Exciting news for one of Locker Room’s clients, as Justin Rose has recently confirmed a three-year partnership with British Airways who will now become his Official Global Airline Partner
We’re delighted to add Cloggs.co.uk to our client list. Cloggs has recently been acquired by JD Sports and is one of the best known fashion shoe retailers in the UK. There will no longer be any excuses for bad footwear in the office with Cloggs as a client!
The annual debate surrounding the Super Bowl TV commercials is well under way. After airing for the first time yesterday there seems to be a growing feeling that the current crop failed to deliver, with many actually having a damaging/negative effect on their respective brands. Here’s an interesting article which encapsulates the thoughts of many observers in the US:
Interesting article in Marketing Week which explains how Ebay are looking to roll out their own click & collect operation…
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Barack Obama’s infamous social statement has been retweeted an incredible 800,000 times and counting. To put this into context, the previous record (held by a certain Justin Bieber) was a mere 200,000 retweets by comparison. Deploying such an intensive social media aspect to his campaign, ‘the most powerful man in the world’ was able to secure far more connections with the youthful electorate than his 65 year old rival and the enormous reach of his most recent tweet serves to reinforce the point rather emphatically.
But in US politics, broadcast (television) media remains the pivotal platform on which to convey one’s credentials for the right to work in the Oval office and both candidates invested heavily in this respect, albeit almost exclusively targeting a handful of battleground states. So what exactly is the US presidency worth in terms of TV advertising spend these days? Reports vary but across the course of their lengthy campaigns Obama spent approximately $400m, while Romney ploughed through a cool $500m. Even accounting for the fact that a large proportion of each investment was provided by the super PAC’s (Political Action Committee – aka external campaign contributors), that’s a combined total of almost $1bn…or the equivalent of $50 for every single man, woman & child living in the entire state of Florida.
These are simply staggering figures considering the financially dire state of America and one has to wonder about the economics of it all. Even more so given the fragmentation of modern media and reduced overall effectiveness of TV advertising throughout the last 10 years, i.e. are they getting anywhere near the right amount of bang for their buck. Obama’s team would argue the price is worth it, whereas Romney and his wealthy supporters clearly have more money than sense so won’t have any regrets on that score.
And just in case these figures weren’t surprising enough, you might also be interested to learn that a whopping 91% of Romney’s entire TV campaign deployed negative (attack) ads…but then again, that’s politics for you!
You might have noticed recently that Lewis Hamilton has decided to change Formula One teams, moving from McLaren (where he won the World Championship) to Mercedes. Of course it’s quite normal for drivers to switch teams but many people have been scratching their heads as to why he would want to move to an unquestionably weaker car. Was it a burning ambition to turnaround the fortunes of an under-performing team? Potentially. Maybe it was sheer madness? Doubtful. Could the real reason be that Hamilton is managed by Simon Fuller, who created global brands such as Beckham & The Spice Girls (with arguably very little to work with)? Almost certainly.
Hamilton’s contract with McLaren prevented his route into global superstardom for two main reasons. Firstly, at McLaren he wasn’t allowed endorsements from companies not already sponsoring the team and secondly, although McLaren do produce a road car, it’s priced way out of reach for most people. Mercedes on the other hand, have a more accessible product range and they will also allow Lewis to take on personal sponsors that have nothing to do with Formula One. As a direct result of Fuller’s expertise, Hamilton’s new salary and, to a large extent, his performance in the car will become insignificant compared to his new earning potential as ‘Brand Hamilton’.
But at what cost to his sporting legacy? Even if Mercedes bring out a new car for next season, there’s still a long way to go if Hamilton is serious about securing his second World Championship. And therein lies an apparent difference with the likes of Michael (Nike Air) Jordan or Roger (Gillette) Federer, who ensured their off-field activities were always superseded by their brilliance on it. David Beckham may have broken this mould to some degree, but then again ‘Goldenballs’ is an enigma since he has never been the best in the world at his occupation yet remains every inch the global brand. Lewis Hamilton has apparently decided to follow suit by placing more emphasis on enhancing his image over his professional achievements and only time will tell us whether he’s made the right decision.
It was recently announced that the upcoming Bond film (Skyfall) had offset a chunk of its £200m budget by securing £28m in return for allowing several brands to appear prominently and, one could argue, iconically alongside the irrepressible 007. Everyone secretly guessed that Bond loved nothing more than an ice cold beer after a hard day at the office, so why not invest a chunk of your marketing budget to prove it? The essence of the concept itself is built upon very strong foundations – associate your brand with someone famous, admired, loved or adored. And in return thou shall receive instant brand awareness on a global scale coupled with a massive uplift in sales and in the process achieve a significant ROI. That’s as long as you get the balance right of course, nobody likes being sold to that much.
And therein used to lie the problem. Intrusive, overt product placements were frowned upon in a pre-social world as global superbrands flexed their financial muscles in a very unsubtle and out-of-context way. Notwithstanding an excellent spin by Mike Myers’ direct approach of shamelessly weaving sponsor’s brands into Wayne’s World whilst simultaneously denying on camera that he would ever submit to such dirty tactics – the masses, on the whole, weren’t easily fooled.
But the question should now be asked whether product placement can be regarded as a contentious in any form following the advent of Social Media. In addition to becoming more friendly, connected and status-conscious than one could possibly imagine, every single one of the billion individuals currently preoccupied on Facebook has also become a (multiple) brand advocate overnight. This veritable army of compulsive online socialites have allowed product placements to be conducted within the very fabric of their own social lives and provide regular brand endorsements. If it’s ok for my best friend to show their ‘liking’ for Jack Daniels and be proud of it, then it’s certainly becoming more acceptable for Commander Bond to sip on a Heineken or two…