Ciaran Watkins – Hotel Derek Does It From The Unemployment Line

Posted on May 31, 2011 by


It’s only once in a blue moon that I see an advert so painstakingly awful it makes me cringe, and then vow to never use the product it advertises. In my opinion advertising needs to push boundaries, be exciting, funny, entertaining, or on the other hand, deadly serious with the possibility to evoke any number of emotions. At the very very least it should creative. Creative in some way, form, shape or style that catches our attention for at least a fleeting second.

Usually when I think an advert is bad, it’s just because that idea hasn’t worked properly, or that the strategy is off, or maybe I’ve just got a bit of a mood on that day. The following advert though? There’s no excuse for creating stuff like this;

This is the kind of first idea nonsense that should end up in the bin, five seconds after you’ve spit-balled the idea of a talking dog that sells cheese room to room in a hotel of which the name is ‘Dogcheesalots’. It’s rubbish. It’s naff. It’s…. to put it bluntly, fucking awful.

The ad features a super hero called ‘Hotel Derek’, whose catchphrase is “Hotel Derek, does it Hotel Direct….. dot co dot uk” selling the fact that his website sells cheap rooms. I honestly think I’ve let better ideas ‘slip’ out after a couple of slices of beans on toast. It’s not good in an ironic sense, and it’s not even good in an ‘oh look how awful our advert is, aren’t we subversive’ sense. It’s just down right awful. I’d honestly prefer someone shouting hotel prices and a website address at me in the hardest of hard sells over this bland, lifeless, lacklustre shot at creativity that is ‘Hotel Derek’. It’s first year advertising-student stuff. In fact, I’d go so far to say that Tom and myself did nothing this awful while we were doing first year advertising-student stuff.

It’s an utter disgrace, and it makes me upset that people have been paid to make this advert, spend £250,000 on filming it and creating the relevant supporting material, and then another £2million on buying space and time for said material, all the while people like me, and I’m by no means saying I’m the best of the bunch as I’m definitely not, and hundreds of other creatives are sitting jobless, writing blogs, drawing portfolios, in the endless search to find their first job. It’s adverts like this that make me feel ashamed to admit that I want to work in advertising.

This bastard child of Barry Scott, Bananaman and the new CGI Mr.Muscle has ruined what could have been a lovely post about TBWA, Fallon, or just a funny bit of film I’ve seen recently. It’s ruined my Tuesday, and it’s ruined my Christmas. I hope you’re happy.

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

Posted in: Ciaran Watkins