Archive for the 'advertising' Category

Restaurant websites often undercooked

152 Aldeburgh – Tel: 01728 454594

Why sub-editing or (even a spell-checker!) is important… I hope their cooking is better than their spelling (and it’s good according to this). The missing hyphen is forgivable*, but a restaurant that can’t spell restaurant! First impressions and all that…

Also the wines page could do with a spruce-up, as it currently says ‘Andrew recommends…… House wines.”

It’s a shame that after almost 10 years of the ‘digital age’ in the UK most small businesses still suffer from poor web presence. That’s fine when you run a hardware store or MOT garage where people just need your name, location, opening hours, and a phone number, but restaurants should make a little more effort. After all, they’re selling an emotional experience and the promise of a good time. Small places like this are often labours of love with a single owner – what Americans would call ‘Mom and Pop’ places. If you go in most nights you’ll see the owners working there. It’s this personality that more smaller operators should make more of, I think, even if it’s a big cheesy grin photo and some nice welcoming words.

Here’s the website for the Hungry Monk in Jevington, Sussex. Whilst it’s not going to win any design award and hardly uses cutting-edge web tech, it does have all you need to get a sense of the place. Address, directions, reviews, menus, prices, and some images of where you’ll be eating.

For bigger, more urban places, there’s other things you can do to capture web users. Restaurant Magazine had an article on restaurant podcasts and blogs the other month – even if it’s your head chef chatting about what’s in season, or taking a delivery from a supplier, or the head waiter talking about a visit from a celeb. Yes, it’s a lot more effort than having a continuing ad in the local rag… but those days are gone.

*A friend once saw ‘Hand cut skin on chips’ on a menu, all without hyphens.

advertising vs protesting


Originally uploaded by Luis Rubim.

Oh dear, a good idea in the brainstorming session… a very bad idea to do it next to soliders mothers who are holding large images of their dead sons.

Mind you there were all sorts of protesters there. I saw one guy protesting on his own about Freemasons.

Barclays eagle causing a flap after 317 years

Barclays eagle is causing a flap after 317 years-Business-Industry Sectors-Banking & Finance-TimesOnline

More logo bafoonery with the news that Barclays are to drop their ‘Tutonic looking’ eagle logo lest it offend the mild mannered Dutch who proabbly couldn’t care less. Ditch it because you don’t like it, or that you want to create someting new, but don’t ditch it because it may offend… customers are offended by sloppy service and outrageous bank charges, not this surely?!  Also, there’s a reason for the eagle, from Barclay’s history page1728 Freame and Gould move to 54 Lombard Street at the sign of the Black Spread Eagle.”

Barclays Eagle

Furthurmore plenty other country in Europe neigh the world has used the eagle at somepoint, including the dutch town of Berg en Terblijt.

Looking at the list of FTSE 100 top 30 Co.’s with a large market cap it’s worth noting that Royal Dutch Shell, BP, Barclays, Lloyds, and BAT are the only ones to use anythign from the natural world in their branding…


Royal Dutch Shell



4 GlaxoSmithKline
5 Vodafone Group
6 Royal Bank of Scotland Group

Barclays plc

9 AstraZeneca
10 Anglo American

Lloyds TSB

12 Tesco

British American Tobacco

14 Rio Tinto Group [1]
15 Diageo
16 BT Group
17 Xstrata
18 BG Group
19 BHP Billiton [2]
20 Aviva
21 Standard Chartered
22 National Grid
23 Unilever [3]
24 SABMiller
25 Prudential
26 Reckitt Benckiser
27 Imperial Tobacco Group
28 BAE Systems
29 Scottish and Southern Energy
30 Centrica
31 Marks & Spencer
32 Cadbury Schweppes
33 Scottish Power [4]
34 Land Securities
35 Legal & General

Creative of Tonbridge Wells

There was a nice article in the Independent yesterday talking about the outpouring of creativity following the new Olympic logo announcement. Send us yours they say, shame they’ve not got round to publishing any yet. The Daily Mail has, along with the Sun and BBC online as well as the 2012 group themselves.

Let’s face it this logo was doomed from the start, the likes of the Mail and Express had probably written the copy months ago, they were only going to be satisfied with the Queen mum dressed as a beefeater upon a union jack draped bulldog jumping Big Ben or something. There’s now a a lot of ‘what’s wrong with the old one!’ (We see this a lot when the Bank of England introduces new shaped currency – though there was little fuss about the new £20 notes strangely) A lot of people want to keep the logo that won us the games, maybe because it’s tied up in our minds with 7/7?

So, as in times past, there was much wailing and gnashing of teeth, outrage, disgrace, and a ‘child could do that’ etc… so far so British. The natural perpetual state of the Englishman is to believe the country’s going to the dogs, to rack and ruin, stop the world I want to get off. We’ve become a nation of complainers, not in a ‘out on the streets storming the barricades’ kind of way, but in a moaning letter writing way, complaining not about erosion of our civil liberties or the right to protest within 1 mile of the ‘cradle of democracy’, but on the choice of contestants on a TV game show – after all it’s far easier to dash off a email or add a splurge a comment on a website about something inconsequential these days that actually do anything about it.

Except in the case of the London Olympic logo lots of ‘children who could do that’ have actually had a go, as well as teenagers and adults. Despite what you think of the logo, you can’t deny it’s been a catalyst for the public to start designing – that’s a good thing I think. No one did this when the Millennium Experience man logo came out, and everyone hated that remember?

Mullenium Man logo

Mullenium Man logo


So a similar outpouring of moaning; ‘waste of money’ looks rubbish – zero creating a better version as far as I remember. Why is that? Well I reckon its two things. One, we have better access to creative digital technology, we can not only create stuff much easier, but we can distribute and promote it much faster too. We’re more visually fluent, we’re taking more and more pictures of our lives, and are world is now saturated in imagery. Second is the fall of the expert – or perhaps that should be the rise of the amateur – With vast amounts of information and increased leisure time, anyone can voice their opinions on everything from creationism to composition.

This isn’t always a good thing mind. If you look at a lot of the entries, they look like t-shirts you see in souvenir and other tourist stalls and shops don’t they?

And I should know having had a job in Athena on Trafalgar square in 97. Is London no more than Big Ben, beef eaters and the underground roundel? We’re often guilty of over-venerating our design classics. The routemaster bus: outcry at its replacement, but they were cramped, noisy, a nightmare for the disabled and most were over 50 years old. Scott’s Phone box: 80 years old and now only used for prozzie cards and for drunks to have a piss in, be honest when was the last time you used one?

You can see how this design came about, ‘we want something youth, something different’ was the brief, it’s in every brief. And so they tried for something different, and let’s be honest, every other Olympic logo has sucked; 5 daubs of abstract colour and the rings, silly mascot, and forgoten before the Olympic flame has cooled – yawn.

We’ve got five years; maybe it’ll grow on us? Here’s my favourite.

Maestro vs Cash

London it seems is under the grip of an ad blitz from the Maestro debit card, which we’re told, is The New Cash ™.

I think this campaign is advertising something that few of us really care about, why? Because we nearly all have a cash card able to make debit transactions. It’s like advertising the oxygen in the atmosphere. It’s one of those ubiquitous products that you don’t really choose, they just come with your bank account. Was it Bill Hicks or Jack Dee who the sketch – Customer:’I’ll have a Coke’. Barman:’We’ve only got Pepsi’. Customer:’Whatever’.

I, like most people I imagine, carry around £10 to £20 in cash for small purchases – sandwiches, drinks, gum, etc. And buy everything else – shopping, clothes, books, magazines, tavel card – on a card. It’s this under £20 section of the market, the realm of small change, that the ads are targetting with the promise of a trip to Paris.


‘R.I.50P’.  Not a chance.  Not until paying with a debit/credit card is as easy as a ‘touch here’ Oyster card. The promise of that particular technological marvel crops up from time to time, before the tech hits the skids and it all goes away for another year or so.

Micro payments are something that the banks are keen to do as ‘It is estimated that using cash costs UK banks and retailers up to £4bn a year, so replacing it has the potential to be cheaper and quicker for all concerned.‘ – Yay, cheaper for the banks who made a total of £40bn profit this year. That’s belt tightening.

But post ‘God that’s stupid’, I got to thinking about all those occasions when cash, and more particularly coins, are actually useful. We’ve a strong social history around money, it peforms a lot social functions besides just paying for goods.  So here’s my take on the Maestro Adverts… if you can think of any more, add them in the comment section.

Mastro vs The Tooth-Fairy

Maestro vs Wishing Wells

Maestro vs The Johnny Machine

Maestro vs lots of machines

Maestro vs The Scouts

Meastro vs Kids

maestro vs the homeless

maestro vs refs

Finally, another piece of quality advertising is this…
fish and chips healthy?!

Good and bad other product placement

Bad product placement (Morrisons – Grimsby) Surface protectors and Curry??!?!!the most bizzaar product placement. Good product placement (Tesco extra – Grimsby) Ahhh, Anadin and high tannin wines.good product placement

Tassimo twatissimo

So I saw the adverts about ‘the perfect cup’ machines with one effortless touch of a button a while ago, but it only really hit home today when I was coffee shopping in my local Sainsbury’s.Cafe StyleBehold, a new growth sector…Cafe Style, note the accent on the e, so chic, so Frennnnnnch, it’s a agency’s wet dream.Here’s why it’s a nightmare.Tassimo coffee fuel cells | Cafe Direct COST. The Tassimo pods work out at £2.28 per 100g, . The Fair Trade Cafe Direct bag of coffee works out at £1.41 per 100g. That a saving of nearly a quid PER 100g. With the fair trade bag you get 227g, that’s enough for a lot of coffee, with the Tassimo pack you get 18x8g, or 144g. That means more trips to the shops to stock up. And people say they spend too much time shopping….COST OF MACHINE (at John Lewis)Tassimo machine – £99.95Traditional Stove top espresso maker – £24 or Traditional Cafetiere – £25Sure the Tassimo machine lets you make ‘ a variety of hot drinks, including cappuccino, tea and hot chocolate’ But the chances are you all ready own a kettle, and what’s wrong with making a pot of tea? And just how many hot chocolates a year do you really drink?PACKAGINGThe Cafe Direct stuff comes in one bag, that holds the coffee for it’s entire life, right down to the last few grains. The Tassimo pods, hold their contents until each one is used, then they’re thrown away to clog up landfills. This is the equivelent of selling flour in 100g packets, rather than in a bag.FAIR TRADEOne is, (the cafe direct), on isn’t (the other one), nuff said.People who buy this are essentially too lazy to spoon pre-ground coffee into any sort of chamber. This is the 21st Century equivalent of the Toastie maker, only worse. This device will be under the sink at the back within six months. This product/device fails on so many levels, cost to you, the coffee grower and the environment. We sometimes accept products in blocks, dishwashing tablets for example, but not the British cuppa or our new found love of coffee. If anything we want the steam, the spooning, the grinding, the playing at being Barista. It also keeps consumers stupid, buying different mixes of the same product, no learning, no tasting. As for reviews? Well I’ve read a press release or two in my time, and look at this, and Irogers has only reviewed two times, both about the Tassimo. Google Tassimo + rubbish and what comes back is not, ‘it’s rubbish’, but about clearing our your kitchen ‘rubbish’. That’s right, you’re dirty, your kitchen in full of stuff you don’t need says Kraft.So why are they saying this? Simple, it the Gillette model, give away the razors (only in this case it’s £99), make a packet on the blades… It locks people into one source, thus keeping them brand loyal. ‘got six dinner guests, but only 5 Tassimo coffee fuel cells… you’re fucked, bet you go without’ Where’s the fun in that? So if you’re asking yourself ‘should I buy a Tassimo?’ No they’re for twats.

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These are my personal views and not those of Channel 4 or the BBC
February 2020
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