The Horror…


…imagine mine, when my five year old daughter proclaimed over breakfast: “Daddy, there was a lady on the telly in a pink top who can get stains out of your clothes.” (Verbatim.)

After my wife had performed the Heimlich manoeuvre on me to remove a Honey nut cluster from my oesophagus, I proceeded to extol the virtues of creativity in advertising over bludgeoning the target audience with a media budget the size of an eastern European country’s GDP.

How ‘completing the circle’ and ‘smile in the mind’ are more effective at opening a dialogue with consumers rather than a raucous monologue.

To which my daughter asked: “What’s ‘the mind’?”

“Don’t they teach you anything in school these days?” I retorted.

“No, we just play,” she said.

What was it Fallon said? Outsmart versus Outspend.

Obviously, if you have more money than sense, you can achieve successful results by repeatedly punching the consumer in the face with your monotonous message until they lie prostrate in a pool of their own blood which even Vanish Oxi action couldn’t remove.


But that is a war of attrition. Not a crack commando outfit enlisted to achieve the same results with a fraction of the resources.

I’m sure there are a multitude of agencies willing to take Reckitt Benckiser’s millions to let them do exactly as they demand. Fortunately though, there are also a multitude of agencies who wouldn’t.

I’m sure a few of you out there will cry – oh, but she remembered it, so it must work!

First of all, she’s five. Last I checked, she wasn’t doing the weekly shopping. Second, she didn’t recall the brand. Third, pink’s her favourite colour. Fourth… she’s five!

Is their advertising effective? Yes.
Is it good? No.
Do I think they could have both good, and effective, advertising? Without a shadow of a doubt.

The problem is – do they want it?

ADDENDUM

Suffice it to say, my daughter has since had all her television privileges rescinded and will henceforth, (when the privileges are reinstated), only be allowed to watch CBBC.

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