Remember The Name

Over the Christmas Break, I watched more ‘live TV’ (i.e. not stuff recorded on my PVR, and not ‘delayed’ so I could skip adverts) than I usually do, and thus saw more adverts than normal. Advertising is something that interests me for a lot of reasons, mostly having worked for/with a number of agencies over the years, and also being interested in the psychology and manipulation behind them.

As always, “Brand Recognition” is one of my bug-bears, because for a lot of the time it seems that advertisers don’t care about much else, so long as you remember the brand-name. However, in my experience a lot of the time I remember the brands just so I can be sure to never, ever give them any money. This happens particularly when an advert (or set thereof) are

  1. insanely annoying (Insurance Comparison sites, EE, and the like)  or
  2. paying money to people I can’t abide, and/or hypocrites (an example covering both those is when Knorr were using Marco Pierre White to advertise their stock-cubes – a product he wouldn’t touch in a month of Sundays)

I’ve written before about how adverts for certain industries are changing – usually for the better – but it’s interested me to see how GoCompare in particular have continued that change.

When they started, GoCompare had one of the most insanely irritating advertising “characters” (that bloody opera singer) known to man. I won’t link to anything, because it’ll just cause brain-damage and broken monitors. (Apparently it was also voted “most irritating advert” for 2009 and 2010 – quite the achievement)  GoCompare then had ads of various celebrities killing the character in a variety of ways, and over the last year or so it’s been about the same character trying to get back into the adverts, and various ‘wacky’ schemes to advertise the company.

Now, though, they’ve changed again, and the same character appears to have become a driver or guide on coach tours. (Although I did like the reference to Blakey from ‘On the Buses‘, but that’s probably just a sign that I’m old) I have no idea where they plan to go with this set of adverts – although at least now they’re just weird and self-referential, rather than being actively violence-inducing.

I still wouldn’t ever hand over money to GoCompare – that memory of the dire branding will last a long time – but it’s been interesting to see how their stuff has altered over the last couple of years, in some sort of recognition that people hated the original concept.

[Updated and reposted on 7/1/14] – The Drum posted up this article about the ads, saying…

“We know that people will be keen to see what happens to Gio next. The new campaign will firmly position him as the legend that we all know him to be, but will also see the introduction of new characters enabling us to convey aspects of the service that differentiate the brand still further.”

Although my favourite line (and I’m sure it means something other than what I’m choosing to read it as meaning) comes at the end of the article…

A series of executions are set to appear throughout the year.


All Done

You can tell that we’re now completely done with Christmas 2013.  How? Well…

  • The TV Adverts are all for
    • Diet plans
    • Holidays
    • Sales – primarily for Furniture, Kitchens, and other ‘big ticket’ items
    • Stopping smoking
    • Internet Dating (Because don’t forget, it’s only six weeks ’til Valentine’s Day)
    • Selling off unwanted christmas presents
    • Cold cures
    • Checking your credit score
  • Cadbury’s Creme Eggs and Mini Eggs are in the shops for Easter (and it won’t be long ’til proper Easter Eggs are on sale – I’ve already seen Hot Cross Buns!)
  • The news is full of ridiculous twaddle, because there’s sod-all of import going on

Still, at least we won’t see another bloody perfume advert until the run-up to Mother’s Day.

Cinematics Followup

Following on from yesterday’s post about this year’s Cinema viewings, a couple of things were explained to me outside of D4D™ about how Cineworld make their money on Unlimited Tickets.

The main profit-engine – and one I’d never even thought about – is based on attendance. As I understand it, Cineworld pay [whichever movie distributor] based on a percentage of gross ticket sales per week. However, Unlimited card-holders mean there are bums-on-seats that never show up as ticket sales.  That £16 per month is pure gravy for Cineworld, and significantly reduces the amount they have to pay to movie distributors.

Apparently, a Cineworld cinema only needs to have 1,000 Unlimited card-holders to break even for the year. It’s that cost-effective.

Then there’s the secondary profit-engines…

  1. They get customer data – linked to specific customers –  of viewing preferences, linked sales, attendance etc. That’s useful for many many reasons
  2. The extras (as I’d always suspected) – even with the discount from the ticket, you’re still paying much more than you would anywhere else for drinks etc.

There’s probably others as well, but they’re the main ones. It gives an interesting perspective on business etc.

Marketing/Branding Bollocks

According to this article, Pantone (they’re ‘the colour people, don’t’cha know?) have decreed that this purple is “the colour of 2014”. (And fuck off, Americans, it’s ‘colour’, not bloody ‘color’)

pantone_18-3224_Radiant_OrchidNow, I like purple as much as the next person – I’d go so far as to say it’s probably my favourite colour. But

  1. This is not proper purple. It’s a kind of wanky lilac, at best. Hell, they’ve not even called it Purple – it’s “Radiant Orchid”, which might as well be a name made up by Dulux.
  2. You know, there are people who get paid for coming up with this kind of shit
  3. And there are people whose job it is to come up with names for paints. I truly hope they feel fulfilled and happy in their work. I’d want to be killing people.
  4. How the blue, blazing, fiddly fuck do you have a “colour of the year”, for shit’s sake?

All told it’s just marketing bollocks of the highest order.


ScroogeThis year I’m trying hard to not get ranty about the Festering Season – which is no mean feat, I can assure you.  (I’ve also just discovered that I’ve not used that Scrooge image for nearly three years in a Festering Season post, so welcome back owd fella)

After all, my local Tesco Tosspots had Christmas Cards on sale at the end of September, for fuck’s sake. They’ve had mince pies since August, but I didn’t even bother getting any photos of those.

Since then, it’s just been going on and on. Their tree went up (fully decorated) before Hallowe’en was done.  The foodstuffs have been in since November 1st.

I know shops need to have the time to sell all their festive shit. I suspect that they’re also stretching out the season ‘because of the financial climate’, allowing their customers to spread the cost of the Festering Season over greater time, rather than being crippled in December. I get that, and I don’t mind. (Too much)

It still narks me that everything is so obsessed with materialism, gifts, and the social-status inferred therein. I can’t help it. I don’t like seeing it in the shops for three damn months, or hearing poxy bastard carols on shop sound systems for two months. But it’s pretty much unavoidable – I try to limit my exposure to it all, but there still has to be some, sadly.

But I’m trying hard to not be too ranty about it. For now.  That may change over the next few weeks – after all, there’s still a month to go…


It’s now two years since my little spat with Ian Corbett (of Toyota Ireland) and his legal advisors was completed.  I said at the time that the way they’d requested things to work out wouldn’t actually get rid of the search engine results that annoyed him so much. But he’s a marketing manager, so one assumes he knows these things, and that I would be wrong.

On a random whim, I searched the other day on Google for said person – and lo, I was right. Even when searching for just name + company (with no mention of D4D™ at all) up comes D4D™ with a nice healthy 4th place in the search results. And now there’s also Google Images, I can also see what the glaikit bawbag looks like, too.

All told, I can’t deny, I do find this very amusing. And there’s nothing at all I can do about it, it’s all in the hands of That There Google.

Stalker TV Ad

At the moment, Santander have a set of adverts ‘starring’ Jensen Button, Jessica Ennis and Rory McIlroy. Suffice it to say, they’re pretty creepy…

Seriously, what crack-headed advertising exec ever thought this would be a good idea? To have sporting ‘celebrities’ effectively invading the homes and lives of everyday people, and stalking them? I can’t even understand how it’s going to portray bankers and banking in a positive light.

Indeed for me all it does is serve to make me actively not want to use Santander for anything. Ever.

(Although, on a more cynical note, it does amuse me that Santander are also paying to have the logos for Nike and Adidas all over their ad)