Posts Tagged ‘Asda’

NewsGush – Total Recall

August 28, 2008

Thanks to brain-melting industry publication, Marketing Magazine, you can easily obtain figures detailing how companies compare when it comes to a thing called ‘brand recall’ – which essentially means ‘remembering adverts’. After all – it’s no good making a brain-rotting telenudge unless it’s guaranteed to burn itself into the collective synapse of the proletariat consumer, eh?

Here’re the top 10 performers – and my attempt at total recall.

Sainsburys (69%)
Easy – this is Jamie Oliver patronising people and then cooking them a third rate dinner in some suburban vision of hell on earthly terrain.

Asda (61%)
No idea. Three crates of booze for a tenner? Some arsehole in a green hat patting his arse? Ian Wright pretending to be enthusiastic about baking a loaf? Or is that Somerfield?

Dolmio (60%)
Fucking annoying puppets blabbering incomprehensibly about sauce.

Littlewoods Direct (53%)
No idea. Scrabbling for a memory, I can picture some tall girl mucking about in slow motion on a beach in a peach-coloured dress – but I think that’s just a generic mental image I’ve invented when I think of the catalogues middle aged women get through the post. I also recall many happy moments spent with the lingerie section of the Kays catalogue. Thanks again, catalogue-model girls.

L’Oreal Elvive Re-Nutrition (51%)
Is this Andie MacDowell? Or Eva Longoria? Either way, it’s a shit actress talking crap. Or it may just be a model with the speech dubbed over. In any case, hair doesn’t need nutrition. It just needs an occasional wash.

Marks & Spencer (49%)
Undoubtedly this’ll be Myleene and Claude Makelele’s wife playing silly buggers in swimsuits, in a lighthouse while an old woman and a giantess look on. Getting a bit tiresome, this campaign (if looking at this sort of thing could ever be considered tiresome).

Burger King (49%)
The Dark Knight burger. When I can’t decide what brand of coloured, flavoured offal and dung pattie  I want to stick into my gut, I let a fictional character – usually a superhero – decide for me.

Morrisons (48%)
More reasons to shop at more-reasons? Is that still going? Or is it Alan ‘Arsehole’ Hansen clutching a trolley like a zimmer-frame? I’m guessing rather than trying to remember these ads now, if you hadn’t noticed.

Vauxhall Corsa (47%)
I can’t remember car ads, ever. Has it got a car in it?
Going very fast?
It has?
Then I won’t remember it.

Flora pro.activ (46%)
I don’t even know what this is. It’s got ‘Flora’ attached so I assume it’s margarine – but the weirdly punctuated and abbreviated bit at the end leads me to assume it’s a futuristic margarine that makes your bones robotic or something. This sort of branding makes me hit spread-autopilot and reach for the Utterly Butterly out of brain-freeze confusion.

The end

Scientific Conclusion:

We only remember adverts if they’re hugely patronising, if they feature women in bikinis or if they’ve got puppets talking with very strong, affected italian accents in them.

I think we’ve all learned something today.

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Ad Nauseam

March 7, 2008

Commercial Break 

It bothers me how much time I spend writing about adverts for this blog. I’d love to use it more wisely, perhaps writing about actual television programmes and works of art instead of the intermediate bursts of consumerist affirmation that punctuate them. However I can’t. Adverts fascinate, appall, offend, excite and pique the curiosity much more than most media these days. After all – culture is transient but commercials… well… I find them to be the true reflector of our society. We can go on about social change, about emerging trends and about legal precedents all we like, but until the most prevalent format begins to reflect them we may as well just keep quiet.

That said, I am trying to cut down on my own advert ramblings a tad this year and have decided to condense all my bile and pithy complaints into one easily digested post. No reams of material here, just a few biteback comments about the adverts which are really grinding my goat right now.

Pedigree Kennel Drive

Aaaaaw, look at the sad puppy with the voice of Bob the Builder…. aaaaaaw, animals are so cute… aaaaaaw, look, Pedigree are raising awareness by donating money from each pack sold to help homeless dogs… aaaaaaw… hang on, what do you mean 1p from each pack sold? For just three months? You tight bastards… that means if that EVERY person in the country who owns a dog buys 1 pack a month they’ll only receive 200 grand? That’s less than your poxy advert, celebrity appearance, PR company and airtime cost. Why not just not make a flat out donation and get the free publicity from your good naturedness?

Oil of Olay Definity Test

Classic example of ‘here’s the problem you didn’t know you had and now here’s what you need to solve it’. Money please. I’m reminded of that great Mitchell and Web sketch about toothbrushes.

ASDA

Why pay more? Because you’re a corrupt, unethical, slave-labour using, minimum wage endorsing, union-busting, tax-evading corporation. That’s why.

Kinder Bueno, A Little BIt of What You Fancy

This is not the 1970s. Or were you just angling for a featurette on Tarrant on TV for being cheeky? Jesus Fucking Christ… switch the genders and you’d have a full scale controversy.

LV Life Insurance

Read the small print; amount paid back will be less than paid in, fail to make a payment and the money is ours to keep, no payment until a year after your death so we have a full 12 months to bury your cash into all manner of highly dubious financial risks and ensure that the money isn’t available to pay for funeral costs and other expenses. Cilla Black, for shame – and the trawl through the Sixties audio is cringe-worthy.

Stella Artois – Pass Something On

I. Just. Hate. This. Fucking. Advert. Give the man his hat, or shoot him. Just get to the end of this piece of shit before I explode… that music…just thinking about it makes me want to cry inside.

Skoda Cake Car

Another advert I just despise… informing the public of a product or service is one thing, but this incessant branding is beginning to wear down my lifeforce. Not content with just presenting themselves anymore, we now have to suffer through a thousand ego interpretations of how Nike, or Sony, or Skoda (for fuck’s sake) want us to think of them. It’s a car! It’s a fucking car! Tell me about the fucking car, don’t subject me to the tedious artistic vision of a bunch of ad men. Either sell me a product or fuck off, stop being whimsical and aloof because it’s not big, it’s not clever, and it’s certainly not making me warm to you as a conglomerate.

Halifax feat. Thomas from Leeds

I will never have an account with Halifax, and it is solely because of these adverts. Full stop. Never. Their branding has done the opposite of the intended effect and has driven me from their stores, never to return and filled with hatred for them. Want to know why bank charges are so high? It’s so they can pay for their staff to CGI surf on TV and not even have the decency to buy their dignity with money – just ‘an opportunity.’

Halifax are dead to me now, as are Lloyds for their ‘want it/buy it’ commercials. These aren’t people, they’re relentless pathological extortioners.

Davidoff

Ewan McGregor, why? Did you want a second home or something? Money is surely no object to you, so why did you feel compelled to sell yourself off to a fucking perfume-maker? And to think I used to have respect for you…

THE END

ASDA adverts

September 27, 2007

Celebrities are amazing people. Truly, madly, deeply amazing people. They can brighten our day, make us feel special and turn even the most humdrum act into an exciting, liberating experience.

Take, for example, working for ASDA. To the vast majority of normal people it is a great example of a McJob – mentally and physically demanding, underpaid, patronising and exploitative – but in the hands of Ian Wright it is a joyous task filled with comedy banter, idle conversations and pleasure-bringing to the great unwashed. How wonderful! The job seems to be so much easier and improved with the inclusion of a celebrity fish-seller it makes you wonder why ASDA haven’t sacked their entire workforce and replaced them with washed up TV pundits. Think about it; one roaming camera crew to keep up the quality service and you’ll have thousands more customers flocking through the doors clammering to see Chantelle making pies and Nick Hancock offering wine-tasting.

What’s very interesting about Ian Wright’s behaviour in this advert is that almost everything he does would urge disiplinary action against normal employees. Were a 17 year old shelf-stacker to hustle or entertain customers in such a manner, they would find themselves hauled into the manager’s office and verbally beaten into submission. Were the 17 year old also to be overly familiar to customers, approach children offering them food and disply a lack of knowledge of their subject then you can guarantee that they’d be shown the door.

The advert tells us more about ASDA than they’d like us to know; primarily that they’re tight enough to rely on celebrity association rather than specialised branding. It’s far cheaper to throw a c-list celebrity into a store and let him interact with minimum wage employees (who will not have been paid extra for their involvement) than a considered and creative campaign from a large advertising company. Shoot it on handheld low-grade camera to keep costs down and you can afford to throw even more money at your designated ‘personality.’

At least Ian Wright is a better choice than their previous spokesperson, Sharon Osbourne. Her gurning, patronising spiel about bargains and parental responsibilities just made a nation stare aghast – amazed that anyone could think she was a thrifty shopper, let alone a good parent.

It’s an awful advertising campaign; misleading, simplistic and exploitative of their workforce. Much like the company itself.

“Asda has been criticised for misleading advertising, using suppliers who are known to have illegal employment practices, ignoring planning regulations and destroying greenbelt land, lack of serious environmental policy and blatant greenwash. With its ‘strategy of consolidation’, copied directly from Wal-Mart, Asda pursues an aggressive takeover policy of small towns, wiping out local competition and local jobs. False claims by the company about ‘value’ and ‘convenience’, have been challenged, along with the exploitation of every opportunity to push impulse buying”

Corporate Watch