New Beginnings!

It is with great pleasure that I am able to say: I AM NO LONGER UNEMPLOYED!!!

Yes, that is one huge statement, something which most people would not have even wanted you to know that they were unemployed in the first place. However, through unemployment I have learnt so many lessons and the biggest being it is just another phrase in life.

I am working as a Marketing Executive at Clanwilliam Group.

For the past six week I have been working at Clanwilliam Group and I spent my induction week at the Clanwilliam Group Headquarters in Ireland, and I had an amazing time. My week mainly consisted of informative meetings, introducing myself to various people, understanding the organisation a lot more, understanding my role and where I sit in the organisation and then asking a lot (and I mean a lot) of questions. On my first day, I received a goodie bag with stationary, notebooks and a branded t-shirt below. Yes, it is a small gesture but it made a huge impact me and made me feel valued.

My position as a Marketing Executive is literally my ideal position. I get to cover all aspects of marketing including CRM processes, segmentation and targeting, data analysis, assisting in events, marketing strategies, online marketing , e-mail marketing, liaising with agencies and much more. The scope of the role is exactly what I was looking for and I am so lucky and happy that I have a great job. Not only this, but everyone in the marketing team is different, where we have a range of strengths and weaknesses, so we are able to complement one another.

This is only the beginning of my time at Clanwilliam Group and I am excited to see how everything grows. It is such a privilege to work for an expanding and forward-thinking organisation, where I feel part of the team and I’m able to do what I love – Marketing!! I’ll keep you all updated on my process.

P.S. Sorry this is 5 weeks late, I have been full stream ahead since I started… but that’s for another post!

Until next time,

Alexandrya-Carmen Mbu

An enjoyable, interesting and excited essay…

… is that even possible?

Can an essay become interesting? Can it be something that you become fond of? Can it be something where you actual enjoy researching and writing it? I never thought I would see the day, but I have, it has happened to me and I will tell you all about it.

For my module Media Planning for Advertising we were allowed to do an essay between 2,500 and 6000 words on anything that you want. It would literally be in anything to do with marketing and advertising. The individual had to decide on:

  • Essay question
  • Direction
  • Research
  • Case study option
  • Primary research option

I’ve never had to do something that was so open, and I was worried, really wasn’t.. My first idea was titled ‘How does the absence of a voice-overs affect the way in which an audience react to a company?‘. I knew what I was going to do, had my thesis ready and was ready to start my research but them all the students left so I wasn’t able to do any focus groups. I started to lose interest in the subject and decided on changing my question and using this as a dissertation idea (yes, I’m thinking about my dissertation already).

I had a think about what advertisements had recently caught my eye and the one that stood out the most was ‘Friendship’ by Guinness. I remembered one lecturer mentioning how Guinness advertisements always relate to consumers at that time so I thought it would be perfect. I started my research on the Guinness history and discussing advertisements from when the first UK Guinness advertisement appeared in 1794, a whole 63 years after Guinness was founded. After a while I realised that Guinness doesn’t always use it’s advertising to relate to consumer tastes at the time but one thing is for sure… Guinness advertisements are innovative and creative allowing the company to stay ahead of competition.

Guiness trademark

Something I found interest was the Guinness trademark label was introduced to establish brand identity and quality control. It included a harp, Arthur Guinness’ signature and the word Guinness (obviously). Each element of trademark had been changed numerous times since 1862 and the final version was only fixed in the early 20th century (2005 to be precise). In addition Guinness put a trademark on its label which has meant that the Irish government had to change its own harp by making the straight edge appear to the right instead of the left.

I really started getting into my essay and enjoying the research when I came across the first ‘Bottle Drop’ promotion that Guinness did in 1954. Guinness Exports Ltd dropped 50,000 brown half pint bottles across the world’s oceans with each having a personalised message and asked the finder to tear-off part of the message and send it back to Guinness Exports Ltd explaining where it was found and what date. This shows that innovation and early stages of promotional advertising which will always keep a business ahead of its competition. The best part came from an article by The Guinness Collectors Club where it mentioned how a team of people came across some of these bottles in 2002 and took images of the bottles (seen below). I thought it was remarkable and a true insight into Guinness history

1954 - Botttle Drop promotion 0011954 - Botttle Drop promotion 003

 

 

 

 

 

I still haven’t finished my assignment, I’m only 2,300 words in and I have only written half of it. I’m looking forward to the rest and writing about some great advertisements including ‘Fish on a Bicycle,’ ‘Surfer,’ ‘Tipping Point’ and ‘Friendship.’ Guinness is definitely a company that I admire for its advertising (I don’t actually drink beer) and all the advertising agencies that have worked on the brand go above and beyond consumers expectations.

 

Until next time,

Alexandrya-Carmen Mbu.

AdWatch: John Lewis says you should give someone a Christmas they’ll never forget

It’s the time that we’ve all been waiting for….. CHRISTMAS!!!

Do you think John Lewis has hit off the Christmas advertisements with a BANG?

Watch ‘The Bear and The Hare‘ and have a look at this year’s John Lewis Christmas advertisement.

 

John Lewis Screenshot from Christmas 2013 Advertisment

 

Hopefully you’ve clicked on the link and have seen the John Lewis advertisement once again… What did you think? Did it put you in the Christmas mood? Are you ready to give someone a Christmas they’ll never forget? And most importantly, did you understand it?

As consumers we take in so many advertisements that we start disconnecting ourselves and don’t take them in. However that’s not the way John Lewis sees by forking out £7 million on this advertisement.

 

My verdict

Before I tell you my verdict I would like you let you know that AdWatch has a new layout. I have decided to have different headings and discuss the advertisement accordingly. This allows me to have five short paragraphs (hopefully) on the advertisement and continuity will flow through AdWatch.

 

Message

This is an advertisement that is trying to be different in a creative and innovative way. John Lewis are known for their Christmas advertisements over the past couple of years and are having to raise the bar every single time. This advertisement in particular is about giving someone a Christmas they’ll never forget. It’s about a Hare giving its best friend, a Bear, the gift of Christmas. To me the message is to have a wonderful Christmas and remembering what it was like to experience Christmas for the first time. It’s meant to bring back make memories of your children; waking up excited for the day ahead and being around a Christmas tree surrounded by loved ones.

 

Target Audience

This is tricky, since it is Christmas time I would say everyone not no advert genuinely targets the entire population in the world. It’s an advert to start getting people excited about Christmas, buying presents, wrapping presents and creating wish-lists, if they haven’t already. However I would say that the advertisement is aimed at adults. Why? Adults have been around for a few centuries now and Christmas may just seem like the norm: buying presents, receiving presents and time off work. I think the advertisement is trying to get out of that habit and reminding people of Christmas when they were a child and how exciting it was and making it enjoyable for everyone around them.

 

Creative Treatment

This advert combines 2D hand-drawn animation along with stop frame animation and 3D model made sets  to produce something creative, innovative and different. It is out of the box and is definitely something that it different and stands out. The amount of detail, time and effort put into it is phenomenal and some of it is explained in the Behind the Scenes Video. The advertisement uses the famous vocals of Lily Allen, who is coming back into the music industry after being on “maturity leave”. In addition to this the two characters are carried out throughout the entire campaign: on the website, in-store, twitter pages, cuddly toys and on the phone apps.

 

Execution

This is a tricky one for me… I like the idea behind what John Lewis has done. They’re making Christmas special for everyone. However I don’t like the execution. It’s creative and something that no one has every done yet however it isn’t easy to bond with the characters. The animals are cute and cuddly but to me it could represent Christmas in a better way. I can’t quite think what, but I know that something is missing. Can you put your finger on it?

 

Overall I think the advertisement is interesting, there is only one John Lewis product (of the clock) throughout the entire 2.10 minutes. John Lewis and the agency Adam&EveDDB are selling the idea of Christmas and not focusing on John Lewis products. The advert raises awareness of the different platforms that the company is available from and plays more on the viewers emotions and feelings. It reminds consumers that the company is still there and that they should shop there for Christmas. However I think there should be a bit more to it. It’s an advertisement that I personally do not find very appealing to me but I like the creative treatment and for that I give is a 6/10.

 

Your verdict?

You’ve heard my verdict and now it’s your time. Do you think it deserves a higher score or even a lower one? Is there another Christmas advertisement that you find more appealing? Has the advert made you want to shop at John Lewis? Leave your comments below and I look forward to reading them.

 

Until next time,

Alexandrya-Carmen Mbu.

AdWatch: It’s only been 4 Year since T-Mobile’s ‘Dance’ Campaign

Do you remember what T-Mobile did is 2009?

Do you remember T-Mobile’s ‘Dance’ advert?

Do you remember T-Mobile’s ‘Welcome Home’ advert?

If the answer was YES to all those questions then you remember T-Mobile’s ‘Life for Sharing’ campaign and the impact that it had for T-Mobile and for the Media. To refresh your memory then click on the picture below.

Screenshot of the first screen of T-Mobile's 'Dance' advertisment
Screenshot of the first screen of T-Mobile’s ‘Dance’ advertisement

Hopefully you’ve been able to refresh your memory on that advertisement, especially as it was over 4 years ago. How did you find it? Was it interesting? Did you think it made an impact? Did you have a little dance or sing song while it was on? Did you just want it to be over?

 

My verdict

This advertisement is one that I cannot forgot, mainly due to it’s originality and the fact that is was something different, unexpected and a real experience for those there. Why?  The advert consists of 350 dancers dancing to 8 different tracks ranging from 1962-2007 in Trafalgar Square at rush hour. The advertisement catches the audience attention to the point where busy work men and women stop to record the dance on their phones and cameras, and some even join in and dance themselves. Why?  This advertisement was used as the first T-Mobile’s ‘Life for Sharing’ campaign which had 10 hidden cameras to capture the audiences reactions to what was going and then some of these images where used on billboards and other media channels that T-Mobile used as part of there integrated marketing campaign.

So why do I particularly like this advertisement. The advertisement?  I like this advertisement as it is something different compared to a conventional mobile phone advertisement. It doesn’t highlight the good deals that you can get or why T-Mobile is better than other telephone services. In addition I am a T-Mobile customer, well now EE. The music?  In addition to this the music that is used is rather iconographic and includes famous songs. Songs that make you want to dance, want to get involved and want to pay attention to the advertisement. Exposure?  The advertisement was premiered during Celebrity Big Brother on Channel 4 at 9:10pm. The three minute spot was solely for the T-Mobile advertisement and was watched by a number of different viewers. Since the advertisement went on YouTube it has had 38,655,045 as of 20/11/13 and is constantly increasing every day. It’s an advertisement people still remember and still look back at.

Screenshot of the T-Mobile's 'Dance' advertisement when all 350 dancers are dancing
Screenshot of the T-Mobile’s ‘Dance’ advertisement when all 350 dancers are dancing

Overall I think this advertisement is amazing, it happened over four years a go and people still remember it and view it on Youtube, The advert was made by Saatchi & Saatchi and won them a numerous number of awards for Integrated, Film, Direction, Media, Music, Cyber and Direct. The awards where given at 2009 Eurobest creative advertising festival and Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival with Saatchi & Saatchi did better than any over UK agency due to the ‘Life’s for Sharing’ campaign. The advert leaves an everlasting impression of T-Mobile as it was an original media campaign that also included another advert titled ‘Welcome Home‘. This entire campaign couldn’t have gotten better for T-Mobile as the company gained £1.2 million worth of free press and media coverage, footfall increased by 5% and sales where up 52% from 2008. It’s an advertisement that will go down in history and for that it doesn’t deserve anything lower than 10/10.

 

Your verdict?

You’ve heard my verdict but now it’s your turn. Tell me what you think of this advertisement but also the ‘Life’s for Sharing’ campaign as a while. Is there another phone advertisement you think is more appealing, if so put it down and I may be doing AdWatch on it next week.

 

Until next time,

Alexandrya-Carmen Mbu.

AdWatch: Coca-Cola wants you to ‘Live like Grandpa did’

Second shot of writing in Tesco's Living a Healthy Lifestyle campaign.
Second shot of writing in Tesco’s Living a Healthy Lifestyle campaign.

Another advert without a voice-over but a famous-well known song that portrays two separate lifestyles.

Head to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ExRg8m38rug to watch the advertisement that I’m discussing today.

So, hopefully you’ve now seen the advertisement and have an idea on the basis of my blog today… Did you recognise the song? Do you think we need to be live like Grandpa? Would you have guessed that it was a Coca-Cola advert? Did the advertisement affect you in anyway?

 

My verdict

This is an advertisement that I find rather interesting in the sense of it’s execution and what the message. I was completely shocked that it was a Coca-Cola advertisement and expected it to be something different. Why?  When I first watched the advert I missed the beginning red screen, possibly because I was doing work with the television on and only looked up when the music started playing because I liked the song. I didn’t notice the Coca-Cola logo in the corner and didn’t think it was an advertisement for Coca-Cola. What company?  I thought the advertisement was for John Lewis as I specifically remember an advertisement last year where there was a split screen and I thought the advertisement for revamped for the this year (look at image below for a screen shot).

A scene from a John Lewis advertisement in 2012
A scene from a John Lewis advertisement in 2012

When you view the Coca-Cola advertisement on Youtube in the ‘About’ section is the following quote:

The new Coca-Cola advert ‘Grandpa’ shows that the lifestyle enjoyed by our grandparents — moving more, eating well, taking it easy — can be beneficial. We’re committed to using our advertising to raise awareness of the importance of energy balance and helping people to make informed choices. We believe it is just one of the ways we can help make more people aware of the need for a balanced diet and active, healthy lifestyle.

Do you agree?  Coca-Cola mentions that in this day and age the younger generation tend to do everything on the go e.g. eating at work, having takeaways, rushing out of the house and not stopping for fresh air. Why?  We live in a world where people are constantly working and I think they generally need to take a step back and relax which is what the Coca-Cola advertisement is portraying. But?  As you may or may not be aware Coca-Cola has a lot of calories and sugar in their drinks, 210 kcals and 53grams of sugar (500ml bottle) to be exact. Therefore if Grandpa has  been having Coco-Cola since he was younger then he mau not necessarily be living a healthy lifestyle.

I don’t think is advertisement fits in with out Coca-Cola ads. Why?  The advertisement includes a story of two lives which are completely opposite whereas Coca-Cola advertisement are usually humorous and include a young generation having fun. Why?  This ad gets the audience thinking about their lives and how their Grandparents lived at that age. It reminds them that they have time and should take a break and enjoy the little benefits in life. Sound?  In addition to this Coca-Cola adverts tend to have voice-overs throughout or a piece of music that isn’t iconographic, however that is not that case this time. The advert includes the famous ‘It’s not Unusual’ by Tom Jones, which is Carlton’s favorite song in The Fresh Prince of Bel Air and Glee the US television program have also done their own version of the song.

Overall it’s an advertisement that is different and makes you think of the company in a different light, it has more backbone to it that the usual humour; it tells a story that is probably true for most people. I don’t necessary think that this is the new look for Coca-Cola, I just think they tried something new and succeeded. However I don’t think it leaves a lasting memory, it just makes you think for that moment in time. Therefore I give this a score of 7/10 as I believe the message isn’t strong enough to stand on it’s own.

 

Your verdict?

You’ve heard my verdict but I’m interested in your verdict too. Do you agree with what I said or do you disagree with what I’ve said. Would you change the advert? Is it interested? This is your chance you give your view and I’m interested in learning what other opinions are.

 

Until next time,

Alexandrya-Carmen Mbu.

AdWatch: Where did Tesco F&F Clothing come from?

Did anyone know of Tesco F&F Clothing before September 2013?

Did anyone know who Ben Pearce was before September 2013?

Did anyone know of Tesco F&F Clothing after September 2013?

Did anyone know who Ben Pearce was after September 2013?

If your answer to the first two questions was NO, and the second two was YES then I’m sure you may have seen Tesco’s F F&F Clothing Autumn/Winter 2013 Collection Television Advert.

Final screen shoot of Tesco F&F Clothing Television Advertisement for their Autumn/Winter 2013 Collection

 

If you have not then I’d advertise you to watch it before you read on, by clicking here.

 

So, by now you’ve probably seen the advert for the first time or refreshed your memory… how did you find it? Did you find it interesting or boring? Would you class it as a good advert or a bad advert? Did you have to watch it more than once or were you satisfied with it the first time? Was it too long or do you wish it was longer?

When we watch advertisements there are so many different things that come into our heads, you may have liked it but you never really ask yourself why, what made you pay attention and what made it stand out to you?

 

My verdict

This is an advertisement that I like very much and for a number of different reasons. I believe this advertisement makes you stop doing whatever you are doing and look up at the television. Why?  To me it’s because there is no conventional voice-over explaining the product or service. There is noone one the screen talking to someone else and discussing a situation that they need resolved. There isn’t a person explaining the benefits and features of the product. The only sound that we hear is the music, it’s a song called ‘What I Might Do’ by Ben Pearce. Who?  Ben Pearce is a British DJ and Music Producer from Manchester, he co-founded his own record label. Before the F&F Clothing Advert not many people knew who he was as he is an underground DJ with amazing mixing skills. The Song?  The song isn’t in the background but it’s loud and clear and makes you want to bounce to it while learning the words and paying attention to what it on screen.

BEN-PEARCE-FINAL-HIGHvv

In addition I believe that the advertisement isn’t a commercial clothing ad. Why?  Television advertisements nowadays are trying to be different from one another but a few techniques still remain the same. What?  Most television adverts tend to have a model or two wearing a number of different clothing just posing or walking towards the camera of to the side of camera. With a some of these they tend to have the prices appear of at least one item in that current shot. This adverts tend to be sell, sell sell whereas Tesco F&F Clothing actually grabs your attention. How?  With this advert there are two people: one male and one female, they aren’t advertising the clothes is the usual conventional way but they are dancing, which is different. In this advert both dancers tend to have three to five different outfits however because the audience are interested in the dancing, the song and what it actually being advertised they don’t tend to pay attention.

My overall verdict is that the advertisement is innovative and different. It stands out from the rest and makes people aware of the brand. I don’t think that the advert was intended for people to buy all their clothes from Tesco F&F Clothing however I think it was to make people aware of F&F Clothing. The adverts seems that it wants to information and raise awareness of the brand, therefore people might have a look at the F&F Clothing range while they are at Tesco. The advert was created by WARL and in my opinion it is by far one of the best advertisements I have seen this year. I personally cannot fault this advert so it gets the top score of 10/10.

 

Your verdict?

You’ve heard my verdict but I’m interested in your verdict. Do you agree with what I said or do you disagree with what I’ve said. Would you change the advert? Is it interested? Is there another clothing advertisement that you find more appealing. This is your chance you give your view and I’m interested in learning what other opinions are.

 

Until next time,

Alexandrya-Carmen Mbu.

What does not getting a placement, internship or work experience mean?

Many students have tried to secure placements, internships or even just work experience in their field of study or the field they would want to go into after university/sixth form/college. However out of the thousands that have applied only one person actually gets the job.

I know full well what it’s like to apply to all these major companies and get turned down, but also to get turned down by SME’s and local businesses. The person starts to feel that they are not good enough, that they are doing something wrong, that they haven’t got what it takes and that they should give up. Which is NOT the case

Recently I was that person, I’ve applied for job after job after job, and the answer is still NO every time. I couldn’t have the  job because I wasn’t qualified enough, I didn’t have a driving licence, the company had already filled the position(s) or the company just doesn’t do a scheme for undergraduates. The industry I want to go into of marketing or an advertising agency is cut-throat, tough and highly saturated. Therefore it isn’t surprising that I keep being told no, when you want something really bad you keep trying, you keep persevering and you don’t stop until to have reached the end goal. However there is a time when no is a word that you know all to well, it becomes the norm, the expectation and slowly my confidence started to go and I became stressed.

I would personally say that I’ve been looking for a summer placement since March, since then I have applied to over 50 companies in total, whether they advertise or don’t advertise undergraduate placement opportunities. On average that’s about 3 companies per week, but then also equals 3 no’s per week and 50 no’s in total.

 

If you cannot find a placement what should you do?

Not securing some sort of placement doesn’t necessary mean it’s the end of the world, I would suggest that you keep looking. Along the way there are going to be several no’s however it is going to prepare you for undergraduate year placements and graduate schemes. If a company ends up saying no to you ask what’s the reasoning behind it therefore you can improve your style and the way you come across, which may just land you your next job.

In addition to that, go freelance. Freelance is a great opportunity and a great way to expand your skills and get the experience you need. There are freelancers in basically every single industry ranging from web design to social consultancy and everything in between. Having a look around there is an article written on The Guardian about overcoming freelance fears, and there’s a freelancers switchboard which has a range of blog articles. I personally do a bit of freelance where I create posters and leaflets. I’m hoping to expand it and build on my client base however I still have to meet deadlines and give the clients what they want while making sure I’m proud of the finished product.

To answer the question of this blog, not getting a placement, internship of work experience means nothing, you just have to keep looking and give freelance a go. Eventually I’m sure something will come up for you. Tell me about your experiences in finding a summer job or going freelance.

 

A little bit extra (A mini story)

I was orginally going to publish this blog post last night but I wanted time to perfect it and likely I did. This morning at work (Topshop/Topman) a lovely middle-aged man came into work and we were talking about clothes, which is what was expected. However the conversation swiftly moved onto family and work and eventually placements. The guy I meet was called Ricki, he is an American, who worked in the military and is planning on moving to Bedford. While we were talking about work I mentioned that I might be too ambitious, he said it’s probably due to the was I was brought up, then I said that my mum is doing her second masters and will graduate next year. From here he asked if I was a Christian, which I am and then said some moving and inspirational words, I can’t remember it word-for-what but it went along the lines of:

“We’re both here to talk about this, and it’s not a coincidence.  I can see you’re a motivated women who’s working to earn money, and make life at university easier. All the no’s that you are receiving are just preparing you for life latter on, it’s making you stronger and will make you work harder”

That conversation with a complete random stranger has motivated me more than ever and given me the confidence boost and the kick in life that I need. Sometimes it’s the little things in life that motivate you the most. So, once again. Keep looking.

 

 

Until next time,

Alexandrya-Carmen Mbu.