We at Ideafuel are big fans of Apple. Every single one of us has a Mac on our desks and an iPhone in our pockets. In the past I have defended Apple from all its “haters” with fervent vigour. However, recently I have been less inclined to leap to their aid when their name has come under fire. Don’t get me wrong I still love the products. My iPhone is my close companion, but I’m finding it increasingly hard to argue why that’s the case.
Objectively there is nothing much to fault. The hardware is solid and reliable. The software and interface are easy to use and well built. It syncs perfectly with my iTunes account on my Mac and shares calendars, contacts and everything else with ease. The iPhone is a perfectly functional and capable piece of kit. Of course, it’s in that statement that hides the truth of why I’ve fallen out of love with my beloved iPhone; it’s no longer exciting, it’s just an iPhone.
When it was released in 2007 the iPhone was an unquestionable revolution. To merely describe it as exciting would be a drastic understatement. The iPhone changed the world of mobile technology. It set a benchmark that everyone has been trying to play catch-up with ever since. Apple had taken their public image of technology being synonymous with life and made it come true.
The issue is that the iPhone has been the superior option for five years but it no longer feels that way. The Windows phone has given its best shot but arguably its largest competitor is the Samsung Galaxy S4 and, in comparison, the iPhone is looking a bit old-hat. Though the technology isn’t necessarily any better our excitement for the iPhone has faded and our attention is beginning to wander.
My personal issue is in their advertising. For a while Apple could coast on the notion that the iPhone offered an all-encompassing experience that was unlike any other. The marketing of Apple has always been focussed on the lifestyle you can acquire rather than the product you are buying and that has worked well for them. However, this message is now failing to pull the crowds, as they are no longer the only product offering this. Samsung and Windows are both offering a new and different product that can provide the same service along with a new interface with new features. Their message is the same as Apple, but it feels new and different so people are making the switch.
The latest advert for the iPhone was a turning point for me. The advert purely consists of people taking photos with the iPhone. What exactly is the message they are trying to promote? “Get an iPhone, it can do something that commercial phones have been doing since 2000!” I’m sorry Apple, but I’m not interested. There hasn’t been an iPhone advert that’s shown me something I didn’t already know for some time, and I’m getting bored.
Ultimately I think it’s a shame that people are abandoning iPhone. As I said, I think the products are wonderful and invaluable. From an objective perspective there is no reason to change. However, it would seem the innovators have now become the humdrum, and we will always tire of the ordinary.
Advertising is evolving. It’s inevitable. People are always talking about how print is dead and television is old hat, and the future of advertising is all about social media. Personally I believe there will always be a place for the traditional mediums, however with social media becoming more and more advanced, companies that don’t use these new opportunities as a platform for advertising are being left behind.
We all saw it. Our newsfeeds being bombarded with photos of people who found their name, their friends name, even their pets name, and the odd infuriated status that their name doesn’t appear. This ‘summer’ Coca – Cola have introduced personalised bottles and cans as part of its Share a Coke campaign. Between now and the end of August we will see 100 million bottles hit the shelves with our names on them.
This brand personalisation campaign is intriguing and quite unusual from a branding perspective, replacing the iconic Coke name with consumers runs many risks, due to the fact Coca-Cola have picked only 150 common names in Britain to be printed, some consumers are feeling alienated when they can’t find their specific bottle. However to counter this, people that are unable to find their name on a bottle can create a virtual drink that you can’t drink and share it with friends – bizarre.
Share a Coke is claimed to be the biggest ever summer campaign. With the intention of consumers spreading the word through social media sites such as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, which meant many of us heard about the share a coke campaign via social networking a lifetime before we saw the television advert, and even then we didn’t pay much attention to it because we were too busy scrolling through our newsfeeds.
I personally think this campaign is brilliant, because it is so simple. It’s never been done before. We love feeling special and important, and the fact coke has gone to the trouble of creating a bottle just for us, we embrace that. We found ourselves head first in the supermarket fridge hunting for our personalised drink – we are yet to find one that says ideafuel.
We put forward a client’s re-brand for a prestigious marketing industry award because, quite simply, it was an astonishing transformation that has had a dramatic impact on the company as a result.
A1 Flue Systems is a brilliant business, and part of the reason for the re-brand was to enable it to start shouting from the rooftops about just how good it is. In a nutshell, the company fits flue systems into commercial buildings. There are A1 flues in London’s new iconic Skyscraper - The Shard, as well as the recently refurbished King’s Cross and St. Pancras railways stations.
The new brand is a million miles away from its old logo, which it had for nearly 40 years. The new logo has been designed to appeal to specifiers and architects of large projects…and it’s paying off.
In the last year, the company has seen a £1.8m boost in its £11m turnover, which, as you can imagine, is a big deal to the company. This is why we entered A1 Flue Systems into The Drum’s recent Marketing Awards for Re-brand/ Re-launch Strategy of the Year.
We were confident that the entry would do well because it’s a great story with a very tangible ROI.
It was only when we saw the shortlist did we realise just what stiff competition A1 Flue Systems was up against. There were entries from Tesco and Mercedes, amongst others.
OK, so you can guess the next bit. A1 Flue Systems didn’t scoop the award and there’s no shame in that.
In the bigger scheme of things, a £1.8m turnover boost is pocket change to the likes of Tesco and Mercedes, but to a Newark company that employs around 120, it means so much more than an award.
This blog isn’t meant to be sour grapes because some of the companies A1 Flue Systems were up against are fantastic. But, for once, wouldn’t it be great if the little guys won?
Somersby Cider’s new advert is a very, very clever skit on the hysteria that is whipped up whenever tech giant Apple either launches a new product or opens a new store.
The Somersby Store advert features scenes of people queuing to get into a new retail environment that looks exactly like an Apple Store. But the twist is they’re queuing for fruit and cider. You have to laugh at that alone but there’s much more to come in the ad, which is a minute long.
The next shot is of awestruck consumers coveting both the apples and glasses of cider as helpful shop staff demo the goods. One member of staff can be seen holding an apple in each hand and asking a customer if they want 16-pip or 32-pip. Another rib-tickler is when a customer is shown how to take a sip of cider from a pint glass with the line “move towards the mouth and in-ter-face.” Another customer is clearly delighted to be told she has successfully downloaded after taking a sip. But the best is left ‘til last with a fabulous punch line right at the end. The final scene has moved to a beer garden where people are ‘sharing content’ and the voiceover says “Somersby Cider: less apps, more apples.”
It’s so clever on so many levels and this is one of those rare times when I wished I’d have been there when the ad team were creating this, just to witness pure genius in action.
Alstom, the world leader in rail transportation, power generation and electrical grids, has commissioned Ideafuel to deliver a number of creative projects for its operations in the UK.
The first project that the Lincolnshire creative agency delivered was a Dickensian ‘contraption’ that was the centrepiece of Alstom’s stand at a health and safety exhibition for the power industry.
Alstom had booked space at the exhibition that had a 19th century street theme and challenged Ideafuel to create a game that would encourage visitors to take part. The agency came up with the concept of using a penny farthing that incorporated a small turbine behind it that was spun by a small motor. The skill of the game involved using a small chimney sweeping brush to break a beam that stopped the turbine and allowed visitors to pass the brush through to the other side successfully.
Ideafuel also created other elements for the exhibition, including literature relating to the game and winners’ medals.
Alstom’s UK Head of Marketing Communications, Jo Doxey, is delighted with the creativity shown by Ideafuel. It made the exhibition a huge success with more than half of the footfall at the exhibition participating in the Alstom stand.
“It was a challenge, both in terms of the deadlines we were up against and the level of creativity required, and Ideafuel delivered exceptionally well on both fronts,” said Jo.
“The team at Ideafuel aren’t frightened to come up with something different and they back this up with the reliability to deliver to tight deadlines.”
Ideafuel has been invited to work on a number of other creative projects for Alstom, which operates out of more than 30 key locations across the country and employs around 6,500 people within its transport, power and grid sectors, helping to develop the UK’s power, transmission and transport infrastructures.
Shaun Cole, account director at Ideafuel, said: “We are gaining a growing reputation for the quality of our creativity and this has clearly come to the attention of organisations such as Alstom.
“We’re particularly proud of the contraption and all the other elements we have delivered for Alstom and it’s gratifying that we have been invited to work on other projects.”