Tuesday 11 March 2014

If you think this ad is good, you don't understand how advertising works

The Bell's scotch spot from South Africa. It's a highly arousing, well written, well crafted advert that has the capacity to inspire real social change with adult illiteracy. But what's the scotch doing at the end? 

For advertising to work it has to be remembered. This ad doesn't work because although the content will be, the brand, Bell's Scotch, certainly will not. 

Why? Because Bell's is irrelevant to the story. It is simply bolted on at the end. Celebrating a personal triumph by cheers-ing with a scotch is flippant and forgettable. The advert will be remembered for its story, which is adult literacy, not about the scotch. 

The advert also fails to execute the story within the closed world of the brand. You do this to develop associations which help create and refresh memory cues so the brand is easily remembered in a buying situation. (E.g. Carlton Draught Beer Chase)

How simple would it have been for the guys to play scrabble in a pub rather than a cafe! 

And finally, it's simply not branded. Similar to Eaon Pritchard's what-should-have-been uncontroversial comments about the John Lewis Christmas ad, it would have been easy to insert distinctive branding throughout this spot. Again, helping build memory structures and make the brand come to mind easier. (E.g. Nike Possibilities) 

A brand that is not remembered is not bought.  

This may be an exceptional film but it is not a good Bell's Scotch ad. It is our job to use creativity to get brands both noticed and remembered which ultimately leads to them getting purchased. Failing this, like this Bell's spot, what value are we actually adding to our client's business? 

By Christopher Ott

Pritchard, E. (2013). How John Lewis get away with something 99.9% of brands should be wary of attempting. Mumbrella