Monthly Archives: July 2011

Power of Advertising

Excuse the pun. Who says that advertising can’t help people? This innovative bus stop poster combines creative with functionality as it doubles as a charging station for mobile phones.

Despite Vitamin Water actually have very little to do with technology, the message is beautifully simple. It tells you that the drink will revive, restore and recharge your internal batteries, much like what the poster will do for your phone.




Sound of Success

In the news this week: ‘Louder’, the song by DJ Fresh, produced through a partnership between Lucozade  and Ministry of Sound, and used in the recent Lucozade Sport Lite advert, has reached number one in the singles chart. The song had a record-breaking 140,000 ITunes pre-orders.

This idea of producing mainstream music in partnership with a major brand creates enormous buzz around the yet-to-be-released track, which in turn creates good press for the brand, making them appear cool, current and cutting edge.

Suzy Smith, marketing director at Lucozade, said: “There have been number-one singles from adverts before, but by simultaneously producing the ad, the music promo and the track together with Ministry of Sound, we created a campaign that engaged with the public on a number of levels across three months, resulting in the hit single of the summer.”

On that note, we’d like to celebrate this innovative blending of advertising mediums, by looking back at a few musical success stories brought about by the humble ad.

We have to start with John Lewis, whose last three ad campaigns have resulted in chart success for the featured track.  In 2009, a folk cover of Guns N Roses’ anthem ‘Sweet Child O’ Mine’ aimed to recapture the childish excitement of Christmas. The song, recorded by Swedish band Taken By Trees reached number 19 in the singles chart.

The following year, the brand reduced the nation to tears to the tune of Billy Joel’s ‘She’s Always a Woman’, covered by Fyfe Dangerfield, which reached number 7 in the charts. Most recently, Elton John’s ‘Your Song’, covered by Ellie Goulding, was selected for the top-secret Christmas ad campaign and peaked at number 2.

But John Lewis isn’t the only brand to have generated the successful revival of an older song. One of the year’s best ads, produced for T-Mobile and released in the run up to the Royal Wedding, featured boyband East 17’s 1992 hit ‘House of Love. T-Mobile teamed up with Rhino UK to re-realease  a special edition of the track after the brand’s facebook page was inundated with requests for the song.

We predict that we’ll be seeing more of this trend in the future. As the lines between advertising, traditional marketing  and music production continue to blur, we will see brands producing these multi-disciplinary campaigns that engage audiences across a variety of platforms.

Partners in Green

Although not the first of it’s kind, this carbon-dioxide absorbing billboard does mark a first for the Philippines, a country that doesn’t have the greatest environmental track record. Created as a collaboration between Coca-Cola Philippines and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), the Fukien Tea Plant Billboard helps alleviate air pollution in the surrounding area. The Fukien Tea plants, embedded in over 3000 discarded Coca-cola bottles are each capable of absorbing up to 13 pounds of carbon dioxide in a year.

So that’s all great, but where does Coca-cola come into all of this? More and more, corporations are pouring time, money and resources into their CSR ambitions. Are we naive enought to believe that billboards like this one are conceived purely for the good of the planet? Of course not, but as a tool for improving brand image, it will certainly make the head honchos at Coca-cola sleep a little better. From WWF’s point of view, they’re able to clean up pollution and promote their agenda with all the power and might of the Coca-cola marketing arm.

In future, we think that we can expect to see more of these mutually beneficial campaigns, where advertising can serve the aims of two very different organisations, to the advantage of both.