Archive for April, 2012
I’ve been unsuccessfully hunting for a new horse since January (my current one has been retired due to arthritis). In the process I’ve discovered that there’s a lot of language in horse ads that needs decoding, for example would suit experienced rider means ‘the horse is a total nutcase’ and if you read spooks occasionally assume the horse in question treats every hack as a visit to the Scary Spooky Lane of Hell.
But agencies and their credentials documents are no better. Integrated could as easily mean ‘the four of us aren’t very good at anything in particular’ as ‘we have a dozen shit hot specialists for any discipline you care to mention and they all work as one seamless team’.
Media Neutral could be taken to imply ‘best advice’ but may well really mean ‘we don’t care how stupid your marketing plan is, we’ll happily implement it for a fee’.
And as for the Special Unique Strategic Agency Process (which will probably be visualised as either a flow chart or some kind of wheel), in most cases the agency is really saying ‘We think we do thinking. We’d like to be paid for it please’.
Happy hunting, clients.
The problem is, it’s terribly, terribly close in concept to the Guinness St Patricks Day viral by AMV BBDO from last month (first released around 29th Feb, but it didn’t go mainstream until about 14th March as far as I can tell as 30 second broadcast teasers driving people online & PR also kicked in):
I’m not for a second suggesting that there’s some idea theft going on here – in fact any agency that could nick an idea, turn it round and get it on air within 6 weeks probably doesn’t need to.
I can really sympathise with both the agency (which I’ve never worked for) and the client – judging by the timings suggested by this piece on their website Propaganda were already in production by the time they would have become aware of the Guinness creative. With a strict air deadline (Easter being a key time of year for car sales), I can’t imagine that there was anything they could do except crack on.
It’s a good ad. And although the Guinness version had over 2M views on youtube alone, it will have passed a lot of the second hand car buying audience by. But Propaganda and the creatives who worked on it are unlikely to have their efforts fully appreciated by their peers as a) they were second to air and b) I think the Guinness one is actually slightly better.
I did a project a few months back for a UK retailer looking at all the events planned for Summer 2012 and assessing the likely impact. Without giving away all the insight the client paid for, it’s a little bit worrying.
For a start, it’s going to be a long-haul Summer. From the Diamond Jubilee Pageant at Windsor Castle starting on 10th May until the Paralympic closing ceremony on 9th September, there is Something Big Happening almost continually. The major events are obviously the Jubilee, Olympics & Euro 2012, but there’s also Wimbledon, big music festivals and so on. I really think there’s going to be a bit of Celebration fatigue kicking in at some point.
On the upside, it seems logical that there will be an uplift in National pride – and you can already see brands like M&S taking advantage of this.
But one of the downsides is that I’ve ploughed my way through all the briefing documents and I can only conclude that London is effectively going to come to a standstill in late July and the first half of August. If you’re planning any kind of activity in the London area that requires a vehicle to be in a certain place at a certain time around then, I’d reschedule it now.
I rather like the new M&S Summer ad. It’s an excellent way of a) subtly muscling in on the Olympic action without being a sponsor, b) hedging their bets as to which big event of this Summer (the Jubilee, Olympics or Euro 2012) will provide the most retail uplift and c) allowing RKCR/Y&R to edit the full 90 second ad down to provide event specific executions.
It’s also a kind of Greatest Hits, featuring most of the big names who have fronted ads for them in the last few years, including Twiggy, Dannii Minogue, Myleen Klass, Lisa Snowdon, Gary Barlow, Jamie Redknapp and Noemie Lenoir (the one who looks depressingly good in her underwear).
Breaking an ad that has Gary Barlow singing ‘sun, sun, sun, here it comes’ is however a tad unfortunate timing-wise, given that it seems to have snowed across half of the UK overnight …