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.


Nice lines

Talking of car ads, I love the new Audi A5 animation, with nice piano music, nice graphics and nice colours. All in all, it’s very nice. A fine example of a simple proposition, beautifully constructed.

I’d guess the car is too.



Everyone’s talking about the new Skoda Fabia ad, the one where the car is made out of cake. The soundtrack is ‘My favourite things’ from the Sound of Music, and the slogan is ‘Full of lovely stuff’.

<a href"www.newfabia.co.uk Go to Baking Of > View the Ad

It’s a great example of a USP (Unique Selling Proposition), and something we can all learn from.

Cars are full of features – wheels, chassis, engine, windscreen wipers, lights… But car ads don’t try to tell us how wonderful each of these features may be. Instead, good car ads choose one benefit, and turn it into a feeling.

Skoda – I want a taste!


The sincerest form of flattery

OK, I admit it. I can’t resist joining in with the Becks ‘Do the Dance’ ad.

It’s not as easy as it looks! But at least the product, the words and the visuals are related to each other, as there are: “Only ever 4 steps.”

I don’t mind that it reminds me of the Guinness ‘Anticipation’ ad. I can still hear the music now: “Der de, d der de, d der de, d der de, ddddd der de, de der de, de der de, d.” A lot of people tried that dance too!

That ad also relates to the product, because the guy dances around the giant pint while he waits for his Guinness to settle. Recently updated for Guinness Extra Cold.

And I remember the fuss about the original version when it first aired in 1995, because the agency was accused of infringing copyright. The claim failed. But, as I wrote yesterday, there are no really new ideas under the sun.


An Outbreak of Cubism

I saw a new TV ad last night, featuring a big cube draped in red satin being flown over the city.

“Ooh,” I thought, “A new ad for Abbey!”

No – it was a new ad for IBM. But Abbey have been using a big red cube in their ads for ages!

And it was followed immediately by the B&Q ad. Featuring a big orange cube.

Just goes to show, there’s no such thing as an original idea.


Fancy an e?

I’ve just been re-reading e by Matt Beaumont – ‘the novel of liars, lunch and lost knickers’.

Via a series of emails, it tells the inside workings of an ad agency. As it says on the back cover, ‘a tapestry of insincerity, backstabbing and bare-faced bitchiness – just everyday office politics.’

Brilliant book! Unputdownable!

It reminds me of when I was 19, and was accepted at Watford College to do a copywriting course. The letter they sent me said, ‘Although you might be too diffident for the advertising industry, you clearly have talent so we are offering you a place.’

I chose to train as a journalist instead, and ended up as a marketing copywriter. Reading this book makes me glad I did!

You can get it here.


“I like pumping”

I like to watch Loose Women during my lunch break – it’s sponsored by Café Switch. Trouble is, I don’t know what that is! And the ad doesn’t make it clear.

It features fingertips with painted nails and added hairpieces, pumping on a pair of plastic pods.

Very strange.

To me, it’s important to write from the point of view of the customer. So I hate it when an ad assumes a level of knowledge which I don’t have!

Unless it’s a deliberate ‘tease’ to make me find out more…

So I Googled their website. Turns out it’s a coffee drink which you make frothy by first pumping the squishy pods with your thumbs then tearing open the lid and folding the pods in half to pour the contents into a drinking vessel before adding water.

Sounds complicated?

Even more reason for the ad to be simpler.