The Advertising Apprentice

April 19, 2010

You’ve Gotta See This

Filed under: Advertising — adamlauzon @ 9:30 AM
Tags: , , ,

As mentioned in my last entry, today’s topic deals with three ads. One that we’ve already seen and that despite the fact its been out for less than two weeks has already been parodied copious  times on YouTube, the second ad is an ad for a grocery store in Sudbury, Ontario that is so cheesy I just had to share it with you, and finally the third ad is for a tampon brand that attempts to rebel against the ads usually shown for this product class.

I really have no intention to go on a long rant about this ad. The idea to use the voice of the late Earl Woods, while eerie, isn’t completely a bad idea but I think it would be better served for a more ceremonious occasion. Though I would really approach the situation with caution. I also think that it lacks integrity and is a huge sign of disrespect to Earl Woods. It’s one thing to use your own likeness for commercial gain, but to use the likeness of your dead father in an ad as an attempt to improve the public’s view of you is completely ludicrous. (I’d love to know what Tiger’s mother thinks about this spot!) The following clip from Saturday Night Live on April 10th does a good job at summing up the overall sentiment I believe most feel with regards to this ad:

This is an ad for an independently owned and operated Sudbury, Ontario grocery store. The ad ran shortly after Canada’s men’s Olympic gold medal run. Having lived in Sudbury for about a year while attending Cambrian College, this is not the first cliché-laden and overall cringe-inducing ad that has been published by this particular grocery store. I’ve mentioned in previous entries about how ads should strive for consistency and this ad certainly maintains consistency throughout beginning with the picture and ending with the tagline “Locally owned and proud to be 100% Canadian.” At times I may be guilty of being over-critical but is the following sentence really going to convince you to shop at Vrab’s over their competitors? “If your grocery goal is to breakaway from the pack then take a shot at Vrab’s Your Independent Grocer and join the winning team that works hard to keep Canadians on top of the podium with each and every save.” During my time in Sudbury, my family and I did shop at this grocery store. Why? Well definitely not because of ads like the one above but because of things like the fresh food they sold, their friendly staff, and prices better than those of other grocery stores in the area. To the owner of Vrab’s: While there’s no doubt that it takes a lot of creativity to write an ad like that, please leave the copywriting to the professionals. Stick to what you do best, running a successful grocery store that people enjoy shopping at and spare us the over-the-top ads.

While this ad offers a fresh approach to the commercials normally seen for tampons, it will be interesting to see if an ad like this works. The commercial has already garnered almost a quarter of a million views on YouTube as well as some very positive feedback from women saying how much they liked the spot and how as a result of it, they’re switching brands. (At its essence, isn’t this the ultimate goal of advertising? To persuade consumers into change/action!) Though I’d like to hope that consumers and specifically the women targeted with this ad are wise enough to realize that while this ad is being critical of other tampon ads, it’s still trying to sell you on the Kotex brand. It’s biological for women to get their period every month since they hit puberty so doesn’t it become routine where you have a certain tampon brand you use every month whether it be Tampax, Kotex or one of the other brands? I ask because it seems like advertising for these types of products is only really effective for “new users to the market” and not those that have been using tampons for years now. (But it is quite possible that people aren’t as brand loyal when it comes to most products!) It may be just be ignorance on my part, but feel free to weigh in on the subject and educate the male readers of this blog and myself. If this spot does in-fact lead to some positive gains for Kotex, as is the case so often in advertising, it will be only a matter of time before ads with a similar tone start appearing.

The next Advertising Apprentice entry will come your way towards the end of the month and will be a two-part interview with James P. Othmer, author of Adland Searching for the Meaning of Life on a Branded Planet. The paperback version of Adland hits bookshelves across North America on May 18th. Though come back often as if something happens newsworthy in the advertising world you know I’ll be weighing in with my thoughts.


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