Berocca TV ad – Log rolling

I love this ad. Not because it is expensively produced, glossy or particularly clever, but because it is so simple and made me smile. The end line backs it up perfectly and for a brand to deliver values that are achievable (the feeling, not the log rolling) is a god place to be. What they are claiming is that this product won’t change your world completely, but it will make you feel a little bit better.

I’m off to buy some now and then look for some logs to dance around on.

The New Zealand brand – summed up in one minute and 18 seconds

The Haka has always been something I have watched with fear and admiration, but today in the final of the Rugby World cup, I saw it for the first time as a brand marker for New Zealand. It shows their power, their determination and their ability to stand, miles from anywhere else in the world as a distinct nation, that is proud of its roots.

If you were going to write a few rules about a brand, they would be simple.

Do things well

Mean them, ie live your values

Build on your roots

Be differentiated.

They seem to have done all of these rather well here. And to be honest, it’s the first time I have ever seen anyone respond to it like the French. What a brilliant advertisement for the country and the sport of rugby.

Tesco sandwiches and health

I had a bit of a wake up call yesterday with the discovery that I have (very) high blood pressure.

Now I’m not (that) fat, I think I eat pretty well and almost all of my food is cooked fresh as I love cooking.

But initial feedback is that my salt intake is probably much to high, so I’ve started looking at everything I eat.

Not sure that LoSalt and others like it are much of a solution as a friend of mine pointed out yesterday that it just swaps sodium for potassium, which is different but still bad.

This was highlighted years ago in this BBC report from 2007.

But nothing seems to have been done about it. The lowest salt sandwich in the whole of the Tesco lunchtime offer (including all their ‘healthy options’) delivers you 19% of your total daily recommended intake. The highest is over 43%, which is horrendous. Weirdly, the sandwich fillers they sell are all quite low fat in themselves, which has to point the finger at their bread.

I guess I am going to have to start making my own lunches, as Tesco aren’t changing fast, if at all.

Brands that kill their customers, die in the end themselves too.

Kids, iPads, conventional media and Blippar

This is a sweet little video that is in fact quite scary. A small child that is so used to the moving media that an iPad presents, that they are completely stumped when they are presented with a magazine and it’s contents.

It’s probably quite worrying to the owners of the print based media businesses how irrelevant their media is to younger audiences, who consume more through video than through print or conventional reading (sadly).

But Blippar may have an answer, as they are linking the two. It’s early days yet, but i’m quite hopeful about the way this augmented reality technology is going and the opportunities it offer for brands.

British Gas and their trite new identity

call me a cynic if you wish, but I am not a big fan of this rather smug new identity for British Gas. Here’s the old one.

Brirish Gas and their old and uncaring identity
British Gas and their old and uncaring identity

There’s not a lot wrong with this. It says what they do, or rather what they did. Their business has obviously diversified and they need to move away from their obvious reliance on fossil fuels and the harm they bring to our planet. So they’ve changed it to this.

British Gas who are now looking after our world for us

I don’t have a particular problem with the identity. It’s fine in fact. decent typo and a subtle shade of green has been snuck into the logo. Good work team.

But the strapline. ‘Looking after your world’. Behave.

What a bunch of trite shite.

How are they looking after our world, by dragging tons of gas out and burning it?

Straplines are always a difficult issue, but this one is on the verge of vomit inducing. If it was my job, i’d drop it and quit the pretence before everyone does an emperors new clothes as soon as they have an issue or heaven forbid an accident and they make the word a little bit worse for us.


I’ve just had it pointed out to me by my mate and long time Creative colleague Darren Fisk, quite how similar the new British Gas identity is to the Age UK identity.

Age UK brand - Is this where the designers of the British Gas logo found their inspiration??
Age UK brand – Is this where the designers of the British Gas logo found their inspiration?

If you look at the background to the brand that was designed by the fabulously named Kitcatt Nohr Digitas (it’s that sort of name that made me want to join the industry) and watch their intro video about how they developed the brand, you can see it’s built on real values, that matter. I think it’s worth watching Paul Kitcatt talking about it here (even though looking at the viewer numbers, no one else has actually bothered):

Yeo Valley – X Factor Ad

I have just been sent this by PRDaily and it’s another good one by the genius admen at BBH.

I’m proud to say I didn’t see it on X Factor (as I have never seen it and hopefully never will) but it is a strong ad on the back of their major repositioning.

But I can’t help but notice quite how similar it is as a parody to the Blink 182 video ‘All the Small things, where they played up the over the top boy band video.

So for me, the Yeo Valley ad isn’t the most terribly original idea, but it is another beautifully produced ad that hits its younger target audience very hard.

Teacher of the year

Llew-Davies-teacher of the year
Llew-Davies-teacher of the year

I’m slightly embarrassed to say that I caught a few minutes of the Pride of Britain Awards and saw an amazingly inspirational teacher – Llew Davies – who won the Teacher of the Year Award. They showed him in his classroom with his pupils who clearly love what he does and how he does it.

What caught my imagination was his enthusiasm and individuality. I love the fact that he cared enough to think about things, look at teaching from the child’s persepective and then went on to name the teacher who inspired him when he was growing up.

It reminded me of the William Arthur Ward quote.

“The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires.”

It will be many years before we see quite how big an inspiration this brilliant teacher has been to the kids, but I suspect that there will be some brilliant teachers, some amazing scientists and some inspiring people coming straight from his classrooms.


Thanks to Steve Peake at The Guardian for the image. You can read their article here.

The difference between rugby and football as brands

I have loved this Rugby World Cup so far and have been getting up early on a Saturday and Sunday morning to watch the England games. Watching England at football World Cups’ is normally a pub based sport, so seeing the rugby without a drink opens up a whole new way of watching the game and is highlighting the difference between two of our national sports in exceptional clarity.

So what does the rugby brand have that football really needs, if it is to remain as our national sport of choice?

1. Respect. It’s being spoken a lot in the game of football, but never lived. The level of dissent in football is horrific and can be seen every saturday in kids games up and down the country.

2. Ref’s with authority. Related to the above, but the refs are exceptional, make very few mistakes, rely on their ‘fourth official’, have linesmen who help and do see things and manage a game beautifuly.

3. An advantage rule worth the name. In rugby, the advantage has time to work through, or it comes back to them. It’s a genuine advantage and penalises those who break the rules.

4. Players who care. The England Rugby players look and act like they are genuinely proud to be there. Name one player on the football side whose proudest moment is pulling on his England shirt, other than maybe David Beckham?

5. Players who think about the consequences. During a rugby game, there are fists and fights all over the place. At the end of the game, they are all hugs and hapiness. It’s incredible to see and wonderful. If football could breed better losers, they’d have better winners too.

6. They admit when they get it wrong. Tindall has been a proper fool. No doubt about it, but he did confess and not try and put a press gagging superinjunction, to try and hide it. Getting all the bad news out fast is always the best solution in the long run.

7. The management are more honest too. If their team have been dreadful, they say so. Who believes most of what the football managers say in their post match interviews? It was amusingly refreshing to see Neil Warnock after QPR’s 6-0 thrashing to say they were awful and got thrashed – But he is a rule unto himself and always has been.

So what does this say for the future of the rugby and football brands?

To me, it says that rugby is on the way up as it is a brand built on sustainable and real values. Football is built on money. when this stops rolling, or even slows down, there will be massive casualties and many fans walking away.

Looking at the number of kids on a rugby training pitch these days, i’d be very surprised indeed if it doesn’t become an even bigger participation sport than it is today, into the next generation.