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The Week In Advertising

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Barclays - Code Playground

There can be few things more important to a kid's education right now, than teaching them code. Whilst nothing is guaranteed, it's surely their best bet for a productive career in later life. So Barclays have launched an initiative to get the youngsters interested and coding. Good work (but why is this not happening in schools?). However, I'm just not sure these ads aren't a little cloying - and indeed, simplistic. I'm pretty certain many kids would find the basic task shown, incredibly unchallenging. I'd also question the adult's pronunciation of 'think'. Coding matters, but so does expressing yourself clearly.


On The Market - Property Search

Hey, ho. Another day, another property website. And the ad is very ho-hum. In a massively crowded space, it's hard to see how this website is creating any point of difference. Sure, the Google Maps lollipops are a reasonable graphic device, but that's hardly going to drive enormous volumes of traffic to a place which seems to offer little more than a dozen others. Unconvincing, and a missed opportunity I fear.


Olay - Katie Holmes

So, Katie has escaped the clutches of the Scientologists, only to fall into the hands of the pseudo-scientists of the cosmetics industry. At least she's getting paid for it now. There are many reasons to dislike this sort of campaign, as it presses women to conform to a stereotype of beauty, and flog them a product which promises to deliver it. Unfortunately no cream on earth will make anyone look like Katie Holmes, unless you happen to be her. Perhaps worst of all though, is that horrible strapline 'Your Best Beautiful'. Doesn't really mean anything and mangles the language in the process. I preferred her in 'Batman Begins', to be honest.


KFC - 50 Years Of Family

And now, a touch of family therapy. Obviously, adopting a young lad is an enormously stressful and emotionally fraught experience for all involved. The boy will be nervous and worried, and the adoptive parents will be concerned and tentative. Good to know then, that stuffing your faces with a cardboard pail of greasy chicken legs will eliminate all the anxiety and difficulty inherent in this new, important relationship. Or it will just make you all fat. One or the other.
 

Confused - Brian The Robot Toy

Taxes, death, night - some thing are inevitable. And so it is with the Brian The Robot. Once 'Confused' followed the coat-tails of the meerkat mob, and created their own character, it was certain they would eventually start pushing the toy version. One problem though - Baby Oleg, the infant meerkat, is undeniably cuddly. But Brain looks very cold, metallic and angular. The battle for bedtime insurance mascots is on.

Magnus Shaw is a copywriter and blogger

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