Kronenburg 1664 – Motorhead TV ad

A colleague of mine pointed this out to me and declared that it was nearly as good as the 1985 Nick Kamen Levis Ad. But I have to say I totally disagree. I love the version of the song but I found myself totally captivated by Lemmy’s face lumps. Quite what these say for a wannabe stylish chic brand, I don’t know.

I think it’s interesting and I’m happy to be proved wrong with either cult status or massive viral numbers, but for me, it’s just not groundbreaking or revolutionary enough. It won’t make me go and buy the beer anyway and that’s the real acid test.

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Do we need domain suffixes?

Kids and the Internet - They don't do domains
Kids and the Internet - They don't do domains

I’ve been wondering for some time now whether the .com. .co.uk. .net and .eu suffixes are all we need to buy when we launch a new brand for a client. We don’t want to make the mistake of Wolff Olins, when they were preparing to launch ‘Introducing Monday ‘ back in 2002.

They forgot to buy the .co.uk and b3ta placed a joke site in it’s place, effectively stopping the launch altogether and wasting £7m of PriceWaterhouse Coopers consulting’s money in the process. But we all found it very funny indeed and it did at least launch the brilliant b3ta into the big time.

But for me now, I wonder whether we will need domain names at all soon. If the research from TGI Europa as far back as 2008 BA (Before Apps) is true, then 87% of all Internet activity starts with a Google search. So, domains will become irrelevant. If you watch the ways kids use the Internet, they either go directly through Apps on the iPad or they go to Google and key the name of the site they want. So to get to Facebook, they either app it, or go via Google.

If this is true, then pretty soon, Google is bound to stop showing the domain suffix anyway. We’ll just be delivered to the Facebook area, the Ebay area or even the Oxford United area and we’ll become less and less concerned with what specific domain this is on.

So for brand owners, it’s about building your name again. Forget the domain name, concentrate on the name itself. That’s where Google will be going in the future.

Article first published as The way the Internet works is changing“ domain suffixes are dead on Technorati.

A brilliant out of office email by Simon Biltcliffe

I don’t even know this bloke, but I know I like him already and would urge you to support him on his quest to raise money for Starlight. What a cool charity and you can read about them here.

A friend of mine emailed him and got this bounceback that puts even ours to shame.

The best out of office ever - help support Simon Biltcliffe - the self confessed least likley runner in the world
The best out of office ever - help support Simon Biltcliffe - the self confessed least likley runner in the world

Just so you don’t miss the link to his Just Giving site, you can see that here.

If he runs the rest of his business WebMartUk as beautifully as he’s written this, then it must be a rather excellent one.

Dixons vs. John Lewis – Which brand is really never knowingly undersold?

I wrote a piece last October about Dixons and their advertising approach that directly attacks John Lewis.

Well in the last few months, I’ve had two opportunities to test them out and judge for myself. My conclusion? Well, If I tell you I bought both times from Dixons and have been surprised and delighted by their service, then that maybe says it all.

The first time was for a TV for my son’s birthday. Dixons was just miles cheaper for a like for like product. I bought from them, thinking it was something of a risk, but it was perfect. Timed delivery, well packaged, perfect paperwork. Overall excellent.

The most recent time was only last week when our own TV blew up with no chance of repair. I looked at John Lewis and then price compared them with Dixons. Whilst the model number is not identical, the spec itself seems absolutely identical. You decide!

Samsung 37" LCD TV from Dixons at £399.99
Samsung 37" LCD TV from Dixons at £399.99

or

or a Samsung 37" LCD TV from John Lewis at £499.95
or a Samsung 37" LCD TV from John Lewis at £499.95

So the price difference is a massive £100 or in this case, Dixons are a full 20% cheaper. Therefore, what you have to be paying for is the extra guarantee that John Lewis provide. Their claim that this five year guarantee is actually free, is nothing short of scandalous. It’s not, it’s £100.

John Lewis used to claim they would price match anyone, but they have varied the model number slightly so it’s not an exact match and they have added the spoiler of their so called ‘free’ guarantee. The price match in this case would not, by their rules, be a valid one and they would refuse to price match. They would back this up by saying they wouldn’t price match an Internet only retailer like Dixons anyway.

I guess you pays your money and you takes your choice. I chose the rather more honest approach of Dixons. Twice.

Updated

Karen in Customer services has responded twice to my comments which does at least show they have a bit of a system. As you can see below, both comments are almost identical so i’m not being palmed off with a total cut and paste job.

John Lewis price match details - from Karen in Customer Services
John Lewis price match details - from Karen in Customer Services

if you can’t read this, i’ll put it in full here:

Hi John

I just thought it might be helpful if I explained our position further.

We reviewed our Never Knowingly Undersold terms and conditions on 6 September 2010 to include the matching of on-line competitors something we hadn’t done up until then.  We match those competitors who trade in the same way as us in that they have a high street presence.  As Dixons trade solely on line we do not match their prices.

The two models that you highlight are different.   Dixons also sell the LE37C580 which they have priced at £438.95.  We use the model numbers our suppliers give us and I would like to reassure you that we wouldn’t deliberately alter them to duck out of having to price match.

We always try to offer exceptional value on our TVs – on this product we’re at the same price as our key high street competitors most of whom only offer a 1-year guarantee. Therefore we would consider that our 5 year guarantee comes at no extra cost to our customers.  If this additional guarantee is particularly important to a customer they would find that these key competitors would charge up to 33% more than our selling price to offer the TV with the same service conditions.

Having said that I understand it is completely your decision to choose where you make your purchase but I do hope that my explanation of our arrangements is of some help

Kind regards
Karen Eardley Customer  Service Manager John Lewis Head Office

Updated again

When I get it wrong, i’m happy to admit it. And in this case I got it wrong. The specs of the two TV’s I used as a comparison are not the same. The John Lewis one has an HD Freeview Tuner and the Dixons one has a normal NOT HD Freeview Tuner. As you’ll see from the comment below by Ricardo, the specs can’t be compared and as such, neither can the prices.

Oops, I got it wrong, thanks Ricardo. HD Freeview is not the same as NOT HD Freeview
Oops, I got it wrong, thanks Ricardo. HD Freeview is not the same as NOT HD Freeview

But luckily, steaming to my rescue is Karen from John Lewis Customer Services (who Ricardo doesn’t work for). She points out that Dixons do carry EXACTLY THE SAME LE37C580 TV at £438.95 and they won’t price match that either. It’s out of stock though so it’s either selling like hot cakes or an old model.

LE37C580 TV with HD FReeview at £438.95 from Dixons
LE37C580 TV with HD Freeview at £438.95 from Dixons

Okay, so my maths isn’t quite as dramatic. It is not 20% cheaper buying from Dixons, it’s 12.2% or exactly £61.

That to me sounds like a saving. John Lewis won’t price match Dixons, but you have to take the decision as to whether you think the £61 is worth it for the extra warranty.

Yeo Valley – How to reposition a brand in 2 minutes

Sorry to make this the third video in a row, but this is a super piece of brand repositioning. Thanks to Kelly Herrick of Abacus for sharing it – I certainly wouldn’t have seen it as I simply can’t bring myself to sit down and watch X Factor. Yeo Valley would hardly have been described as a happening, trendy and even cool brand, but they may do now.

But this is really clever. It works the organic angle, the natural, the beautiful people and youth all in one ad. My only complaint is the terrible dubbing of the girly farmers voice.

if this doesn’t help their sales and be a comparitive brand reposition to that achieved by Nick Kamen all those years ago with the Levi Ad, I don’t know what will.

They deserve all the success they get.

Tippex – Shoot the bear – Interactive branding at its best

Tipp-Ex don’t exactly strike me as an innovative brand. Quite the opposite in fact.

But this is really clever. Watch the first bit of the video and then make your decision.

Between us in the studio, we tried eating, tickling and sha**ing the bear and all produced relevant results. Whether it says much about the Tippe-Ex brand itself is a different question, but it does pitch them in an innovative light. Maybe it will make people look again at what they are doing. It’s had 10 million people looking at it already!

Thanks to my mate Rob Marshall at RM Create for sharing this with me. You can see his tweets at @ThrobMarshall.

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