Thursday, January 08, 2009

The animal circus !!! (part I)

Advertising is like a hard pill; many people dislike it and yet have to have it when required, for want of an option. What is the most misused term in advertising? Came a question during one of my lectures ... and I didn’t think twice to yell ...Strategy.....Why so? Having worked inside agencies for seven long years, having seen humbug being sold to clients with jargons and mystification mixed in the right proportion strategy is the most misused term in advertising for sure. Even other wise if all this claims of strategy were true what are all the dogs and kids doing in advertising?... on an after thought let me also add hens... a large numbers you have just seen....

It is not that animals are bad, spokes creatures and spoke skids are as important as spokesmen and women if used in the right way and if used with basic astuteness.... but the sad fact as seen in the above ad, which is just a sample, is that the common sense is just not that common. Most of them...a vast majority of them just plummet and ooze in multihued out of the idiot box, the music up and up, the sun shine and the plastic smiles just for ever. From every angle, at every film speed, in backlight, sidelight, stark light, animals....happy, hopeful, adoring, loving and loyal rules....Stereotyping is not a new accusation and the ad guys live up, and constantly strive hard to live up to the accusation with all the HARD WORK that they are seemingly putting. Animals and their use, over use, misuse and abuse is but the worse of all the stereotypes and clich├ęs that seems to rule advertising- rule with an axe that is...

See this ad.. it is unimaginable that a great brand like GE will resort to such a kid play but it has...

Just like many others it has done a kid play and that is a syndrome which agencies suffer from and get away without harm and often even with accolades from the clients and even from the public... it would have been acceptable, all the claims of strategy and its implementation if the ad looked like the one below... Bridgestone and its use of animals...great in its execution, amazing in fun and the to the last shot suspense -three basic elements that make an ad interesting.

It is true that advertisements depict life and draw from it to make the right connect with consumers. Many a times, there are situations and emotions that are best conveyed in a particular way…. It may be animals that the right way is …( the Raymond’s ad with so many dogs..) So animals, or for that matter, anybody who is a part of peoples' day-to-day lives can appear in ads. But too much of anything is bad and in any case the agencies are not paid just for executing wishy-washy work ….

To be continued….

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