Thursday, 22 October 2009

Adverts with the X Factor

Was going to post this last week, but I couldn't and we'll come back to that.

I don't watch a lot of commercial TV. Football on ITV, the odd Channel 4 drama (Generation Kill is great, but on too late for a school night) and that's about it. That and The X Factor. It's my guilty secret and one of the few times that I'll sit in front of ITV and actually watch the ads.

You watch the ads on X Factor, more than other programmes, because the show provokes a discussion. Instead of channel hopping or going to get a beer like you do at half time in the Champions' League, the break is a time to chat about the show.

Maybe this isn't a revelation, but I was staggered by what a low proportion of the advertising minutes actually featured any brands at all. You know the sort of thing - twenty five seconds to set the scene and then maybe a pack shot at the end. Maybe.

There was one for a home freshening scent that might have been a plug-in one or might not, I can't remember. It mostly featured lingering shots of paddy fields and deserts and was in conjunction with National Geographic (I remember that. Their name was on it more often.) Do deserts smell good? Not really the point. The point is I couldn't use that ad to make my point in this post, because I can't remember who it was for. And that's trying to make an effort!

That's why I couldn't write this post last week. There were so many ads where the brand itself was such a tiny feature, that I decided during the show it might make a blog post. Should have written down the bad examples though, because there was no way in hell I could remember what any of them were by Monday.

So this weekend I tried again. Here's one. Thirty five seconds of Paul Whitehouse being a camp hairdresser and if we're being generous, five seconds of Aviva. The word Aviva is said twice and their logo is on screen once, for one second. Everybody in the country 'watching' TV is discussing those creepy twins who can't sing and not paying attention. Blink and you've missed it.

Where's the effort? Surely the difficult bit of creating an ad is making it interesting with the product in it. Paul Whitehouse is already interesting, that bit's easy. Thirty five seconds of Paul Whitehouse practicing his accents and then a quick logo doesn't communicate much of anything.

Here's the one I did remember. The good example as a contrast. Will it win awards? Probably not, but I like it. And you know what? I could remember who it was for on Monday because it's got the bloody product in it!

Real Cheese in the Mini-Cheddars, Really


Hoover said...

The golden rule: Can you describe the advertisement without mentioning the product?

Neil C said...

I'm hoping the golden rule is that you shouldn't be able to!