I’ve been thinking about setting up a helpline for owners of
new-media opportunities but I can’t decide what to call it. How about ’I
Wish I’d Researched It’ or ’Poor Sod’?
Putting posters on the side of lorries is a nice concept - a sort of
bus-side advertising for the motorway. As I recall, in 1985 this idea
was called Trucksites and failed within 18 months.
Television in petrol station forecourts - first seen in 1968 at
Scratchwood Services on the M1 - disappeared six months later.
Ads in public lavatories, launched in 1986 as Eye Level Advertising, was
another crap idea that failed dismally.
In 1996 I read a Campaign article about one of the ITV companies
possibly launching ’themed breaks’ as they had in 1971 for holiday and
There are numerous other examples I could dazzle you with: floor ads,
golf holes, takeaway container lids, for example. Most people who have
summoned up the courage to place an order with their local curry house,
tend to be either drunk or desperate. Either way, the food doesn’t touch
the sides and the ads definitely don’t make much of an impact.
Even Nike during Euro 96 shunned official sponsorship in favour of
balloons, lamp-posts and goody bags. What on earth is going on?
Your reporter was spot on when he said: ’If there is something that can
be seen, then someone will stick an ad on it’ (Campaign, 23 May). But
have people forgotten that it is also worth doing a little research into
how successful - or not - this new-media exercise actually is. When will
these lunatics stop fooling themselves into believing they can make
glossy TV campaigns convert to higher sales with the aid of a few
hundred metres of bus tickets?
Oh, do you think the helpline should be premium rate or not? I can’t be
bothered to research it.