Dave Trott: Great advertising isn't just gimmicks

I've just seen the freshest piece of advertising I've seen in years.

But it wasn’t advertising.

At least not in the sense the new media gurus mean: mobile-optimised, content-curation, storytelling, native advertising, big data, multi-screen experience, video-play platform.

Nope, it was about as old-fashioned and traditional as you can get.

It was just some buskers standing in the street singing.

Two blokes and a girl with guitars and another bloke with an upturned bucket, singing to people walking by.

You can’t get much more traditional than that, can you.

We had minstrels singing before we had marketing, before we had technology, before we even had electricity.

So how could that possibly be fresh?

Well, just listen to the lyrics:

(Verse 1)

"I don’t give to the Big Issue seller, cos he’s probably on heroin.

I just walk past him with a grin, and if I can I kick his dog.

And I don’t give to the busker, Cos he’s talentless and lazy.

He’s ruining the country, I think he should get a job."

(Chorus)

"Instead I give my money to:

Walmart for their tax evasion.

Primark for its child labour.

Texaco for their next invasion.

And I don’t give a fuck about you.

I give my money to billionaires.

I give my money to billionaires.

I give my money to billionaires.

And I don’t give a fuck about you."

(Verse 2)

"I don’t give to the beggar, that’s what I pay my taxes for.

The government should shove him through the door of a prison cell or a hospital.

I don’t give to the homeless piss-head,

cos he’ll blow it all on booze instead.

Such a waster doesn’t deserve a bed.

Waddya mean: welfare is dead?"

(Chorus)

"Instead I give my money to:

Starbucks in case they get hard up.

BP, making a living ain’t easy.

Barclays, they look after me.

And I don’t give a fuck about you.

I give my money to billionaires.

I give my money to billionaires.

I give my money to billionaires.

And I don’t give a fuck about you."

What we see here is product, brand, and message in complete harmony (pun intended).

You have the media mix, awareness through to point-of-sale, reach to penetration, working seamlessly.

Context and content complementing each other.

All the consumer insights about why people don’t give to buskers are addressed in the lyrics.

The chance to prove you’re not like that is right in front of you.

The song is about choosing sides.

Of course some people won’t even listen.

That’s okay.

You don’t waste time talking to core non-users.

But, given the choice, most people would rather not give money to corrupt billionaires.

So that’s what these buskers do: they present the argument and give you the choice.

At exactly the place you can vote with what’s in your pocket.

That’s what makes it great advertising.