Sad advertising executives probably rock themselves to sleep repeating
the cliche that TV ads are better than the actual programmes. So, it’s a
sort of twisted logic that dreams up an ad which looks like a TV
programme. Apart from the fact that the viewer is never quite sure when
they can go to the loo or put the kettle on, ads that look like TV shows
invariably look like the worst kind of TV shows. It can be a relief to
get back to Les Dennis and Family Fortunes.
So what are Planet 24 up to with their plan to bring back ‘aw’s-about-
that-then’ Terry Christian in a Word-like format which is really an ad?
Being bloody clever is what they’re up to. Planet 24 make curry and
lager programmes such as the Word and Hotel Babylon, as well as Channel
4’s Big Breakfast. Love ’em or loathe ’em, you’ve got to admit that
they’ve got a successful programme style and, as their move into
advertising proves, the commercial nous to capitalise on their
production experience. They’ve already made advertiser-supplied
programming and sponsored shows. Now it’s commercials.
(Headliner on page 21 of this issue has more details. I hear cross-
promotion makes brands work harder.)
The reason Pepsi is using Planet 24 has more than a little something to
do with the fact that advertisers are looking for new ways of
communicating with consumers. And, sorry guys, but these new ways don’t
always involve creative agencies, media buying companies and the like at
the centre of the process.
It’s no surprise that advertisers seek to get closer to the brand values
of the programmes people enjoy.
While the advertising industry squabbles, there are companies out there
offering something effective. Charlie Parsons of Planet 24 says he
doesn’t want to become an advertising agency, but there are a few cash-
strapped independent production companies out there who just might.