Please advertise responsibly.

Please advertise responsibly.

July 19th, 2010 // 1:34 pm @ // No Comments yet

Hello there. Over the past couple of days I’ve been thinking about drinking a lot. Hang on, let’s try that again. Over the past couple of days, I’ve been thinking about drinking. A lot. Or more specifically, drinking in advertising. And by that I don’t mean the grand tradition of loads of advertising people going getting pissed, having a ‘brainstorming’ session, creating the World’s best ad ever, going home, sobering up, feeling deeply ashamed of said ‘World’s best ad ever’ and starting again.

I mean advertising alcoholic drinks and how that fits into today’s brave new world.  You see, we’ve all got to be very responsible these days and, as we all know, alcohol isn’t there for getting drunk with. It’s all about socialising with similarly responsible types, hitting the wine bar and having sophisticated fun. ( Unless of course it’s WKD. Then it’s all about being a dick. )

The ad that actually set me thinking about the whole subject is the latest Schweppes TV spot.

‘Hold on’, I hear you say, ‘that’s not an alcoholic drink, that’s a mixer at best.’ Well yes, good point but keep your voice down a bit, I can’t really hear you, obviously. Anyway, take a look at the ad and it will all become clear.

See what I mean? It’s nice that isn’t it? But it doesn’t really work unless we assume that there’s already a copious amount of gin in that glass before the tonic glugs in. Come on. How often has a swig of anything other than extremely strong alcohol persuaded you that a palpably ridiculous idea is , in fact, a top plan?

For my money it’s lifted from ‘The Fast Show”s drunken family. And none the worse for that.

From here on in though, things turn a bit strange. There are loads of ads out there doing their best to attach some kind of glamour, mystique or out and out ‘quirk’ to a drinks brand without ever really talking about drinking, getting drunk and the good times, bad times, legal actions, unplanned pregnancies, unexplained injuries or happy ever afters that can follow. It’s all about applying an image, a feeling and an ‘ooh yeah, that’s me, that is!’ to a brand.

Of course some ads get it spectacularly wrong, ( Which, by the way is purely my own opinion as a Manchester copywriter so if I happen to hate some ads that you love, then I’m deeply sorrry. You’re entitled to your view, you’re just wrong, that’s all. ), one I’ve previously gone on about at length is the Smirnoff ‘Party in The Forest’ ad.

I won’t mention it again. Click here if you want to read my thoughts on it.

Another is this bloody Pimms ad.

Yes, I get it. All those people represent the individual elements that go into making the classic jug of Pimms. But would you really want to be present at any event where that bunch of unutterable tossers suddenly rocked up? ‘Mint’ is wearing a pair of shorts that a man of his years really shouldn’t, ‘Orange’ is obviously a woman with a very dubious past plus an addiction to surgery and prescription medication,  ‘Le’, ‘Mon’ and ‘Ade’ are fresh from a date with Dirk Diggler and ‘Cucumber’ walks like Max Wall for Christ’s sake. In fact, every one of them looks like they’ve had to sign a register of some kind before re-entering the community. How, exactly, that is meant to sell a bottle of Pimms No.1 is frankly beyond me.

I must be missing something though, the ad’s made by Mother, THE agency of the moment. Obviously I know nothing and I’ll never work in advertising again. Even as a Manchester copywriter.

I could go on and on, in fact I already have,but  there are countless other ads out there which demonstrate the point further. There’s that Brothers cider thing in which a bunch of blokes hilariously misunderstand a young lady’s desire for ‘5 Brothers’ oh, sod it, here it is.

Now that really is grim isn’t it? It’s like those WKD things but worse. And that’s quite an achievement.

In fact, having watched that again, I think that WKD campaign is beginning to grow on me. See what I mean though? Every drinks brand, now that we can’t talk about getting drunk, has to have a ‘personality’ that we can buy into.

The problem is, finding a personality that isn’t completely repellent.

And, judging by what we’ve seen up to now, that’s going to require some very serious, clear minded and considered thought.

So, go on. Get ’em in.

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