Archive for the ‘Advertising’ Category

‘Great Taste’ and all the other things that flavour what we eat or drink

August 3, 2017

The Great Taste awards, described as the ‘Oscars’ of the food world are organised by the Guild of Fine Food.

They are the acknowledged benchmark for fine food and drink, and when a consumer sees the Great Taste logo on an item it is a sign that they will be buying a great tasting product.

This year (2017) Food and drink producers entered 12,300 products with 4,347 earning 3, 2 and 1 star ratings of which 444 originated from Ireland.

Overall just 165 products earned a 3 Star rating and 1,011 a 2 star rating with Irish products well represented in both of these categories.

PatWhelan, james Whelan Butchers - Great Taste Awards

The Golden Forks (the big winners) will be announced at a celebration dinner at the International Park Lane Hotel, London on the 4 September.

Great Taste, values taste above all else, with no regard for branding or packaging. Whether it is gin, biscuits, sausages or coffee being judged, all products are removed from their packaging, wrapper, jar, box or bottle before being tasted. Furthermore the judges have no idea the price that these products normally retail at.

It’s all about the taste!

The judges then savour, confer and re-taste to decide which products are worthy of a 1, 2, or 3 star award.

As you can imagine the judging panel is very illustrious and this year it included; chef, food writer and author, Gill Meller, MasterChef judge and restaurant critic, Charles Campion, author and Zoe’s Ghana Kitchen chef, Zoe Adjonyoh, baker, Tom Herbert, and food writer and baking columnist, Martha Collison, as well as food buyers from Fortnum & Mason, Selfridges, and Harvey Nichols.

These esteemed palates have together tasted and re-judged the 3-star winners and will finally agree on the 2017 Top 50 Foods, which will be announced in August, with the Golden Fork Trophy winners and the Great Taste 2017 Supreme Champion unveiled on the 4th September.

Just Taste!

Judging the food and drink products on their taste seems very fair and as you would expect – the packaging and branding is removed so that the judges are able to experience the products in their pure, true state, without any interference or bias.

Sunnes Stores - Sticky Toffee Pudding

When do we ever, truly taste anything?

The minute that award winning cake goes into a wrapper, it changes the taste for the consumer.

  • Once we see the packaging, the colours, the type of paper and the visuals, it changes the taste.
  • Once we see the brand name, it changes the taste.
  • Once we read where the product is made and we see the ingredients, it changes the taste.
  • Once the product is placed in a retail outlet, it changes the taste.
  • Once we see where it is placed in the store, it changes the taste.
  • Once we see some POS and the product displayed on a promotional stand, it changes the taste.
  • Once a price is put on the product, it changes the taste.
  • When the product is on special offer, it changes the taste.
  • When a well dressed sampling person invites you to taste a thumbnail of the product, it changes the taste.
  • When we see that the brand is endorsed by a well known personality, it changes the taste.
  • When we see adverts for the product in a newspaper, it changes the taste.
  • When we see adverts for the product in a glossy magazine, it changes the taste
  • When a respected food journalist tells you the product is superb, it changes the taste.
  • When we open the pack at home and we are in a great mood, it changes the taste.

Today’s consumer is influenced by everything they see, hear and taste. We are also influenced by a lifetime of experiences, good and bad, by our peers and we all carry with us a lorry load of biases.

With great products our job and the job of everyone else in the chain that brings the product to the consumer, is to make sure that person can actually ‘taste’ the product.

The Great Taste Awards and that big round logo that you will see on products will also help!

Congratulations to two of our clients, James Whelan Butchers and Simply Better by Dunnes Stores who scooped up Great Taste Awards, once again this year.

James Whelan Butchers are Great Taste 3-star winners with their Pork Lard, a natural and clear lard made from slowly rendered back fat, with a “fabulous long lasting and clean pork flavour” – it’s all about taste!

Greg Canty 

Greg Canty is a Partner of Fuzion Communications, a full-service agency that offers Marketing, PR and Branding  services from our offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland

Advertisements that pull at your heartstrings – are they only for Christmas?

May 18, 2017

McDonald's

This morning, like most other mornings people are continuing to find things to give out about.

I’m very much about voicing your opinion when necessary, but sometimes I feel it can all be a tad dramatic! This time one of the world’s favourite fast food joints, McDonald’s was under attack for their newest advertisement, which is now tactlessly titled the “McDonald’s Dead Dad Advert”, making it easier to find online for those interested.

What is the advert about?

The advert shows a boy who was clearly very young when his dad passed away and is intrigued to know more about him – what he was like, what sports he played etc.

His questions are his way of finding out how similar they might have been.

However, his mother depicts a person that he is nearly nothing alike. The boy seems disappointed but not upset at his findings but then just as he sits to enjoy his Fillet ’O’ Fish meal his mum tells him that what he has ordered was his dad’s favourite too and that he always got the tartare sauce on his chin.

The camera then cuts to the boy with tartare sauce on his chin, his mum smiling and looking out the window fondly remembering that moment she shared with her husband.

Watch advert here:

The commotion:

I’m not going to go into much detail on what people are saying about the advert, it’s pretty 50/50 but you can read up on this online for yourself. However, there were enough complaints for the advert to be banned.

According to The Journal.ieMcDonald’s said “t had not meant to upset anyone, but “wanted to highlight the role McDonald’s has played in our customers’ everyday lives — both in good and difficult times.”

McDonald’s said today it was withdrawing the ad “completely and permanently” and would “review our creative process to ensure this situation never occurs again.”

You can read the full article by clicking here:

My view:

So this brings me to my point, would this be more acceptable at Christmas time?

Let’s not forget EDEKA the German supermarket Christmas advert which shows a grandfather faking his own death which was also controversial but in a weird way somewhat humorous OR Lidl’s Christmas advert that showed a family celebrating the special time of the year but missing their Grandmother at the table.

You can view these videos by clicking on the links below:

The German EDEKA advert and the Lidl advert.

Both adverts show bereavement in a different way as does the McDonalds advertisement but they are all asking us to remember our loved ones that can’t be here with us anymore.

I personally think that the complaints are a complete overreaction. It was a well thought out advertisement showing a very personal side to what some families go through every day. It was upbeat, not at all morbid and I did not get the impressions that they were trying to say that McDonald’s fixes everything. I felt that they were showing how the brand is very much a part of nearly every family.

The boy’s newly discovered likeness to his father is a fond memory that his mother has, and is now something they can both share together – this connection could make their relationship as mother and son stronger.

The trip to McDonald’s could be one of many and a way for them to hang onto a shared memory – what is so bad about that?!

Not to get all morbid, but death becomes a part of everyone’s life at some stage and while right now you don’t need to experience it directly, if an advertisement can shine a light on the part of death that shows a family connection, nostalgia and shared memories then I’m all for it.

Of course, the ironic thing about it all is that McDonald’s as a brand is still grabbing the media and public’s attention.

So whether you like the ad or not they’ve created awareness for their brand while promoting a meal that probably isn’t on their most ordered list! It might not be how they wanted to receive this attention but it is still publicity at the end of the day!

Do you think McDonald’s were right to shut down their advert?

Arlene

Arlene Foy is an Account Manager with Fuzion Communications in our Dublin office. Fuzion provide Marketing, PR, Graphic Design and Social Media Management services from our office in Dublin and Cork.

“Life is either a daring adventure or nothing”

August 9, 2016

Make it count - Nike

When researching for inspiration for this blog post, I came across a multitude of generic results such as ‘how to keep your morning coffee warmer than usual’ and ‘how to deal with a quarter/mid life crisis’. However, throughout my travels on the world wide web, I came across an extremely intriguing article about Nike’s newest campaign #MakeItCount.  

Helen Keller, the famous deaf and blind author and political activist once argued that “life is either a daring adventure or nothing.”

Taking this quote on board when planning their most recent campaign, NIKE decided to put their own spin on her wise words. Last month the renowned sports brand dared colleagues, Casey Neistat and Max Joseph to create a campaign promoting their newest product, the Nike Fuel Brand using the #MakeItCount mantra.

However, with an unexpected change in plan, Neistat and Joseph decided to ‘take the money and run’. Literally.

Instead of commissioning a Hollwoodesque, high-tech visual media advertising campaign, the dynamic duo combined with a pair of runners and a selfie stick, threw caution to the wind and created a video montage of them blowing their budget and #MakingItCount. Throughout the video we see the pair travel the world over the duration of 10 days. From America to Zambia, the two experience encounters that you couldn’t imagine in your wildest dreams.

For fear of sounding like a life coach or uncomfortably inquisitive psychoanalyst, I will stay away from any condemning statements such as, “this campaign really made me sit up and think” and wonder “how am I going to #MakeItCount?

Even so, following the video I could not shake the pestering notion of the campaign.

With thoughts of running marathons and travelling the world over 10 days, the prospect seemed like a very daunting prospect altogether. However, I soon realised that being an avid participant in life, rather than just an observer is just as important in contributing to the cause.  

Now while I would never condone running off with a monumental production budget and travelling the world to fulfill the inspiring mantra, I am still a firm believer in #MakingItCount each and everyday, whatever I do.

What are you doing?

#MakeItCount

Isabel 

Isabel Oliver is a PR intern in the Fuzion PR Dublin office

Driving Change and clever campaigns

April 29, 2015

audi drivers

Every day we see brands rolling out new campaigns, launching a new initiative, promoting something.

Social media is awash with hashtags and promoted posts and PR photocalls feature in the papers. It is part and parcel of most brand communications and while largely necessary, often not very imaginative.

A lot of the communication can be easily classified as ‘thinking inside the box’ and in fairness, anyone would agree that a brand talking about how great their product is, isn’t exactly ground breaking.

But, every now and again, a brand does something really smartThey come up with a concept that is truly ‘outside the box’ and when they do, it can have a fantastic impact and be pretty powerful.

Audi launched a new campaign and, pardon the pun, it is really about driving change. Using the hashtag #womendrivers Audi, have taken the age-old joke of women’s drivers and flipped it on its head.

From a post on the Audi twitter page, with a car parked up a tree and the hashtag #womendrivers, you follow the link and expect to be directed to some more hilarious meme’s of women who’s driving/parking/reversing/whatever-you’re-having-yourself skills need some serious improvement.

What you find is very different. Its women drivers alright, but not as we know it.

The video does a better job of illustrating the impact of the campaign far better than I can, but for me, this move by Audi is a great example of how you can take a simple concept and harness your ‘brand power’ to make something that is not only smart and witty, but different.

That’s key if you want to stand out.

In a crowded market, being brave in the delivery of your brand messaging is where you will rise or fall. #womendrivers has done a better job of showing me how innovative and forward-thinking Audi are than any amount of expensive advertising or carefully chosen press release wording.

Nicely played Audi. And judging by some of the reaction online, there is a lot of women in Ireland today who are proud to be women drivers!

fuzion pr pic1Emily Hughes

Emily Hughes is a PR Account Manager in the Fuzion Dublin office

Praying Media Mantis

March 24, 2015

Praying Mantis

I was trying to figure out what a visitor from Mars would make of the situation.

A long moving tube squashed with human beings, all of whom were striking the same pose,  the only difference being some were on their feet and some were seated.

Seated folk had their necks bent and focussed –  as if praying  – on a small rectangular shape, with wires plugged into their ears. Standing folk echoed the same pose, neck bent, face fully focussed on the same rectangular shape but with one hand.

One could easily assume this was a religious cult and perhaps the leader was giving the morning gospel to all members? Such intense focus and concentration on this small rectangular shape. Passengers could be jostled and pushed but still, they remained intensely silent and incredibly focussed.

Perception is not always reality..

I realised the pose reminded me of a Praying Mantis and yet the folk were regular Luas passengers on their morning commute. As it is early in the working day, brains and minds are clear – yet hungry to absorb, either with eyes or ears. From time to time I understood that passengers were listening to the same channel, as they smiled in time with each other.

Thought for the day..

Morning commuters are edgier and ready to absorb more than at any other time of the day. Think about it and communicate early with your audience – time to prey on your praying media mantis!

Let us go in peace..

Aisling White - FuzionAisling White 

Aisling White is an Account Director with Fuzion PR, Marketing and Graphic Design based in our office in Dublin, Ireland

 

 

PR versus Advertising

March 5, 2015

PR versus advertising

People often struggle with the question of whether to spend their money on PR or advertising. A fair question for any new business owner to ask, but only if that person doesn’t understand the value of PR.

So what’s the difference between the two?

To put it simply, the saying goes “advertising you pay for, but public relations you pray for“.

Advertising raises awareness of your brand and is you telling the world that your business is great, which of course you would say as you want your business to succeed. Advertising is guaranteed exposure for your brand/business but it’s coming from you, the business, so will the the message by fully trusted by your target audience?

Or does it come with a little bias? ..of course it does!

PR on the other hand is a message coming from the media, the journalists, the celebrities, and the influencers who have no affiliation with your business or brand. When they say your brand or your business is great, it is a much more credible message and therefore worth much more than advertising, three times more in fact (this is the multiplier that the PR industry uses as standard when evaluating PR coverage).

Think of it from the consumer’s point of view, when the reader sees an advert, do they take much notice of it?

Does today’s savvy consumer believe everything the advert says or are they aware that the advert is paid for by the owner and therefore the information carries bias? On the other hand when the reader reads a newspaper article or a review by a journalist, who has no connection with the brand or business, obviously this message is more believable.

PR is a way of spreading favourable opinion through credible, non-biased influencers and through endorsements. This type of publicity carries much more weight and longevity than an advert that may, or may not, grab the attention of the reader for a second or two.

This argument for PR may seem like an either/or scenario with advertising but it is not.

Advertising can always play an important part of your marketing mix – it is very unlikely that the media will write about you every week so for frequency of coverage advertising is necessary. When PR complements advertising it adds more value to it because your brands or service are now seen as being more credible and trusted by your target audience.

Edel Cox - FuzionPR can build credibility and trust and it is a lot more cost effective compared to advertising, so the next time you are splitting your budget spend between advertising and PR get that balance right!

Edel Cox is a PR Consultant with Fuzion

Fuzion are a Marketing, PR and Graphic Design firm with offices in Cork and Dublin

 

 

BIG IDEAS . . . and how to hatch them by Jane Maas

August 11, 2014

We asked our special friend and legendary ad woman Jane Maas from New York for some inspiration about finding inspiration!

This never stop dynamo didn’t disappoint .. 

Three tried-and-true thought starters

Jane Maas, Mad WomenIt happens to everyone. You need a BIG IDEA, but your mind is a blank. So where do ideas come from? And how can you help make them happen?

Novelist Joyce Carol Oates says she gets inspiration for her books while she runs for miles. Legendary ad man and my boss of many moons ago David Ogilvy wrote: “First, I immerse myself in the research. Then I immerse myself in a bottle of wine.” As an advertising copywriter, I have depended on three ways to generate ideas. They always seem to work for me; I hope they’ll do the same for you.

1. Take a Boring or Bad Idea and Turn it Upside Down

What could be more boring than offering a coupon for a fast-food item? The chains have been doing it for years. “Here’s a coupon for a free appetizer when you buy a main course.” YAWN.

Burger King took a boring idea and turned it upside down when they offered a coupon on Facebook that was good for a free Whopper. But to get it, you had to unfriend ten Facebook friends and tell them they were worth only one-tenth of a Whopper to you. So people raced to unfriend ten friends before their friends could unfriend them.

Over 20,000 Whopper coupons were sent out in week – – which means that 200,000 Facebook friends were defriended. Lots of buzz, lots of media coverage. Facebook, concerned about its own reputation, ordered the campaign to be disabled. Of course, that fanned the fire, and the whole idea went viral.

2. Search the world and steal the best

McDonald’s developed the idea for their Happy Meal by observing the first principle of toy marketing – – make the product fun.

Maxwell House studied the beer business and noted the high success of new, imported brands; then they developed Maxwell House French Roast.

Step outside your own area and see what is happening in other categories. If you are marketing a financial product, for instance, look at what’s happening in cosmetics and fashion, automotive and packaged goods. This practice is also helpful for you, personally. If you spend most of your free time going to the opera, spend an afternoon at a soccer game. And vice versa.

3. Have the Guts to Take on a Negative

American Express Travel found out years ago that they gained amazing extra credibility by warning tourists that a certain museum tour actually required walking more than four miles.

Drano drainpipe opener saw their sales shoot up suddenly when they ran an ad saying the product didn’t work very well on bathtub drains clogged with soap, but was unbeatable on grease clogs in kitchen drains.

Domino’s Pizza made a gutsy move by running advertising admitting that their pizzas tasted terrible! They promised they were going to change to a whole new recipe. And then they conducted nationwide taste tests versus competitive pizza chains, and won hands down.

This campaign helped Domino’s achieve an overall same-store-sales gain of 117 percent – – the highest ever in the fast-food industry.

Next time you’re stuck for a BIG IDEA, try one of these. And happy hatching.

Mad Women - Jane MaasLegendary ad woman Jane Maas was a copywriter at New York’s Ogilvy & Mather and Wells Rich Greene.

She is best known for heading the “I Love New York” campaign.

Ms Maas is also the author of Mad Women, the tell-all account of what it was like to be a woman in advertising in the sexy, sexist Era of television’s Mad Men.

Mad Women is a really terrific read and not just for the gals out there – check it out.


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