New airline brands

786072-528421-thumbnail.jpgI am working on one of the new all-business-class airlines at present. really interesting to see how this market will shape up. With private charter doing so well at the moment I do think there is a significant audience for more bespoke airline offerings.

There are three brands at present on the transatlantic route. EOS with a close to first class service, MAXjet with a business class value positioning and new comer Silverjet citing ease of check-in. I am developing ideas for MAXjet so am biased when I say I think there business model is pretty spot on.  EOS looks very plush and there customer profile has appeal to third party brands but with such value in exclusivity how are they ever going to run believable cut-price seat sales to fill the plane? and if they do will the Sarah Fergusons and Venus Williams be happy sitting next to a bunch of lads who got 'last minutes' from the Standard? Silverjet does not fill me with confidence. Its not just the fact it flies from Luton with its railway connection from hell but the 'Silver jet private terminal' would appear to be a room with tea and coffee making facilities.  I like the tone of the some of the copy on there web site. but the total package of there service appears to have alot of costly add-on-extras. The key appeal of a new brand is to be different. pricing should be part of this. I don't like being sold glamour features only to be told they will be charged (an unknown amount) extra. One last point, for a brand that sells online you should really start with company and URL matching, the fact Silverjet don't own is eye opening. But I should not really quibble yet. It is very early days for all three brands and any one who tries to be different should be applauded for having a go.simitLOGO.jpg

The new Hong Kong service by Oasis started last week. Really not sure about the idea of long haul in Ryanair type splendor, but there probably will always going to be enough backbackers to fill it. The German, Alexander W. Schoppmann who is planning a smokers airline to and from China may well have the real winner though. Plus a classic 70's retro logo.


Rather coy

These last few months I have been rather coy about what I am doing for work. So have only really skirted around the point that I am acting as a consultant at present. Truth is, despite a blogs traditional, confess all structure I have been rather embarrassed about not having full-time work. With my last two roles both ending in a very unplanned way I was greatly troubled by thoughts of 'what next?'

Even though Marketing Week recently called me " of the below-the-line industry's most high-profile creatives..." I have found it hard to find a role to fully occupied myself. One very well known agency recently said '...I would unbalance them...' not sure if that's a compliment or a reflection of there ambitions. trouble is they are right in one respect, I am not an ambient creative, but I like to look at it as value for money, being hyper active you do get rather a lot of me.

Actually the last few months have been very interesting, working on the 2012 Olympics, distillers in Scotland and most recently an all business class airline.

There is an intriguing discussion happening at present about a rather unique agency role for the New Year. more news on that as and when etc. 


Old school ambiant media

786072-513923-thumbnail.jpg There has been much debate about visual clutter within urban environments. Quite a bit also on the ethics of it all. but sometimes you hit on some little gems like this. left high and dry by redevelopment 786072-513926-thumbnail.jpgaround it. While stood in front of this shabby Barcleys the thought of Turkish baths was quite intoxicating.  Now when did the floor  graphics in your local Tesco's do that?



endless fun


Old ads with old sterotypes, endless fun. plus the added benifit in this bar of a polish barmaid who found the concept of a pint of bitter puzzeling to the point of asking why we didnt want to drink the cloudy, sour smelling one she poured. 'arn't they all like that?' er no.



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Anything is possible they say. well except thinking about there typography. The new Harrods poster campaign I really like but the attempt to fit it into the previous web site is a real mish mass of styles. With a new campaign that breaks so far from where they have been. why be so modest online? maybe a budget limiter got the better of them, its a shame really, seems like a lost opportunity. Plus who wrote 'A sleigh load of ideas' -with leader dots as well! Books, blogs and myself rage at such lazy grammar in print. (this blog excused, no proof reader and i'm dyslexic)


The BT brand experiance stinks

It really is astonishing how bad the actual BT customer experience is. Legion are the stories of consumers getting short changed. But its the business experience that is in such stark contrast to the projected image of cutting edge technology with a touchy feely human interface.

Passion, my last business, suffered six months of pain at the hands of BT's 'business experts' but its there mobile service that has brought forth my recent exasperation. The lowest moment was over the weekend when I found that you can only report a fault or speak to an engineer Monday to Friday! so millions are spent to convey a brand that understands business with 'flexable-wi-fi-home-hub-broadband' but only if that business operates Monday to Friday! how does that reflect today's business world? BT's web site is full of promises of help for start-ups. but no mention of the fact they'll only answer the 'phone Monday to Friday.

With a 'no-frills' brand like Ryanair you expect a lack of human contact when things go wrong. But BT is a fully featured brand leader. The point in paying extra for such brands is the reassurance they will pitch in when things go wrong. Not leave you spitting feathers and plotting a speedy brand switch.


Brand Driving

alfaday2.pngI spent an enjoyable Sunday mourning driving the new Alfa Romeo spider at Stoke Park. Brand driving days are not new but as a way of moving prospects from 'cool' to 'warm' they are very effective. Slick invitation process leading you to a comfortable environment, piles of Sunday papers, plentiful food and a stack of cars to drive. Hopefully this leads to a warm fuzzy feeling about the brand. Well it worked for Jake (11) but his father was perplexed. Why when trying to impress all things Alfa, do you have the majority of the demo cars in any colour other than evocative Alfa Red? most of the spiders were in fact, in very bland silver. Also on a day when details really count, why not hire Italian staff for all the meet and greet stuff. The agency behind the Alfa TV work KROW are here, not sure who organised the direct work.


OK, it was us.

786072-502208-thumbnail.jpgDuring the summer, kelvin (a rather brilliant writer) and myself went to The Bushmills distillery in County Antrim**, We were working on the relaunch of 'Bushmills Original' and needed to get closer to our subject (!) While wondering around the distillery buildings we came across this skip. A bit of childish retouching later (thanks Stu Wilson) and heh presto an internet myth is born! skip 2.jpg


** = A rather fab area of Ireland. The Harbour Bar in Portrush serves some of the best Guinness I've tasted. They also have a photo of a drowned elephant on the wall - its a long story. 



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Spent yesterday in Scotland on business. Nice cows and didn't rain that much.


Free Charts

Trying to breath life into a rather dry Power Point** presentation yesterday, came across this simply inspired little device for making charts.  Produced by the Huffington Post, it ranks blog posts into graphics. (i.e. Heat only just more important than the Hoff, also 'Shouting' loads more popular than 'flip charts') Pointed out by the excellent metasurface who used it to compare food stuffs with political groups. Hezbollah losing out to a bag of Taco's, but Hamas managing to hold there own against a bowl of Hummus

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** = Actually the web is awash with advice on this very subject. The 10 slide rule here. But my favorite by far is comparing Darth Vaders slides with Yoda's. Thanks to Garr Reynolds of Presentation Zen for that.