Waste of money?

Car ads could be the most expensive of all to make!

Take the new Citroen ad with the cars leaping through the ocean driven by dolphins, to the tune ‘Somewhere beyond the sea’.

I’m sorry, but I just don’t get it.



I rather like the new Shreddies ads, with the factory full of old ladies knitting each little square.

It’s unique to the product, it’s humorous, it sells, and it celebrates old folk.

How many other ads knit that many layers together?


GetTING the emPHASis wrong

The model in the new ad for L’Oreal hair dye starts by saying:

“In MY home, I love the light. I also love it in my hair.”

She should be saying:

“In my HOME I love the light. I also love it in my hair.”

Why should the writer be invited on set to brief the actors properly? Because we’re worth it!


I love the Nationwide, but…

I really like the fact that the Nationwide is a building society, not a bank. I like them leading the campaign for free ATMs (in the UK and abroad). And I like their ‘mutual’ status.

But I don’t like them taking longer to clear cheques than banks do. I don’t like them sponsoring football. And I don’t like their advertising – devoted to the ‘nasty bank manager we are not’. Because when you see that ‘nasty bank manager’ you think of the Nationwide. Which is probably not the impression they were after!

Mind you, their end slogan is better now. Instead of just ‘Proud to be Different’ it also explains ‘because we have no share-holders, only our members’. It may not be catchy but it is important. Because I bet most people don’t understand the difference.


Perfect Product Placement

I’ve written below about Café Switch sponsoring the Loose Women lunchtime chat show. That’s now changed to a shoe brand.


Although I hate shoes (my feet are too wide to wear most of the lovely styles on offer), I do like looking at them.

And the shoes they show are fabulous!

I bet they get loads of customers. And those customers will be envied by loads of women like me.


Water, water, everywhere

I can just about live with the Evian slogan ‘Live Young’. Said in a French accent it almost rhymes with the brand name. And it does make some kind of sense i.e. water is good for you. And Evian is ‘naive’ backwards.

But I just can’t stand those naked synchronised swimming babies!

OK, so they’re in water to go with the product. They’re young to go with the slogan. And babies are one of the few images that allegedly appeal to all (along with other ‘cute’ things like kittens and puppies).

But those airbrushed alien Evian babies are so creepy!


Positive thinking

A business group has taken a full-page ad on the back cover of my local glossy magazine.

Could be a good idea.

They provide office space, and the visual shows 5 images of a seed sprouting to a seedling, with the headline: ‘Want room to grow? Maybe we can help.’

OK so far.

The body copy explains they are: ‘the largest provider of office space in South London. No matter how big your business becomes, we will try to accommodate you.’

That’s fine too (except the word ‘try’ – I might talk about that another time).

But they end with this big, bold, italic message before their logo and contact details: ‘You shouldn’t ever have to move again, that is, unless you go out of business.’

What a negative thought! Surely they should be selling the idea of business success through the convenient and affordable office space they provide, not the idea that they will kick out their tenants if/when the business fails!



Never underestimate a chocoholic!

This Easter, Thorntons made a giant chocolate billboard in Covent Garden.

Comprising 10 chocolate bunnies, 72 chocolate eggs and 128 chocolate panels, it took three months to plan and 300 hours to be built by a team of 10 chocolatiers.

The sign was supposed to last a week, but passers-by ate it in just 3 hours.

Fortunately for Thorntons, the memory of the media impact will last much longer!


SFX sells!

Sound Effects (SFX) can be extremely powerful, especially in radio ads.

There’s an ad for a mint running at the moment – it starts with the sound of a firework going off:


And just when you’re expecting the big BANG!, it ends with a little ‘eek’.

What a great way to demonstrate that the mint has a milder taste than you’d expect.