Tag Archives: Barclays

My Five A Day

A nutritious selection of five things that caught my eye in our wonderful (often weird) world of communications.

The Match.Com TV ad. A king amongst dating ads. This isn’t new but it’s so lovely I’m pleased it’s back on our screens. Beautifully shot, artful and clever, it really elevates the Match.com brand from a functional lonely hearts site to somewhere you may just meet someone nice and just like you. These actors should form a nu folk duo.

Banners by John Lewis – plain old behavioural targeting but actually done pretty well. There’s no dodgy second-rate imagery which I tend to associate with these kind of online ads, just simple, white backgrounds showcasing products I’ve had a look at and thought about buying. It’s perfectly in-keeping with the JL site and branding and rather than feeling like they’re stalking me, the unobtrusive approach means it’s quite a handy reminder of a present I need to buy. I’m going to click through.

The latest French Connection catalogue. I know that as I lift it from the mat and burst through the plastic wrap a lovely, expensive paper smell will waft out and the thick, uncoated stock will be full of sumptuous images featuring items I’d actually buy. But that’s the only reason I’d open it, because the ‘You are woman’ campaign irritates me. The FCUK work was very clever, and they quite rightly exploited it for all it was worth. But that doesn’t mean each successive campaign should be more and more obscure. I know they’re trying to be different but, honestly, which brand isn’t?

Barclays bouncy castle TV ad. These Justin Lee Collins ads teeter on that fine line between pretty clever and pretty annoying. For a bank, Barclays has actually got a rich ad history – the Samuel L Jackson ones immediately spring to mind. And I like the fact they’ve avoided irritating jingles or weird animated characters in recent years. The new campaign idea – a voiceover sending up those dodgy metaphors you see so often in ‘serious’ financial ads – is a good one, and JLC is funny. But the idea of a brand setting up and filming a ‘bad ad’ itself, just so it can then take the p*ss seems a little excessive.

‘Found cat’ poster – this has been up on a tree near my place for a few weeks now, but I saw it again today. A thank you to all the people who helped find this white tabby, now home safe and sound. So nice and genuine – and a lovely end to the tail (sorry, I couldn’t resist).

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Pumpkin’s new home

A new home, a new view and our very own plaque; Pumpkin’s moved from Heddon Street to Vigo Street. Just a stone’s throw from our old offices, our new 4th floor abode gives us a rather nice view of Sackville Street.

View from the Pumpkin offices

And as we were taking a quick photo, we noticed another new arrival taking up residence on the same day – a set of new, Barclays-sponsored, bikes for hire. Already a common sight on the streets of Paris and Barcelona, there’s been a real buzz about their introduction over here. I’ve seen similar schemes on a smaller scale in London in the past, but nothing quite so well promoted or strongly branded.

We’ll have to wait and see if they’ll prove a permanent fixture. We can report that three bikes were already in use at lunchtime on their first day – encouraging considering the scheme isn’t yet available to everyone. So who knows, maybe we’ll even persuade Sarah to take to the saddle for a client meeting one of these days?

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