Staff
Dec 29, 2008

Brand Republic's top stories of 2008

As Brand Republic takes a break for Christmas and the New Year, we leave you with a round-up of the big stories from 2008.We're sure you can't face another list so here's a wander through this year in the shape of some of the most-read stories from Brand Republic, Campaign, Marketing, Media Week and Revolution.BR readers are an optimistic lot. Despite the thoroughly miserable end to the year few of you had time for all those bad news stories.

Brand Republic's top stories of 2008

As Brand Republic takes a break for Christmas and the New Year, we leave you with a round-up of the big stories from 2008.

We're sure you can't face another list so here's a wander through this year in the shape of some of the most-read stories from Brand Republic, Campaign, Marketing, Media Week and Revolution.

BR readers are an optimistic lot. Despite the thoroughly miserable end to the year few of you had time for all those bad news stories.

While analysts were prognosticating doom for 200,000 media jobs, many appreciated the silver lining of the sales -- 20% off at M&S and 50% off at Tesco.

We just have to scrape away WPP's blanket freeze on new hirings and it's not far back to the high-rolling times that gave us the £85 Burger King wagyu beef burger.

BK was also responsible for the oddity that was the "6 pack" burger to share, apparently an attempt to take on the pizza market -- perhaps this panicked Pizza Hut into its Pasta Hut rebrand.

The strange goings-on in the fast food sector continued into the credit crunch when Pret a Manger was struck by a hoax "buy one get one free" voucher.

McDonalds grabbed attention with its new designer uniforms in April but was still voted most hated brand in Marketing's 2008 consumer survey.

Among the most hated celebs were face of Iceland Kerry Katona -- before her car crash TV moment on 'This Morning' -- and David Beckham, face of virtually everything and provider of "marketing muscle" for Emporio Armani.

Other stars underclothing themselves in the name of commerce were Heidi Klum for console game Guitar Hero,Peaches Geldof for Agent Provocateur and Dita von Teese for Wonderbra.

Diesel gave us a more blatant take on "sex sells", with a cheeky mix of 80s porn and animation. But a similarly naughty viral featuring a bottle of Guinness led the drinks brand, which said it had nothing to do with it, to demand its removal from YouTube.

Nintendo hit the nirvana of free, viral publicity when an ad agency director from Florida posted a YouTube clip, "Why every guy should buy their girlfriend a Wii Fit".

In another big gaming story Red Bull became the first brand to build a presence in Sony's much anticipated PlayStation Home virtual world.

Carling exploited the possibilities of the iPhone thanks to Beattie McGuinness Bungay's free iPint application, though the makers of paid-for app iBeer were unimpressed and went legal.

The Honey Monster came close to a court face-off with The Mighty Boosh after the comic duo took exception to a Bray Leino-created ad for Sugar Puffs that was highly reminiscent of their "crimping" routine.

Original TV ads could be found, such as the Honda live skydiving spectacular conceived and aired by Channel 4, and the British Heart Foundation's two-minute 'Watch your own heart attack' ad on ITV1.

ITV looked into another type of advertising first when it tested technology capable of inserting ads into clear spaces such as walls and sky in TV pictures.

Ads that tested the ASA this year were Ryanair's "provocative" schoolgirl (hottest back to school fares) and Tiger Beer's ladyboy ads -- both banned for being too offensive.

Confectionery company Mars was self-policing, deciding to globally withdraw an ad showing Mr T firing Snickers bars at a speed walker and telling him to "run like a real man", after protests from sections of the gay community.

There was a u-turn by Liverpool FC shirt sponsor Carling after protests from fans who learned it was planning a promotion offering free beer to readers of their old enemy The Sun.

Converse also trod on shaky ground with a new range of footwear bearing long-dead Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain's signature and his artwork and diary scribbles.

Nutritionists got out their stick and beat eight-time Olympic gold medal winner Michael Phelps when the American swimmer agreed to appear on boxes of Kellogg's Frosted Flakes.

While London's Olympic 2012 logo got stick from marketers, the Beijing Olympics will be remembered for Argentine and Spanish sports teams, happily pictured making slitty eye gestures in their excitement about their trip east.

Last month Spaniards directed racist abuse at F1 driver Lewis Hamilton on a website, set up but not particularly well moderated by Omnicom agency Tequila Spain, hosting a game called 'Burst Hamilton's Tyre'.

Closer to home truck drivers were targeted by the humour of 'Top Gear' presenter Jeremy Clarkson, sparking almost 2,000 complaints but no action from Ofcom.

The Daily Mail-led decency crusade did claim the scalps of BBC Radio 2 presenters Russell Brand and Jonathan Ross after they crossed the line with x-rated prank calls to actor Andrew Sachs.

While the BBC was in the shooting gallery, the long-running crossfire between Sky and Virgin Media died down, with news the two sides were negotiating a deal to put Sky's basic channels back on Virgin's platform.

From pay-TV make-up we conclude with the agency/client break-up of the year -- Lowe London resigning its Stella Artois account after 26 years.

We wish everyone better luck in 2009 and we'll be back on January 5.

Source:
Campaign India