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As much as I am into innovation – I don’t believe in doing it simply for the sake of doing it … or in the case of ad agencies, doing it in a blatant attempt to get some cheap PR.
Fuck, where has the ability to think ahead gone? At HHCL we were basically taught to be intelligently brave … and nowadays, it seems like there is a policy of intelligence vacuum.
Giving the World another great reason why drugs are bad, Dutch Ad Agency, Strawberry Frog, have ‘invented’ [hahaha] a new ‘communication medium’ … THUMBVERTISING.
Basically teams of volunteers are touring public spaces with their thumbs aloft, displaying logos tattooed in henna onto their thumb pads as well as having mini ad banners suspended between their thumbs.
No, it is not April 1st … this is the crazzzzzzzzzy World of Advertising.
Strawberry Frog creative director, Mark Chalmers, goes on to show he really has been drinking the kool-aid by saying [apparently with a straight face] …
“Thumbvertising raises a smile, is engaging, memorable and has a feelgood factor that’s lacking in most modern advertising.“
He is taking the piss surely? No … I don’t think he is.
And if that wasn’t bad enough – an old client of mine Douwe Egberts’ [another Dutch company!] – has fucking signed up for the daft idea, launching a massive [if that is possible with 'thumbs'] campaign in London, Bristol, Birmingham, Manchester and Newcastle.
The MD [who surely must be ousted by shareholders after this] goes on to say …
“We wanted to advertise our latest product in a way that engaged with consumers and generate word of mouth interest”
If they wanted engaging, memorable feel-good advertising … I can assure them there are many more powerful ways to do it – and that includes both traditional and none traditional approaches … and that leads to the practical question of how media agencies are going to evaluate/book this astounding medium. I mean, will there be an R&F on thumbs and if so, how many people will they have to recruit to achieve 50% at 3+?
Thank God my Dad is not alive to see this. He thought advertising was a daft industry in the 90′s – when some good stuff was actually being developed – but now? Christ Almighty – have we really sunk this low?
What both Strawberry Frog and Douwe Egberts have failed to understand that any fool can get their brand noticed … running down the street with a turkey on your nether regions will do it … the trick is to encourage desire, enthusiasm, interest.
Hell, if I saw some knob-end [or as is probably the case, student] waving their thumbs at me trying to flog a cup of coffee, I think I would have an overwhelming desire to kick their heads in, not run to the nearest supermarket and buy the thing.
Talk about undermining brand credibility … I already feel negative towards the coffee brand for simply insulting my intelligence.
What next? Eyelid advertising … Teeth advertising … Poo Advertising [oh, we already have lots of that don't we!]
No wonder the industry is regarded so badly when this sort of thing is major ‘news’ … and I am sure I am not the only one thinks Strawberry Frog and Douwe Egberts are full of corporate toadies who follow a policy of celebrating the ‘Emperor’s New Clothes’ rather than shouting, “It’s crap and he’s naked.”
Bad … badder than bad … badder than the baddest bad thing on the planet Bad.
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