Monthly Archives: July 2013

Dear O2

O2 Logo

Dear O2,

Thank you for giving us the best line of advertising copy so far this year: “Carpe Diem. It means Grab the Frisbee“:

Whilst Be More Dog has given me a good old laugh, for which I’m grateful, it does feel a little bit “off-brand”. Where are the bubbles? Where’s the blue sky? Where’s the water? After all, you’ve spent 10 years establishing those codes, why go and throw them all away now?

But hang on a wee second Mr Brand Purist. (Not quite sure why I’m referring to myself in the third person here, nor affecting Scottishness…but anyway.)

As it happens I’m coming up to the end of my 24 month contract with you. And even after nearly 4 years with you, we don’t have much of a relationship.

You send me monthly emails telling me how much money you’re going to take from my account.

You send me texts informing me that I’ve got through my monthly 100mb data allowance – which seemed loads 23 months ago, but now just seems pitiful – and would I like to Bolt-on some more for only £3?

You send me PRIORITY Moments texts announcing concerts and other stuff, 99% of which don’t interest me, although are still worth receiving if it means I can get early dibs on Coldplay tickets like I did last year. (Barclaycard did the honours this year helping get my mother-in-law and I to Hyde Park to see The Rolling Stones.)

EE Logo


My current plan is to switch to EE (formerly Orange who I switched from to you to get my first iPhone), get a nice new shiny iPhone (possibly hanging on for the iPhone 5S rumoured for an October launch) and then get my home broadband through them too (with a nice new shiny router).

I’m fairly certain I can be bothered.

But this Be More Dog thing has piqued my interest. OK, so there’s no bubbles, but as your Priority Moments is not bad, I was intrigued to check it out. Which I did.

Be More Dog Landing Page

Hmmm. This O2 Refresh thing sounds good.

And there are the bubbles. Ahhh, that’s better.

And O2 Tu Go sounds kind of interesting.

O2 TuGo


So on-brand bubbles or off-brand cats and dogs but no bubbles, Be More Dog has alerted me to some service and product innovations that you’re offering that otherwise I would not have known about.

So perhaps you can thank Be More Dog for retaining me as a customer for another 24 months. Perhaps. No switch to EE. No hassle. New phone for me probably on a more expensive contract.

Which I’m guessing you’d classify as a success.

Thanks again





Dear Yoplait Perle de Lait

Perle de Lait

Dear Yoplait Perle de Lait,

Thank you for reminding me that making a memorable advert is just not enough…it’s got to be memorable for the right reasons, not the utterly baffling, bizarre and frankly ludicrous codswallop that stays with the viewer of your most recent ad:

Post-modern irony? Not sure to be honest.

Annoying? Oh yes.

Therefore memorable? Yes again.

Good for building what the brand stands for in the long term? Certainly not.

Thank you again.


Dear Kia

KIA logo

Dear KIA,

Thank you for inadvertently bringing my attention to Modern Man by George Carlin – it’s 4 and half minutes of total and utter genius.

And no doubt the inspiration for irony-bypassed KIA’s new campaign for the Australian marketplace, launched on Channel 7 during the Wimbledon Men’s final.

George Carlin = Genius.

Kia Australia = Criminal.

Rather than go off on one, let me simply say thank you to Arwa Mahdawi over at The Guardian who describes my sentiments far more eloquently than I ever could.

Thank you again KIA for introducing me to George Carlin.


Dear Wickes


Dear Wickes,

Thank you for taking a near perfect and insightful product concept (for Ultra Gold Screws) and turning it into a beautifully executed advert that’s wonderfully nuanced in terms of its targeting and that celebrates the emotional benefit (i.e. pride) around which you’re building your brand.

Thank you for your insight (“We know when you take pride in your work. It’s the details that make the difference”) which demonstrates your deep understanding of your target consumers.

It would have be so tempting to have gone down the road of a self-fulfilling product insight (e.g. “Isn’t it annoying when your screws don’t go in smoothly?) but you’ve gone for a brand and category insight that operates at a level above the product category. Bravo!

Thank you for successfully targeting both tradesmen and keen DIY-ers. Fundamentally, both groups want to do a job that they’re proud of, although for Tradesmen there’s the added incentive of wanted to be paid and recommended whilst for DIY-ers there’s the satisfaction and economic advantage in not having to call in a Tradesman.  You manage to tick both boxes especially with the line “A range of screws, fit for professionals”.

Thank you for your product description – lots of lovely benefits and Reasons to Believe in there. And for visualising both the insight and the benefits so beautifully. Accuracy and precision like that is what every tradesmen and DIY-er aspires to.

Although you’ve done it before, so it’s no real surprise.

I love the close up shots. The dust. The pencil. The Chisel. The drill.

Just as M&S did to food a few years back – with their much parodied food-porn ads (It’s not just food, this is M&S food) – you’ve turned DIY into an object of visual desire, something to be admired, celebrated, ogled. Something to be proud of – i.e. playing right into the sweetspot of your brand positioning…(we’re proud to put) our name on it.

Personally I think that M&S’ recent food work is a vast improvement as it has the same emotional out-take but without the overt Nigella-style food-pornification element…and the scope to be parodied so extensively.

Thanks again Wickes