Posts Tagged ‘John Lewis’

It’s only a game

Staffers at Views not News are suffering from FSAD: Football Season Affective Disorder. Sadly, no one at VnN HQ saw the light back in August 2015 when Ladbrokes offered the now not-so-crazy odds on Leicester City’s Premiership campaign.

So who’s not sick at missing out on a 5000-1 ‘certainty’? Well, certain now on this final morning of April 2016, anyway?

There can’t be many easier ways of making a wedge for so little effort. United’s mostly morose LVG must now stand for Leicester’s Victory Game. Even without suspended Jamie Vardy.

And even if they don’t win on Sunday thanks to a very unsporting Man U mistakenly thinking their league position means anything at all to anyone, most teams, Tottenham apart, beat Chelsea at the Bridge nowadays (Leicester’s final game this season) so BIG Congrats Leicester City and Claudio Ranieri.

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“You’ve all done very well.”

Theatre of Dreams

Yet for one man there’s an even more rewarding game than footie. A game that pays out much MUCH more. It’s called retailing. Read more…


Pre-roll ads: the longest 5 seconds in the world?

Last week’s closing days – all re-named ‘Black Friday’ – saw an online shopping splurge to make this year’s event a record breaker. Apparently.

Sales were up. In-store punch-ups were down. New staff hires were up. Online staff discounts were down – cut that is. And even some stores’ opening hours were down: closing early to prepare for the biggest and barmiest bash of the year to date.

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And where are the men…?

Yet savvy customers, brazenly flaunting their savviness, shunned the shops. Last year’s high street aggro was traded for this year’s online comfort.

Well, call it ‘comfort’, but when Argos, John Lewis, River Island and JD Sports all reported problems ranging from minor glitches and long queues to outright outages, clickability seamlessness is likely to have occasioned some screen punching rather than this heritage-free and suddenly-institutionalised annual shopfest’s traditional ill-will.

A quick survey of Views not News savvy staffers also revealed three main grouches.

  • Firstly, overflowing inboxes awash with emails. The three-line whip to spend, spend, spend caused some resentment. Note to marketers complaining about their own inboxes always being flooded with new business hopefuls’ emails: customers may not think it’s fun, either.
  • Secondly the interruptive omnipresence of many more pre-roll online videos than they could ever remember.
  • And thirdly, the stressless simplicity of press advertising.

“What?”, we hear you sneer snottily, “‘the stressless simplicity of press advertising’“? Pshaw.

Yep. S’what we said. Only one thing for it: we asked Team VnN to elaborate. Briefly. Here’s what they came up with and why. Read more…

Telling tales about the future

Sometimes, when agencies pitch, they include an extra free and for nothing ‘What success looks like’ section. A cheeky, not-mentioned-on-the-agenda, ‘amuse bouche’ variant for the…well, eyes.

This rosy little glimpse of the future portrays brand, consumer, sales and margin all coalescing in a perfect calm of happiness, effectiveness and achievement. Soft music should be playing.

Because we know the future

Pitch-winning agencies receive glowing client accolades for their visionary prowess.

XYZ+F showed us exactly what the future looked like and how we are going to get there…

Sweet. Personally, I’d just like to know the winning lottery numbers. Preferably for a Friday roll-over if that’s OK with everybody.)

Cynics might scoff. Argue that such future-gazing is just telling clients what they want to hear. (Anything wrong with that, btw?) That such predictions are facile. At best. Cynics would never stoop so low.

Claiming the higher ground and batting away such brickbats, agencies’ counter argument will be that unless you have a set of beliefs, see the world in a particular way, through your own particular lens, then you have no solid platform for action. No ‘why‘ as a too frequently quoted TED hero argues.

Most of what we call ‘action’, their argument would go, is that anything we do, any steps that we take, are based on the assumptions of the outcome, the consequences, of those actions.

So that if we do this, and we do it in this particular way, for instance, then that will happen. There is a causal Read more…

Windows shopping

Because I hate crowded high streets, I tend to miss stuff like this. But from the upper deck of a 73 bus early on Oxford Street you can see a whole new world: Microsoft’s new Windows 8 operating system being displayed in John Lewis’s windows for passers-by to play with.

Except there weren’t any. Because it was so early. (I hope my employers are reading this and noting my early bird-ness.)

I should’ve got off the bus and given the Windows/window a test-drive myself. Because I like the idea of it. Windows 8, that is. And it looks like fun — being able to swipe and tap and zoom images on a window megascreen. Do I have an inner geek?

Just looking

In a world where we’ve all gone naked in public and posted and tweeted and timelined and pinned and instagrammed and YouTubed and generally shared our all so that brands can claim to know the inner workings of our brains and what motivates us and then map, with certainty, our ‘customer profile’ and ‘customer journey’, expressing any sort of interest in an operating system tells me I know nothing about myself.

Let alone that the operating system belongs to most-hated-Geek-Enemy No.1: i.e. Microsoft. Read more…

Argos moves

“By 2017”, the sign outside the Tottenham Court Road development announces, “1500 people will be carried every 30 minutes in main-line sized trains 24 hours a day.”

It’s not quite like this yet

From our new (temporary) offices in Oxford Street, I have an unrivalled view of this, one of the Crossrail development sites. Actually it’s more of a huge being-filled-in hole in the ground rather than anything fancy at the moment.

So just over four years too late, probably, to save the Argos flagship store on New Oxford Street from closure, just a couple of hundred metres away. If it was ever on the list of the 75 planned high street outlet closures recently announced by Argos. Read more…