The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]


Snatching Defeat From The Jaws Of Victory …
September 16, 2011, 6:11 am
Filed under: Crap Campaigns In History

You’re a Norwegian destination – let’s call you Stavanger – and you’re looking for a way to tap into the lucrative tourist dollar.

You bring in a bunch of highly paid experts who talk to you about ‘unique selling propositions’ and ‘consumer benefits’.

You haven’t got the faintest idea what they’re saying but you like what they come back with …

“Stavanger is the perfect short break destination. Quite frankly, it’s the most spectacular short break destination”.

So far so good, you like how it sounds.

“But let me tell you why …” say’s the overpaid branding consultant, “… you see it’s the World’s most unspoilt travel destination”.

You sort of buy the justification, it’s one of those ambigious terms that means no one can really argue against such a statement … so with a strong proposition in your pocket, you go to your ad agency, carefully explain what you’re trying to convey.

“That’s absolutely brilliant …” say’s the agency CD/MD/CEO “… we will get on to it straight away.”

A week later they come back with an ad.

A print ad.

Before they reveal the picture, they read out the copy.

“FOR A SPECTACULAR SHORT BREAK, VISIT STAVANGER … THE WORLD’S MOST UNSPOILT TRAVEL DESTINATION”

You breathe a huge sigh of relief because they’ve taken your cues about what you want Stavanger to stand for quite literally and at the money this whole exercise is costing, you can’t afford any mistakes.

“But what about the picture?” you say with excitement bursting through your voice.

With a little cough, the CD walks up to the presentation stand and with great gusto, pulls back the cover to reveal the picture that will capture all these benefits in a single image …

What a shame the agency went and used an image that shows a rock with so many tourists on it that it doesn’t just look like the most spoilt travel destination on Earth, it looks like fucking Ibiza!

Putting aside that spending a truckload of cash to attract tourists to a place you say is ‘unspoilt’ is madness, the fact no one working on this campaign spotted the potential hypocrisy of their picture versus their message is tragic.

Sure, I am being a petty bastard, but I believe practicing what you preach is fucking important and that means understanding what you shouldn’t do as much as what you should.

I see way too much of this sort of thing … where the message and the visual don’t represent eachother, though to be honest, I see more stuff where the underlying idea doesn’t match what the brand has spent years saying it represented.

AXE in Australia, take a bow.

[Don’t worry, it’s not the wonderful folk at BBH who have fucked up, it’s – or at least it was – LOWES]

I don’t know if it’s laziness or stupidity or me being a cock, but it happens way too much and if we can’t get this sort of thing right … why the hell do we expect a client to trust us with how to build their brand.

OK, so sometimes the issue has nothing to do with the work, and all to do with how successful you’ve become.

I remember running some research for Lonely Planet and hearing a guy tell me how he’d taken the books advice to go to one of the most isolated bars on earth, only to find 3 other people there, all with a Lonely Planet in their hand. However that’s nothing like using a picture filled with people to promote your destination is unspoilt.

OK, so popularity doesn’t necessarily mean spoilt, but by the same token, it doesn’t make you immediately think you’re going to be surrounded by a fuckload of other people either.

So while I hope the people of Stavanger benefit from this campaign, I’d suggest that next time, they make sure their ad doesn’t attract the attention of pricks like me for all the wrong reasons or do a campaign that states to preserve the title of ‘most unspoilt place on earth’ they’ll put a limit on the number of people allowed to visit, at the very least it might create some urgency – or prestige – to visit.


49 Comments so far
Leave a comment

I’m concerned, I liked this post.

Comment by DH

im fucking concerned. for your fucking health and sanity.

Comment by andy@cynic

You should be Dave because it did nothing for me. But then I never read what Rob writes.

Comment by Billy Whizz

That could be because you can’t read.

Comment by Rob

Got the answer you’re looking for Rob, it’s you being a cock. Hope that helps.

Comment by Billy Whizz

Why don’t they show a norwegian bird sunbathing naked on that rock? That would make me come in more ways than one.

Comment by Billy Whizz

Dear planners, please note the above comment is real planning.

Comment by Billy Whizz

Comment by niko

Niko – genius

Comment by Rob Mortimer

Thanks for the image Billy. You’ve just made sure I will never visit stavanger in my life.

Comment by DH

the thought of you in sexual fucking ecstasy has made me feel physically fucking sick. almost as physically fucking sick as the naive, low self esteem chicks who find theyve momentarily fallen for what passes as your fucking charms.

Comment by andy@cynic

Not sure why DH likes this. I follow your blog because I like getting what is generally an individual take on the subject you’ve chosen. This particular post could be posted on a daily basis, nay every hour-on-the-hour just changing the client/picture. There are an over abundance of dumbfucks in our industry (industry?).

Comment by Ciaran McCabe

Wait. You follow this blog?

Comment by Billy Whizz

bad day at the post office ciaran? yes, its bad but its not that fucking bad. i even like the sarcastic fucks attempt at script writing. sure its shit, but channel 5 would buy it.

Comment by andy@cynic

Bloody hell Ciaran, you hate it that much? And I thought I was being so witty with the little screenplay I’d written.

You’re right, it is a situation that is seen time and time again, but I have to admit, I don’t see how my ramblings on this post differ from my ramblings on every post and for you to basically say you HATE IT, makes me wonder what I’ve done that has caused such distain.

On the brightside, no one normally feels anything about what I write so I’m quite pleased with it causing such a reaction, haha.

Comment by Rob

thats fucking true rob, jill told me she thinks of you as the colour beige so ciaran getting his panties in a fucking twist over your bollocks is a major step forward for your personality.

Comment by andy@cynic

he didnt get his panties in a twist over your bollocks in the literal fucking sense. dont get your fucking perverted hopes up.

Comment by andy@cynic

I liked what he wrote, not the ad.

I see that rubbish everyday but Rob writing something that amuses me is rarer than rocking horse shit.

Comment by DH

I’m with Dave, I like this post. It might be a take on an issue too many ads fall foul of, but the stuff after the “day in the life” scenario is great, especially the importance and danger of practicing what you preach. That Lonely Planet example is great.

Comment by Pete

This isn’t about being literal to the idea, this is about making some sort of sense from the premise being presented. That said, the ad would be terrible if one person was on that big rock, but with 30 or 40, it makes it even worse.

Comment by Pete

nice get out of looking like a literal motherfucker there pete. you should have used that excuse in the meetings where i called you a literal motherfucker.

Comment by andy@cynic

So what do you think the exact right number is, Pete? Excuse the familiarity. But, I still think the post unworthy.

Comment by Ciaran McCabe

The ad is terrible, I agree with you, but if you were to run it and stay true to the premise of the World’s most unspoilt travel destination, then as Rob say’s, a photo featuring multiple tourists undermines that promise. So to answer your question, one. Or Zero.

Comment by Pete

jesus ciaran, what the fuck is wrong with you. this is a post from campbell. rob fucking campbell. nothing he says is supposed to be taken seriously. youre one of the only bastards on here i like, dont fuck it up by making me think you actually like campbell. i cant possibly fucking like someone who likes campbell.

Comment by andy@cynic

Yep, you really do hate it don’t you. Hahaha!

Comment by Rob

you could come to stavanger because its the most unspoit place on planet fucking earth but most people come because of this http://tinyurl.com/4x3rxpw

who do i send my fucking invoice to?

Comment by andy@cynic

Did you find that link by yourself?

Comment by DH

of course i fucking did, im not a fucking planning retard.

Comment by andy@cynic

Just checking.

Comment by DH

Congratulations Andy, your idea has just ensured you’d make Billy come.

Comment by Rob

i know what you did there, you dirty, sick, perverted fucking bastard. im going to wash myself in acid then get pissed because of your mind violating shit. i hope youre happy with yourself. fucker.

Comment by andy@cynic

I think that is what you’d class as a “good result” Rob.

Comment by DH

the post i was waiting for. thank you very much.

Comment by TOTOinTrouble

Agree that their USP is not unique, and that the photo creates negativity for the brand. The photo is of a unique place: Preikestolen (the Pulpit Rock). It’s unfortunate that its history and other beautiful parts of Stavanger were not demonstrated through stories as on the site: http://tinyurl.com/3fz9nnw Due to the print ad, we will remember Stavanger for the wrong reasons.

Comment by Carol L. Weinfeld

the photo creates negativity for the brand ? Why do you say that ?

Comment by TOTOinTrouble

Re: Rob’s post The photo should contain 1 or no people if it represents an “unspoilt travel destination.” See Pete’s comment.

Comment by Carol L. Weinfeld

i remember everything i’ve read here. I just think that word “negativity” is way too strong. It doesn’t create negativyti for the place.

Comment by TOTOinTrouble (@TOTOinTrouble)

It’s a place not a brand. That word needs to be banned – it serves only to distort thinking or justify nonsense.

Comment by John

Maybe. i haven’t faced the situation when using the word brand instead of place, etc, had an impact in thinking. But hey, i have never ever worked in advertising or marketing.

In this particular occasion, when Carol uses a word brand, i understand that this photo has a negative effect on this place identity, personality – on those things. So it doesn’t confuse me. But i still don’t understand why she thinks this photo creates negativity.

Comment by TOTOinTrouble

Wasn’t suggesting Carol’s statement was nonsense though I see how that might be the interpretation. I just hate the ubiquity of brand.

Comment by John

So do I was hoping that Sachsgate would be the end of him

Comment by Northern

that is the worst fucking attempt at a joke since planning tried to claim they were a real fucking discipline. thrash yourself with birch twigs until your skin breaks and puss oozes out. fuck me groper, you were supposed to be one of the better bastards.

Comment by andy@cynic

What idiot ever thought that?

Comment by Northern

It’s bloody Dodds twisting my mellon man, I’m all unhinged

Comment by Northern

thats the fucking closest doddsy has got anyone to twist anything for the last ten fucking years.

Comment by andy@cynic

Norway, the world capital of sex tourism
By the way, I can see why you became a planner rather than a writer Rob
I wonder where Dodds is, probably in la la land over Andy’s picture.
I’m not talking to him by the way

Comment by Northern

Talk to the hand emo.

Comment by John

Did someone say something?

Comment by Northern

cant leave a comment so im doing it here. happy birthday to your old man and look after yourself and mrs c.

Comment by andy@cynic




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