Good Ad Bad Ad
Richard Myers, joint creative director of Saatchi and Saatchi, sniffs out a fresh campaign plus one that's no longer fragrant
Monday 15 September 1997
The wrong clothes you can just about get away with. The wrong hairstyle you can too. The same's true about the wrong car, the wrong wallpaper and the wrong fork at a nobby dinner. But the wrong smell? Now you're really risking social oblivion. Whether it's your feet, your armpits, your breath or your bottom, your attraction to the whole human race is threatened. This is where come into their own.
And here's one of those very neat little ideas that get right into the heart of the matter. By spotting the anatomically similar shape between a nose and a cunningly cropped heel, this 48-sheet poster is a clever way of getting people to mentally place their nose next to a foot and cry for mercy - in the shape of .
It's an incredibly simple visual. Sticking in from the bottom left-hand corner is what at first sight could be either a heel (as if it's being lifted with the ball of the foot still in contact with the ground) or a nose. It's actually a heel, the shot cropped in such a way that it is the same shape as a nose in profile. And in the bottom right-hand corner, there's just a very simple, confident logo that simply says "" - with no other text.
This is one of those brands that's a favourite for student briefs, because there is no doubt about what the product's for, and because it's one of those quirky things that you can get modestly anatomical with - something which always appeals to students.
There's something unpleasant about feet overall, but I suppose that means that are on safe territory right from the start. And I should point out that one of the hardest jobs in the world is to cast a foot or pair of feet, if you want them to look beautiful. There's a real dearth of decent feetn
I need to say up-front that I don't like musicals, but I'm not letting that impair my judgement. However, if there's one musical I can tolerate it's Oliver! - it's got a decent tune or two. But I'm not letting that impair my judgement either.
This latest effort in humano-civil engineering from the Halifax uses "Consider Yourself" from Oliver! as its jingle. As in previous executions, various dancers emerge from man-holes and choreographically assemble into the shape of a Halifax office on the high street. In the final part, some of the dancers carry in letters to form the Halifax logo on the front of the "office", and exchange them to get them in the right order. And that's pretty much it.
Despite the energy of the dancers, and the pin-sharp choreography, it looks really tired. Worse still, it looks old-fashioned: it's got a real Wednesday-matinee-after-a-long-run feel about it.
It isn't the fault of the performers, though. You shouldn't even blame the director. It's the campaign that's tired - it's had its day. We marvelled at the first execution - a house made of people - and someone shouted "Encore!" Unfortunately, there wasn't really an encore to be had. How many buildings can they make? There isn't anywhere else to go with this idea, unless they are going to start building Turkish minarets for no particular reason.
Like its predecessors, this latest offering looks as if a lot of money has been thrown at it. But what is it all about? The abiding impression I take from it is that Halifax customers do all the work, and surely this isn't what we're supposed to think. If this campaign were an old family pet it should be taking a one-way trip to the vet. Put it out of its miseryn
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