Vauxhall’s Ad With The X Factor
As an adman, I have to say I love the new Vauxhall commercial, the one for the lifetime warranty. I can see how it’s spot on brief, catching the zeitgeist, truly the first of a new generation of advertising with a different type of offer. It’s designed for these just coming out of recession, hovering on the edge of double dip times. It’s great.
It achieves excellence by obeying the good, old fashioned rules of good old fashioned writing. It attracts your attention, inspires your interest, builds desire for the payoff and creates action at the end. Old fashioned principles with leading edge delivery. That’s advertising at its very best.
I’ll give you an example of the opposite. The X Factor is becoming like Fox News, utterly carried away on its own hype and insensitive to its audience. It knows how to pull my heartstrings and invoke my tear ducts almost at will but as it goes into its own advertising and promotion between the commercial breaks, it loses me. I wander. I write or I go into the other room. When I come back it’s telling me what’s coming up “after the break”. This is insane. I feel cheated, used and abused. I feel that I’m being toyed with and exploited.
In another echo of so many over-inflated advertising egos of the past, I laughed out loud when I saw the double page spread in The Times for Christine and Adrian’s new breakfast show “Daybreak”. This is an utter waste of money. Double page spreads are the creative team’s favourites because there are their words and pictures up in lights, like a poster, unsullied by editorial or other content. They’re the account man’s favourite too because they make for an excellent presentation and impress the client easily. Watch how readers behave. The page gets turned in double quick time. And in The Times? What objective is being achieved for ITV’s marketing strategy? Are readers of The Times part of Daybreak’s target audience? If this is aimed at potential advertisers it is an extraordinarily expensive way of reaching them.
Countless millions are wasted based on the petty pretensions of marketing directors or their advertising agencies. Similar egotistical spendthrifts inhabit TV production. Occasionally though, particularly in Britain, you see beautifully crafted and intelligently written masterpieces of communication. The new Vauxhall ad is one of these.