What's the secret of a truly outstanding ad turkey? What is it that
makes its creators go blundering on when the voices in their heads ought
to be screaming: "Stop, stop, stop!"
There's no definitive answer. Sometimes it's just the result of a
client's desire to keep the overheads down and the cost saving up with a
"catch-all" commercial that catches nobody.
This year's Campaign top turkey list throws up -an apposite analogy in
this case - a couple of classic examples of the genre.
First, there's the US female lawyer aroused to orgasmic pleasure at the
prospect of washing her hair in Clairol Herbal Essences. A turn-off for
everybody else. Second, David Ginola, moving on from shampoo to Carte
Noir coffee. A real own-goal.
Ginola proves how easy it is to be deluded into thinking celebs can
sustain an awful creative idea. Peter O'Toole may be a superstar - but
what was he doing looking like a refugee from the Harry Potter movie in
an ad for Zurich Financial Services?
Sometimes it's down to a client of an independent persuasion (to put it
kindly) who won't have agency types telling him what to do.
How else to explain the decision of Graham Kirkham, who founded DFS
Furniture, to accept a commercial using terrible spoof eroticism to flog
sofas. As a Northern lad from working class roots, you'd have thought he
could recognise tripe when he sees it.
- Turkeys of the year, p45.