Newsletter January 2010
Ads: haven't I seen that before somewhere?

Is it just me, or are adverts more repetitive than ever? Take TV ads, for instance. Some campaigns are just never ending, particularly on the many channels which are, shall we say, not overburdened with viewers.

Overly used campaigns fall into three categories: the brilliant; the annoying but effective; and the just plain annoying.

Compare the Meerkat is a good example of the first. Obviously, not everybody loves this; you can't please all the people all the time. (The first time I saw it, I was actually hoping that there WAS a website which would compare meerkats; it can be so hard to choose between the brown ones and the white ones, they're both so cute.)

But Aleksandr Orlov, the "star" of the campaign, has over 650,000 fans on Facebook; has had more than 50 proposals of marriage; and hundreds of people have signed his petition to get the word "simples" into the Oxford English Dictionary.

All of this has transformed the fortunes of, raising it from a virtually unknown price comparison website into the top five: and in so doing, sent shockwaves through its rivals.

The annoying but effective is an interesting category: almost ads that people love to hate. The Halifax ads starring Howard Brown were one example, which although undoubtedly cheesy were very successful for the bank. Another is the Crazy Frog ringtones ad. Indeed, cheesy is almost de rigueur with this type of campaign.

As Richard Huntingdon, Saatchi and Saatchi's strategy director, said: "Annoying ads like Cillit Bang can have that way of worming their way inside your head. In fact, the theory of likeable advertising like my ad, like my brand that has been really popular in the past, is perhaps often overrated."

Perhaps. But it's a short step from that to the downright irksome TV ad: the one that gets you diving for the "mute" button on your remote, and actively hating the company that paid for it. The irritating fat bloke (sorry, opera singer "Gio Compario") singing about "Go compare" is surely at the top of the list as confirmed in January 2010 when it was voted the most annoying TV ad in Marketing Magazine. I don't think he'll be pushing Aleksandr off his top spot any time soon: his fans number a measly 3,100 or so on Facebook, while those flocking to join groups such as "Gio Compario must die!" are growing fast.

Anyway, hopefully that will have got you thinking. And here's something else to consider: there are other ways to advertise your company that are far-more cost-effective than TV ads. Email marketing and SEO marketing are just two ways that could help put you streets ahead of your rivals.

If you want to know more about this sort of thing, the best thing to do is to talk to Limetree today. Because if you want expert advice, there's really no comparison.


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