CLOSE-UP: PERSPECTIVE; Car clients should try something new and surprise us all

The cost of car advertising is, in many ways, the issue that dare not speak its name. With so many clients in other sectors cutting back advertising spends (in real terms), and with much of the industry still on some sort of commission-based remuneration, it’s a brave manager that questions the hands that feed the agency.

The cost of car advertising is, in many ways, the issue that dare not

speak its name. With so many clients in other sectors cutting back

advertising spends (in real terms), and with much of the industry still

on some sort of commission-based remuneration, it’s a brave manager that

questions the hands that feed the agency.



However, with a viewer’s or reader’s hat on, one might be excused for

appealing for mercy. The sheer volume of car advertising directed at us

is overwhelming. In itself, that wouldn’t be so bad if it weren’t all so

charmless and so similar.



Loath as I am to help the Cannes organisers make even more money, all

agencies with car clients would profit from dragging those clients along

to the car category at Cannes this June to sit in the dark for three

hours spotting the same stretch of desert and/or winding road, and even

tame lizard, in commercial after commercial. The argument that it’s

unwise to draw conclusions from such a false environment holds less sway

than usual. Viewers are bombarded with all these ads at home. Perhaps

they don’t all come on together, it just feels as if they do.



It’s not easy, though, is it? Car clients seem to have copyrighted their

own peculiar form of nightmare. And then, when something different this

way comes... if a single soul out there can explain the current

Mitsubishi ad, feel free to write in. And you thought the Vectra ad was

confusing, the Megane work naff...



It can, of course, be done. Much ink has been spilled over, and awards

doled out to, the innovative and refreshing Duckworth Finn Grubb Waters

launch campaign for Daewoo. Even fiercely competitive rivals have been

forced to praise it. Some are now planning their own version of

friendly, cut-out-the-middle-man-style work. Daewoo’s trick was to gear

its whole launch to meeting the claims made by its advertising.



Not so easy when you’re one of the truly big boys at the mass end. Euro

RSCG’s Peugeot 406 launch was lambasted by certain sections of the

advertising community (well, Tony Brignull), but it does have

extraordinary stand-out factor when viewed at home in the context of the

surrounding windy road rubbish (actually, there is one windy road shot

in it, isn’t there?). What’s more, it appears to have struck a chord

with the general public, albeit primarily through the M-People track.

I’m not a car expert, but I would wager that there’s nothing

particularly special about the 406 against its competitors, it just

feels that way now.



And to end, a few words that commit yet another one of the unwritten

heresies of the London advertising world: Ford is doing some interesting

work at the moment, press and TV. Take an unbiased look.



Feature, p34



Topics

Become a member of Campaign from just £46 a quarter

Get the very latest news and insight from Campaign with unrestricted access to campaignlive.co.uk ,plus get exclusive discounts to Campaign events

Become a member

Looking for a new job?

Get the latest creative jobs in advertising, media, marketing and digital delivered directly to your inbox each day.

Create an Alert Now

Partner content

Share

1 Job description: Digital marketing executive

Digital marketing executives oversee the online marketing strategy for their organisation. They plan and execute digital (including email) marketing campaigns and design, maintain and supply content for the organisation's website(s).