, they still have to respect legislation of each country they are working in. But as different countries means different laws, most of the time the whole oil lobby industry works in the shadows of government to make sure that different laws aren’t going in opposite directions.

With improvements in technology, more information on a geological scale has been obtained and also helped engineers to build stronger and more flexible materials in the construction of their refineries and pipeline. It helps engineers immensely, allowing them to make the best and cleanest industry as possible. Unfortunately for them, they still live in an unappreciated industry.

I’ll be honest, Total and friends aren’t my favourite companies on earth. Oil is unfortunately quite essential to most people everyday. Our population is growing, and thus our needs expand accordingly. Changes aren’t coming fast enough, and the fast-paced growth of the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) are making things harder as they represent almost 3 billions people. But to multinationals, a growing population means more customers and more demand.

To make an impression, Total has decided to show us that they care as much as we do, or at least as we all should, by releasing a new commercial to promote their services and seriousness. Since many people have concerns about Total’s activities, they decided to show different places of work across the globe to demonstrate how things work in this industry.

The first thing you’ll notice is the music. Total have used the song “Roadgame” from the French artist Kavinsky to amplify the motif of young and active people in the commercial. With electronic music ensuring a fast-paced commercial, different people are telling, looking straight at the camera, that it is “not a question of place” nor “of temperature” nor “of dedication” because “it’s not a question at all”. “Energy has to be better” because “it is our responsibility” and “our commitment” “to make it better” “for all of us”. By saying this in that way, Total is hoping to unite us, while making us emotionally connected to the company. They display different people with different origins at different locations which amplifies the statement “for all of us”.

It appears that they wanted to use Total employees to be brand ambassadors to make the multinational closer to every employees on Earth. The things is, it sounds fake.

In my opinion, they forget one crucial thing: most people are not big fans of the oil industry, and having some statement that they are doing a good job because of their commitment to #MakeThingsBetter doesn’t feel natural. To me, this commercial raises more questions than ever. How are Total making it better? What does total define as your responsibilities? Is Total truly improving our lives?

I get that using “employees” from all around the world might sounds like a good idea to show that the whole group is working together on this goal, but it feels unnatural. To be clear, I feel it is more like a propaganda film that you want to show at a presentation to recruit people. And I am sorry, but making a statement isn’t enough. I truly believe that we are more aware of what surrounds us, so no matter how committed the people in the commercial are to their jobs, I don’t buy that they are making something better.

I understand that Total needs to do some public relation from time to time to show their goodwill, but not like that. No matter what they say, they are working in a high profit and dark industry. Despite what they are saying on their social media with the hashtag #MakeThingsBetter, they aren’t truly delivering the truth. They need to be more inspired than that. A statement isn’t enough, and Total did it better before including with this one:

In short, Total is a major player in a industry that makes billions every year. In 2012, Total netted $13.35 billion, which represent a $36.5 million profit every single day. That same year, they have been fined for the oil spill of the Erika Tanker which sank near the Breton coast in France to $213 millions. In 6 days, they got their money back. That said, to make us believe in their commitment, we need more than statements like that. They have to show what they are actually doing, what they are bringing to the world, and what exactly they are improving. Otherwise, Total just reeks of disingenuous propaganda like in this ad.

Paying it Forward on Halloween

elevator-selfie

Elevator Selfie

This year we decided to flip the concept of “trick or treating” on its head. The team gathered this morning in full disguise – A snowboard bum, Tetris block, Carmen Sandiego, a bank thief, “Grumpy Beard”, and last but not least Sherlock Holmes – and we went door to door in our office building handing out candy instead of asking or it!

Why? Remember that feeling you got as a kids on Halloween? The excitement of getting all dressed up as your favourite superhero or scary monster and hitting the streets with your buddies to collect as much candy as your pillow case could hold. And, let’s not forget the best part – getting home and going through your bounty, trading candy with your friends, and pigging out before your parents could stop you.

As a parent I get to relive those moments by watching my kids on Halloween. But, it’s just not the same. As an adult, Halloween is yet another of many “holidays” that has become an excuse to go out and party. We’ve traded candy for booze and bad hangovers.

Not this year!!! At least, not this morning 🙂 We thought it would be a nice treat, no pun intended, to pay it forward with our neighbours. Check out the video below and have a Happy Halloween!

Remember “Grumpy Beard“? Well, today Grumpy Beard leaped to life from the pages of his comic and terrorized the H&C team – all in good fun of course 🙂

the-real-grumpy-beard

Video of the Week – Dove: Legacy

Where is the tissue box? Oh Dove, you’ve done it again. Another beauty campaign that is educational, emotional, and powerful.

This short film is self-explanatory. For the past few campaigns, Dove has been sending messages about beauty, self-esteem, self-confidence, etc. This time, the campaign demonstrates how mothers have a big impact on their daughters when talking about their bodies.

Dove continues on their campaign to make sure that we all know that beauty comes within, and our role models have a great influence over how we feel about our own bodies. A daughter sees the real beauty about her mother, and will always think her mother is beautiful. However, self-esteem is passed down from mother to daughter and as one mother says, “Self worth and beauty is an echo. It can echo from me to them, and from them to others.” A mother should be a role model for her kids. She should show braveness, confidence and love, this way her kids can think that anyone can be beautiful; not only what they see in the media. But Dove also shows that her legacy can also be negative – she has the power to influence her children’s perception of themselves.

Additionally, confidence means loving who and what you are. Your skin, height, or weight doesn’t define your self worth in any way. For example, if you have a mole, it makes you more unique. I mean, why would you want to look like everyone else?

Beauty has different connotations and meanings. You don’t need to be tall, skinny, blonde, blue eyes to be beautiful – yea what a typical thing to say, huh?

I remember when I was small; I wanted to be a model. Always kept my weight under control, sucked in my tummy, and always imitated the models on television. I didn’t have confidence in myself; I didn’t think I was pretty because I was continuously reminded that you needed to look “perfect.” And til this day, I don’t know the definition of perfect, since I believe everyone can create their own definition for ‘perfection’. For this reason, it is important to be attentive of this issue, and create awareness that perfection is not beauty.