Ciaran Watkins – In-House Advertising – Can It Be Fruitful?

Posted on April 29, 2011 by


A fortnight ago I wrote about Specsaver’s in-house advertising unit. You can read that entry right here!.

Basically, Specsaver’s has an in-house advertising and design unit who handle all of their creative needs! They don’t rely on an outside agency for their advertising and design work. I asked “Are they cutting out a rather expensive middle man, or are they giving up a great resource?”, and I was unable to come up with a definitive answer. Granted Specsaver’s obviously user their in-house creatives to the best of their ability, and have come up with a brilliant back catalogue of successful advertising, but that’s not to say an outside agency couldn’t have done the same.

Today I’ll be looking at a company who used entirely in-house designers and creatives and were well known for their particular style of advertising, right up until their recent advertising campaign took them to the doorstep of a well known agency who managed to air an advert that changed the outlook on the product entirely.

Now weren’t they just fantastic? I especially enjoyed the one about the chicken.

Innocent smoothies have long since had a perfect rapport with their customers. The tone of voice used in their advertising was witty, and very down to earth. It opened a conversation with the consumer, and made them feel special. Innocent set themselves apart from other smoothie makers by being the cutesy, friendly company that could do no wrong. And it wasn’t only the advertising that carried this tone of voice. The packaging too was full of little jokes and ‘fun’;

These packages were genuinely funny, and as already stated, it felt like Innocent Smoothies were a company which were just that; Innocent. With such a unique way of communicating with customers, the Innocent brand sky rocketed to become one of the top drink sellers in the UK. I can remember seeing the brand available in one supermarket in Manchester, and then suddenly being available in corner shops nation wide. It was a huge business growth, and I thoroughly believe that it was down to this particular style of advertising, packaging and tone of voice employed by the in-house creatives. This tone of voice has been copied time and time again, but I don’t think any one/thing has had the same effect than the one Innocent had, and it’s not just me thinking that;

“Innocent has been held up for six years as a shining beacon of what a brand can do. The writing on the packaging is engaging and charming and makes you believe in them, and it has taught the marketing community what can be done in a different way,” Ford says.

As a result, there have been copycats, but a large number of companies still fail to grasp the benefits of injecting a bit of personality into packaging. “There are loads of brands that are missing a trick. They need to engage you and make you feel like you’re having a relationship,” concludes Ford.

Computer Arts Case study: Innocent drinks –

Now it’s all good and well me copy and pasting quotes from articles that laud over the old advertising style, but that’s not what Innocent are about any more. Innocent decided to move on from their already established advertising style, and employ the folks over at RKCR/Y&R to create a new nationwide campaign to push their brand of well loved smoothies. Here’s what they came up with.

Yes, it’s that advert. For the record, I don’t actually like it that much. I was much more a fan of the old style of advertising!

This is Innocent’s first agency led advertisement, and it was an absolute smash hit with both the public and critics alike. As soon as it aired I was being told that I should watch it, or was being questioned on my thoughts about it. It’s definitely a step up for the brand, and instead of communicating about how the smoothies are made and why they’re different, it pushes the idea that the recognised brand now has a meaning in life; to help the hungry. I love that the advert references Flash Gordon, and I love that it includes Brian Blessed, but the advert itself lacks the particular brand of humour from the in-house designed adverts that I loved so much. It’s obviously a personal view point, because whenever Victoria would see the advert on T.V she would squeal with delight.

Again, Innocent have managed to capture a quirky, and insanely unique tone of voice in this advert, and I believe this humour is what made the ad so popular. As already stated, it’s a great follow on from the in-house designed work, and the creatives who made it should be proud. Most people will see it as an improvement on the old adverts, but I’ll definitely miss those witty, stop-motion animated T.V spots. Only time will tell what Innocent has up their sleeve next, but they’ve managed to prove that a company can produce some brilliant in-house work, and then they’ve also managed to prove that choosing the right advertising agency can work wonders for your brand. A double whammy if you will. Surely the advertising world is theirs.

Read more over at Whatever’s In There, Falls Out Here.

Posted in: Ciaran Watkins