Clients go to advertising agencies and pay them large sums of money
because they want to be provided with original ideas to promote their
product or service. (Well, that’s the theory anyway.)
So, if I were Mercedes, Toshiba, Daewoo or London Underground, I’d be
pretty pissed off.
I’ll explain. A few years ago, Volkswagen ran an ad in which the VW logo
appeared as a couple of tablets in a glass of water. The industry liked
the work so much, it got into the D&AD Annual.
Apparently, the agency handling Mercedes also liked it a lot. So much
so, in fact, that some time later the agency produced an ad in which the
Mercedes logo appeared as a couple of pills.
It would seem that the agency that boasted Toshiba and Daewoo as clients
wanted to prove it liked the concept more than anyone else. To do this
it decided to run a full-colour double-page spread featuring the Toshiba
logo printed on some pills. Realising that this idea had yet further
potential, it later gave us two Daewoo pills, dissolving in a glass of
This morning, as I waited for the tube, I spotted a London Underground
poster advertising free travel on New Year’s Eve. It looked to me like
the art director had gone down to Colour Space, Tapestry or wherever,
lifted out Daewoo’s pills (though it might have been VW’s, Mercedes’ or
Toshiba’s) and replaced them with two tube train pills.
I also saw this now ubiquitous concept featured on a bus-side for some
product or service claiming to relieve traffic congestion.
Just what is going on? Do creatives suffer from short memories or are
they just short on ideas?
Perhaps they are working on the theory that if the pill idea was good
enough to get into the book before, maybe they can sneak it in
( If so, it might be useful for D&AD to start a Best Use of Pill Idea
If anyone has any idea what is happening (not involving pills, please)
can they let me know?
Send your rants to Diary Editor, Campaign, 174 Hammersmith Road, London