Ciaran Watkins – Advertising Without Advertising

Posted on May 4, 2011 by


It’s very rare that adverts are made to perfection. I’ll usually find a fault somewhere, no matter how small, how unnoticeable, and how unimportant it may be. That’s just the way I work. Nothing is ever perfect, and thinking that it is, can only lead to bad things. I like to believe that everything can be just that little bit better, and that’s probably why I don’t think anything is ever good enough.

It’s also nice to be proven completely wrong, and find such a gem that it leaves me slack jawed in utter appreciation. I remember sitting down to a lecture given by one of the folk from WCRS and him showing me this. It was marvellous, and it was in an effort to find a completely different Sky ad that I stumbled upon it again. Enjoy it, because it’s probably one of my favourite adverts of all time;

The soundtrack is spot on, the footage is beautiful, and the strategy is ‘spit-out-your-tea-in-appreciation’ good. The footage is taken from Sao Paulo, which was the first city in the world to say no to advertising. In essence, it became the world’s first ‘clean’ city. How they feel knowing that because of this, they actually became the major draw in an advertising campaign, we’ll never actually know, but the images speak for themselves. Try to imagine your city with no adverts, but retaining all of the billboards and wooden frames. It would look eerie more than anything else, but strangely calming.

The gentleman from WCRS who showed us this advert explained that as soon as he heard that Sao Paulo was becoming ‘clean’, he pitched this idea to Sky straight away who snatched it up. To be fair, it’s as close to perfection as most people could get; footage of an advert free city, with the tag line “Because you like your movies with no interruptions”, reiterating the fact that Sky’s movie service shows movies in their entirety. Bah, it’s just brilliant. I don’t want to write any more, as it’ll just be gushing and unadulterated praise. If it’s possible to be in love with an advert, then I probably am, with this one.

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

Posted in: Ciaran Watkins