Irn Bru - Train
The Irn Bru people have been making a virtue of tasteless ads for a while now. I suppose you'd call them 'cheeky', rather than full-on rude - and here's the latest. If one were to nit-pick, it could be said they are playing a bit fast and loose with Scottish stereotyping, but they clearly know their laddish audience and play to it. I'm not sure this iteration is quite as amusing as the previous 'Fanny' execution, but it's still fun; capturing the anxiety of every train-bound lavatory user in the land. Very brave to associate a consumable product with bare bottoms too. We're a long way from Diet Coke, that's for sure.
I'm a bit out of my depth here. Nearly 50 years of age, I couldn't feel more divorced from this ad - which I guess is the point. A lifelong music fan, I only recognised a couple of the names mentioned, and not a single one of the music clips. What's intetesting is the call-to-action, sending viewers to iTunes, as oppposed to one's local record store (does anybody have a local record store any more?). I rather suspect most young people wishing to get their hands on this compilation will know of a way to grab it for free, but I suppose the label has to at least try to persuade folks to pay for it - a losing battle, no doubt.
Round-Up Gel - A Touch
Although I'm crashing into old age, I have still to be lured into the sedate pleasures of gardening. Nevertheless, I do appreciate this spot. The client and agency have obviously understood the importance of a unique selling point, explaining it clearly and precisely. This kind of work never wins awards, and almost goes without comment (othere than here), but I'll bet it shifts acceptable quantities of Roundup Gel and, as long as it delivers on its claims, will be deemed a quiet success. Successful work needn't be based on high art or a big concept. After all, advertising is all about selling stuff, which this clip does with aplomb.
Halifax - Charlie Clarke
Oh dear, oh dear. This has been one of my least favourite campaigns of recent years. And by that, I mean I loathe the thing. Quite why Halifax, after all their incompetence and dicey dealings, felt the need to talk about their customers in this revolting and deeply patronising way, I have no idea. Now they've turned their 'Oooo, clever you!' tone on a poor innocent child, with predictably cringey results. The idea of marketing bank accounts to wee kids, makes me genuinely nauseous - and to do it in such a creepy, unfunny way makes it so much worse. A terrible execution in a woeful campaign. Run Charlie! Run away now!
Honey Monster Puffs - Fun Monsterfied
Perhaps the only thing worse than pushing banks accounts on children, is pushing sugary foods on them. And just look what's happened here. We all know this cereal as 'Sugar Puffs' - so why is it now 'Honey Monster Puffs'? Because parents are wise to the link between refined sugar and obesity, so instead of reducing the sugary coating on the food, the manufacturer has simply changed the name. Brilliant! I'll allow the nicely executed CGI, which probably soaked-up a large proportion of the budget, but I can't condone the clumsy poetry, nor the suggestion this is a breakfast made from naturally nourishing things. Run kids! Run away now! It'll do you good.
Magnus Shaw is a blogger and copywriter