Media: Good Ad Bad Ad

In which a leading advertising expert picks some of the best and worst around. This week Mark Roalfe, creative partner at Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe, picks Dairylea Dunkers and Birds Eye fish fingers
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Indy Lifestyle Online
dairylea dunkers

J Walter Thompson

Nothing I've seen recently has really stood out for me. However, this ad made me chuckle out loud when I saw it. It's for a new product called Dairylea Dunkers - a split container, with Dairylea in one half and bread sticks in the other. Kids will like it, and it has mum-appeal, too.

The commercial is a spoof of the film One Million Years BC. It starts off with a buxom, Raquel Welch lookalike in a fur bikini, fleeing from a Tyrannosaurus rex. The dinosaur eventually catches up with her, but instead of eating her, he dips her into a pot of Dairylea Dunkers.

At this point, the voice-over tells us: "The Dairylea inside new Dairylea Dunkers is so creamy and delicious, you'll want to dunk almost anything in it." But then it adds: "However, we recommend you dunk the bread sticks provided" - at which point the Tyrannosaurus rex pulls a face and hits himself on the head, realising his mistake.

This may not be a great ad, but it's very charming and really nicely animated. I love the shape that the Dairylea makes on top of the girl's head as the dinosaur dunks her in, and the dinosaur's expressions are excellent. My only criticism is that the second half of the ad is a bit too heavy on the product, and could have been just a bit sharper.

However, overall it's an ad to be proud of: it's a left-field idea, quite brave in many ways, and has a really nice lightness of touch about it.

bird's eye fishfingers

Amirati Puris Lintas

This isn't really such a bad ad; it's more of a sad ad. It marks the death of the charming, jolly, bearded Captain Birds Eye I grew up with, for he's been replaced by a new, young, male model type for the Nineties.

The commercial is a James Bond spoof. We open on an enemy trawler, with the evil Blofeld-type villain and his gang, who have captured some Birds Eye fish fingers to discover how they make their delicious crispy coating. Then along comes our new, chisel-chinned Captain Birds Eye with his gang, who get on to Blofeld's trawler, rescue the fish fingers and save the day.

I can see that it's probably research that has killed off the old Captain Birds Eye; I guess they went to a group of mums, and they all said they thought he was getting a bit old now. None the less, I have to say I'm going to miss the old fellow. I can see the mums wanting a new, good-looking version of Captain Birds Eye - and this new ad has tremendous kid appeal - but the old guy was such a strong brand property that I wonder whether they couldn't have brought him into the Nineties, rather than just going for a new one.

It's quite well produced; it just lacks the charm of the Dairylea ad. And they've fallen between two stools. They may have updated Captain Birds Eye, but apart from that it's still the old format, with the gang of kids. They could have been far more radical.

Captain Birds Eye, RIP.