Tag Archives: Hovis

Rose-tinted testicles

My highlight from this year’s Media 360 was when John Nolan of North One TV, talking about the dangers of nostalgia for a bygone TV era, just stopped himself before advising delegates not to look at the past through “rose-tinted testicles”. I can ‘testify’ it is indeed a dangerous game.

At Thinkbox we try to avoid rose-tinted anythings at industry events.  There is still the occasional danger that a speaker will get the basic facts about TV wrong and we’ll have to put our arm in the air and correct the telly bollocks being spoken . Read more on Rose-tinted testicles…

What ads should – or could – we bring back?

Celebrities who appear on TV talent shows often talk about the raft of positive benefits they experience; losing weight, improving their fitness, marrying Jordan, and the obligatory emotional “journey” are all very well, but the most valuable of all is that they are suddenly catapulted back into the affections of the nation once again as they reignite (and sometimes exceed) their fame of previous years.

A parallel process of reinvention and rediscovery also appears to be happening in the ad break.  If you were watching Dancing on Ice last night you would have seen one of the most iconic British adverts of all time, Yell’s Fly Fishing starring J.R. Hartley, remade for 2011 with a new leading man, a new search for a lost classic and a new way to search.  Rapier’s 2011 remake of the 1983 AMV ad follows a new character – former DJ, Day V Lately – embarking on a hunt for a lost trance mix of a 1992 track he produced called ‘Pulse and Thunder.’

This canny homage to a well loved classic aims to tap into viewers’ latent feelings of warmth and affection for the advertising and the brand, while making a valid point about how Yell’s offering has evolved over the last three decades.

And Yell is not alone. Other brands like Persil, Hovis, Milkybar, PG Tips and Tetley have all drawn on and reinvigorated past TV ad creative in recent years. And some have just unashamedly repeated them. You might have enjoyed another touch of TV déjà vu recently when in amongst the newly minted creativity of the latest ad break you could suddenly hear Robert Palmer’s Addicted to Love and watch as a beautiful woman with a sore throat dressed in a 90s suit gets into a lift to be kissed sensuously on the neck by an imaginary man. Yes, the steamy Halls Soothers advert The Kiss, which first aired in 1993, has also been back on our screens.

So, is the industry embracing some kind of retro aesthetic or is this just a recession-inspired practical acknowledgement of the value of all that TV adstock lying dormant, waiting to be reignited?

Whatever is going on, it got me wondering what other ads we’d like to bring back?  What would you choose? Help us come up with a good list and we’ll put a reel together and put them up on our website.  

Read more on What ads should – or could – we bring back?…

The programmes are now as good as the ads

It’s 1987, a hurricane has torn apart southern England, nobody is putting Baby anywhere near the corner in new release Dirty Dancing, and Alex Ferguson has been at Manchester United for a year.

Elsewhere, and slightly lower key, the annual TGI survey of 24,000 UK adults has started to include dozens of lifestyle statements. One of those statements, which has survived to this day is “On television, sometimes the advertisements are as good as the programmes”.

25 years on and there is much debate about the consistent decline in the percentage of people agreeing with this statement about the relative enjoyment of TV ads and programmes.

Dramatic emphasis is added by the fact that this is one of the few statements to have remained intact since 1987. It feels a little like watching a revolution, albeit in market research slow motion; the subtext is that the great British public has fallen slightly out of love with TV ads.

Read more on The programmes are now as good as the ads…

Brave and effective

A wonderful night at the IPA Effectiveness Awards. Congratulations to all the winners; we never get bored of pointing out how important these awards are. Proving the impact of advertising in hard business terms is the Grail; nothing is more deserving of awards, celebrations and hangovers.

For obvious partisan reasons we’re pleased here at Thinkbox about telly’s performance last night. 36 of the 38 winning campaigns had TV advertising at their heart and special congratulations must go to every one of the 122 magnificent seconds that made up the TV ad for the Grand Prix winner, Hovis.

Hovis’s campaign – which scooped the best TV ad at the BTA Awards – increased its sales by 14% year on year and cranked its profits up by £90 million. Its success neatly underlines the findings from the research we did with the IPA earlier this year that finally proved the direct link between advertising creativity and advertising effectiveness. The research showed that the most creatively awarded campaigns – added to great strategic and communications planning – deliver 11 times more efficiency. Hovis’s TV ad is two minutes of living proof of how investing in creativity is not only brave but effective.

Read more on Brave and effective…

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