Friday, 13 March 2009

Busman's holiday

About this time of year, I'm surprised that any work gets done at all in adland because everybody's gone skiing. In my case, it would be snowboarding, but there's a lot of work on, so no winter sports for the analysts. Looking on the bright side, I'll be one of those annoying people with loads of holiday left come July...

One of the reasons I loved going out to ski resorts (behind the snow, excitement, food and alcohol obviously) is that they were a rare example of what Naomi Klein in No Logo calls 'unbranded space'.

As somebody who works in advertising, it's refreshing when on holiday, to be somewhere that's not plastered with ads. I know there's loads of branding for Salomon etc, but that's in context and makes it feel just a little a bit more like the Winter Olympics as you're bombing down the slopes. Or as you're picking yourself up out of a snowbank and wondering if you've really smashed your camera to pieces this time.

Then three or four years ago, somebody realised that punters on ski lifts are a captive AB audience, with only the beautiful landscape to look at. Which obviously won't do.

So now we have ski lift outdoor on the pylons and on the chairs.

We're talking a lot in my agency about 'permission' to use an advertising channel. For me, these ads rank somewhere behind the video garbage that my mobile phone provider insists on sending every couple of weeks and unsolicited credit card mailshots. Not ignored, but actively disliked.

I doubt it will damage Canon or Easyjet to be present on ski lifts (to name two from last winter) but these ads do make the winter ski trip feel like a bit of a busman's holiday.

That's two posts in a row about avoiding ads... I'll find a campaign I like for the next one, honest.

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