After last week’s incredulous blog post about eBay leaping onto Patrick Swayze’s demise, and the general state of advertising (Go Compare, anyone?), I’ve actually been paying a little more attention just in case there’s anything good in between the main events.
Barclays seems to have caught a great advertising team – two ads for two different products were clever and eye-catching. I liked the latest ads for some car marque, which seemed to offer three different cars depending on your budget but I can’t remember which brand; likewise the “chasing her metaphors” piggy bank ad again, amusing ad but can’t recall the brand. I loved the army ad detailing a strike on an insurgent gun, but on reflection felt underwhelmed when this turned out to be the chap’s career highlight (the army chap, not the insurgent chap). I really liked the Cadbury’s Fair Trade ad. Actually, it was a mixed bag. I’m very glad I can avoid it all with a PVR’s ffwd button.
None of it however has been designed to develop a relationship. Even the Cadbury’s one, which presumably is part of a series designed to give me a rounded sense of the brand new brand onion, felt stuck on – unrelated to the Gorilla or those other ones that didn’t work. I’d love to see advertising that deliberately led off-screen, not just to the shop but to a place where a relationship can flower.
I can’t remember the last time an ad told me to visit the website in a clear, beneficial way. Oh, apart from all those second-string insurance aggregator sites of course, which do so so risibly it’s more a distraction than marketing (“let’s grab the consumer’s attention, at any cost” we imagine the account guy saying, shortsightedly – smacking of desperation on the part of both client and agency). I’d love to work with an ad agency that had the confidence to work with a digital specialist to create a genuine journey. Meerkats and Army aside, they just don’t cross-refer – and the beauty of the modern customer journey is that it can and should be fluid, media savvy and engaging, not ephemeral, boorish and – in some cases thankfully – entirely negligent of brand recall.