My International Women’s Day Winner and Loser of Advertising

Winner: The Apple Behind The Mac Campaign

The Apple Behind The Mac Ad really stood out for me this week as the best International Women’s Day Ad Campaign. At first it just seemed to be an inspiring advert celebrating women in business and tech. But upon further inspection every woman in the ad was shown for their particular contribution to their industry or their work for women’s rights, which I personally think is great.

Here are the women included in the advert:

Malala Yousafzai: The youngest Nobel laureate for her work on girls’ right to education.

Ava DuVernay: Director known for “Selma” and “When They See Us”.

Marie Kondo: Tidying expert, bestselling author and Emmy® -nominated television star.

Greta Gerwig: Director known for “Lady Bird” and “Little Women”.

Gloria Steinem: Women’s rights activist who helped start second-wave feminism.

Lady Gaga: GRAMMY® and Oscar artist and founder of the Born This Way foundation.

Megan Rapinoe and Shannon Boxx: Four-time World Cup champions, fighting for equal pay.

Olivia Wilde: Actor and director known for her feature debut “Booksmart”.

Diane von Fürstenberg: Fashion designer and founder of the DVF Awards.

Elizabeth Banks: Actor and director of “Pitch Perfect 2” and “Charlie’s Angels”.

Alicia Keys: GRAMMY® winning artist, touching hearts and inspiring the world through her art.

Lily Singh: The first LGBTQ woman to host a network late-night talk show in 30 years.

Audrey Gelman: C.E.O and first visibly pregnant woman featured on a business magazine cover.

Black Mamba: South Africa’s women-run anti-poaching unit.

Victoria Monét: On-the-rise artist and GRAMMY® nominee, known for her hit songwriting.

Tarana Burke: Founder of The ‘me too.’ Movement.

DJ Switch: A 12-year-old DJ and founder of the DJ Switch Foundation for education.

This was a very well thought out advert by Apple managing to celebrate women that awards shows have not this year. There is a great variety of sexuality, race and nationality represented in the advert which is great to see also. I also love the choice of music featuring Flawless by Beyonce in the background, who is also a powerful woman in the industry and has many empowering songs.

Loser: PSNI

I mean I’m sorry but I’m not sure who thought this was a good idea. I hate posting negatively about local companies but I couldn’t not talk about this as EVERYONE on Twitter was talking about it. The International WOMEN’S Day Event included the female staff having to nominate their MALE colleagues. Yes on International Women’s Day, women had to nominate men. The whole point of the day was kind of missed with this campaign. In a follow up video a representative tried to defend the campaign as supporting ‘equality’ of both genders in the PSNI but viewers weren’t impressed.

Tesco Proves Every Little Does When It Comes To Diversifying Their Product Range.

This week Tesco made headlines with a new addition their Health and Beauty Product Range. A new line of plasters which provided colour options in light, medium and dark. Something which has never before been done by a UK Supermarket chain and is a huge step in the right direction for inclusion of people of colour in the UK.

Whilst this might seem like only a small change to their product selection, it has received rave reviews from people of colour who hadn’t been able to find skin tone matching plasters before. The plasters also show the power of social media, as the product was developed as a response to an emotional tweet from a US Man who was able to find a ‘band aid’ in his own skin tone for the first time.

Nicola Robinson, Tesco’s health, beauty and wellness director, said: “As one of the largest retailers in the UK, we understand that we have a responsibility to ensure our products reflect the diversity of our customers and colleagues.

“We believe the launch of our new skin tone plaster range is an important step and a move that we hope will be replicated by other retailers and supermarkets across the country.”

Tesco, which is the UK’s biggest seller of own-brand plasters, said its new plasters would be available at all of its 741 UK stores.

The step to add these plasters to the range is a step in the right direction for Tesco’s representing all their customers and comes after fashion brands have been expanding their underwear ‘nude’ ranges and makeup lines have introduced larger shade ranges to incorporate all skin tones.

Hopefully this addition will see more larger companies follow suit and diversify their product range.

Mouldy Whopper: A Good PR Campaign or Simply Disgusting?

So a campaign that really caught my eye this week, was surprise surprise Burger King’s latest advertising campaign which has been widely talked about on social media. On first look it looks like it might be a campaign for Food expiry dates, spores included but it’s actually Burger King’s take on advertising their popular Whopper burger.

The Ad seeks to prove that Burger King’s food is fresh, by showing a Whopper Burger after 34 days, including an online video of the burgers decaying process. From the outset this might seem like a disgusting way to let customers know their food is fresh.

But actually in traditional Burger King style it’s another little dig at their competitor McDonalds. In November 2019 a video was posted online of a McDonald’s burger decaying over 10 years – spoiler alert it looked exactly the same after 10 years. See for yourself

So this Burger King campaign is a clever clapback to questions about the freshness of McDonalds food. But is an appealing ad campaign? Not really is the answer, most customers have expressed that seeing a mouldy burger wouldn’t want to make them run out and buy a whopper in a hurry. Clever yes, appetising, no.

The Real Winner of the Superbowl was Sabra’s Advertising Campaign

If you’ve heard about the Superbowl you’ve probably also heard a thing or too about the different ad campaigns, which each company vying for the best ad, in one of the most coveted advertising spots of the year. Almost like the coveted UK Christmas ad’s one of the best parts of the Superbowl can be the ad campaigns that go along with it.

The one campaign that caught my attention this year was – Sabra Dipping Co’s Ad which aired during the second quarter of the game, and in the 30 second campaign managed a star-studded count of 19 celebrities from the world of pop culture and the internet.

The best thing about the ad was the combination of internet culture with pop culture giving it legs on both social media and on TV. The ad brought influencers off the internet and onto our big screens, showing breakout TikTok stars Charli D’amelio and Brittany Tomlinson aka Kombucha Girl. As well as Doug the Pug, a popular online canine influencer (yes you read that right).

The ad didn’t shy away from inclusivity either, showing different races including Spanglish singer Becky G and African American rapper T-Pain. As well as supporting LGBTQ+ inclusion through the use of popular Drag Queens; Miz Cracker and Kim Chi from RuPaul’s Drag Race.

The end of that encouraged viewers to share how they ‘mmus on social via the hashtag – #HowIMmus. It’s no surprise that the ad was produced by VaynerMedia.

What really impressed me about the ad was the acknowledgement of how internet culture is influencing popular culture more and more. The mix of celebrities meant there was someone that most generations would know making it relatable for the entire family. I know my mum and dad would recognise Scary Spice aka Mel B, just as I did Charli D’amelio and Doug the Pug. \

Well done Sabra, let’s see more of these informed ad’s.

Clickbait Email Marketing: Good PR Tactic or Simply Unethical?

So I admit I buy a lot of clothes from online fast fashion brands, so I often unintentionally end up on their mailing list. Recently I’ve noticed a new trend in brands sending clickbait in their email subjects to try and get customers to open them. Often the subject of the email is only very loosely related to the content. And sorry I SAW IT FIRST but I’m calling you, it’s your account.

So here’s a little taster of some of the email subject’s I’ve received from them recently:

  • Reminder: Delete Your Insta Story
  • One Direction Reunited
  • Your Love Island Application Has Been Accepted
  • RE: Your Love Island Application
  • Your Festival e-ticket
  • Payment Received
  • Your Purchase
  • Your Flight Confirmation
  • About Last Night
  • FW: It’s On It’s Way
  • Pending Payment
  • Status: Delivered
  • RE: Your Bank Balance

So just as a small side note none of these emails were related to any personal account activity or orders, but were just generic mailing list emails. I’m now going to show you just a few examples of the content that came along with these emails, some of them just blatantly addressed that the title was misleading and some were just confusing.

One Direction Reunited

As you can see they literally admit that One Direction aren’t back together, and they’ve pretty much just used the title to get more opens on the email

Your Love Island Applicant Has Been Accepted

As you can see the following was the only email content for the email with the above subject and it was very misleading. It’s clear to see that I Saw It First know their target customer base of 18-30 and use this to create clickbait titles relevant to this age group.

Your Flight Confirmation

The above email is I Saw It First playing the season to their advantage, this was an email from the summer when a lot of people would be going on holiday and might open the email mistaking it for their flights.

Overall looking at this examples I think what might seem like a clever marketing tactic for the brand is simply unethical. The brand is basically trying to deceive customers into opening their emails and I don’t think this is a good strategy for a giant in the fashion world to be using. Please try and do better brands.

The 9 Best Inclusive PR and Marketing Campaigns of 2019

Anyone who knows me and follows this blog will now probably no that one of the main things I talk about is – Inclusivity. It’s something I talk about a lot because it’s something I really care about and it’s something my research centres around. I’ve seen a few people starting to round up their favourite and most effective PR and Marketing Campaigns from 2019, so I thought I’d have a go myself at rounding up my Top 10 Inclusive PR and Marketing Campaigns of the year. In no particular order:Savage x Fenty – Fashion Show

Savage x Fenty Fashion Show

This was an easy one for me I automatically knew this would feature in my top, for me Savage X Fenty has been the stand out brand in 2019 for promoting inclusivity and diversity in the fashion industry. It came in at completely the correct time to juxtapose the mistakes made by Victoria Secret and gave fed up consumers a taste of what true inclusivity looks like. I really recommend everyone watches the show themselves. But to sum up the fashion show celebrated all body types, races, genders and disabilities. Some of my personal favourite moments included Laverne Cox’s (transgender icon) appearance and the model with the gold prosthetic leg absolutely working the runway. I have an entire blog post on the show you can check out for more.

Renault Clio – Thirty Years in The Making

If you haven’t seen this ad watch it. This is a pretty recent find but something I fell in love with the moment I saw it. A few friends and family members mentioned this ad to me and said I should check it out (I bore them talking about inclusivity constantly). The Renault Ad features a love story between a female same sex couple and the ups and downs of them hiding their relationship and ultimately ending up together in the end. The advert is so beautifully made and really does justice to females of the LGBTQ+ community.

Mattel – Brail Uno

This is something I’ve mentioned before too, so I’ll keep it short, but Mattel have been another stand out brand for me in 2019 – they have focused so much on previous criticisms of their products and worked to bring their brand up to speed with modern forward thinking consumers and that is something that should be commended. Their addition of a Brail version of their popular game Uno is a huge win for the brand and should definitely be celebrated on the list.

RAF – No Room For Cliches

This is another ad that I absolutely love, it breaks down every stereotype that has ever existed of women and shows them in the most amazing light. It also features people of colour as well which is a major plus for me too. This ad ticks several inclusivity boxes and is definitely something other brands should be looking to for inspiration

Benefit – Kate Grant Brand Ambassador

In 2019 Benefit Cosmetics, announced Northern Irish model Kate Grant as their new brand ambassador. Kate Grant is the first model with down syndrome to be used the brand and marks a huge step for representation of disabilities in the beauty industry. The photos of Kate Grant were shared all over the brand’s social media and were praised for the choice.

Simply Be – We Need New Icons

This is a campaign that I personally saw a lot on social media and that involved influencers and real people. Plus size fashion brand Simply Be teamed up with some curvy and body positive fashion influencers for this campaign which celebrated all shapes and sizes and overall body confidence. I personally loved the message of this campaign and thought it was great that the brand got influencers involved to spread the message.

Post Office – Journey to Pride

This campaign again tore on my heartstrings a little bit, the Post Office released a series of four videos on Youtube titled ‘Journey to Pride’ which charted a different one of their employees journey to accepting their sexuality. The videos have a really nostalgic feel and are beautiful to watch.

Bumble – Find Them on Bumble Bizz – London

This campaign which featured around London was the second version of Bumble’s ‘Find Them on Bumble’ Campaign which first started in New York. This Campaign celebrated the diversity of London, featuring all real people that you could find on Bumble Bizz.

Gillette – The Best Men Can Be

I absolutely loved this campaign from Gillette this year which came as a response to the Me Too Movement and challenged the ‘Boys Will Be Boys’ mentality. The advert empowers men to bring each other up rather than down and to challenge sexist/violent/hateful behaviour and not laugh it off.

Black Friday – Simply Discount Deals or a Clever Marketing Ploy?

Today I’m talking all things – Black Friday, you’ve probably heard of the event that’s being named ‘the shopping event of the year’. The American Tradition, of a discounted shopping day after Thanksgiving, gained popularity in the UK from 2013 onwards, with Asda taking part in 2013. Black Friday is a day of huge discounts by retailers – allowing savvy customers to get their Christmas shopping done with huge savings. Whilst Black Friday is only one day, many retailers have chosen to partake in ‘Black Week’ giving customers a full week to grab discounted merchandise and don’t fret if you miss out on that there’s always ‘Cyber Monday’ a discount day dedicated to online retailers, 3 days after Black Friday. Sounds like a lot? Right. Well today I’m taking a look at why retailers choose to provide these slashed price deals to their customers. As well as customers perceptions on Black Friday, is it too much? Are customers over whelmed by the amount of deals? Or do customers love these giant discounts?

I wanted to know people’s perceptions on Black Friday so I asked my Instagram followers a few questions on the mega discount day (200 people responded). Here’s the results: 71% of people said they did shop Black Friday deals proving the discount day is still a hit for consumer. But what about where people are shopping these deals, a massive 87% of people said they prefer to shop Online rather than an In-store. This fits with PWC’s recent report on Black Friday in the UK which stated; “In-store crowds and queues from the early years of Black Friday have disappeared from the UK, with transactions now predominantly online (77%).”

The most telling question for me was that 65% of people admitted they would buy things they wouldn’t usually be buying due to the fact they are cheaper on Black Friday. This is predominately the reason I think discount days like Black Friday are a huge marketing ploy. Having attended a student discount night earlier in the year it made me think about this. I witnessed two students buying matching designer suitcases because they were on offer. Would they have bought them if they weren’t discounted? My thinking is no, as a student myself I wouldn’t normally make such lavish purchases, however when discount and reductions are on – it seems to justify excessive spending.

With 65% of people admitting that they would buy things just because they are discounted what’s to stop retailers cashing in and providing more and more lucrative deals to attract customers. This was consistent with PWC’s report which stated; “A genuine, time-limited deal can make customers feel rewarded, and may persuade undecided shoppers to purchase while they can.”

Which’s recent report found that “95% of the Black Friday deal items investigated – which included popular tech, home and personal care products – were available for the same price or cheaper in the six months after.” Therefore customers were led to believe they are getting an amazing deal encouraging them to spend when often these deals aren’t genuine.

One thing I have personally found this year however is that the sheer amount of marketing material distributed by companies is overwhelming. My emails and app notifications have not stopped this week with each brand trying to one up each other on their deals. And it’s not even Friday yet! When participants in the survey were asked about this the jury was still out. 32% of people found the deals overwhelming, 20% reported receiving ‘a good amount’ whilst 35% of people thought ‘the more merrier’ in regards to the amount of information they wanted to receive. So overall 55% reacted positively to the marketing material they were receiving from companies. Showing that the marketing material retailers are putting out is still working in luring customers in to shop these deals.

Overall I think Black Friday is a big win for retailers it has been proven that customers will purchase things they usually wouldn’t or make a buying decision more quickly if an item is on sale. However often retailers aren’t losing out by discounting these items, as Which found these deals often aren’t genuine and are marketed to look like a massive saving when in fact they aren’t. I think it’s up to customers to be savvy in their Black Friday purchasing and consider whether they are really getting a huge saving.

Check out:

Which Report: https://www.which.co.uk/reviews/black-friday/article/black-friday-deals/black-friday-deals-how-to-check-if-a-black-friday-deal-is-real

Pwc Report: https://www.pwc.co.uk/industries/retail-consumer/insights/black-friday-cyber-monday.html

Are Influencer Collaborations Enough To Keep Consumers Craving Fast Fashion?

I recently watched new BBC series ‘Breaking Fashion’ the series is an exclusive look inside In The Style with it’s CEO Adam Frisbee. I have to stay when I first heard about the series I was really excited to watch it and see how things worked at the brand. In The Style is a brand a love and I really liked their collection with Lorna Luxe, so was happy to find out that one of the episodes was centred around this partnership.

Each episode was centred around a different project that the team were working on, 5 of the episodes looked at influencer collaborations and one at the team’s own brand. Why so much focus on influencers, rather than the brand itself you might ask? Well the brand is built around influencer collaborations and Adam himself states in the show that the brand sells much more units of influencer collections than of own brand. But influencers driving traffic to the website in turn, helps sell own brand too.

Adam makes some interesting comments in the documentary about criticisms of fast fashion. Stating that the brand does what it can to stop clothes from going to landfill and only produces the quantities it needs etc. However for me; fast fashion is more about changing the culture of trends. Things coming into fashion and out of fashion so quickly, leading to people throwing them away. Influencer culture is a big part of this as often once an influencer has been photographed in an outfit they won’t wear it again, promoting this throw away culture.

Whilst sustainable fashion as a cause is picking up traction in the media, it was clear to see from the documentary that we still have ways to come in beating fast fashion. The influencer collections proved to be extremely popular for the brand, often selling out very quickly. Influencers portray a luxury lifestyle on social media that consumers are eager to get a taste of and these collections are clearly no exception. Influencer marketing as a strategy is on the rise and is only set to get bigger in my opinion. What we need is more influencers promoting sustainable fashion for the industry to improve, which I think is unlikely to happen in the next few years.

Rise and Shine – Kylie Makes Money From Memes

If you aren’t familiar with Kylie Jenner – she is basically the Queen of the Internet and also the youngest self made billionaire according to Forbes.

In the past week Kylie has made headlines for her ‘Office Tour’ which she posted on her Youtube Channel. But it wasn’t Kylie’s million pound office pad that caused her to make headlines but rather the small sample of her singing the words ‘Rise and Shine’ whilst waking up her baby daughter Stormi.

This led to a Twitter frenzy of memes around ‘Rise and Shine’ and even the Queen of Pop Ariana Grande doing a cover of ‘Rise and Shine’.

So what did Kylie Jenner do? She got her business head on and thought how can I capitalise on this. Honestly she is a mini Kris Jenner if i’ve ever seen one.

She made Rise and Shine merch, selling her hoodies for $65 each, to make a pretty profit off this viral meme.

The hoodie even features the iconic sun with Kylie’s face in the centre which has become synonymous with the meme.

This just goes to show the fast pace at which marketers and brands need to move at to keep up with current trends.

Mattel Shows they Understand the Modern Consumer, by Paving the Way For More Inclusive Products – Other Brands Take Note

For a brand that once prided itself on it’s stick thin unrealistic ‘Barbie doll’, Mattel have been in the news recently but this time for all the right reasons. This month Mattel have been in the public eye for not one, not two, but three amazing new product launches that celebrate the need for inclusion to facilitate a modern day consumer. As someone who is highly interested in inclusion and diversity within marketing, this came as great news for me and I knew I had to write about it straight away.

The first product is a braille edition of the popular card game ‘UNO’ which for the first time will allow visually impaired and sighted folks to enjoy the game together. This is great news for members of the visually impaired community who will now be able to enjoy the game with their family and friends. Personally I think this is a great move for Mattel to show it cares about catering for all of it’s customers.

The second product is probably the one that excites me the most as a member of the LGBTQ+ community. It’s the launch of gender inclusive dolls that are free of labels. The dolls named ‘Creatable World’ have 6 variations and come with customisable accessories including wigs with short or long hair and the option for a skirt or trousers.

The brand states: “Through research, we heard that kids don’t want their toys dictated by gender norms. This line allows all kids to express themselves freely…We’re hopeful Creatable World will encourage people to think more broadly about how all kids can benefit from doll play.”

Lastly the third new product launch is this year’s ‘Career Barbie’ where Barbie is portrayed as a lawyer and not just your regular white and blonde barbie, ethnically diverse barbies too. this is a huge step forward for women’s representation in professional careers and is great to teach young girls that they can be whatever they want to be.

As you can see below this is not your typical ‘legally blonde’ style pink robe and sparkly purse lawyer that some might expect from the brand but instead a professional career look for barbie that shows a modern representation of the working woman.

These developments come shortly after the brand recieved praise in the summer for the launch of a Rosa Parks Doll in honour of the Civil Rights Activist. As well as an African American doll who used a wheelchair. The brand is just going from strength to strength in my opinion. Other brands *cough Victoria’s Secret* should look to Mattel as an example of the right way to respond to criticism of lack of diversity. It’s 2019 and we are here for this change.