Cadbury Gorilla

I can’t be the only one that dreads the ads on TV these days…that said I am probably not the only one who gets to channel 100 and there is still nothing to watch…

Is it me?  No, because you can now ‘pay’ not to be served ads, so that just proves that the ads are ‘boring’.

Reel back 30 years and the nation was gripped by the most entertaining ads in-between the most entertaining of TV shows, shows that attracted millions of viewers. OK, I get it that there were only 3 (then 4) channels to choose from back then and the internet was some unheard of ‘thing’. If we used a telephone it was to actually speak to someone, not send a text, order a pizza, read the news or check what someone is else is doing that looks insanely incredible on Insta, and then comparing it to our clearly dull lives.

As a marketer with 4 decades of experience, I’ve witnessed the landscape of advertising change, significantly. I feel sad that ‘great advertising’ these days is indeed quite rare and as for the brands ‘invented and launched’ on The Apprentice…well don’t get me started. Invent a product, name it, launch it, do a TV ad and pitch it to major buyers.. in two days.

I guess The Apprentice probably has most experienced entrepreneurs, business owners and marketers chuckling on a Thursday night (personally I think it’s absolute classic cringe and yes, I’m addicted).

Back to the ads… are people actually talking about the great ad they saw on the telly when they get into work the these days? I think not. In fact, do many even know what a great ad is?  If you’re 35 or younger, then the answer to that is probably no (by the way, that’s not your fault…).

Cue young brand managers and marketers now telling me their ads delivery X revenue and Y sales.. Ok…Ok… I am sure they do, but that’s because there is a whole audience now who know no better than what they are served.

Hands up who remembers the Nescafe Gold Blend ads? A sitcom in their own right that had us on the edge of our seats waiting for the next episode…. Or Cadbury’s smash aliens, instant mash potato sold to the nation by a family of metal alien puppets…and as for the Cadbury’s gorilla for Dairy Milk, that is surely one of the best ads ever. We were gripped, we literally felt it.

I would bet today that no Marketing Director would sign those concepts off, or even entertain the idea from the agency presenting them, well not without researching them to death first to gain public opinion and reassurance that the concept is viable and will drive sales.

I also know that brilliant creatives (of which there are many) are rarely let loose to do great things from the heart, so many amazing ideas and brilliantly written campaigns that don’t get past the client presentation *sighs…

Christine Colbert