Wednesday, 10 June 2009

Designing ads by committee

I saw the new Santander TV spot last night and to be frank, it's a bit of a mess. It's definitely got the scent of an advert that will spark a row in a few months when somebody asks what it was designed to achieve. Raise awareness? Of what - Abbey or Santander? Shift current accounts? For who - Abbey or Alliance and Leicester? If it's supposed to do all of that then it's going to have to work really hard in fifty seconds.

There are so many things going on, it's hard to know what you're being shown.

There's Lewis Hamilton. Never mind that he's just been hauled over the coals in F1 for trying to cheat, he's looking suave, clean shaven and covered in Vodafone logos in his race overalls. In fact the Vodafone logo appears in the ad almost as much as Santander's does.

A voiceover tells us about Santander while he's racing round a Scalextric track, which supports the 'together we're stronger' theme, presumably because several people help him assemble it. Then the voiceover says there are great interest rates available at Abbey. Oh and also at Alliance and Leicester. Anybody else confused?

At best, this one's going to be remembered as "that Vodafone ad where Lewis Hamilton races a Scalextric car."

I normally try to stay away from commenting on creative, in the same way that I'd expect a creative not to question the validity of our analytics, but I really can't see how this concoction of different messages is supposed to work.

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