Thursday, April 19, 2012

Yeah, it's a spunky campaign. But who does it serve?

I started this blog to explore best practices in social marketing, as well as to critique what I saw as lazy, obnoxious, unethical and "masturbatory" creative in mainstream advertising.

I am trying really, really hard to find great campaigns to feature. But every time I do the rounds of my usual sources for fresh ad news, I'm confronted by crap like this:

The Ads of The World post says "yogurt"; but the filename says "mayo"...
This is the kind of ad that some creative people, especially Art Directors, think is awesome. It has a great illustration style and it tells a dirty joke about how mayonnaise/yogurt kind of looks like semen. (Even if it doesn't, really.)

But will it really sell car cleaning services? It will get attention for the brand, sure. But it says nothing unique about the actual service except to say that they let an ad agency have fun with their business.

There's a good reason why these ads are usually done as "loss leaders" at creative agencies. (That is to say that the agency usually spends more time and money on the ad than the client puts up.)

You see, this is not an ad for Restaura Car Cleaning. It is really an ad for a Brazilian agency called Hermandad, as well as for the creative team of Paulo Lima, Pedro Teixeira, Hélio Maffia and Douglas Reis, which borrows the obscure brand as an excuse to make the dirty joke. And get covered by ad industry blogs around the world. And probably win an award from other creatives who wish they had clients who would let them do such a spunky ad.

Which is all well and good, for the agency and creatives. But it is not good for the ad industry.

You see, my friends, we have created the ultimate circle-jerk here — making ads simply to impress other ad people. Not to help our clients achieve their business objectives. Not to help make people's lives better. Not even to make money. Just to get awards, recognition and envy from our own colleagues. And I think that's kind of lame.

Oh, and there's another ad in this "bodily fluid" series:


Ha ha ha. Now, can we get back to work?

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