Posts from date: June 2008
Did anyone see the new TV ad for Heinz? It features two men kissing! HOW SHOCKING!!! That's not me speaking, but the 200 people who complained the over the next few days. It seems most complaints (according to the Daily Mail, naturally) were from parents who were subsequently forced to explain same-sex relationship to their children. A tricky job, but then isn't it a case of sooner rather than later? You can only shield children to an extent from the world around them, and wouldn't this have to be explained at some point anyway?
Despite deliberately creating this potentially controversial advert, in response to these complaints Heinz quickly buckled and removed the ad. But you can't please everyone. By removing this ad they have aroused the wrath of the gay community, with gay rights group Stonewall, and Gaydar condemning the brand as "gutless" and "homophobic". The two groups are now calling for a gay-boycott (never has the phrase felt so appropriate), amongst the 3.6million strong UK community.
The ASA is now in the tricky process of deciding whether the ad is offensive or unsuitable for children enough to be banned.
But hang on, I think we need to get our priorities straight here! There's something in this debate no one has mentioned... BEANS MAKE YOU FART!! Isn't that just so much more offensive?!
To quote Jean-Paul 'off-of' Hollyoaks last night: "Gay is the new black"
Isn't it strange how we seem to spend most of our lives attempting to classify the various things, people, places around us. Its almost as if we require this process in order to fully understand, to put things into perspective as it were. Racket sports as opposed to motor sports, dairy products, horror movies...
However as media planners and buyers will agree, there are certain classifications that are imperative to our work. Geographic segments, income brackets and of course demographics generally. And its the latter of these three that I think deserves some inspection.
According to NRS the Social Grading classifications were born from a survey dating back over 50 years. They also claim "it remains a highly effective way of classifying readers of different publications". Certainly the natural hierarchy of Doctors and Lawyers still holds true, but surely there must be instances of social migration; leading to a shift in the traditional running order? For example, teachers (according to NRS) are classified as B, whilst Junior Managers come in at C1. Subtleties aside I think it's fair to assume that teachers are generally considered underpaid for their efforts and that it's certainly not the desirable austere profession it was some 50 years ago.
More obvious discrepancies include skilled tradesmen (sparkies, plumbers etc) that can demand a very high premium for their services now that they're seemingly in short supply. Then there's musicians, celebrities, and sports personalities... where do they fit into this antiquated rank?
In my opinion it no longer 'remains a highly effective way of classifying readers of different publications' but rather an old fashioned way of doing business that's no longer relevant to today's consumer.
The sun finally reared his/her beautiful head yesterday and I for one made full use of his/her life giving rays. Unfortunately we only had sun factor 4 in the house, so owing a duty of care to my pale skin I exercised constant application. However, like most people of sound mind who have better things to do than salaciously rub thick white gloop into their own buttocks, I missed a spot. Well, two spots. Hence I now have a line of pink humorously spanning the length of my nose. What's not so funny, and extremely painful, is the sunburn running the entire length of my inside left leg.
Most of my body is radiating a healthy glow similar to that of a roast chicken which has just been removed from the oven, my leg and nose have a lobster hue. When does the sun go away?
I was watching the match last night and found it rather amusing. The French coach, Raymond Domenech, has a very unusual approach to team selection....he likes to take a players star sign into consideration before making his decision. He apparently doesn’t trust players who are
Scorpios and thinks that defenders who are Leo’s are show-offs and has been quoted saying "When I have a Leo in defence I've always
got my gun ready as I know he's going to want to show off at one moment or another and cost us".
Can this theory be applied to the media industry? What star sign do you have to be in order to go far in media? I've conducted a quick review
of all 31 BJK&E employees and noted the following:
We have a fairly even spread across the 12 star signs although interestingly 26% of us are Geminis. Now, the purpose of Gemini is to be
one who gathers and conveys information - a good trait within our industry, one could say! It also states that Gemini is an air sign, and as such
puts great value on the mind and its thinking function, to the extent that emotional experiences may be regarded as complications that are
best avoided. Psychologically, air is attracted to water, but air finds the emotions difficult to deal with as they don't fit in with its concept of an
ideal world. Hmm, they may need some more emotionally-led team members in order to create the rounded media strategy??
In an industry that is based on numbers and spreadsheets, is it any wonder that there are no Pisces at BJK&E. Pisces have vivid
imaginations and will often think they are being followed. They have some influence over their friends and people resent them for flaunting
their power. Underneath it all they lack confidence and are generally thought to be cowardly.
Fortunately, only 2 people in BJK&E are Scorpio. This is the star sign that is said to be shrewd in business but cannot be trusted. They
will reach the pinnacle of success because of their total lack of ethics. Tut tut.....you Scorpios know who you are!
I, myself, am a Capricorn and am one of three in the company. We have a need to conserve...the survival of the clan. Our sign
denotes time, age, strength through patience. Ah yes, clearly the best!!!
Yes, it's that time of year again. The time when we do our bit for foreign relations. Brown may have Bush visit for a few days but how much do they really get to know each other? BJK&E host 2 interns for 6 weeks and by the end of it, we get to know all about them - from how many siblings they have to their deepest darkest secrets! . It's their first day and here is what I've found out so far........
First Name: Heather
Sits: On the dark side
Heather is from Delmas, Saskatchewan, Canada. She has just completed a Marketing Degree from the University of Regina, which is also in Saskatchewan. Heather grew up on a farm and spends every Winter snowboarding. Her Summers are usually filled with camping and fishing.
This is Heather's first time in London and also my first internship. During university she worked for a field marketing company.
First Name: Emily
Sits: On the light side
Emily is 21 years old, and she's from Wichita Falls, TX. It's a medium sized town about two hours north of Dallas. She is currently a student at the University of Texas in Austin and is majoring in Advertising with a Minor in Business Foundations. She has one older sister who is living and working in Atlanta, GA. Her favourite hobby is trying new restaurants/food of all kinds, especially finding organic food places which is sometimes pretty hard to come across in America!
I saw an editorial piece on the BBC programme 'Click' this weekend and it scared the hell out of me. It described and even showed the next generation of what they called pedestrian satellite navigation. It will allow consumers to receive information whilst on the move. It came in the form of......wait for it..... contact lenses! Yes, small pieces of technologically advanced film that you stick on your eyes! What you see with your normal vision is then recognised by the chip inside your lense, analysed and information is displayed into your line of vision. An example it gave was one for tourists e.g. you're in a new city, your vision lands on an impressive landmark and you wonder what it is. The contact lense recognises this building, displays its name, its use, when it was built and any other pieces of historical or cultural information.
Now, I wear contact lenses so the insertion of a lense is not what scared me, it was more how close we are to the Minority Report age! If this can truely be done, then where will this take advertising? Can we really expect to be sending special offers to people's eyes? Will we blink into the epos system at WHSmiths and receive 20% off the purchase of our favourite magazine? Or will it give us reviews of restaurants as we pass them? I can see it happening within the next 5 years. In fact it may not even take that long but my only question would be this. What next? Chips to be embedded in our brains?
Euro 2008 kicked off in earnest on Saturday and so far it's been quite boring. No upsets thus far - the form guide being strictly adhered to despite the so called top teams not performing very well. Germany and Portugal have the easy draw, will probably meet in the semi-finals and, for my money, the winner of that game will win the tournament.
Tonight throws up the first round of the group of death, and hopefully the first upsets. Having drawn Portugal, Holland and Croatia in work / home based sweepstakes I'm cheering on Romania and the amicable Dutch from Group C. My ideal final would be Portugal vs Holland with Ronaldo et al coming out on top.
Unfortunately the Portugeezers and the Croats will probably face each other in the Quarter finals meaning one of my runners falls at the second hurdle. Why have UEFA ruined such an entertaining tournament with a ridiculous layout?
I note with a heavy heart that Big Brother 9 starts tonight. Apparently the house is the biggest ever (oooh!), Big Brother more wiley than ever. No doubt the contestants will be more mind-numbingly stupid than ever and Davina McCall more irritating than ever.
After last year's Celebrity BB racism row and lower ratings for the main series some predicted the programme's demise. But Channel 4 are adamant that there is still great demand for the show and that ratings are not their main concern anyway.
When Big Brother started, it was (like Davina) fresh, quirky and fun. It was, without doubt, a good concept. But it's become little more than a freak show, churning out transient tabloid fodder at the expense of decent programming every night of the week. No amount of cosmetic changes and hackneyed twists can disguise the fact that the format is tired.
Not all reality TV is bad. The genre still has legs, the success of 'Britain's Got Talent' is testament to that. As everyone knows, I'm a sucker for 'The Apprentice'! But please, please, no Big Brother 10.