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Be like Chuck Norris and get a quick cash loan at BZ WBK!

March 12, 2012

Chuck Norris, the famous American actor and martial artist, is the latest international celebrity to join the roster of BZ WBK’s campaign stars – he follows in the footsteps of Antonio Banderas who headlined BZ WBK’s cash loan campaigns throughout 2011.  BZ WBK is the 4th largest bank in Poland which gained notoriety by hiring famous foreign actors – John Cleese, Danny DeVito,  Gerard Depardieu, Antonio Banderas and now also Chuck Norris – to front its marketing campaigns since 2008.

BZ WBK's local branch branding with Chuck Norris touting the "fast & good" cash loan

The campaign with Mr. Norris is planned for a couple of months and for the time being only the first TV commercial has been aired in which Chuck visits BZ WBK’s branch in his Texas Ranger’s attire and gets a speedy cash loan by warning the dazed bank advisors that he always comes only once…  The voice-over comments that at BZ WBK anyone can be like Chuck Norris and obtain a cash loan during just one quick visit at the bank branch.


The TV campaign is heavily supported with billboards, branding of the bank’s branches and online activities.

BZ WBK's billboard with Chuck Norris / copy: How did Chuck Norris get a loan?
- Painlessly.

There are several versions of the billboards which feature different images of Chuck Norris accompanied by a variety of funny headlines which always evoke the humour of the popular “Chuck Norris jokes”.

BZ WBK's billboard with Chuck Norris / headline: What did Chuck Norris see when he entered for 10 minutes? - A few bucks.

As for the digital part of the campaign, the iconic character of Chuck Norris has been utilized to provoke buzz and engagement among the users – for example at the bank’s official YouTube channel the Texas Ranger caused a major demolition.

There was also a special application called “Be Like Chuck!” available at BZ WBK’s Facebook fanpage which allowed users to model their picture to make it resemble the unshaven look of Chuck Norris.

Advertising agency:  Mather Communications, Warsaw (Poland)
Digital & Social Media agency:  Lemon Sky
Media agency:  Starcom
Production House:  RedWorks 

Got Crunchips, got the party! – a successful long-term campaign of Crunchips snacks

February 19, 2012

Crunchips is a very popular brand of potato chips in Poland – it is manufactured by Lorenz Snack-World, a German company which has some production facilities in Poland.  The chips category in Poland has one strong leader which is the Lays brand with over 30% market share, and  Crunchips comes as the second brand in the category, although the low-priced private labels also have a big volume share.

A few years back Crunchips brand faced a problem of losing market share and declining brand image within the core target of 15-25 age group.  At that point – in the Fall of 2002 – a new advertising format for Crunchips was introduced with a catchy claim: Jest Crunchips, jest impreza [Got Crunchips, Got the Party] which quickly revitalized the brand.


The new ads – which showcased the pack of Crunchips as the magic wand that is capable of turning anything boring and old-fashioned into a loud and crazy party – became very popular with its desired target audience. No doubt that this sense of humour resonates well with the Polish youngsters.


Crunchips’ ads always employed the symbols of boredom and oppression for young people (e.g. teachers, politicians, policemen or clerks) and demonstrated how even those utterly miserable figures can be transformed into wild party animals!


The repeated use of the campaign’s slogan and imagery which associated Crunchips with parties allowed the brand to hijack the “party” environment in the consumers’ minds.

The Crunchips campaign is created by a local Polish advertising agency called Just.

Berlinki sausages are starring in the remake of Jurasic Park

February 1, 2012

Berlinki, a Polish brand of quality sausages, are continuing their successful advertising format of movie parodies which was kicked off last year with the sausage versions of Pulp Fiction and Gone With The Wind.  In order to choose the next movie which the cool sausages could remake, the brand organized a special contest called Le Casting at its Facebook fanpage which boasts over 47 000 fans.

Using the Facebook application, the participants of the contest could choose from a range of film classics such as: Robin Hood, Gladiator, Dracula, Batman, Sherlock Holmes or Pirates of the Caribbean and suggest a closing catch-phrase that could be used by Berlinki in the remake of the movie they selected.

Berlinki's Le Casting application at Facebook

Three movies which were most popular in the Le Casting contests – Dracula,  Jurasic Park and Sherlock Holmes – were considered for the next TV commercial of Berlinki.  Eventually, the famous Spielberg’s dinosaur saga was chosen and remade into Jurasik Pork, the new advert of Berlinki that is currently aired on TV and in cinemas across Poland.


What’s interesting, during the Facebook contest Berlinki introduced a variety of new packaging which featured images of Berlinki sausages styled up as the stars of the different movies that were competing in the contest and a clear call-to-action that directed consumers to their Facebook fanpage for more information.

Berlinki's promo packaging for the Facebook contest

The new TV advert is also launching a new variant of Berlinki called Berlinki Viva – a light version for the weight-watchers.  The campaign was developed by G7, a Warsaw-based Publicis Group agency.  The animation was prepared by BrosFX studio. Media planning was handled by MEC.


TP’s Heart & Brain become the most beloved advertising mascots in Poland

November 21, 2011

TP SA – the name stands for Polish Telecommunications, a former monopolist in the telecom business in Poland, now owned by France Telecom – is certainly a company that had to struggle to change the negative image it had inherited from the past.  It has been perceived as expensive, bureaucratic, slow and delivering poor customer service.

Heart & Brain - TP's advertising characters since 2010

Not much had changed until a year ago TP launched a new campaign format which brought to life two distinctive advertising mascots – Heart and Brain – which personify the campaign’s core idea: Whether you listen to your brain or your heart, TP’s offer is always the best for you.


Since their first TV spot, the new characters became extremely popular and evoked a lot of positive reactions which was quite a surprise for such a disliked brand as TP SA.  The main strength of this campaign is how the two characters are created, always in opposition to each other, but still having a strong emotional connection.  They don’t advocate TP’s offer in a direct way, they’d rather test it as any customer would.


Heart is always emotional, brave, a bit naive and quick-tempered, whereas Brain prefers to think it over, sometimes he tends to be shy and over-intellectual, but he always shows a lot of patience and tolerance for Heart’s extravagant behaviour.


The popularity of the campaign manifests itself in all areas – the mascots are a popular auction item at Allegro, a Polish auction and e-commerce portal; the TV ads score very high quantity of views on YouTube and a Facebook fanpage of Heart & Brain has just reached 520 000 fans thus becoming the 2nd most popular Polish fanpage on Facebook.

TP's Heart & Brain fanpage on Facebook - over 520 000 fans!

What are the other factors of this campaign’s success? For sure, continuity, regularity and good quality – TP delivers a new TV ad or an internet viral spot every couple of weeks.  Heart & Brain are not about one brilliant execution (although there surely were some outstanding ones), but about the repeated formula for success.


Each new spot contains the same conflict of personalities between Heart and Brain, but it’s always set in a new environment or dressed up in a new surprising costume.  And it always has witty copywriting flavoured with a unique sense of humour!


The business results of this campaign have been just acknowledged by the jury of Polish edition of Effie Awards which awarded Publicis Warsaw, the agency which created the campaign, with Grand Prix of 2011 edition of effectiveness contest.

TP's Heart & Brain - press adverts

Juliette Binoche tells Polish people why she likes Credit Agricole

November 7, 2011

Crédit Agricole, the largest retail banking group in France, decided to rebrand Lukas Bank, its Polish subsidiary to bear the groups name Credit Agricole Bank Polska S.A.  For the massive rebranding campaign that started just a few weeks ago Credit Agricole hired an Oscar-winning French actress Juliette Binoche who happens to have some Polish ancestry.

Credit Agricole has grown for 117 years - from now also in Poland. You'll like it as me, Juliette Binoche

Juliette Binoche was one of three French actresses that were considered for the campaign – the other two were Audrey Tautou and Sophie Marceau.  The creative team which developed the idea of the campaign must have been inspired by a highly popular French movie Amélie (also known as  Le Fabuleux Destin d’Amélie Poulain) which contains a funny montage sequence in which Amélie (played by Audrey Tautou) tells us the things she likes and dislikes.  In the first TV spot – that launched Credit Agricole brand in Poland – Juliette Binoche reveals that she likes: simple things, chocolate, the look on the winner’s face, honesty, fairness, to have friends all around the world and things that have history.  She dislikes: financial gibberish, dishonesty, small print, empty promises and small banks that tell fairy tales…


At the end of the spot we learn why we should fall in love with Credit Agricole  just like Juliette Binoche did – it’s because Credit Agricole has 117 years of history, ranks as one of the biggest banks in the world with over 54 million customers in 70 countries and still likes things that are sensible, fair and simple.  Juliette Binoche closes the ad by speaking some poor Polish – she says: Try to like it [Credit Agricole] as I do.  Credit Agricole’s Polish tagline is: Simple and Sensible [prosto i z sensem].

Credit Agricole's newspaper ad with Juliette Binoche

The rebranding campaign employs all the major media: TV, outdoor, internet and press.  What is a bit strange is that it completely ignores predecessor’s brand (Lukas Bank) and simply launches the new brand as if it entered the market out of nowhere. Lukas Bank was one of the key players in consumer finance segment in Poland – it was particularly strong in installment plan sales at some major retailers.  This affected the brand’s image and made it difficult to turn Lukas Bank into a universal bank.

I assume this might be the reason why Credit Agricole is not introduced as the successor of Lukas Bank which it obviously is as it owned the bank since 2001.   The second TV ad that followed the one with Binoche is a typical product-oriented spot which promotes the “first account” for students.  Its hero – a student – in the similar manner tells us things he likes and dislikes…

The campaign was created by a new agency called NestPoint.  The ad with Juliette Binoche was directed by talented Polish female director Małgorzata Szumowska and photographed by Michał Englert.  Below you may watch the Making of the ad.

The threat of annihilation in Plus’ parody of Star Trek series

October 23, 2011

After the completion of a campaign inspired by the British sitcom Fawlty Towers, Plus – the second biggest mobile network in Poland – kicked off a new campaign which again reveals quite specific source of creative inspiration.  The new campaign of Plus’ pay-as-you-go offer is set at a spaceship which clearly recalls the Star Trek‘s Enterprise. British actors hired for the Fawlty Towers campaign are also cast in the new one and seem to enjoy the sci-fi convention.


The new campaign communicates a special offer of internet called Internet Tamer, which users of Plus’ prepaid tarifs can have free-of-charge when they top their account. There’s a common belief among Polish consumers that using internet by mobile phone is very costly and this campaign and promotion intends to change this attitude by inviting consumers to test it for free.

Plus' billboard ad / copy: Try out the free-of-charge internet in your mobile

In the second TV spot the brave crew of the spaceship faces the command of self-destruction. The guys discuss how they dislike the self-destruction thing, especially that one of them has just activated the free-of-charge internet package with Plus.  The ad closes with the voice-over  urging us to try out the offer before it’s too late.

Advertising Agency:  303, Warsaw (Poland)
Director:  Michał Sabliński
Production:  Papaya Films

Sponsorship activation campaigns herald EURO 2012 in Poland

October 9, 2011

Next June, Poland and Ukraine will be holding the 2012 UEFA European Football Championship, commonly known as EURO 2012. For Poland – by all means – it is the most prestigious sports event we have ever hosted and a major organizational challenge, but also a fantastic opportunity to promote the country. For the first time Polish National Football Team will participate in the EURO championship tournament  (it has never managed to win the qualification stage before) and thus the sponsorship of the team may be a precious marketing tool to engage consumers, evoke emotions and build brand image.  Let’s have a look at some of the brands that decided to support the Polish National Football Team and check how they exploit the sponsorship so far.

Orange's billboard / copy: This may be your place - win tickets for UEFA EURO 2012

Orange, one of the biggest mobile networks in Poland, is the main sponsor of the Polish team and just a week ago it launched its first major campaign that activates the sponsorship.


Orange’s adverts announce a consumer promotion in which people who buy any Orange product and send a text message have a chance to win tickets for EURO 2o12 matches or the official UEFA EURO 2012 balls.  The ads also communicate the special website for the Orange sponsorship:

Cisowianka's billboard / copy: Cisowianka, the official mineral water of Polish Football Team

Cisowianka, the popular Polish brand of mineral water, was one of the first marketeers that started to use the associations to EURO 2012 in its communication (the billboard campaign in Spring).  Two months ago Cisowianka started a new major TV campaign which showcases a bunch of schoolkids that illegaly enter a big football stadium to play a game.  Cisowianka’s new slogan states that it’s A source of good emotions.


Biedronka [Ladybird] – the biggest retailer in Poland with over 1700 supermarkets across the country (owned by Portuguese company Jeronimo Martins) – is also one of the major sponsors of Polish National Football Team.  In the spring Biedronka started a funny TV campaign which featured Franciszek Smuda, the coach of Polish team.  At the press conference Smuda is to announce the names of the players who will represent Poland in EURO 2012 tournament.  To our surprise he starts reading the names of some random Poles who had never expected to be called to play for the national team…


Biedronka’s commercial closes with the slogan:  We are all the national team.  The same slogan was employed for its billboard campaign.

Biedronka's billboard / copy: We are all the national team

Finally, let’s have a look at Warka, a Polish beer brand that for quite a long time now uses association to football as its main brand image component.  Now Warka is also one of the official sponsors of Polish National Football Team.  In Spring Warka kicked off its sponsorship with a joyful image spot which seems to take place at the Warka Brewery…  The ad introduced a slogan: Together We Represent Poland.