Social media isn’t the answer to everything

I may be an avid proponent of social media but I think we all need a reality check every now and again, just to ensure we don’t get too carried away with ourselves!

Yes, we live in exciting times where a new social ecosystem is having massive implications in the way brands try to engage consumers.  But that’s not to mean social media is the Holy Grail.  Far from it.  Traditional media still plays a pivotal role whether that’s to build brand awareness, brand saliency or brand reappraisal, to generating brand engagement and soliciting a response.  Social media marketing is just another versatile tool at our disposal within the proverbial marketing toolbox.  (In fact, some might call it a Swiss Army penknife but that’s beside the point!)

Anyhow, this promotional clip is a hilarious reminder that social media won’t solve all our problems and can get up its own arse at times.  Fair cop. Although I have to say it’s somewhat ironic that they chose to seed an online video to get their point across;-)

Poignant press ad featuring Michael Jackson’s accessories

I was a big Michael Jackson fan when I was younger and have to admit I still can’t resist throwing in a few of his moves whenever I venture onto the dance floor (albeit not with quite the same proficiency!)  So I was as shocked as anyone to hear the sad news today.

However, I bet DDB Espana who created this ad last year for a commercial centre in Spain are feeling rather chuffed with themselves. In light of recent events I wouldn’t be surprised if they reran this ad out of respect for the King of Pop, not least because his absence from the ad makes it all the more poignant.


Thanks to Inspiration Room for spotting this.

Is April Fool’s Day a serious business?

I’m beginning to think April Fool’s Day may not be the best day to start a blog if I want people to take me seriously!  But then again I do think many marketing blogs take themselves far too seriously anyway!

On that note, there have been a couple of  notable April Fool’s Day campaigns today which have caught my eye. BMW had a half page press ad in Metro promoting their Magnetic Tow Technology.  I particularly like the way you can email them for more info at  A clever campaign as it not only succeeds in revealing a more human side to the brand’s personality but it also remains true to their core positioning for Efficient Dynamics!



Waitrose also ran this campaign promoting a new banana / pineapple hybrid called pinanas.  Apparently when you arrive at the fruit & veg section to find they’ve sold out you’re warmly directed to their half-price strawberries!  Tongue in cheek it may be, but it still doesn’t lose sight of their core marketing objectives of driving footfall.

Waitrose Pinanas

If you’re interested, there’s more Aprilfoolery reviewed on Techcrunch.

On a more serious point it struck me that there are two schools of thought around running one-off campaigns on April Fool’s Day.  Some may argue that in these tough economic times it’s a luxury brands can ill afford.  When every marketing pound has to be accountable can one really justify investing in a campaign which only has the shelf life of a day?

That said, I tend to confer with the other school of thought in that it’s exactly these kind of campaigns which achieve creative cut through and resonate with consumers.  Let’s face it, print ads like this are much more likely to generate talkability and be shared around the workplace, which is more than could be said for most fruit & veg advertising!

However, as with most effective campaigns it’s down to the creative execution and the delivery of the punchline. There are countless examples of brands attempting April Fool pranks which are ill-conceived or patronise the customer but get it right and you’ll reap the rewards.

When you consider how much doom and gloom we read in the papers these days it’s refreshing to know there are brands out there which are brave enough not to take themselves too seriously.