Monthly Archives: October 2014

Chambord – a lovely brand

Recently I did some work with the Chambord brand, owned by Brown Forman. I didn’t know much about it before, but over time I grew very fond of it.

For those who don’t know, Chambord is a black raspberry liqueur with a French heritage, which is used to create cocktails, notably the Chambord Royale


I really like the brand, because
(a) it has a really distinctive bottle – which is very decadent and stylish.

(b) it has a very distinctive personality and attitude – quirky, individual, surreal.

Here’s one of their ads, that really brings it to life. Love the voiceover and the end line


Aldi and Lidl – Making Us Feel Good About Buying Cheap Groceries

UK Grocery retailing is going through an amazing period of change. Tesco is in deep, deep trouble and most people seem to be revelling in their discomfort. However, things aren’t so rosy with Sainsburys at the moment either so nobody can afford to be too cocky.

The real winners have been Aldi and Lidl. I’ve been so impressed with the way both brands have adopted different, but really persuasive ways of demonstrating their value for money. Here’s an example from the Aldi Campaign. Simple, quirky and intelligent.

However, I also love the way Lidl have dramatised their quality and value message through their recent campaign, by challenging our pre-conceptions about their fresh produce.

Aldi and Lidl are ‘proper’ brands now, not just Discounters and deserve to be taken seriously. Will their growth continue? How will the ‘Big 4’ respond? It will fascinating to see how it all plays out over the next couple of years.

New York Bagels – Why Stop Slicing?

I’m a big fan of New York Bagels. I buy them regularly (thanks Ocado) and never swap them for Own Label versions. I particularly liked the fact they were pre-sliced because (a) it saves time (b) my kids keep asking me to slice them (which is annoying) (c) you always slice them before you use them

So, I was shocked to discover that they’ve stopped slicing them, apparently in response to customer feedback. Whilst I admire the brand’s responsiveness, I’m surprised they did this. Who prefers un-sliced bagels to sliced ones? Can anyone shed any light on this?
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Want to learn how to give a great talk? Chris Anderson is writing the official TED guide to public speaking

Can’t wait for this book to come out

TED Blog

In the book, "Talk This Way! The Official TED Guide to Public Speaking," our curator Chris Anderson will gives insights on what makes a talk great. Photo: James Duncan Davidson In the upcoming book “Talk This Way! The Official TED Guide to Public Speaking,” our curator Chris Anderson will give insights on what makes a talk great. Photo: James Duncan Davidson

Over and over, you keep asking us: What’s the best way to give a TED Talk? It’s not just that you’re interested in sharing your ideas at a TED or local TEDx event. Short presentations have become a bread-and-butter staple at schools and offices around the world, and you want more guidance on how to give them well.

And so, our curator Chris Anderson is writing a book to be published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in spring 2016. Titled Talk This Way! The Official TED Guide to Public Speaking, it will be packed with insights on what makes talks work.

“There was no one spark for writing this book—it’s more like a long-smoldering fire that’s now ready to break out,” he…

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Emotion in Advertising

A remarkable thing happened at a training session I was running last week. There were about 50 people in the audience, many of whom were female, and I played ‘Sketches’, an execution of the Dove ‘Real Beauty’ Campaign (see below). At the end of it at least 3 people were in tears. This completely took me by surprise because

(a) being a marketing department, I thought they would have been more analytical and detached from marketing messages and able to take a more objective, less involved perspective
(b) I couldn’t quite see what was so moving or touching about the video. Sure, I understood it, but didn’t get how impactful it would be

I guess the key learning for me from this experience is that it’s hard to control the emotional impact of advertising. If it moves you, it moves you and there’s nothing you can really do about it, which I guess is what makes emotional advertising so powerful. Secondly, always look at the impact of the ad from the perspective of the target audience. I – like many people – think I’m pretty good at judging creative work. However, be careful. It’s not what you think, it’s what they – your intended audience think.