Thursday, 7 July 2011

So You Thank Your Stars

Unfortunately, I have been a bit of a blog abandoner recently. I'm not sure if it's been because of how mentally busy second semester of university has been or because I have simply become so obsessed with reading a million other blogs that I have forgotten how fun and interesting it is to write my own. I thought I would restart with a post, relevant to my degree (about time) and with something that has been bugging me since I have returned home and gained full use of a working television and Sky+ Box- bye bye online streaming!

So, the subject in question is television advertisements. I have always been very interested in this method of marketing and have never been the type of person to flick over to another channel when the supposed "dreaded" adverts appear, leaving me in great suspense over what will happen next in my chosen TV programme. Will that product gain the respect and investment of the Dragons? Are Peyton and Lucas really meant to be? Will House figure out this seemingly impossible health problem? Whatever it is, I can wait, as the adverts have never bored me. I love seeing what new ways companies have come up with to entice us into buying their products; be it getting those smooth, tan, skinny legs in Gillette Venus adverts, or the promise of a car fulfilling our fantasy of Thierry Henry saying 'Va Va Voom' in that oh so sexy accent. Whereas, in reality, my legs remain pale and shaven hairs tend to grow back within the day and after the purchase of a Renault Clio your man will most probably not be able to utter those three words with quite the sex appeal of one chiselled and beautiful French football player. But advertising is about over emphasising the product, selling a way of life or creating an illusion. The advertiser has less than a minute to get this product into our heads and make us think of nothing else as an alternative. So why, oh why, does the most successful advertising these days seem to come from adverts showing a moustachioed man singing 'Go Compare' or an old lady declaring that she doesn't like tea and would prefer a cheeky glass of gin?!

I am not sure if it is because I have gotten older and wiser, and such adverts that would have appeased me back in the day, have now fallen flat on my cynical brain. Or whether two years away at university and adverts have suddenly got dire. Advertisers seemed to have become lazy; using badly dubbed videos for multiple use in different countries, employing bad actors, using awful sets and running campaigns which barely even match the brand or product at all.Is this a side effect of our times of financial strain? Although, even on a tight budget, I believe it is possible to create a successful and intriguing advert.

Credit where credit is due however, I love the Barclaycard adverts with the water slide and rollercoaster and the advert in the music shop. They are pretty damn cool- not that I have switched to Barclays bank or signed up for, however! So, in that respect, maybe they haven't been that successful for me, but at least they are well thought out and have a poignant message, unlike that ridiculously bitchy and sneaky woman in the Malteasers adverts who gives a bad name to women everywhere!

One thing that does make me wonder though, is the fact that bad adverts do work, for some mad reason. The 2010 winner for worst advert, Go Compare (we all know the words don't we??!), may be the most awful thing I have ever laid my eyes on. But is the catchy tune and the dread of it coming up between my weekly TOWIE fix a bad thing for the company? No. Go Compare recorded their first ever profit after the introduction of their recent ad campaigns. Guaranteed, the next time you need to use a comparison website, you'll automatically find yourself typing in those fateful words and singing along with 'Gio Compario' in your head.


  1. Brilliant post Meg. I would like Go Compare Man to fight a group of meerkats to the death! x

  2. Adverts argh - don't get me started! xx

  3. You're back! Great news.

    I don't watch much TV any more so don't get to see that many adverts but I love watching what advertisers to do try and get in our brain (it's in my marketing genes) and you're so right, bad advertising does work...
    I'm often found walking around the house signing "We buy any car - dot com" ;) xx

  4. Adverts argh - don't get me started! xx

  5. Brilliant post Meg. I would like Go Compare Man to fight a group of meerkats to the death! x

  6. GO COMPARE! GO COMPAREEE! It's where the wise economise, so go compare! <3

  7. Love it when there's a great advert that makes you look forward to the ad break. Though to be fair most are crap and as for ads with catchy tunes they really annoy me, we buy any car, need I say more.

    good post