Showing posts with label Advertising. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Advertising. Show all posts

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Extra, Extra - Read All About It.

Fashion adverts are often as beautiful, eye-catching and talked about as fashion editorials. Madonna for Dolce & Gabanna, the Man and Woman French Connection campaign, Lara Stone for Calvin Klein. But other ads, well I try not to pay attention to them. I don’t go around laughing at the little Simples chipmunk or whatever he is and I don’t even care about the eyebrow-wriggling Cadbury kids. Sometimes an ad is so blatantly untrue, though, that I do take notice. The Peugeot campaign that featured Marina Fogle’s so-called diary is a case in point and something I felt compelled to bring to your attention. And now another bafflingly odd one has appeared in all my favourite Sunday Supplements and I have been forced to sit up and discuss the matter with my other The Portmanteau half.

“Eh by any chance have you seen the Extra ads?”

“Oh my God, Oh my God, thank you. What the eff?”

“Why is Alan Hansen pictured mid-conversation at the golf club?”

“Why is Kirstie Allsop sitting at country pub with a Smythson ‘Yummy Mummy’ notebook in front of her?”

“Why is the copy so weird?”

“Why are the photos so bad?”

And on and on we go. Talking about the new Worth Chewing Over Extra campaign. OK I get it – some copywriter thought that the line ‘Worth Chewing Over’ was a clever little play on the fact that chewing gum should be the subject of frank and honest discussion. Except for – and this is where he or she got it so wrong – it shouldn’t. The BP oil spill is worth chewing over, the cuts in public spending are worth chewing over, even Big Brother 11 is worth chewing over. I mean I chew over everything but I can honestly say that I have never talked about the “stigma” surrounding gum chewing. Yes, stigma. That’s the word Louise Redknapp uses in her ad. She says: “There is a bit of a stigma around it, definitely.” But no, no there’s not. It’s not like having an STD. There is so little stigma surrounding chewing gum that I offer it to friends – acquaintances even – with an easy smile.

And then the ads do that creepy thing that ad campaigns so often do: they equate the product with “confidence.” Alan Hansen counsels: “Look, to speak with any kind of conviction you need to feel confident.” Um thanks Al but I’m not really sure how Extra will boost my self-esteem and public speaking abilities. It’s like when Veet or Always try to make you feel really insecure about “hygiene.”

Now the problem with talking about ads is that there is always that person, i.e. my dad, who says “Aha but you’re talking about it now. That’s what they want.” OK I see your point but I am not talking about it fondly, it’s not like I’m being taken in. In fact, if anything could put me off buying Extra – and I’ve always bought Extra – it’s this campaign. LE


Wednesday, May 12, 2010

On Board



I can’t say that I normally see much in the line of beauty when I’m passing the billboards on Shepherd’s Bush or Old Street roundabouts. But over the past couple of months, two campaigns in particular have stopped me in my tracks. First up, that French Connection campaign, devised by ad agency Fallon and shot by photog duo Damien & Leila De Blinkk. You know, the one with THE MAN – the hot, brutish, bearded guy and THE WOMAN - very Margaret Howell-esque. I love the kinda weird slogans and the simple font. I know – French Connection – who would have thought they had it in them. Completely irrelevent to me before but they so got it right for this season. Another beauty is the poster for Laura Marling’s I Speak Because I Can that features a striking portrait by artist Sophie Milner. Moments of beauty to brighten up even the greyest of bus journeys. NOK

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

I Heart Betty


Mad Men series 3 starts on BBC 4 tonight and the papers and blogs have been all a flutter about it. Over at the Guardian they asked various media types, like Mariella Frostrup and Rory Sutherland, the vice-chair of Ogilvy, to decide which character they most relate to or aspire to be like. Check out the full list here.

I've always loved Betty. And it’s not just for her outfits. While pretty much all the girls who work on the show are beautiful, I find Betty the most attractive. I also find her the easiest to identify with, which might mark me as out a crazy person but really it’s true. I know a lot of people single Peggy out as somebody that they feel they could connect with, but she is way too controlled for me. Yes, we know she lost that control in one huge breakdown but the fact that she is able to compartmentalise her life so much is pretty alienating to me. Joan was too much of a simpering man-eater in series 1 for me to really engage with but I did think that her series 2 was much more interesting and her relationship with the doctor looks set to be nicely complicated. But, yes, back to Betty. Betty is the one I can imagine having afternoon drinking sessions with. Betty is the one I could go the beauty parlour with. And Betty has an innocence that is completely refreshing in a show crammed full of liars. OK so she treats her son badly and slept with a stranger in a bar and shot at some birds for no reason - the list goes on - but it’s all born out of a complex naivety that I think would be pretty easy to carry around if you’d married a cheating, lying (and incredibly handsome) man like Don Draper, while still in your early twenties. Basically I think we should be friends; I'm really jealous of Francine. And I know I said it wasn’t all about the outfits but, wow, they’re great. LE





Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Oh Pur-lease Peugeot


I never check out ads for cars. I have no interest in cars. I have such a poor understanding of cars and how they work that I managed to write off my mum’s one on a rare driving lesson. But the new Peugeot ads that have been appearing in all my favourite newspaper supplements recently have attracted my attention, mainly because they don’t feature boring details of a car but instead cleverly trick you into thinking that you have happened upon the diary of Marina wife-of-Ben Fogle and are being treated to a rare insider’s glimpse of a typical Tuesday for the mum-to-be about town.

She’s an early riser and is up at 7am to walk the dogs. Then she’s off to the office for a meeting but she leaves boring work two hours later to pick up Ben from the airport. Ben, who has trekked to the South Pole, is seemingly unable to make the Heathrow to Notting Hill journey alone. And it’s all go from there on out. There’s pregnancy yoga to go to, a “creative meeting about the website” to attend and an important phone call re: needing a bigger marquee to make. Luckily, the multi-tasking Marina has set aside a whole half hour to make that call. She ends the day by feeding the dogs (an hour and a half is allocated for that particular task) and having dinner with Ben.

Come on, Peugeot. Marina's schedule makes my lazy June days look hectic and jam-packed. And if she wants to save herself even more time, she should probably get the tube. It'd be way quicker. LE