Out and about town: Samsung, Natwest and the Ministry of Thrift.

Passing observations on various ads of different mediums around the city. Why?  Because I felt like it.

There’s a massive billboard series for the Samsung S4 ‘Life’s companion’ campaign by Earl’s court.


The text reads “Hear your photos talk with sound and shot” and “control videos with a glance with smart pause.” Seeing as it’s stretched over 4 billboards it can’t help but be eye-catching, and the design is good, but I feel like something is missing. The display is totally static, there’s no interactivity with the taglines  whatsoever. There’s no opportunity to ‘hear your photos talk’ or ‘control your videos with a glance’ because there is no digital aspect to the ad. This might seem like an unfair criticism as there are many other ads like this for other smartphone campaigns, but my criticism applies to these too.  Surely some level of digital interaction should be a bare minimum with smartphone advertising these days? It’s the perfect opportunity to show what the phones can do and take the advertising to a new level, not just talk about it.


NatLess to NatYes?

NatLess to NatYes?

So ‘NatYes’ is the new integrated campaign across print, outdoor and TV to support NatWest’s  new mortgage rates. The TV ad is one of the more palatable banking campaigns of late. Now it may seem a small point, but I want to question that big fat ‘™’ on the end of the slogan. What need is there, really, to trademark that phrase? Who else other than NatWest would feel the urge to, or be able to  incorporate its use practically? Instead, what might be the detrimental value of adding those two little characters onto the tagline? I could be alone in this, but I think it’s significant.

Upon initially seeing the billboard version my thoughts were a little like this: “NatYes? Catchy, backed up by a good product. Almost makes me think good thoughts about a bank”  …Then my eye passed over the ‘™’ and I was brought back to thoughts of faceless corporations, financial jargon etc and my perception of the campaign became just a little more negative. As I said, this might be a minor point, but banks are fighting an uphill battle for any positive feedback from consumers in the current climate, and if one small aspect can improve their chances then I don’t think it should be overlooked.  Or I may just need to get out more… On a side note, have you tried to ‘search NatYes’ as the ad encourages? Someone much more knowledgeable about SEO and adwords talks about it here, but it looks like the NatWest marketing team may have made an oversight there.

Love W14

Love W14.

And finally, I was pleasantly surprised to see evidence of the ongoing Mary Portas highstreet ‘reboot’ in action near West Kensington station. ‘Love W14’ shown above is an example of one aspect of the campaign, where disused shop fronts are redecorated because “they are a blot on the high street” and no doubt remind us all of economic doom and gloom. The temporary redesign is intended to brighten up the neighbourhood and keep our spirits up until more permanent, and hopefully animated, tenants can be found. As long as the spend on these temporary measures is not disproportionate then I think it’s kinda cool. Keeps the old chin up I suppose.


2 responses to “Out and about town: Samsung, Natwest and the Ministry of Thrift.

    • Thanks for your comment! I agree the campaign is a little cringey, but I’m happy it has a decent selling point and the centre of the campaign is a genuinely helpful measure for customers.

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