Tuesday, October 16, 2007
Good ads, bad ads
What commercials work for you? What don't?

I bring this up because the current campaign for the Royal Bank of Scotland -- "Less talk. Make it happen" -- drives me crazy.

RBS is a major CNN sponsor and the ads run on the network constantly. But, to me, they don't improve with time.

(Not that I want you to stop contributing to my salary, RBS, but could you look into a new campaign or ad agency?)

First: The one with the choking diner. Choking is not only not amusing, it's unpleasant to watch.

Second: The guy who gets caught in quicksand. The best of the bunch, but still overstays its welcome.

Third: The group on the tram. Again, poorly edited (the rhythms in these commercials are very strange), abrupt and not amusing. (These ads are supposed to be amusing, right?) None of RBS' ads make me want to use their services ... assuming I could afford to do so.

Contrast these with the new Geico commercials, in which figures such as Fred Flintstone and Jed Clampett are "exposed" in clever take-offs of gossip shows. Or the recent IBM campaign in which jargon-spouting employees are met with the proper confused looks. (Interestingly, the IBM campaign's tagline is similar to RBS'.)

I suppose RBS' ads have been effective, in that I've noticed them among the clutter. But I could say the same about HeadOn.
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