Hello there. Goodness me, it’s been a while again, hasn’t it? Well you know how it is, sometimes there’s just not much to say about the advertising we wade through on a daily basis, is there? Well, nothing all that interesting at least.
There is, however, one new trend that’s been troubling me lately. And that’s the overwhelming desire in the heart of so many ad campaigns to almost, but not quite, say the word “fuck”. I suppose it all started with that courageous, ground-breaking, tiresome, ultimately soul-crunching French Connection campaign where courageous, ground-breaking, tiresome and ultimately soul-crunching ad agency BMB’s Trevor Beattie created that wonderful “fcuk” thing. Now there’s no denying that, at the time, that campaign gave a lacklustre brand a much-needed kick up the asre, spawned a thousand T-shirts and got BMB and particularly Trevor Beattie a whole lot of publicity.
However, many, many years later, that self-same breathtakingly original idea is now cropping up everywhere. The latest offenders being Booking.com with their “booking dot yeah!” payoff and, even more worryingly, Toyota’s “Go Fun Yourself!” ads for the previously swear-free and highly inoffensive Aygo. A cute little runabout that seems more likely to fetch your slippers than to tell you to go do anything remotely untoward to yourself.
What’s it all about though, eh? Is this what we’ve come to? Is this really what the best, and doubtlessly most highly paid, creative brains in the business can come up with? I mean, that Aygo campaign is by Saatchi’s for fcuk’s sake. And the Booking.com campaign is by an agency I’ve long admired, Wieden & Kennedy. Fortunately their Amsterdam office is ultimately responsible so perhaps we can put it down to the ready availability of cheap drugs around those parts.
The point I’m desperately trying to make though is, is this work actually any good? Is it really that creative, or even all that interesting? Surely we’ve moved a little beyond those days in the queue for school dinners when the rebels amongst us would ask for “A fork and knife” as quickly as possible, in the hope that it would sound like “A fucking knife”. Surely the client and, more importantly, the audience deserve a little more respect than a cheap playground gag.
Well that’s my opinion anyway, for what it’s worth, and I’m sticking with it. Feel free to disagree, obviously. There’s every possibility that you love both those ads and that’s your absolute right.
Of course, if you do, you can also go fun yourself.
Funning dot yeah!