April 07, 2003 | Category:

When Adverts Go Wrong

What is the point of an advert? My initial answer would be that they are there to make us, the public, buy a product or service; perhaps, also informing us about the item in question. Given this, why do so many adverts today seem to be more about completely unrelated ideas?

Consider this example: A man and woman are in a kitchen. The woman tells the man that she’s leaving him, to which the man replies with a request to wait. Now, 2 eggs come inexplicably from her mouth. The woman then says, “Where did you learn to do that?”

What was the advert about?:

  • Saving relationships,
  • How precious and wonderful eggs are,
  • Or, the value of education.

If you answered with any of the above, you were wrong. It was about a rail provider. Now, call me crazy but I don’t see the connection between trains and that scene.

How successful can an advert be in doing it’s job if there is no connection between advert and product? We buy stuff in adverts because we remember the clever tagline, or annoying jingle, or because, in some other way, the brand identity established by the advert is engrained in our memory; not because of some weird imagery. It might makes us laugh or scratch our heads initially, but chances of us associating with a brand at a later time are next to zero.

So, advertisers: if you insist on marketing stuff, make sure there’s at least some relevance in your adverts.