Adwatch: Bounty 'Amsterdam'

The comedies of ancient Greece, Little Britain, Dick and Dom in da Bungalow and Christmas pantos - what do they have in common?

They recognise the appeal of men in dresses. Not in the 'is he or isn't she' ladyboy sense, but in the huge, ugly bruisers shoehorned into bulging frocks sense.

It is not big (even if the blokes are) and it is definitely not clever, but as guaranteed crowd pleasers go, it never fails. Perhaps this is why the Bounty campaign continues to work so well, even if it is a tad hackneyed.

After all, it is little more than a 50s side-by-side comparison, in the style of a 70s Les Dawson sketch; modern and innovative it ain't

Robust transvestism aside and regardless of whether you think the campaign is any good, there is an important lesson we can learn from this continued success; something that has enabled Bounty to do essentially the same ad for nearly four years, and still have it deliver.

The lesson? Never forget the art of making people laugh. It's only advertising, so entertain us. Though the intellectual snob within may wish otherwise, one look at the TV schedules and cinema box office shows what sells. There is nothing better than a good chortle if you want to engage with people.

There may be many stops on the journey from Last of the Summer Wine to The League of Gentlemen, but this comedic truth does not apply only to mass-market products. Take the latest Pot Noodle ad, in which a man has a hunting horn down his trousers. It is that perennial below-the-belt comedy classic - even Shakespeare had those.

Of course, the other, rather useful, benefit of comedy is that it enables you to say outrageous things about your product. Bounty is a kitchen towel that is a bit better when cleaning windows - not that exciting. However, present it as the ultimate side-by-side comparison, where the competition is so clearly trounced, and it all seems more compelling. The fact that the 'competition' is represented by huge grandma pants is neither here nor there. Having a laugh covers a multitude of BACC contraventions. Oh, and did I mention the big, ugly blokes in dresses?

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