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Archive for the ‘Technically Accurate’ Category

You’re kidding me. This is the best you could do? No explanation of services, of offers, of reasons to bank with you – your only argument is that the people who answer your phones are of the “I’m mad me” variety.

Fucking hell. Sack your advertisers. I don’t want a fucking conversation with some gossipy prick on the end of my phone line, I want them to do their fucking job. If all your staff are “like that round here” then you can be absolutely sure that I’ll never ever bank with you.

This is possibly the lamest advert I’ve ever written about. I’m seen worse, for sure, and far more offensive, and more incorrect, but none quite as lame as this. They didn’t think about it, and they didn’t even try…

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Sometimes it’s not the fault of advertisers that their commercials suck; sometimes it’s the fault of the product. Take, for example, this Heineken ad. It’s a pretty good idea and the execution perfectly fine, but unfortunately the inherent lameness of Heineken lets the whole side down.

Put it this way; filling a fridge that beautiful full of Heineken is like filling a wardrobe that beautiful full of clothes from Primark.

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These kind of anti-aging cream “inspired by the science of genes” adverts are so chockofull of bullshit it’s almost too easy to pick them apart, after all – does anyone really believe the crap they peddle anymore?

There was one small element of this that I wanted to write briefly about, though – and that’s how they reached their conclusions…

67% agree – consumer test – 122 women

That’s 82 women who agreed with their statements.

Something so seemingly routed in scientific theory could only find 82 people to agree that it worked – and only 82 people are required to launch an advertising campaign that will have cost hundreds of thousands of pounds to produce.

I think that’s a bit patronising.

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Could. It’s an interesting word is ‘could‘ – it lends potential to any statement. It doesn’t require confirmation or guarantees, it simply suggests that something has the possibility to happen. It’s a wonderfully loaded word – it expands any idea to infinity without having to provide proof… no wonder advertisers love it.

Could is also a brilliant word because it’s entirely non-committal. Take, for example, this self congratulatory slice of bullshit from Vauxhall. Yes, the warranty could last for a lifetime but the restrictions added to it make it highly unlikely. Equally it could never need a service, or it could run forever on one tank of petrol, or could increase in value by 1000% – but all of those are just as unlikely.

The average annual mileage for drivers in the UK is 10,000 miles – and this warranty runs out at 100,000 miles – thus the average driver can run the car for roughly 10 years before the warranty becomes invalid. That’s actually quite a good deal – why they chose to hide that behind an abstract concept such as could is beyond me.

In order for the warranty to be valid you have to buy the car new, so the ‘lifetime’ it mentions is your lifetime, and not the lifetime of the car. How long is a lifetime? Or rather how long is a driving lifetime?

Even if you owned the car for only 30 years you could only drive roughly 3000 miles per year so as not to invalidate the warranty, and the sort of people who only drive 3000 miles a year are rarely the sort of people who spend thousands and thousands of pounds on a new car.

So point is this; Vauxhall have a good deal going but they’ve chosen to obscure it behind a patently ridiculous concept which doesn’t stand up to the slightest bit of scrutiny. Why would they do that? A campaign based around a 100,000 mile warranty is would be very appealing – much more so than this proffering idea of something maybe lasting longer if you adhere to a certain set of rules that wouldn’t really work properly in the real world unless you were a certain type of person.

BUT WAIT! THERE’S MORE!

The Vauxhall website details the exact nature of the deal. I quote…

Year 1
All new Vauxhall passenger cars are covered by a one-year unlimited mileage manufacturer’s warranty with qualifying repairs at no cost to you.

Years 2 & 3
The manufacturer’s warranty is extended for two more years up to a maximum of 60,000 miles.

Lifetime!
After that, Vauxhall provides a unique Lifetime Warranty, available to the first owner for an unlimited time period and a maximum of 100.000 miles.

I’m lost. I genuinely am. I’ve spent 20 minutes starring at this screen, trying to accurately articulate my interpretation of this deal and I am no closer. I think it means you can drive further than 100,00 miles but I’m not entirely sure.

I’ve given up. Buy the car if you want. I don’t care.

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“Hello. We’re Shell. We’re not BP.”

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I understand that advertising is an expensive business, and I understand that recycling and redubbing foreign adverts is a good way of getting round those expenses in times of a recession. It’s hardly the best route but I have no problem with it.

One small point though – wouldn’t it make sense to rerecord your new dialogue in somewhere else other than a studio? Somewhere that vaguely resembles the location your audio is meant to originate from? Somewhere like… ooh, I dunno… outside.

It may be pedantry (well actually, it is pedantry) but it’d probably stop the number reaction to your advert being “Christ… that’s some bad dubbing.”

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Imagine you’re an executive at Holiday Inn. You notice that Premier Inn and Travelodge have started running adverts. One has a minor celebrity endorsement and the other some kind of funky viral campaign – you think it’s about time you got in on the action. You call up your marketing team, you hire an ad agency…

…and they come back with this…

Maybe they were having an off day, maybe they weren’t paid enough, maybe the ad agency just didn’t care… there has to some reason as to why they have put out a campaign so generic you could literally replace the subject with any other product and it wouldn’t affect the byline.

What makes this advert stand out? What makes it memorable? What makes you remember the product by the time the next advert begins? Nothing. It’s just more empty imagery and meaningless phrases… the content has nothing to do with Holiday Inn.

This is the equivilent of a photoshop template, or a Getty image, or using a Times Roman font – it represents the absolute nadir of creativity. Zero effort for a very healthy return.

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