Recently, I've noticed a number of ads that have chosen animals as the face of their brand so I thought it only right to review the furry (or not so furry) friends featuring.
The first thing I wanted to talk about is the ad 'Morning Ritual' by Joint, London for a partnership between Amazon and RNIB. To be completely honest, the first time I saw this ad I felt very guilty for my initial reaction to the first 20 seconds. A lady wakes up and asks Alexa what time it is; *yawn* I thought- is this the best they can come up with? So it wan't until I heard the jingle of a dog collar and saw the guide dog that I realised what a cleverly crafted and well thought idea this ad was to show just how helpful the Amazon Echo can be. It made me realise how I can take the ability to complete the simplest everyday tasks for granted, and I'm sure I can't be the only one who does. I think the integrity of this ad is what makes it so poignant; the whole production conveys the narrative beautifully and makes it feel like you're watching a 60 second piece of cinema.
Second up, it's the campaign, 'Hope is Power' by Uncommon Creative Studio. The Guardian have a lot to compete with when it comes to newspaper advertising; the New York Times/Droga 5 campaign 'The Truth Is Worth It' and The Times/Pulse Creative 'Politics. Tamed.' ads certainly both gave the Guardian a run for its money when they were released earlier this year. What stands out from this ad however is the absence of noise which is present in the two competitor ads. Both liberally use typography and voiceover (respectively), so what's particularly refreshing in this campaign is the comparative silence. The imagery within the picture and lyrics within the echoed vocals is enough to convey the meaning of the brand message. The aspect ratio combined with camera angles and focuses make for a captivating cinematographic 60 second watch. The only thing I would make slight criticism on is the end tagline. I think the first line 'Change is Possible' is acceptable but I think the next part 'Hope is Power' is too weak, both phonetically and in terms of meaning. 'Change is Possible. Knowledge is Power.' is a suggestion I would make to give the final punch to this ad more strength in communicating the overall brand message.
After two rather poignant and thought-provoking ads, I thought I would end on a lighter note with the unlikely friendship struck up over a cuppa between a congenial cat and her canine companion. Made by Spark 44 for Tetley, the traditional 'Tetley Tea Folk' characters have recently been axed in favour of something that might perhaps appeal more to the modern day tea drinker. Although the lovable Tetley Tea Folk characters were, for a long time, the face of the brand, I agree that it was time for a face lift. The result; swap fictional humans for real-life pets and you've got yourself the next Tetley campaign. On first watch I didn't get a strong sense of identity and found myself wondering which brand this was for. The ad itself has a strong likening to Mother's 2011 'ahh' campaign for PG Tips (a humanised animal makes a cup of tea whilst it pours down with rain outside). But if I look past the conventional tea-brand context and examine what this ad does have going for it, I get to the humour. I'm sure after this ad went out there were pet owners up and down the country wondering if their wiry-haired terriers are miserable on walks and just want to get home quickly for a cup of tea. Whilst this is most likely not the case, it's certainly a humorous conversation starter and I'm sure has helped Tetley during the somewhat precarious period of rebranding. Going forward, I would suggest developing these two characters by making them more personable; we know their sense of humour so let's now get to know them- what are their names, hobbies, interests, backgrounds etc. This could help make them more relatable which in turn could grow the persona of the brand Tetley are currently nurturing.