Because of what I do, and because of my original training, I look at ads in both a contrived manner and as just Joe Public.
So, I try to look at them as the person who created them, and think; ‘what were they / the agency thinking?’
I also look at them as someone simply browsing a newspaper or standing on a train platform; ‘do I get that? Does it make sense’.
This ad, from Vitality, makes zero sense to me:
Vitality provide health insurance. I kind of get why Jessica Ennis would be in their ads (health, fitness, athlete… makes sense), but why is a Dachshund also in them?
I love Dachshunds, but what have they got to do with health insurance? Why is a dog talking to Jessica Ennis? Do Vitality offer pet insurance as well?
As my colleague put it: ‘I’m confused. It certainly wouldn’t make me get my health insurance from them’
It’s baffling … and there’s a whole series of different posters in this campaign (both on transport networks and in national press). Vitality must’ve spent a fortune on this.
In fairness, the Dachshund does appear in the Vitality TV ads, from which the press/poster campaign springs, but its inclusion still doesn’t make any sense… and if you haven’t seen the TV ads before you come across the other ads, then the whole thing is just bizarre.
The main point is: no matter how cute, funny, ‘whacky’ (how I hate that word) your idea might be, have a think how the general public will view your marketing. Will they get it? Will it make sense to them as they quickly flick through a newspaper? Or will it leave them feeling confused, or – worse still – mean that they completely ignore your campaign?