Ciaran Watkins – When Advertising Goes Wrong: Part Nine

Posted on May 5, 2011 by

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So credit goes to thedrum.co.uk for introducing a segment called ‘Ad Of The Day’, which is very similar to the stuff I do here. I wish I got paid to have a whine/lord over new adverts, but unfortunately I have to work in a shop, on my feet all day, for minimum wage. At least I’ve got a bloody job though!

To break with tradition and originality, I’m going to look at exactly the same advert as thedrum did today, because I can’t think of anything better to do. This is the new Pimm’s summer campaign titled ‘Summer Party’.

My immediate thought when I watched that ad, was “Oh look, it’s another ‘nostalgic’ take on the British summer”. Snore. When are people going to realise that nostalgia is so over rated. I’m pretty sure Thomas and me were drawing up radio scripts and scamps like this almost three years ago under the guise of Say Wat?! Creatives. Nostalgia is getting boring. I’m sick of ‘how it used to be‘ and trying to relive great times, and I’m not even twenty-four yet. I shouldn’t be able to remember ‘The Good Times’, but they’ve been forced down my throat enough times to make me feel like I lived during them.

Anyway, when were these ‘good times’ exactly? I have cracking days all year round! I want to relive last Thursday, just for shits and giggles. It’s all a bit silly really. We’re all getting older, and while remembering the past is fun, I do wish advertisers would stop trying to push their products with the strenuous link of ‘hey, remember that good time you had once? Have this and it will be exactly the same!’. Please stop, for the good of all of us.

Now, concerning the advert itself, let me throw this out there; It’s fucking awful! What on earth did I just watch!? Okay, okay, so Pimm’s is supposed to be eccentrically British, and yes, I can understand why they’ve gone down this particular strategy route, but could it not have been, well, better? Why have they chosen every bad cliché about the ‘British Summer’ and forced them into an advert in the hope that will help pedal their drink? You can’t sell a product with a negative attitude. It really doesn’t work!

I’ll admit straight away that I’m not a Pimm’s purchaser. The previous (Pimm’s ‘o’ clock) advertisement campaign did absolutely nothing for me. However, on the odd occasion I’ve actually had the drink, it’s been fantastic! It has always been forced upon me at barbecues, or garden parties of the ‘sophisticated’ variety. You know, ones where no one fucking morris danced. Isn’t that what Pimm’s is supposed to be? An up-market product? Nothing about this advert screamed ‘upper classes’ at all, in fact it reeked of idiocy.

If you’re going to try and advertise your beverage on the idiosyncrasies and eccentricity of the British summer, you probably shouldn’t bother. It’s already been done by someone else, and it’s already better than whatever you’ll manage to come up with. The ad I’m talking about is a lovely little T.V spot for Bulmer’s Cider, and one which I still enjoy watching.

That has almost exactly the same premise but it isn’t, you know, shit. I’m not grimacing as I see every cliché, but instead wondering the last time I huddled into the sunny corner of a beer garden, or laughed at some poor sod burning himself in the park. This is how to advertise the British summer, not with hankies as hats, morris dancers and socks-with-sandals. Take note Pimm’s, you’ve managed to tarnish your up market appeal with an absolutely awful television spot. I hope you’re happy with yourself.

I mean it’s not like I was going to buy your drink any way, but maybe I’ll spend my days trying to dissuade members of the public from buying it too. After all, a bad advertising campaign can absolutely ruin your popularity. Just look at the ‘Say No2AV‘ camp

(This last joke may or may not work come tomorrow morning, but I really hope it does. I voted Yes.)

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

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Posted in: Ciaran Watkins