Somebody asked me last week what’s the most boring ad ever seen on
TV. Well, any Citroen ad starring Bryan Brown spouting his amateur
psychology has to be a contender. And the sight of an overpaid BT
spokesman drivelling on about family and friends is a bit of a
Then there’s the entire output of QVC, of course.
But what really sends my interest racing downwards is any campaign that
purports to be a ’revolutionary new form of advertising’. These
campaigns are usually preceded by acres of feverish press releases,
plenty of ill-timed phone calls from ill-informed PRs, promises of
spurious ’exclusive angles’ and supple displays of PR gymnastics that
would fail to impress even the most wet-behind-the-ears trade press
Last week, Campaign had to buy some mind-altering drugs to help keep the
staff awake during our office screening of the latest ’revolutionary new
form of advertising’ which was created by an outfit that we once rashly
called a ’dream team’. The work in question was ’welcome to the future
in motion’, a turkey - no, sorry, a campaign - designed to trumpet the
RAC as ’the mobility organisation of the 21st century’.
I have viewed the ad again and again and there is literally nothing
worth staying awake for. The two-and-a-half minute launch spot with its
deathly slow cutting, zero product endorsement and ponderous
pseudo-interview tone is enough to make QVC at 4am seem pulsating with
life. I’d give the campaign a lifespan of little more than Mercury’s
’Oliver and Claire’ disaster - which, come to think of it, was
accompanied by a similar degree of launch hyperbole.
The AA, with its ’fourth emergency service’ strategy, has proved it is
possible to take a serious approach to the breakdown market without
having to resort to pretentious twaddle. Come back ’new knights of the
road’, all is forgiven.