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


The Final Countdown …

So today is the first of December.How the hell has that happened?

Wasn’t it February 2 weeks ago?!

I suppose the good news is there’s only going to be 2 more weeks of blog posts for the year.

Which – given I only write this rubbish on weekdays – means 10 more posts.

And two of those will be sentimental claptrap … one for Otis’ birthday on the 11th and then some shit ‘2017 wrap up’ … which means you only have 8 truly pathetic posts to endure.

Christ, it’s like I’m giving you your Christmas present early.

But no, I’m going to give you more.

Much more.

Are you ready?

So recently I was sent a TV ad for Rolls Royce.

You didn’t think Rolls Royce made those did you? Neither did I.

And while the song ‘Everybody Wants To Rule The World’ is an inspired choice, the rest of it is utter pants.

Like utter, utter pants.

It’s absolutely obvious they’re trying to appeal to a younger audience, but the end result says far more about the insecurities of the marketing team at RR – and their agency – than the people they want to engage.

Seriously, I’ve watched it countless times and I’m increasingly coming to the opinion that the only thing they’re actually selling is a ‘colour option’ on the car.

Have a look at this …

What the hell?

Like seriously, what the hell?

It’s like the worst of pretentious fragrance ads interspersed with the most terrible choices of product shot.

Like that analogue clock.

A bloody analogue clock!!!

The whole thing seems to go from being dark and moody to a 1980’s conservative MP in the blink of an eye.

What are they actually trying to say?

More so, who are they actually trying to say it too?

As I mentioned, the choice of music is brilliant. There’s such a powerful idea in the whole thought around ‘for those who want to rule the World’ – and while you could argue Bentley did it before with their brilliant, but scam, ‘Middle Finger’ print ad, that’s still no excuse for making a bad version of a James Bond movie opening title sequence or a very, very, very bad version of Dunlop’s brilliant 1993 ‘Tested For The Unexpected’ ad, just without the charm, wit, self-awareness or story.

Rolls Royce are amazing car makers.

They have incredible attention to detail, quality and – as the star roof demonstrates – a sense of drama.

Nothing in this ad conveys this. Nothing.

All this ad shows is a brand suffering some sort of identity crisis.

Wanting to appear relevant but showing they don’t really know how to be because they mistook an aesthetic for authenticity.

They deserve more.

Advertisements


The Power Of A Point Of View …

So I know yesterday I basically slagged off big ad campaigns by highlighting the cheeky brilliance of the Narcos ambient campaign, but every now and then there’s a big ad campaign that reminds you who brilliant it can be.

Given I slagged BBH off recently for an Audi print campaign, it gives me great pleasure to say the piece of work I love is also by BBH and also for Audi.


Have a look, it’s brilliant.

Love it.

But here’s the thing, if you strip it back, the strategy isn’t that unique.

I’m guessing it would be something like, ‘Road safety is ultimately defined by how you react to how the drivers around you. The progressive and adaptive safety features inside modern Audi’s are designed to help drivers react and respond to the unexpected actions of those around them’.

I bet that sort of thing has been written a bunch of times for a bunch of cars.

But if, as I imagine it, the brief was summed up with something like …

[Audi designs their safety features in the knowledge … ] ‘The roads are full of clowns’.

… then it’s pretty obvious to see how they ended up with work that elevates itself above the usual car safety feature ads.

Of course maybe it had nothing to do with the brief, maybe it was all down to a great creative team, but BBH have always been brilliant at finding great strategic ways to elevate work so I’m hopeful this is a sign that the BBH I have always loved is back to being the BBH that made them so fucking good.



A Car Ad On Social Media That Doesn’t Totally Suck …
September 13, 2017, 6:15 am
Filed under: Advertising, Cars, Comment, Creativity, Marketing

On face value, the title of this post is quite a big call.

But, when you remember there’s so little good car ads about, it’s not that hard to ‘stand out’.

And while the visual element of this Porsche ad is pretty boring, there’s something about that line of copy I really like.

In just 12 words, it’s managed to capture the sense of awe a Porsche should make you feel.

And while you could argue these 12 words could be used for any car brand, when you know that Frederic Porsche once said …

“I want to build cars that are not something to everyone but everything to someone”

… you realize how good that copy is.



Simple Advertising Is Great Advertising …

I’m 46.

I’m a husband.

And a father.

I supposedly hold down a senior job at a highly respected company.

I have responsibilities … mortgages and a bunch of other things ‘older people’ should have.

And yet despite all that, when I saw this ad for Hot Wheels, I totally got what they were saying.

Oh Hot Wheels.

When I was a kid, they were the toy cars to have.

Matchbox made the practical but Hot Wheels made the sexy.

The daring.

The souped up.

The ‘fuck, that looks cool’.

Kids who were good at maths would play with Matchbox but kids who could play the guitar would have Hot Wheels.

I must admit, I am shocked at all this emotion coming out of me despite the fact I haven’t bought – or played with – a toy car for at least 36 years. And that’s why I love this ad so much, because in an instant – and without showing any product whatsoever – I get it.

I totally get it.

Given this ad appeared on a motorway, I am assuming Hot Wheels actually want to target people like me.

Their goal being to awaken my memories of their brilliant toy cars and introduce my kids to them.

It could be because a while back I read Hot Wheels was a billion dollar company under threat.

Not from other toy car competitors, but because parents didn’t know how to play toy cars with their children. Especially Mum’s with boys.

[Don’t call me sexist, this is what they said]

Whatever the truth is, this ad worked for me.

It not only reminded me how much I loved Hot Wheels, it made me want to play with them with Otis. Which all goes to show that while the features of a brand can be copied, it’s spirit and values are always unique.



Why Toyota Camry Is More Delusional Than Sepp Blatter …
February 25, 2016, 6:15 am
Filed under: Cars, Crap Campaigns In History, Insight, Planning, Unplanned

Late last year I wrote a post about the horrendous advertising Toyota are doing for their Camry in the US.

I talked about how it was attempting to be deep and meaningful, only to be undermined by a crap execution, especially when it’s for a model of car that is renowned for its sensibleness. I don’t mean that in a negative sense … but from the perspective that it’s a solid, reliable automobile and trying to ‘sex it up’ ends up alienating rather than inspiring.

Well, as you can see from the pic above, Toyota don’t give a shit about what I say [and who can blame them] because it appears they’re persevering with this car crash of communication.

What is it with Toyota ads and balloons?

Is it because they are both full of hot air?

And why have the owners seemingly happy to be walking towards a balloon that looks like it’s fallen from the sky?

Probably for the same reason they’ve walked off and – judging by the lit instrument panel – left their keys in their car with the engine running.

Who are these people?

I’ll tell you who they are, they’re bloody idiots.

Bloody idiots with a sexual fetish for hot air ballooning.

And what is it with that headline?

“It’s The Stops That Inspire Us To Go”.

What?

WHAT???

Apart from it being some z-grade Yoda bollocks, the fact is you can see the cars GPS is on so the happy-go-lucky couple featured in the ad aren’t some spontaneous couple, going wherever life takes them, they’re a couple of balloon groupies who planned … PLANNED … their trip.

In fact I’d go one step further.

They’re a couple of balloon groupies who chose to drive to a remote part of nowheresville to pollute the clean air with their bloody car fumes.

I wanted to say this is a perfect example of why focus groups are dangerous, but the thing is, I don’t think even a research model designed to ensure communication is bland and meaningless could have approved this.

But then, if not them, who … because the alternative is even more scary.

What’s going on Toyota?

When you say ‘Let’s Go Places’, do you mean ‘go to the bottom of the advertising barrel’?

Seriously, you’re better than this.

Your agency is better than this.

And humanity certainly is better than this.

Sort it out, because this cannot be working for you.

Toyota Corolla: For balloon fetish, air polluting fools who leave their keys in the car. With the engine running.



When Boring Tries To Be Interesting. And Fails.
December 2, 2015, 6:15 am
Filed under: Cars, Comment, Crap Campaigns In History, Insight, Planning, Unplanned

I like Toyota.

Well, I used to like them.

When they had the Celica, MR2 and of course, the Supra.

It helped hide the fact they also made cars that made beige Volvo’s look exciting.

Like the Toyota Corolla.

Sure, it’s a perfectly good car.

Practical. Drives well. Strong reliability. Fair resale value.

So why the hell do they insist on trying to sex-it up?

I know buying a car is probably the second most expensive purchase you’ll ever make so you need to feel good about what you’re buying, but trying to make an accountancy conference feel like a Motley Crue aftershow party is always going to end up making you look a tool.

And yet so many car brands continue down this path.

Which gets me back to that Toyota Corolla ad.

OK, to be fair, they’re trying to be less rock star and more deep and philosophical, but it’s still bullshit isn’t it.

“Find who you have not yet become”

What? WHAT?

What’s that even mean?

Forget the rubbishness of that 3rd division Yoda statement, what about the fact they don’t see the irony of combining people lighting sky lanterns that float gently in the air with beauty and grace and calmness with a gas guzzling car that pollutes the air everywhere it goes?

And why the hell are they lighting sky lanterns?

And why did the owner of the Corolla park in the middle of the road?

What if all those lanterns land on the house at the top left of the picture and it catches fire?

How is the fire truck going to get there and save the occupants if the road is blocked by some selfish Toyota Corolla owner?

And they have the audacity to end the ad with the line, ‘Let’s Go Places’.

I’ll tell you which place you should go … to the local jail where you will probably meet the marketing team who asked for this contrived, passive piece of rubbish … which achieves the rare feat of alienating both the folks who choose a car as a reflection of their ego and the folks who want a car that offers quality and reliability rather than hype and hyperbole.

You know, the people who would actually find the boring reliability of a Corolla exciting.

Sometimes we try so hard to be different when just telling the truth is the most refreshing approach available to us.