BACKBITE

Somebody asked me last week what’s the most boring ad ever seen on TV. Well, any Citroen ad starring Bryan Brown spouting his amateur psychology has to be a contender. And the sight of an overpaid BT spokesman drivelling on about family and friends is a bit of a slipper-thrower.

Somebody asked me last week what’s the most boring ad ever seen on

TV. Well, any Citroen ad starring Bryan Brown spouting his amateur

psychology has to be a contender. And the sight of an overpaid BT

spokesman drivelling on about family and friends is a bit of a

slipper-thrower.



Then there’s the entire output of QVC, of course.



But what really sends my interest racing downwards is any campaign that

purports to be a ’revolutionary new form of advertising’. These

campaigns are usually preceded by acres of feverish press releases,

plenty of ill-timed phone calls from ill-informed PRs, promises of

spurious ’exclusive angles’ and supple displays of PR gymnastics that

would fail to impress even the most wet-behind-the-ears trade press

hack.



Last week, Campaign had to buy some mind-altering drugs to help keep the

staff awake during our office screening of the latest ’revolutionary new

form of advertising’ which was created by an outfit that we once rashly

called a ’dream team’. The work in question was ’welcome to the future

in motion’, a turkey - no, sorry, a campaign - designed to trumpet the

RAC as ’the mobility organisation of the 21st century’.



I have viewed the ad again and again and there is literally nothing

worth staying awake for. The two-and-a-half minute launch spot with its

deathly slow cutting, zero product endorsement and ponderous

pseudo-interview tone is enough to make QVC at 4am seem pulsating with

life. I’d give the campaign a lifespan of little more than Mercury’s

’Oliver and Claire’ disaster - which, come to think of it, was

accompanied by a similar degree of launch hyperbole.



The AA, with its ’fourth emergency service’ strategy, has proved it is

possible to take a serious approach to the breakdown market without

having to resort to pretentious twaddle. Come back ’new knights of the

road’, all is forgiven.