Straightforward ad that still had a lotta bottle

My favourite campaign: “Accrington Stanley? Who are they?” It’s one of the immortal lines from advertising history, says Andy Benningfield

How easy it is to get caught up in nostalgia, even at my age – and when it comes to advertising, I’m no different.

For me, good advertising is most likely to be the simplest.

The modern proliferation of media and the sheer number of commercial messages we’re bombarded with means we often require a multi-layered approach, yet the power of a single, effective message can often leave an indelible impression on your memory.

Good advertising sticks in the mind and often doesn’t fade with time. Obvious candidates include Beanz Meanz Heinz, A Mars a Day and the Flake and Smash campaigns, which are forever etched into the nation’s (at least those of a certain age’s) psyche.

A bland and simple product such as milk has been cleverly marketed for years. During the 1980s the Milk Marketing Board seized on the success of Liverpool FC using a “jumpers for goalposts” type approach with two young Scouse lads and a reference to the once mighty Accrington Stanley. The two kids therefore discuss this:

Child 1: “Ian Rush said if I didn’t drink milk, I’d end up playing for Accrington Stanley”

Child 2: “Accrington Stanley? Who are they?”

Child 1: “Exactly!”

Andy Benningfield is associate director/head of TV at BJK&E Medi

The guide to...

Football fans

  • Currently 3.5 million adults (15+) claim to pay to watch football each year – a decline of about a quarter in the past 10 years. 15 to 24s have dropped by 40%, 55 to 64s are up by 6% and women are down, at half the rate of men.
  • The ABC1 proportion of fans has risen from 50% to 60% since 1994 – the population generally having gone from 47% to 54%.
  • The medium with the highest proportion of fans in its highest exposure range is Outdoor, with 26%.
  • Three quarters of a million paying fans play football themselves on a regular basis.
  • 58% of fans claim to “enjoy a night at the pub” and 77% “like the idea of travelling abroad”.
  • 9% of fans claim that they “tend to buy products from companies which sponsor sports events and teams”. Men are four times more likely than women to claim this.
  • Almost two thirds of fans claim to read a newspaper most days – about the same proportion that claims to listen to the radio.
  • Only one in ten fans claims to be generally worried about violence and crime.
  • While 35% of fans claim to buy goods produced in this country whenever they can, 28% believe a single European currency would be a good thing for Britain.
  • 39% of paying football fans think that interactive TV services are a good idea.
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