Category Archives: Advertising

Determined to be Disastrous?

Commonwealth Bank: “Anthem”, Agency: Goodby Silverstein and Partners, Director: Michael Bay

Major Questions: Why would you draw attention to the fact that an American company is doing your advertising? What is the message to consumers? Why should consumers care about this message?

I think the ad pretty much sucks. The “marketing team’s” response basically acknowledges that the advertisement doesn’t hit the mark. Was that the point; to create a really disastrous advertisement and then pay it out? And if so what does that communicate? Not much in my opinion.

Goodby Silverstein and Partners Creative Director and partner, Steve Simpson said “It is true that Americans are a convenient foil for all the excesses of modern marketing. It is really an advertising campaign about the artifices of advertising”.

Do bank consumers care that you are commenting on advertising? He also had to mention “User generated content” to his audience at the launch on Friday, 25th Jan:

“We live in an incredibly media navvy time, you know everyone is now a film maker – as we see on YouTube. User generated content is all the rage, because everyone has had an ad idea.”

However, the advertisement is a nice departure from the usual bank advertisement which continue to tell us that they truly value our business and they have exceptional service. Then you walk in the door and wait in line, or get charged for viewing your transaction history on the internet. I’ve even heard of one bank that charged a customer because they sneezed while withdrawing money from an ATM!

But to tell you the truth, I’m just sick of the banks (and other service providers) telling us they have exceptional service when THEY DON’T. For me, actions really do speak louder than words. In that sense, the Commonwealth Bank ad is a hell of a lot better than a lot of others, especially the latest from NAB which I despise.

The CommBank campaign will include viral components as well as outdoor, print, web and in-store advertising.

What do you think of the ad?

Facebook announces advertising strategy

Facebook recently disclosed it’s plans to monetise the company’s rapidly growing user base (around 30 million active users). Less than four years old, Facebook is worth around $15 billion (given the 1.6% share Microsoft bought for $240 million).

How it works:

Users can then sign up as “fans” of that brand and engage with it just like a regular friend. When the user interacts with a brand, their activities – mashed together with paid advertisements – show up on the user’s profile page and on their friends’ “News Feed” summary. (SMH)

Facebook […] will give advertisers the ability to create their own profile pages on its system that will let users identify themselves as fans of a product. So each user’s news feed will contain items like “Bobby Smith is now a fan of Toyota Prius,” or whatever. News feeds can be linked to outside Web sites as well. So you can tell your friends about what you rented at Blockbuster or are auctioning on eBay. (IHT)

Facebook user, Emily, comments:

I just don’t want to be pestered by companies trying to sell me crap I don’t need. I get enough of that as it is without bloody facebook getting in on the act. If I want a coke, I can get one. I use Microsoft every day at work. I know who Sony is. If I want their freakin’ products, I’ll contact them. In the mean time, they can leave me alone. (Mashup)

I am currently a Facebook user but I’m getting a little bored with it. Basically, Facebook is a more complex version of Jaiku. I use flickr to share photos, my favourite websites on Stumbleupon, my favourite videos on youTube and Revver – Jaiku puts them all together into one place. I would also rather use Instant Messenger and email to communicate with people so our conversations aren’t published for all my other friends to read.

I’m not going to become ‘friends’ with a brand on Facebook, some people might want to, but I feel like choosing to share your friendship with a brand, is a conscious effort to express an identity that doesn’t really exist and is therefore very inauthentic – in the Frankfurt School sense (did I use this reference correctly?).

Summary: If you are a university student in Australia with Motorola and Tsubi as Facebook friends, than you really are a try-hard and should be engaging in more worthwhile pursuits!

He’ll save you. Jesus, that is.

Advertisement: Anglican Church

The Anglican Church has begun to get creative in its battle to attract new members to its congregation. This advertisement is just one of many executions of the same campaign which are displayed on small billboards at the front of Anglican churches.

All the advertisements use controversy or a play on words to attract attention. In this advertisement the advertiser even gets a way with reappropriating the Aussie Home Loans logo.

Brand Community: an examination of loyalty, and the Cult of Mac.

It is a shared realisation among marketers that customer loyalty stems from purchase satisfaction, however in the current climate of ‘me-too’ products, sceptical consumers and media fragmentation, loyalty has become something more complicated to achieve. In this new century, the satisfaction-loyalty model may no longer be as relevant to explain the behaviour of consumers (McAlexander, Kim & Roberts, 2003). While there may be many ways to build customer loyalty, this essay will examine the notion of brand community to build long-term loyalty. A range of literature will be examined and an example will be used to further illustrate the theory of brand community. I will begin by defining the terms used and by looking at the traditional satisfaction-loyalty model.

> continue reading

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I find the new McDonald’s Big Mac campaign disturbing

Synopsis: young male protagonist is made up of many tiny people who run his body. While out and about, protagonist (and the small people within him) sees a Big Mac advertisement and the ‘tiny people’ send a message via the brain down to the heart and mouth. The heart (and the tiny people pumping it) start to beat faster and the people in the mouth begin to clean the tongue in anticipation for the Big Mac.

Meanwhile the brain is tiny [looks like a small grain of wheat] and the memo from the eyes to the heart and mouth flow in and out of it very ‘smoothly’. Implicit message – don’t think; if you want it, eat it.

So why do I find it disturbing?

The main message of the advertisement is that the protagonist’s body wants a McDonald’s Son of Mac. The tagline “Just for love.” solidifies this message explicitly. However, your eyes, mouth, heart and brain DO NOT you to food that is fatty (25g/serve), energy rich (2000kJ/serve) and nutritionally neutral – all figures are relevant for the Big Mac and were obtained from

So the next time you hear:

McDonald’s. Just for Love.


McDonald’s. Not for Life.

I’m not saying that people shouldn’t eat McDonald’s, and a small Big Mac is obviously better for you than the original one, but saying that your body [or the tiny people within it] wants you to eat this food is utterly disturbing.

Coca-Cola launches “Mother”

The energy drink market is one beverage segment Coca-Cola is yet to dominate. This year however Coke will again try to capture the hearts and minds of a new group of consumers with the launch of Mother. Coke will reportedly spend over $10 million dollars marketing Mother as an all-natural energy drink to young men (Sydney Morning Herald).

The campaign includes three 30 second executions (Lemur [above], Turtoad and Monkeydog) featuring animated ‘Amazonian’ creatures.

In response to this challenge by Coca-Cola, V has reportedly upped its marketing budget, released a new product, and created a new advertisement (shown below). Red Bull has also increased its marketing budget but hasn’t yet broken away from its Red Bull Gives you Wings advertising and no doubt will continue to place heavy importance on extreme sport sponsorships.

The energy drink segment is definately a lucrative segment. It is “worth $151 million and is growing by 47 per cent a year. Energy is the fastest-growing category in soft drinks and account for 22 per cent of total drink sales …” Sydney Morning Herald. However Coca-Cola has a task on its hands with Red Bull and V already accounting for 94 per cent of total energy sales in convenience stores. ” Sydney Morning Herald. So, can three brands share the energy drink market?

In my opinion: with Coca-Cola’s distribution network, Mother will have every chance of success. V has already been removed from the QUT (university in Brisbane) cafeteria :( and replaced with Mother (in a special branded fridge). I have also seen supermarkets and petrol stations with dedicated, branded Mother refridgerators and other branded material. Consumers will therefore be encouraged to at least trial the product when there are no other “energy/caffeine” options available. As for the V energy drink advertising: I have heard both positive and negative reviews. I think the advertisement shows a brand forced to join the race, rather than remind. I don’t like it – too sex-centric, not that cleaver.

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Australia Post: Part of Every Day

Best ad of the week …This ad takes the generic Australia Post brand and brings it to life. The advertisement is understated and humorous which appeals to me. It communicates effectively that Australia Post is trustworthy and dependable; exactly what I want in a postal service. In my opinion, it has great production and music. And because the campaign consists of seven advertisements which are played on different days, the campaign has a long-life expectancy.

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Subway “New” advertisement tortures Australian Open viewers

Subway’s now old “New” advertisement has tortured many viewers as they tried to watch Seven’s coverage of the Australian Open.

The advertisement stars two people painting a sign which reads “New” and yet can’t think of the word in order to describe something fresh to have for lunch. The other actor (some American actor whom I don’t know the name of, nor care) shouts “New the word is new…”. By this time many viewers have changed the channel or hit the mute button and thus have no idea what the advertisement is actually about.

Let me think…

Get a NEW ad…

Get a NEW campaign… not one advertisement played over and over and over until everyone who ever considered buying your damn product no longer wants to…

Get a NEW Australian personality to star in your ads… someone that we actually know and care about…

Get a NEW media buyer… who realises fast food isn’t a low-involvement product, and in order to convince consumers to buy it you need advertisements which are fresh, new and emotive.

Get a NEW agency… perhaps one that is located in Australia and can tailor your advertising to the opinions and ideas of the local market… and one that doesn’t rely on repeating the word ‘new’ eighteen times in order to communicate that the product is in fact new…