Adwatch review: Boots

LONDON - Bridget Angear, joint head of planning, Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO, reviews the Boots TV commercial which had the 12th highest recall with the public in the weekly Adwatch ranking for 11 February.

The snow last week seemed to raise people's spirits. For just a couple of days, everyone was able to forget their economic woes, put on their hats and mittens and behave like children, delighting in how big a snowman they could build and how accurate a snowball they could throw. What a relief from all the doom and gloom. What a lovely re-minder of the power of laughter, and the joy to be had in simple pleasures.

So, as I look through the plethora of retailer ads in this week's selection, I find myself drawn to those that promise me a bit of fun.

This desire for levity leads me to the Boots No7 campaign: war paint for girls who just want to have fun. It's simple, upbeat girl power at its best, summed up with the Ernie K Doe song Here Come the Girls.

It is a tough time on the high street at the moment. The media is almost constantly giving us reasons to feel bad, which is exactly why I applaud Boots for urging me to 'feel good'.

It's a line that works for a pharmacy, works for me and works for the current economic climate. OK, so I have to part with money I'm not sure I still have to get this feel-good factor, but so be it. At least I will be charmed into parting with it.

There have been more empowering articulations of the idea within this campaign. Also, the offer itself could have been a little clearer. But I still applaud Boots No7 for understanding its audience so well, and for its desire to make them smile.

Laughter, after all, has always been the best medicine, an adage that holds even more true when we're in the doldrums.

People tended to regard last week's snow in one of two ways: either as an unwelcome inconvenience that disrupted the daily routine of life, or as an unexpected gift of free time to enjoy. Both these perceptions, of course, were self-fulfilling.

For me, this campaign captures the mood of the latter group - spontaneous optimists who are determined to make the best of things - and is the better for it. So, if sales at Boots were down a little last week, I rather hope it wasn't due to economic factors, but because its customers were out building snowmen.