So, tough sell…trying to make a language course into a sexy, interesting or otherwise note-worthy advert.
Hu-zzah! Learn On The Go language courses.
Body copy reads:
“They Used to Sacrifice People Here – If they start old habits, wouldn’t you like to talk them out of it?”
If this isn’t exactly racist, then at the very least it’s xenophobic. I’m not sure about the origins of this ad but I certainly wouldn’t be surprised if it were British. It smacks of their imperialistic disdain for the natives. Tut, Tut.
The alarms sounds (a scantily clad native bellows on his conch shell (Ahh-OOO-gah!)) beckoning to him and out from his hut stumbles… DOC AD!
Some say he is completely impervious to blinking during flash photography. Other’s believe his fear of the barbaric comes from an over-zealous, shabbily-bearded Santa during a trip to Macy’s when he was a mere lad. Either way, he’s all the doctor you need. Not Dr. Suess and surely not Doctor Johny Fever (The Doc of Rock). Not Dr. J. Not Doctor Zivago. Not Dr. Pepper. Not Dr. Nick (Hi everybody!) And not even Dr. Z of DaimlerChrysler. I’m talking about the one, the only…DOCTOR ADVERTISING!
When I look at this ad, I just have to think campaign. Most creatives develop three to five executions (good pun, right?) so that the ads can be rotated throughout the media schedule. The Absolute vodka print had about 325,000 executions, but that idea had legs. This one…small legs. Tiny legs. Legs like a dachshund. Or maybe a small spider, with less legs. Anyway, by itself, the ad is semi-funny in that racist/insensitive/ethnocentric way that Americans (and mostly the British) enjoy. But, you take this idea and a few more just like it, mount them oversized on a large black board, and et viola…now you have something much bigger. Much bigger. A freakin’ campaign. Maybe even an award-winning campaign (I’ve seen worse).
You see, a mediocre idea will get called-out and shot-down faster than first-class airfares on a travel estimate. But then you add a few more mediocre ideas to it and it starts to seem like it must be good. The cumalative effect is “there is a solid idea here and we’d be fools not to buy it.”
I wonder if the creative team even researched to see if the concept is historically accurate? Not bloody likely. And could that headline get any longer or be more of a tongue twister? That is a lot of words. Absolute only needed two, and one of them was the brand name.
And what’s up with the glowing iPod in the corner. Is that a divine iPod? Is it radioactive? Or is that simply a modern interpretation on the classic starburst? I go with the latter. (Or is it latt-ist ?).
Overall, this ad isn’t going to die – t’s not terminally bad. It’s just overweight, get’s no excercise, and doesn’t really eat very well. Get some rice cakes and running shoes and we’ll see you at your next check-up.
Now, Doc Ad’s gotta find the nude beach around here. And some sort of drink with an umbrella in it.
See you suckers next week.