CHRIS CLARKE

Chief cre­ative officer, in­ter­na­tional, Dig­i­taslbi

Campaign UK - - PRIVATE VIEW -

Such is the state of our in­dus­try that I won­der if I over­re­act when I look at ads nowa­days. Pour­ing vit­riol on stuff that’s OK and over­prais­ing as ge­nius stuff that’s only a lit­tle more than OK. I blame WHAT SO­CIAL MEDIA IS DO­ING TO OUR BRAINS. Any­way, th­ese ads are all mostly OK.

SPO­TIFY is a bit bet­ter than OK, maybe be­cause it’s about the seething sex­ual sub­text un­der­ly­ing the sim­ple in­ter­ac­tions of fam­ily mem­bers. It’s a smart in­sight, link­ing the con­trast be­tween the com­mu­nal na­ture of fam­ily and pri­vate lives of its mem­bers to the need for a fam­ily ac­count. And you don’t see many ads about wank­ing th­ese days. In fact, I can’t think of any at all, ever. Though, writ­ing this, I’m look­ing for­ward to my in­box fill­ing up with ex­am­ples.

I’d love to like the HELL­MANN’S stuff here be­cause it’s brave, and we like brav­ery from clients and spend a lot of time ask­ing for more of it. But not like this, I find my­self think­ing. And can we please, please stop with all the toast­ing in ad copy? “Here’s to” has to be on the banned clichés list, surely? I find the ty­pog­ra­phy an­noy­ing and the idea be­hind th­ese just doesn’t ap­pear to have any con­nec­tion what­so­ever to the brand. I just don’t know why they’re do­ing this. I’m not squea­mish, but th­ese ads have me retch­ing for the loo, not reach­ing for the Hell­mann’s – sorry. Not OK.

ALZHEIMER’S SO­CI­ETY. There are a lot of ads th­ese days ac­knowl­edg­ing our di­vided cul­ture and urg­ing us to see past our dif­fer­ences. Ad­ver­tis­ers need to do this be­cause the cen­tre ground al­lows them to ap­peal to the broad­est num­ber of peo­ple pos­si­ble. What a world we live in, when ad­spend needs to re­mind us of our bet­ter selves! This is an ef­fec­tive mes­sage re­mind­ing us that Alzheimer’s is in­dis­crim­i­nate and doesn’t care what fil­ter bub­ble we oc­cupy. I love that the media buy de­liv­ered the idea by show­ing it si­mul­ta­ne­ously on Chan­nel 4 and ITV, pre­sum­ably to Re­main­ers on the for­mer and Brex­iters on the lat­ter. It’s re­fresh­ing to see media and cre­ative pulling to­gether to un­der­line the cam­paign idea – some­thing we need to see more of.

Bradley Wig­gins, mod hard­man of cy­cling, now has a beard and is sell­ing SKO­DAS. Some­one who was pre­pared to do any­thing to win (maybe push­ing the rules be­yond break­ing point, though we’d all rather not be­lieve that) now has the per­spec­tive and the time to fo­cus on fam­ily and make a sur­pris­ing car choice. Some­how it all kind of works and we find our­selves lik­ing Skoda as the car for peo­ple who’ve calmed down a bit but still like to stand out. As with all Skoda ads, this one is telling you it’s OK to buy a Skoda. That’s OK with me.

I’ve used STUB­HUB loads of times and re­sented it every time. Isn’t it just a way to le­git­imise tout­ing? If it’s all about get­ting peo­ple out of the house to have fun, why not limit the price that can be charged for a ticket? It’s hard not to see th­ese third-party re­sellers as kind of af­fil­i­ate trick­sters, tak­ing money from fans and mu­si­cians. So ethics are never top of mind, which I guess is why strik­ing oil is a use­ful metaphor to use in an ad – the mes­sage? Dirty money in a jaunty set­ting. Now that’s not re­ally OK, is it?

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