Tuesday, July 29, 2008

I Love This Ad...

for Drench Water featuring Brains from Thunderbirds. Ticks all the boxes. Clear product message, funny, clever and....with celebrity endorsement.
Dove Advertising

Whenever I show Dove advertising in classes there's always lively discussion. A year or so ago most peple loved this viral ad called evolution which became an award winning Youtube sensation.

In more recent times Dove has produced this follow up called Onslaught. Opinion on this is much more divided. Is the brand becoming too strident? As a key player in the beauty industry Is it able to take such a stance?

Dove also sells skin tanning products. Is this really about honest, natural beauty? Dove is in a difficult position. It's gained huge admiration for its Campaign For Real Beauty. However it is still in the business of selling beauty products. A fine line to tread.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Offensive Advert?

This recent Oasis Cactus Kid ad is currently under investigation by the ASA following complaints that it normalises / glamourises teenage pregnancy and discourages people from drinking water. Do you agree? Should it be banned?

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Emotional Rollercoaster

For the past 3 days I've been running a marketing training course with 20 people looking at the world of chocolate. These are very intense experiences. You're usually staying at a hotel / conference centre. You're with the same people all the time and get fully immersed in their problems and issues. As a trainer you have to stay 100% focused and maintain high levels of energy throughout - even if you're feeling exhausted. I hate to think how much coffee I've drunk or how much chocolate I've eaten this week.

At the end of the session you feel a huge sense of relief that its all over, happiness if its all gone well and sadness as you say goodbye to all the people you've got to know so well over the past few days. Then a combination of exhaustion and depression takes over as you try to re-enter the normal world and get back into a daily routine.

It really is an emotional rollercoaster and when the next session comes along It'll start all over again. Still, managed to return home with some chocs and sweeties. That'll make me popular.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Nice Restaurant

Went for lunch at a really nice restaurant called Dalchini on Friday. Just by Wimbledon Park tube. Chinese food, with an Indian twist. Affordable and very tasty. Recommended.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Summer Reading

I'm off on a holiday in a couple of weeks time and I want to take some stuff to read whilst I'm sitting by the pool or listening to crickets at night. Not too trashy, but not too heavy. Could be new or an old classic. Am a bit stuck. Any recommendations?

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Fabulous Film

Saw 'Son of Rambow' on the flight to Bombay and really, really enjoyed it. It's about 2 boys who are making a home-made movie, based on the Rambo films. Set in the early 1980s it captures the feel of the era and the two main actors are so good - as are all the child actors. Highly recommended.

Back From Bombay

Just back from 5 days in Bombay. Being the monsoon season it was hot, sweaty and overcast most of the time and a bit of a shock to the system. The last time I'd been to Bombay was maybe 15 years ago, on holiday. Some things hadn't changed. It was as crowded and chaotic as ever. The traffic was still dreadful and the drivers as still the worst I've ever experienced. They think they're in a video game.

However, it does feel like a city on the move. There are certainly far few beggars on the street, there are lots of roads being built and quite a few brand new air-conditioned shopping malls with the usual international labels.

Highlight for me was the fabulous food, although I did stick to cornflakes for breakfast. As a visitor there's not an awful lot to see in Bombay, so it's the not the kind worth making a special trip to. Even the Gateway of India was covered in scaffolding.

Nice to be back home again. I like going to India but it is very full on. Makes London feel like a haven of tranquility. Am suffering from information deprivation as I had no internet access and am looking forward to some plain English food. Mmm...beans on toast.

Monday, July 07, 2008

The Asics British 10K Run

Yesterday, along with 25 000 other people I took part in the British 10K run around central London. It was a sort of mini version of the London Marathon with the famous landmarks, cheering crowds, and stirring music to keep you going.

I've not been running for the past couple of weeks due to mad work pressures so I wasn't really ready for it. Managed to finish OK, but didn't feel great and my time was rubbish. Still, a nice day out with family and friends and great to back running again.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Thanks, Big Al's
Today was the Ravenstone School Summer Fair and I was helping to man the barbecue. Fortunately the rain stayed off and profits to the school were boosted by the donation of free Big Al's burgers from my friends at Kepak Convenience Foods. They were very popular, which was not surprising as they are Ireland's number one brand.
Thanks again. Much appreciated

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Is there any good news out there?

M & S share price plummets, Starbucks closes 500 outlets in the USA, oil price hits $146 a barrel, mortgage approvals down by 28%. All within a week. Was walking around Kingston town centre today and noticed that the furniture retailer New Heights has closed down. Also there was a 50% off sale at John Lewis.

So is anybody thriving at the moment? Apparently luxury brands are doing OK. Fashion sales at Harrods are up by 30% and Harvey Nicks is in pretty good shape. Equally discounters are continuing to grow. Like the Germans, we're discovering the joy of Aldi and Lidl. Key message for me. You either have to offer exceptional quality or exceptional value to survive nowadays.

Apparently alcohol sales remain buoyant. The best way to deal with the recession? You've guessed it..head for the pub.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

In Windsor

Am staying in a hotel right opposite Windsor Castle. I wonder if the Queen's in. There's some lights on. Bet she's watching the tennis.