Archive for the ‘On advertising’ Category

Simply wonderful advertising

March 4, 2013

Every now and then a TV ad comes along that needs no comment.

DLKW Lowe’s 90″ spot for Marie Curie Cancer Care is one of them.

Having said that it needs no comment, I just wanted to share why I like it so much.

It doesn’t try too hard. There is no intrusive voiceover. The ad speaks for itself.

And then there’s the beautiful last line.

“Your last moments should mean as much as your first.”

Simple. Powerful. Wonderful.

Wear a daffodil. Make a difference.


A long time ago in an agency far, far away…

January 20, 2012

I was going to write something scathing about Vodafone’s latest TV ad featuring everybody’s favourite little green Jedi Master. But it’s just too, well, average to comment on.

Oh go on then, I will. “Do you think he tastes of wasabi?” is truly appalling and the whole thing’s terribly flat.

Anyway, I’ve been over on Youtube to check out other examples of Star Wars-based telly ads. The one with Chewbacca getting a blow dry for PC World made me smile, mainly for the piss-takey slow-motion bit. And Darth Vader getting the Orange brush-off is really rather funny.

Even funnier (albeit unintentionally) are these Public Service Announcements, as they’re called in the US, from the late 70s.

So remember kids. Don’t try to make the Kessel Run if you’ve had a few. Make sure you get your jabs. And, like the droid said, don’t smoke.

Good causes. Great ads.

July 29, 2011

I’ve seen two charity ads recently that I think are absolutely brilliant.

They’re great because they’re simple, human and true. So often charity ads (for example, Oxfam’s Be Humankind campaign, which looks like a dystopian Lloyds TSB spot) try too hard to be different. And in doing so, they fail to connect emotionally with the viewer.

These ads, on the other hand, connect in spades.

The first, by Adam & Eve, is for Save The Children.

Ignore the slightly too-polished production values. Disregard the dubious “Isn’t the western world wonderful?” imagery. And try to put out of your mind the fact that, to be pedantic, we are all “born to die”.

In fact, don’t watch the ad at all.

Just close your eyes and listen to the voiceover.

I think it’s beautifully written. Pitch-perfect. And the line “simply the bestest” is one of the nicestest copywriting touches I’ve read (or rather, heard) in a long time.

The second ad (from AMV for Cancer Research UK) is a great example of a copywriter leaving his (?) ego at the door. Instead of putting words into their mouths, he lets the subjects speak for themselves. The way the ad is cut enhances their stories to great effect, too.

The only flaw I can see is the “But thanks to the work of Cancer Research UK” bit, which sounds scripted and a little stilted. But no matter. The stories are incredibly emotive.

And the silence at the end says much more than mere words ever could.

This post may well appear in a different form on the Targetbase Claydon Heeley blog. Just in case you see it first and think I ripped it off.

I don’t want your babies

January 19, 2010

[The author wishes to apologise for the fact that the following post will no doubt turn out to be as funny as an ill-thought-out stand-up routine on open mic night at a comedy club in Bicester. At midnight. After eight pints. Stop throwing things dammit!]

So. Babies in advertising eh? What’s that all about?

More specifically, the rollerblading babies that sell Evian. (Admittedly it’s a damning indictment of my inability to keep up with the times that they’ve been on our screens since at least July of last year but, hey, I needed something to write about.)

I don’t know where to begin with the damned things. Well obviously they’re rollerblading. That’s a little bit weird in the first place. BUT MORE IMPORTANTLY THEY’RE DOING IT WITHOUT PADS OR ANYTHING! What happens if they fall over? They’ll graze their knees or elbows and then  they’ll be wailing for absolutely ages, spoiling everyone else’s walk in the park. And they’re not wearing headgear. Jesus! What about their fontanelles?  I mean, look what happened to Natasha Richardson and she was in her 40s.

I know, I know. They’re not really rollerblading. It’s all CGI (I don’t care, they still look horribly wrong. I get the same feeling watching the ad as I do watching that bit in Trainspotting when the dead baby crawls along Renton’s ceiling).

But why are these babies rollerblading in a park? To sell Evian.

And this is where I get really, irrationally annoyed. The ad starts with the line “Let’s observe the effect of Evian on your body”. OK let’s observe it. Ah I see. It makes me feel like a baby. That can rollerblade. In its nappies. That’s a good effect.

Or maybe they’re trying to tell me that babies who drink Evian feel like that. Because babies drink loads of water, right? Their mums are forever complaining about how they have to express water from their H20-engorged breasts into empty Evian bottles so their little one can have a drink when they’re not around.

It’s borrowed interest at its worst.Like a lot of advertising these days.

But there was a time when it wasn’t like this. I remember an ad with an equally outlandish premise from the 80s(?) that was sheer brilliance. It was for the Vauxhall Astra Mk3 and it went something like this:

Now that’s a lovely, slightly bonkers idea that, above all, is relevant to the product it’s trying to sell. It dramatises the fact that the Mk3 is the car your baby would want you to own. Powerful stuff when you think about it.

[Note: No babies were harmed in the writing of this post. Although – and this could be an urban myth – the babies in the audience of the Vauxhall ad were apparently velcroed to their seats so they couldn’t crawl off. Anyone know if this is true?]

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