Top 5 Television Adverts of 2012

So last year I spent some time going through all the adverts I could remember from 2011 and shared my top 5 selections with you. Hmmmm, well I think I started something that would just be totally uncool not to continue, and see how things develop over time. Don’t you think?

As always, 2012 was filled with a mind bogglingly huge selection of commercials to choose from. There was really great ones, okiesh ones, and of course the epic fails that continue to plague us through the year. The Go Compare team still fail to understand the concept of great advertising, and for yet another year we’ve been subjected to hours of some operatic twits warbles in a vain effort to convince us to partake of the offerings from Go Compare.

Compare the Market have milked Aleksander for as much as they can get out of him for a while I think, and while I loved the concept at first, their range and ideas have become rather stale and bland through 2012 in my opinion.

Cilit band continues to torture us with Barry Scott and his ludicrous claims that Cilit Bang is so powerful that it even has a turbo boost , which it advertiseses by parking a jet in a hanger with a couple of shelves of Cilit Bang around it. Turbo Power? I didn’t know jets had turbo’s!!

Of course the list of painful, dull and lifeless adverts is endless. As I have said before, I like to be wowed by a commercial. Made to think or made to chuckle. Keep it fresh, keep it relevant and entertain me. In this way, maybe I am really actually interested in checking out your product or service.

There are some companies that you expect to produce a great advert. Places like British Airways, or John Lewis. Marks and Sparks and some of the big name Corporate Brands. I think John Lewis totally missed the mark with their Christmas advert this year, which was a disappointment, and in a year when so much was going on in the UK, BA really missed an opportunity too. But even though some of the big boys on the block didn’t feature, there are some pure beauties still.

So for this year, these are a selection of the five best adverts in my opinion. I am not sure which one is the best, so there is no specific order to them.

1. E.ON Best Deal Advert

2. Pedigree Denta Stix Advert. This makes me chuckle every time.

3. The BBC 2012 Olympic Coverage Advert

4. Cartier Long Form Advert

5. Matalan Christmas Advert

Compared with last year, it was not easy to choose my top five this year, and that was not because there were too many too choose from. I guess that the lack of money is even hitting advertising budgets ey? So of the five presented, which is the best in your opinion then?


The Top 5 Television Adverts of 2011

We are all subjected to a barrage of television advertising each year.  If you are anything like me, then there will be methods of advertising that really work on you, and others that very firmly put you off ever using or trying the product being advertised.

Personally I like to be wooed by an advert. If its clever, emotive and well thought out, it meets with high praise from me. If its tacky, cheap and bloody irritating to listen too or watch, there is nothing more certain to make me determined to never go anywhere near the product than a stupid advert.

I tend to think that as people we are sophisticated, and while certain products can get away with a certain level of stupidity or playful hilarity at the expense of their product, it is a fine line to walk and takes a brilliant script writer to get it right. A perfect example of this is the ‘One Sheet does Plenty’ adverts. Far more effective than the old drag adverts, the play on accent makes the poor chap sound like he’s advertising a rather unfortunate accident, and can illicit a smile now and then.

On the other hand, the irritation of the Go Compare adverts does nothing but make me seriously consider assassination and make me ever more determined to never ever make use of the product. I would welcome the makers of the Video Game Assassins Creed to put a character similar to the operatic Richard Smith in their game, and I’m sure they’d find a huge surge of people lining up to pop the character off.

But rant aside, there have been some remarkable adverts this year, and here are a selection of what I think are the top five adverts of the year. I hope you enjoy. If you agree or think that there is one or two that I’ve left out, or deserve closer consideration, be sure to comment and leave a link.

Happy Christmas and may you all have a wonderful New Year.

1. Possibly the cutest advert of all time.

2. Time. A very poignant advert.

3. Boy Band takes to Yoe Valley

4. A total classic Star Wars Theme

5. Possibly the best Airline Advert ever.

There are a few others that were strong contenders, but of all the adverts that I went through, these are defiantly my favourite. What do you think? Which one is the best in your opinion?

African Connexions

Every person is born of a culture, creed, community, nationality. Every one of us is individual in that we mould and shape our own character, but we cannot change who we are, or where we originate from. Society throughout the world celebrates its ethnicity by taking pride in the differences of its culture, and national identity. Every person has a responsibility to their nation to carry the flag and spread the word about the joys of being a member of that nations population and to celebrate the good things our nations bring to society as a whole.

In today’s global market place, a small group of African people who have for whatever reason now live in the United Kingdom came together and realised that as an African living in a European environment, we are often at odds with society and culture in the UK. We realised that for an African person arriving in the UK, there is a distinct feeling of isolation and loneliness as you lose touch with everything that you find familiar. To start out in a nation with no friends, little understanding of our differences, cultures, creeds is daunting for anyone. I know people who have been in the UK for 10 years now and still feel cut off from society and alone within communities that very often don’t want foreigners around them.

African’s come to the UK for a multitude of reasons, and as an African shouldn’t we be supporting each other, rather than complaining about the issues that keep us from integrating into the British social structure? Shouldn’t we make an effort to help each other and together make life more bearable while we live in the UK.

African Connexions is a simple concept. We are a group that celebrate and advertise everything that is good about being an African abroad. Every one of us have experienced that isolation, loneliness, and depression. We’ve all had to learn to survive in an unfriendly, sometimes hostile environment, and we now believe that in coming together as a group we can bridge the gap that exists for so many of us still.

When you visit the African Connexions website first and fundamentally you’ll find its an advertising base. This for now is provided free of charge to any African Business, Charity, Shop, Club, Group, Meeting Place, Support Network, Medical Team… The list is endless. Basically if your an African entity that exists in the UK, we are offering space to advertise with links directly through to your website. (If you don’t have a website talk to us, we build them starting from £35)

But the African Connexions website is not just an advertising site. Yes we want you to be able to find things that’ll provide support networks, or African goods to remember home by, but more importantly it is a way for us to bring together events, celebrations, meetings, or just a simple pub lunch meeting where African’s living in the UK can gather, mix, meet and mingle. African Connexions is a site aimed at promoting the good things about Africa. We want to engage with you, talk to you, write about you and tell all the other African’s living in the UK what you’re doing, how great you’re group, business, event is. Our blog profiles African groups we liaise with and keeps the African community here informed about African Culture and Lifestyles in Britain.

But we are even more than that still. The African Connexions Forum is a place to register yourself, and become part of the Global UK African community. Groups, businesses, promoters, musicians, festivals, social gatherings, gardening groups, you name it, we’ll welcome it. We want to create an environment where any African can visit, spend some time, and leave informed about what is available to them, what is happening around them, and having met some people who make their time in the UK more like being just down the road from your real home.

Home is where the heart is, and for every African in the UK, African Connexions is where you’ll find your heart.

Follow African Connexions on Twitter
Become a Fan of African Connexions on Facebook
Visit and register on the African Connexions Forum

Laugh at me! I’ll Laugh at You! Simples!

A very clever marketing firm gave birth to an idea a few years ago that has started a whole new craze for the nuttiest Russian MeerKat you ever could meet. Aleksandr Orlov, founder of Compare the Meerkat dot com has been one of the most successful marketing campaigns launched by any company in the last quarter of a decade. The rather mysterious little critter who has a pronounced Russian accent for such an African animal is almost instantly likeable in that he grabs at your affections, and builds credibility with his incessant winging at how his website keeps being crashed by fools looking for cheaper car insurance.

As crazy as it seems you can almost sympathise with Aleksandr. It’s weird yet remarkably cleaver marketing on behalf of the creators of Aleksandr Orlov, and Compare the Market dot com, the company for whom the advert was created must be over the moon at the incredible success that their 2 foot high advertising guru has had. He enjoys a Facebook profile with over 500,000 fans. Not even Boris the Mayor of London has that many fans. Maybe he has a lesson or two to learn from our fury friend. Actually that probably applies to most of parliament really. Alexander has a hugely popular YouTube channel with hundreds of thousands of hits, a website promoting his relations and friends in the meerkat kingdom, and even a few blooper clips.

I have to be honest, I always manage to crack a smile when I hear his distinctive voice, and get a good chuckle out of the bloopers too. But it just goes to show how a carefully thought out and well executed marketing campaign can capture the imagination of a country, and build a life all of its own. Sometimes thinking outside the box produces the best results. When it comes to telling the world why you are the best, always be willing to be a bit whacky and willing to try a whole different approach that might not necessarily sound sensible. Not everything is going to work, but sometimes that strange idea might just be the best idea you’ve had all year.

And if something makes you happy, or you get a kick out of a good advert, experience great customer services, visit a magic store and see the most amazing film, tell the whole world. We like to hear about good things. We love to share the fun and exciting stories, but even more than that, we all want to be a part of the things in life that you enjoy. What brings a smile to your world may very well pick us up off the floor on a day that without it could lead to something very different and not quite as pleasant. So share. Shout to the world about the things you love in life, and be proud to say I think this is great.

Aleksandr Orlov and Compare the Meerkat dot com! I think he is just great. 🙂

Why do advertising script writers assume we are all stupid?

I am often perplexed when I sit watching television. Let us take for example Vanish Washing Powder. In the UK we have an advertising campaign for a washing powder that apparently puts oxygen into washing giving the washing process an extra fizz that makes it come out the washing machine squeaky clean. A year or two ago when the product first hit the shelves, it was simply marketed as a wonder powder that had the power of oxygen in it. But as the product has grown in popularity the product has been developed into a special colours wonder powder, and whites wonder powder that has special intelligent stain seekers that seek out stains of any kind and wondrously work their magic to make the stains miraculously disappear, while making your whites whiter than white, and your colours never fade, and its pretty amazing that a crumpled shirt can suddenly appear better than new, all pressed and with the ability to make everyone, even a three year old get massively excited about the amazing intelligent stain seekers that made our washing so amazingly clean. The fact of the matter is that all Vanish is, is a washing powder! There is nothing at all intelligent about it. I mean come on, intelligent stain seekers? How foolish do you really assume we are?

Beauty adverts are another prime culprit. Whoever comes up with the ideas behind so many of the beauty product adverts really should be sacked. It is no surprise that cosmetics is such a tightly fought advertising ground. Women spend an endless amount of money on products that quite clearly do not do what it says on the tin. My first example would be shampoo’s. Have you ever noticed that each year we are told by one manufacturer or another that they have found the wonder extract or the extra special secret formula that makes their product perfect for your hair? Last year it was mango extract, this year it is bamboo extract, next year it’ll be baobab milk! I ask myself if mango extract was the most amazing wonderful perfect hair extract why the hell do we now need to shift to bamboo extract this year? I mean common. A little bit of essence of scent to make it smell different does not make the content of your product any different. Yes admittedly we are all attracted to a different scent for shampoo, personally i quite like a shampoo that smells like apple, but please don’t try tell me that different smells are going to make washing my hair any different. I mean rubbing soap into my hair is not a sexual experience, nor does it make me feel amazingly overwhelmed by sudden beauty.

Ageing products are yet another mystery. I often watch a middle aged woman stroll across a hanger attempting to look 22 and very beautiful. She may well have been good looking once, but I am always struck by the fact that she looks tired, fake and no matter how much makeup they have applied she still looks old and clearly has wrinkles. Seems all that time in make up before shooting really wasn’t worth it! If your getting old accept it. Get old gracefully and learn the simple fact that unless you want to look like you’ve got lips as thick as someone whacked by Mike Tyson, so really fancy looking like you’ve got clay in the fishers and flaws that are wrinkles on your face, or what ever else it is that your trying desperately to cover up, give up. There is nothing wrong with wanting to look nice, but minimal is more natural. Less is more. So extra long lashes really are not that sexy girls. If you got lashes six inches long I’ll be thinking your more of a freak than how much I want to get you into my bed.

We all have our list of truly irritating adverts. Some of them are just made irritating because through their constant annoying repetition we actually remember the product or company paying for the irritating advert. Take the idiot who keeps shouting about time while trying to advertise for an insurance company that in actual fact don’t provide insurance to musicians whom the irritating loud mouth just happens to be! Or the old gramps who reassures his darling that live moving ducks flapping around in the sun roof of a car are in actual fact plastic dummies a second later that just happen to be sponsorship for the so named company. Yup I remember the names of both insurance providers and most assuredly inform them that it is through their continual pathetic attempts to entice me but plying me with adverts that make me feel about four that will ensure I never use their company.

I am sure if I asked each of you to name only one advert that grated on you as you are forced to watch it time after time, that we’d have a list a mile long. In my view advertising should be cleaver. Thought provoking. Cutting edge and seek to make the product look genuine yet classy. Advertising that challenges your perception and interpretation always inspire, and when someone has really taken the time to get the public to buy into the concept like the advert currently running where a man, woman and two children utilise a service the company offers while going through their day to day lives encourages you to take note, and follow the advertising theme over a whole period of time.

Let me know what you think. What is your favourite advert on telly at the moment and which one really gets under your skin every time you seek it. I look forward to seeing what everyone else thinks.