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Battle of the Christmas Ads

Battle of the Christmas Ads

You can’t watch more than 10 minutes of television on a channel with ad breaks at this time of the year without seeing at least one Christmas advert, and this year there seems to be more variety than ever.

So, once again we decided to review them. With no more further ado, here are our Top 10 Christmas Ads of 2014 – in ascending order.

Number 10 – Lidyl “The Little Present”

Not bad in theory, and is on message with the main brand ideas. The actual advert is sadly a bit boring as you can see what’s coming a mile off.

Number 9- …

How to brand-hijack a holiday in 5 easy steps

How to brand-hijack a holiday in 5 easy steps

Happy Halloween everyone! You may have noticed that the spooky holiday has rolled around again. But have you noticed different brands’ reaction to it?

During a special event or well-loved holiday, all businesses and brands want in on the action, including none other than Doctor Who, it seems. We spotted this great “#Wholloween” campaign from the BBC, and thought we’d use it to break down how exactly a “holiday hi-jack” is done, in our (almost) foolproof Five Easy Steps.

Check out the campaign itself here, here and here.

Here are those steps, as we see them:

Step 1. Already be an internationally recognised and …

Everybody’s tweeting… even the Queen

Everybody’s tweeting… even the Queen

These days it seems that you can’t go to any business conference or read any article about promoting your products without being told about the importance of social media.

And there’s a reason for that. In 2013, it was recorded that 71% of online adults used Facebook, to pull out just one of the many statistics (Our Social, and Twitter has 550 million registered users.

It’s especially interesting today to look at one of those users in particular – @britishmonarchy – the official account of the Royal Family, which today made technological history as the Queen sent her very fist tweet, …

The Bake Off Brand

The Bake Off Brand

This week has been a big week in the news.

And no we’re not talking about the election of a UKIP MP. We’re talking about the final of the 2014 Great British Bake Off. Obviously.

With a 50% increase on last year’s ratings, The Telegraph reported this week that more people tuned in to watch Nancy take the title than watched the final of the World Cup. And with countless ’10 things you didn’t know about Mary Berry’ articles acting as clickbait in newspaper website sidebars, baking puns and innuendos littering Twitter like so many hundreds and thousands, not to mention the …

Brands and Best-Sellers

Brands and Best-Sellers

No matter whether your brand is big or small, you’ll know that having one best-selling, hugely popular product can make a big difference to your business’ overall image.

And for Starbucks both UK, US and presumably around the rest of the world as well, that product seems to be, drumroll please, the Pumpkin Spice Latte. Now admittedly Starbucks is about as giant a brand as you can get, but nevertheless, its already huge profit margins go astronomical each Autumn when the ‘PSL’, as it’s called for short, is released.

According to, more than 200 million PSLs have been sold since …

Bespoke beauty and brand loyalty

Bespoke beauty and brand loyalty

Research has shown that, where the beauty industry is concerned, around 50% of customers will stick with their facial care brand of choice for years.

With many other industries worried that brand loyalty is on the decline, how do they do it?

Boots No7 brand may have the answer in their new ‘Match Made’ service. Put simply, they’ve created a gadget that expertly matches skin tone to a set range of colours. This colour is then used as a base, from which they can choose the perfect lipstick shades for their customer from, you guessed it, the No7 range.

This is a clever …

Stealth marketing or a happy accident?

Stealth marketing or a happy accident?

Friend of AQ Sophie recently found an opened box of Lindor chocolates in her delivery from ASOS.

She said: @asos is it normal to find an opened box of lindor in your asos parcel or is somebody just kindly wanting to fatten me up for my holiday?!?! #asos #surprise #freechocolate

A surprise. Or was it…? Perhaps a bit of stealth marketing? A partnership between both parties? It’s certainly one way to get a bit of product placement. Not sure about the half eaten part though.

A bottle of your own-label branded bottle water put in with customer deliveries might be a better option.

Needless …

Branded Buses

Branded Buses

We’ve written before about branded modes of transport – remember the X-Men Virgin trains?!? This time, we look not at tracks but to the streets, as the iconic London bus gets the branding treatment.

Sports brand Adidas released 32 branded buses as part of its ‘all in or nothing’ World Cup Campaign back in May, and they’re still doing the rounds now. Choosing 32 was no accident either, as there was one bus for every team entering the tournament. We’ll resist the urge to make a joke about the England team at this point…

According to marketing website The Drum, “Exterion Media …

Water Bottle Bloopers

We couldn’t let the week go by without a nod to the Downton Abbey press photo gaffe, below. Did you see it? Spot the error if you haven’t seen it in the news already!

The photo was released as a promotional image before anyone had realised the mistake. The team saved the situation in the nick of time, however, releasing another, second image:

This time, every cast member held a picture of a water bottle, to raise money for WaterAid.

What a great way to save face, AND raise money for a fantastic cause. We have to say though, how brilliant would your …

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