Christmas TV Adverts hit our screens

Friday 6th November 2015   by Stuart Bickerton

Yes, it’s that time of year again. As the embers are being extinguished on the bonfires, some of the UK’s largest retailers begin the roll out of their Christmas TV adverts.

The anticipation of these festive adverts now fill our news programs and newspapers at this time, partly as a nod to huge sums of money invested. Retailers plunge seven figure values in the making of their mini masterpieces and purchase airtime of between 4 to 8 times that value.

Here’s the runners and riders for TV Christmas Adverts in 2015

 

John Lewis TV Advert for Christmas 2015

Asda Christmas Advert for 2015

Waitrose Christmas Advert for 2015

Lidl Christmas Advert for 2015

Tkmaxx Christmas Advert for 2015

M&S

Boots

Sainsbury’s

Spanish Lottery

In-game advertising – a double-edged sword

Wednesday 18th July 2012   by Andy Comber

Matt Hughes is spending a week doing work experience with us here at matm. He’s 15 and an experienced gamer. So we asked him to look into an increasingly common aspect of the digital leisure world – in-game advertising. Here’re his views:

In the past 10 years, video games have developed exceedingly fast. This has perked the interest of many companies, including, Adidas, MacDonald’s and Intel to use these games as advertising opportunities.

However, the games industry have had mixed feelings on in-game advertisements, as it may be seen as ‘selling out’. This has caused some businesses to lose respect from customers.

Although a lot of businesses have gained millions of dollars from the revenue they have earned from the advertisements. One well known in-game advert was an advertising billboard for the Obama 2008 election in a game called Burnout Paradise.


This billboard was positioned on the side of a main highway, where the players would pass regularly and see the message.

Obama also appeared in NBA Live 08 where he featured on an advertising board with the same ‘EARLY VOTING’ message. It made a regular appearance next to the basketball court, which would have been viewed millions of times by players of the highly popular basketball franchise.

In my personal experience, I have never been put off a game because of it’s in-game adverts.

However if the development company were to extend the amount of adverts they add to their game even more, to the point that it may have advert breaks in the game, or if the game were to have advertising billboard on every available space, I would feel betrayed as a gamer, as I buy games to enjoy them, not to have corporate advertising rammed in my face every five minutes.

I feel that the addition of in-game advertisements adds to the realism as it creates a recognisable atmosphere that is relatable to the player of the game. However, if the developers were to abuse this, they may be criticized by the media, games reviewers and gamers.

Since in-game advertising has arrived in the last couple of years, a lot of game developers have had the ability to produce free-to-play games with no hidden costs or charges.

This has enabled them to use these games as a blank canvas for testing features to use on their new games, for example a game called Team Fortress 2 which was released in 2007, was originally priced at £8, however in early 2012, the game was made free to play.

This has allowed Valve, the game’s developers, to experiment with different features and create a better gaming experience for the future. They have used advertising in their game to help fund the development process and continue to produce new content for the game.

My view is that a lot of smaller, independent games companies could benefit from in-game advertisements because the extra income, which in some cases might be substantial, could offset development costs, making it easier to break into the market.

As well as advertisement, product placement has also become more popular in the gaming industry, with large businesses like Lynx placing their products in games, and well known characters taking Coca Cola from a branded vending machine.

This idea of showing the product in the game has proven very successful for many companies, for example, when Activision released Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, Mountain Dew also released Modern Warfare 3 themed drinks in which were several collectable cards that gamers could trade for in-game items and ‘Experience Boots’.

This boosted the sales of Mountain Dew significantly, as many of the gamers that play Call of Duty will do anything to get ahead of other gamers.

On 15 July 2012, in an article about growing alarm at our increasingly digital world, The Sunday Times said the average British adolescent spends up to 5 hours a day online and 10 to 11-year-olds have access to 5 screens at home.

Advertisers have realised that to reach a target audience, especially the highly prized younger audience, they must place their products where the audience is, and that is increasingly in cyberspace, not the real world.

Advertising on Facebook and Youtube is now the norm, now the ad people are beginning to shift over to games, as they know that a large percentage of the people that use computers regularly in their spare time are gamers.

The upside, is that this new element of the advertising industry is creating thousands of new jobs. The downside is that it is clear we will never escape seeing something we never knew we wanted.

Mobile ads – right message, right person, right time. Sounds familiar, asks matm?

Monday 21st February 2011   by Stuart Bickerton

Here at matm, we found this BBC News report on the explosion of mobile phone ads an interesting video

With social media behomoth Facebook and search engine colossus Google just two players working hard to dominate the advertising dollars of the future, it’s going to be an interesting time.

However, of all the talk of a new era in marketing and advertising the main message is not a great surprise to Stuart Bickerton – MAKE IT RELEVANT

We’re loving that! Feel the force of a top TV advert from VW

Tuesday 8th February 2011   by Stuart Bickerton

Every self-respecting six-year-old boy believes he has supernormal powers – right? VW takes this concept to create a super-powered TV advert to launch its new Passat.

VW plays on humour, family and the big kid in all of us as a mini Darth Vader tries to use The Force around his family home.

The company chose its strategy wisely (my son). It launched the ad first on YouTube, creating viral interest like a gathering storm. Then it gave it a first TV airing in the US during the Imperial sporting battle to beat all sporting battles that was Superbowl 2011 at the weekend.

At an estimated cost of £4m for the full minute.

Add the back story of the six-year-old Max ‘Darth Vader’ Page who was born with a heart defect and we think the team who planned the Volkswagen Passat advert deserve a hearty pat on the back.

VW’s ad is now fast approaching 20 million views on You Tube. It is interesting, in itself, that we are measuring the success of a TV ad in terms of how much it is seen on the internet.

Here at matm, we’re wondering if there’ll be a sequel…or even a prequel?


 

matm’s Freaky Friday – we’re loving the TV ad about the fish that can mend a broken heart

Friday 4th February 2011   by Stuart Bickerton

The British Hearth Foundation has launched its ‘Mending Broken Hearts’ appeal with a very subtle yet eye-catching TV ad. It’s a touching story in two parts – seen from the view of a woman and a zebrafish. That’s right – a fish!

Amazing facts about the zebrafish

  • Their hearts mend themselves – if part of a zebrafish heart is damaged, it is repaired in a few weeks, just like mending a broken arm (human, not fish…silly)
  • They are see-through – in their early development, they are transparent, allowing scientist to watch the development of their heart and blood vessels
  • Zebrafish are commonly studied by genetics scientists, looking to develop new medicines and therapies

 

Mending Broken Hearts Appeal – British Heart Foundation

Nick Radmore, BHF’s Head of Social Marketing and Brand, said: “The idea was to bring the science to life. The zebrafish helps people understand how complex regenerative medicine [on human hearts] could bring hope to millions of people in the UK.”

It’s not very often an ad such as this makes me want to go and google about it, said Neil Dicken, a designer at matm, the marketing, design, web development and PR agency, at Jackfield near Telford, Shropshire.

But as it came to an end, I already had my Iphone out, reading up on this amazing fish!

Find out more about this BHF’s Mending Broken Hearts Appeal.

Find out more about matm’s transparently effective and affordable video service.

Mobile marketers are rapidly catching on to quick response barcodes

Monday 10th January 2011   by Stuart Bickerton

In between numerous episodes of CSI (my guilty pleasure of the moment), I’ve been watching Delia Smith talking about posh pastry on behalf of Waitrose.

Given their strong corporate ID I had a bit of a moment when I saw a large jagged box on the TV, writes Lindsay Crayton, Senior Creative at matm, the marketing, graphic and web design, web development, PR agency at Jackfield, near Telford in Shropshire.

It took me back to a conversation I had with a colleague sometime ago about these ‘boxes’, it went something along the lines of:

Me: Stuart take a look at this!

Stuart: What is it?

Me: A bar code that you can scan in using your mobile phone, it can hold information like a web address or text.

Stuart: Eyes have glazed over…

Moving swiftly on, a bit of research found these boxes to be called QR codes, QR being Quick Response.

They were originally developed, as long ago as 1994, by Denso-Wave in Japan for tracking car parts for Toyota. The main objective was that they could be read at high speed from any angle.

The QR-Code carries information horizontally and vertically whereas a standard barcode contains data only in one direction.

Also, a standard bar code can only hold 20 digits but a QR code can hold more than 7,000 and can be made to be a fraction of the size (approximately one-tenth) so less room taken up on packaging.

Companies are now increasingly using the technology to market products and services via mobile phones.

Pepsi using a QR code on a promotional billboard. It helps that the code looks arty and intriguing

A smart phone with a camera and decoding software can be used to capture and read the information on a QR code – whether it appears on the TV, billboard, in a magazine advert or on a t-shirt. The process of is called mobile tagging, while the the specific act of linking from a physical object is called physical world hyperlinking.

You can also create your own QR codes using free software. The social media site Mashable recently explained how to do it.

Facebook has a dedicated QR-Code page with lots of creative and business uses. It’s also finding its way into the art world.

An edible and scannable waffle created at NYC Resistor in 2010

I wasn’t able to scan the QR-code on the TV, I have an older phone, but if anyone else has I’d love to know…

matm uses advertising, social media, print and video in Shropshire smoking campaign

Thursday 30th December 2010   by Stuart Bickerton

matm has helped devise a major New Year marketing campaign to encourage thousands of smokers in Shropshire to ‘Pledge to Quit’ in 2011.

We’ve been working working with Help2Quit, an NHS stop smoking service.

Help2Quit runs drop-in clinics across Shropshire offering one-to-one support for smokers. It also provides a free workplace service where smoking rates are high. Results show smokers are four times more likely to stop with Help2Quit support.

Key elements of the New Year campaign include bus shelter advertising, a leaflet drop to 40,000 homes, video clips of people explaining why and how they quit and a social media campaign.

Pledge To Quit leaflet designed by matm as part of Help2Quit's 2011 campaign

Stuart Bickerton, Director of the matm marketing, graphic and web design, web development and PR agency at Jackfield near Telford in Shropshire, says: “It’s vital that you use the right methods to reach target groups to generate the best value for money and the greatest impact.

“That’s one reason why social media, such as Facebook, will play a part in the campaign. Video provides excellent social media content and can be packaged differently for a range of purposes. Because we have the expertise to shoot and edit the video ourselves, it’s very cost effective.”

The bus shelter advertising campaign will be focused in the Telford and Wrekin area on busy main roads close to supermarkets. The leaflet mailing will be targeted in other areas of the county where there are high levels of smoking.

The Pledge to Quit message challenges smokers to think about the personal benefits of giving up – and explains the range of help at hand if they want to quit.

Find out more about Help2Quit: 01743 366940, www.Help2QuitShropshire.co.uk, facebook.com/Help2Quit

Graphic design from Shropshire that creates an advertisment really worth noticing

Tuesday 30th November 2010   by Stuart Bickerton

Making a marketing impact in a cluttered and fast-moving world can be a bit of a challenge.

Which got us here at matm thinking, how many adverts are we exposed to every day?

It appears from a huge amount of in-depth research – well okay, about 10 minutes on Google – that the answer is not clear.

In 2007, the New York Times quotes 5,000 (up from 2,000 in 1977). Then again, that is for the USA where they would tattoo an advertisement on the inside of your eyelids if you let them.

Another textbook figure that pops up a lot is 3,000. A blog has even been created solely to explore the phenomenon.

In Australia, one intrepid blogger, Matt Granfield, set out to actually count how many adverts he saw in 24 hours – that IS dedication for you. He got to 91 in the first hour and concluded it wasn’t looking good for the 3,000 figure.

Some experts break the figures down a little. A recent study, again in the USA, found that 34% of all ads targeting children or teens were for sweets and snacks – and that tweens were the most heavily targeted, seeing more than 20 food ads a day.

And at the conservative end of the scale, some put the total number of ads viewed at 300.

Okay. Whatever the case, we get to see a lot of adverts – and more now than we used to.

That’s why it is so important to make your message stand out from the crowd.

We recently helped Douglas Macmillan Hospice in Stoke on Trent do this by designing a promotional money collecting box for them. When every penny generously donated really counts, it’s important to get things right.

So here’s our top tips for designing promotional material:

  • Know what your key message is. It might not be profound – but it always has to get right to the nub of the matter, and fast.
  • Be clear about what and who you are promoting. You have a blink of an eye to achieve a connection and trigger a reaction.
  • Use bold, contrasting colours – which always reflect your brand. Contrasting colours help the whole design stand out.
  • And in that cluttered world mentioned earlier, less is always more. Keep it simple!

We hope that when you see a Douglas Macmillan Hospice collecting box, you’ll put a few coins in. It’s one of the hundreds – or is it thousands? – of ‘adverts’ you will see in a day that is really worth succumbing to.

Mirror, Signal, Outmanoeuvre – matm client teams up with Audi

Thursday 11th November 2010   by Stuart Bickerton

Which machine is the real star of this picture?

Audi R8 Spyder: 0 to 60 miles per hour in 3.6 seconds. Nationwide Platforms scissor lift: 0 to 10 metres (32 feet) in 55 seconds. Put them together and you have one of the most memorable advertisements of 2010.

matm PR client Nationwide Platforms played a key role in bringing to life Audi’s dramatic ‘Mirror, Signal, Outmanoeuvre’ TV ad for its new supercar. Rogue Films, the makers of the advert, hired a mixture of electric scissor lifts and booms for the shoot, which took place at the Excel Centre in London’s Docklands.

We know through experience how important it is to have the correct equipment for video shoots and photoshoots and, the machines pictured above look perfect to support lighting rigs. We thought the image was striking enough to share with you – so come on – which machine is the real star of the picture?