Adwatch (July 27): Top 20 recall - Persil all washed out?

The fault here is not the ad itself, but the rather average content that it directs you to.

Adwatch (July 27): Top 20 recall - Persil all washed out?

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Unless you've been living under a rock for the past decade, you'll know that the world of marketing has changed; media-neutral, integrated comms, ideation, imagineering, blah, blah, blah.

It really comes down to one thing: people don't care as much about ads as they used to. Therefore, I applaud the intent of brands such as Persil, which are attempting to create experiences (through content, services, games) people feel are genuinely worth their attention.

However, I detect that the Persil ad highlights the single biggest error that brands and agencies make when taking this approach. In it we see Kirstie 'I wasn't born, I was knitted' Allsopp with her (alleged) children creating an indoor herb garden in just 30 minutes, as this is how little time it takes for Persil 'Small & Mighty' to do its thing. Of course, in the process of creating said garden, the kids get all mucky, and thus another dose of Persil is required; spot-on for the overarching and brilliant 'Dirt is good' strategy.

The ad also uses media placement to ensure that we see the 'before' herb garden ad half an hour prior to seeing Kirstie's garden in all its coiffed glory.

At the end of the ad we are invited to go to for 'great tips on creating your own indoor herb garden and other ideas'.

The ad itself is unremarkable, but I would argue that this shouldn't matter if the online content that you are directed to proves to be compelling and rewarding.

This content is what should deliver incremental media value and advocacy. Sadly, in this instance, at the site you are presented only with a bread recipe, instructions on how to make a herb garden, and a competition to win a year's supply of Persil. The word 'afterthought' doesn't quite cover it.

It feels unfair to pick on Persil as it is by no means the only brand to have taken this approach. Indeed, I hold my hand up and admit I have committed this very crime.

It does highlight, however, that if you want to provide an experience for consumers and make a TV ad to drive people to it, you need to work out the genuinely compelling experience first and the TV ad second. You also need to spend at least as much time and money developing the experience as you do the TV ad that talks about it.

I still cite the Walkers 'Do us a flavour' campaign as one where it was done right. I can't really remember the TV ad for that campaign, but the idea at the heart of it was so strong that it doesn't matter.

Adwatch (July 27): Top 20 recall
Latest Jul-20 Brand Agency/TV Buyer Recall
rank       %
1 (–) Sky  WCRS&Co/MediaCom 48
2 (–) Walkers Crisps  Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO/OMD UK 45
3= (–) BT  Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO/Maxus 39
3= (–) Asda  Saatchi & Saatchi/Carat 39
5 (–) National Lottery – EuroMillions  Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO/OMD UK 35
6 (14=) L'Oreal – Revitalist Repair 10 

McCann Erickson/


7= -5 McDonald's  Leo Burnett/OMD UK 32
7= (–) InjuryLawyers4U  The Gate Films/MediaCom North 32
9= (–) Domino's Pizza 

Big Communications/

Arena Media

9= (–) DFS  Uber/MediaCom 30
11= (–) Tesco  The Red Brick Road/Initiative 29
11= (–) Burger King  Crispin Porter & Bogusky/Initiative 29
11= (–) Tampax  Leo Burnett Milan/Starcom 29
14 (–) Uncle Ben's 

Proximity London/


15= (–) Expedia  Ogilvy & Mather/PHD 26
15= (–) Persil  Addiction Content/Mindshare 26
15= (–) NatWest  M&C Saatchi/MediaCom 26
18 (–) Wickes  MWO/MEC 25
19 (18=) Comet 

Euro RSCG London/


20 (–) Nikon Coolpix S9100  Jung Von Matt, DCH/MediaCom 21