Monday, 22 June 2015

Gaviscon and the Danger of Making Your Ads Look Like They Were Designed by an Alien

Gaviscon is a brand of indigestion and heartburn treatment. They usually run fairly cheesy, silly ads. This time their pitch is dual relief from both issues. And the message to convey it?

A man in a suit delivering a speech at a wedding, smiling for some reason as he feels heartburn. And then the same man, in the same pose, with the same smile, outside playing football and clutching his stomach as he feels indigestion.

Tell me that’s not odd.

Everything about the ad feels as if it’s either a) designed by aliens, or b) designed for aliens.

To be quite frank the entire build of the image is strange. Apart from the strange smile of the man who we’re supposed to view as in pain, the football scene features him wearing a pink jumper with a football scarf, holding a pristine black and white football. The scarf confuses me more than the rest. Who wears a football scarf to play football themselves?

Answer: aliens, probably.

More seriously, it’s as though the makers of the ad were determined, or perhaps ordered, to paint the scene in the broadest strokes possible. So it comes across as an ad made for children.

(But who knows, perhaps there was a major epidemic in children with both heartburn and indigestion at once that I just haven’t heard about.)

So here’s the point of all this. Don’t let ticking boxes become more important than the ad itself. Simply throwing in concepts and imagery that suggests an idea is not the same as conveying information and convincing people.

I’d love to know the thought process that informed that ad. I’m a little worried that there wasn’t one.

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