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

If You Have Nothing To Say, Just Sell An Attitude …
April 29, 2015, 6:25 am
Filed under: Comment, Crap Campaigns In History, Fake Attitude

I am fed up of ads that are trying to represent an attitude without any justification for it.

Car companies are especially bad at doing this.

They spend millions of dollars trying and make their bland piece of metal look interesting by spouting attitudinal clap-trap that means absolutely nothing.

While I appreciate no one wants to be inauthentic, this sort of bollocks is the embodiment of it.

However I recently saw something that took fake attitude to a whole new level of rubbish. Have a look at this:


Seriously, who says things like “exhilarating fashion and movement is always with me”?

Actually no, there’s another – more important question – what the hell does it even mean???

To make matters worse, it’s not even a celebrity saying that shit, it’s some invented character – designed to personify the image and attitude of the audience Ricoh are trying to attract.

Some points …

1. Even if a celebrity did say that, it would be bollocks.
2. Given someone made this statement up, it means it’s super, sad bollocks.
3. This tells us more about the client than it does the audience they’re trying to attract.

And don’t even get me started on how confusing it is to have an ad for Ricoh featuring a camera by Pentax. I know they’re the same company, but it looks schizophrenic. No, scrub that, it looks stupid.

Look I know the role of marketing is to ‘market an image’, but if you do it without any element of truth influencing your brand you just end up undermining your value and your potential … because as much as society don’t give a shit about advertising, they give a shit about not looking stupid and this sort of superficial, contrived nonsense won’t fool anybody.

Or at least I hope it won’t.

But maybe I’ve got it wrong.

Maybe they knew exactly what they were doing.

Maybe they realised that was little point trying to position themselves as premium and aspirational when every other brand tries to do the same and instead, chose to target a difference audience segment altogether.

It certainly would explain how they ended up with this car crash of an ad though if that is the case, then I’d suggest they update their endline to be more representative of their strategy.

Ricoh: for the delusional, confused, stupid and gullible.

35 Comments so far
Leave a comment

i much fucking prefer the bastard version of you. thats 2 compliments in 1 fucking day. im going to wash my fucking mouth out with jwblack.

Comment by andy@cynic

It is disturbing. But it’s also nice. Don’t worry, I won’t get used to it.

Comment by Rob

if ricoh/pentax are buying into this “always with me” shit, maybe they need to name their next pile of bollocks the pentax chlamydia. goodbye.

Comment by andy@cynic

How can the camera always be with you when if you look at the photo, it’s bigger than a car.

Comment by DH

If I was Dudley Moore in his movie ‘Crazy People’ … I would say the “camera isn’t small, it’s the Japanese who are, which is why they make such great technology because they are closer to the circuitry.”

And just before I am accused of being racist, I have basically just quoted what was in the movie. Which isn’t a great movie, but it does have some funny moments.

But in all seriousness, yes, it’s a rubbish ad. Not as rubbish as yesterday’s post, but definitely in the top 10 of 2015.

Comment by Rob

One of my favourite politically incorrect films.

Comment by Lee Hill

And why is it about fashion and movement when they’re showing a DJ #APlannerDidThisAd

Comment by DH

I think movement is supposed to represent music and dance. It’s terrible, but I am sure that is how they would justify it. Similar to them dressing the talent in a leopard skin skirt and converse shoes to nail the “creative youth” look they are going for. It’s all very bad. I think even a planner would not have made these sort of fundamental mistakes. #MustHaveBeenTheIntern

Comment by Pete

And most DJs mix from CD decks not vinyl these days

Comment by John

They nailed the creative youth? Isn’t that sexual assault?

Comment by DH

And have headphones with leads!

Comment by John

Unless you’re a DJ at a party organized by Rob where you play 78 rpm records of queen and look like you’re listening to them through headphones but are actually trying to block the sound out with your finger.

Comment by DH

The role of marketing is not “to market an image” – it is to sell stuff. You have learned nothing from my time commenting here and that means my work is not done.

How depressing. I was so looking forward to going on a road trip with a new phone but now that’s going to have to wait.

Comment by John

You are right marketing is to sell stuff, but part of that journey can include building an image that a particular audience will find appealing.

Comment by Pete

That would be great if anyone looked at advertising anymore.

Comment by DH

I can’t believe you wrote journey.

Comment by John

And what if the image doesn’t match the reality of the customer experience? Then what’s been achieved?

Comment by John

Yes John, you’re right. But you also know that image plays an important part in achieving the ultimate goal. But here’s the thing … “image” should always be based on the truth, if you’re making it up, then not only can you never really make good work, you deserve all you get when you get found out.

Comment by Rob

Japanese brands have always prided themselves on the performance of their product. This ad, though terrible, seems to be a big shift in approach. Maybe it is because they want to modernize or maybe it is because their new camera just doesn’t have any features they feel proud enough to communicate. Whatever the reason, it fails for all the reasons you write about.

Comment by Pete

I don’t know if every Japanese brand has always created communication focused on their product performance, but I get the point. The irony is that when SONY launched PS3, they walked away from their excellent strategy for selling the PS2 and went down an Auber-rational approach. I get they wanted to talk about the tech capabilities of the new product, but it was horrendous and was almost condescending towards gamers. They learnt quickly, but I think part of that approach is sometimes because their ego needs to celebrate what they’ve done rather than it being something of value or significance to the audience.

Comment by Rob

I remember the good old days where brands stood for something rather than just said nothing.

Comment by George

You mean all those presentations, books and press releases about higher purpose and the why of business have just been hot air? I’m shocked.

Comment by John

No it must be true – I literally just received a tweet about a book subtitled “brands that create profit with a purpose”.

Comment by John

It’s all hot air.

Comment by DH

speaking as a consumer and not a big deal planner, id say that ad has wayyyy too much going on, to the point that I wasnt even sure what it was for– too much color too much glitz, too much static energy (“OH WOW IM TAKING A PICTURE!!”) and after looking at it a few times I realized that that gold thing in the front was, golly, a camera. Sideways. I’d say if they were trying to get me as a customer this is not the way to do it. and lose the basketball sneakers.

Comment by judyt54

Big time planner. You’re a great comedian.

Comment by DH

big deal planner. hahahahahahahaha.
hahahaha. hahahahahaha. hahahaha.

Comment by andy@cynic

Sadly, I have to agree with Dave and Andy. But thank you for the mad compliment Judy.

Comment by Rob

Yes, but would any of us have even noticed it if you hadn’t pointed it out?

It fails on that fundamental level before it even gets to confuse us about the brand’s deeper cultural significance.

Comment by Ian Gee

The point is no one would notice the ad at all.

Comment by DH

My point exactly. It fails Dave Trott’s first law of advertising.

Comment by Ian Gee

I doubt if anyone glancing at that ad from a consumer’s point of view would think about good ad/bad ad, or deeper cultural significance. You’re geared that way, it’s how your brains work. Someone like me would say, “too busy” “too cluttered” and turn the page.
And that is where the ‘fail’ is. It’s boring because its retro 60s or 70s and probably would have been a page turner even then. Show me the product, full frontal, make it sexy.
I just got it about why those models bother me. They have nothing to do with each other either artistically or proportionally, and look for all the world like a picture from page 17 in the big book o’ pictures, and one from page 72, and it just doesnt work.

Comment by judyt54

Yep. I subscribe to the Rick Rubin attitude of looking at work like a fan, not an ad person, but that doesn’t mean doing things to the lowest common denominator, but the highest.

As for your point about why the people annoy you – it’s a good one – which I am sure they would argue represents ‘the transient relationship a photographer has with their subjects”.

Comment by Rob

..and he’s back.
Great stuff

Comment by northern


Comment by DH

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