21 Mar

Nice ad … but does it make any sense?

Saw this on Twitter this week (courtesy of copywriter Vikki Ross: @VikkiRossWrites):


Even though I saw it a few days back, it’s still grating on me. Why? Well…what on earth does it mean??

To the average person – outside of ad agencies – what does ‘concentrated luxury’ mean? Who do you know that ever speaks in those terms?  e.g ‘We stayed in a lovely 5-star hotel. It was concentrated luxury’
‘Concentrated luxury’ is simply adwank. It’s a contrived term that could only come from the mouth of someone in an agency or – even worse – directly from a client.
The general public (AKA the intended audience) do not talk about ‘concentrated luxury’, have never heard that phrase before, and probably can’t be bothered to decipher quite what it means.

Putting that aside, what’s the visual element of this ad all about? There’s a huge ‘product shot’ of the car (standard) looking all shiny, which is lovely. However, it’s a Japanese car, and – for no apparent reason – there is an enormous, Spanish, Flamenco dancer rising from the back of it. I have no idea what this is supposed to mean.
I have even less idea what this is supposed to mean in relation to ‘concentrated luxury’: are Flamenco dancers synonymous with luxury? Is she supposed to have burst from the car?

The point is – no matter the size of your company, and no matter the media channel carrying your ads/content – your marketing has to make sense. It has to communicate with the audience you’re aiming it at.
It has nothing to do with the ‘clever phrase’ or ‘interesting visual’ you want to get in, because if that phrase or visual doesn’t make sense to your audience they won’t bother to decipher it, they’ll just turn the page/change channel/click on something else… and you’ll have wasted time, and a considerable amount of money, on marketing that gets ignored.
In fact, the best way that this notion has ever been put to me is; ‘it [an ad/campaign] has to make sense to the target audience, first time. You will not be able to go to millions of readers/viewers, one by one, and say “actually, this is what I meant”.
(this applies to content too).

Anyway, as it’s a Friday I’ll round off on a positive note. Here’s a car ad, from a few years back, that does make sense. It communicates with its audience in a way they’d understand.
Skoda had brought out a car full of handy little extras, so they ran this with a wonderful, simple endline to sum it all up…


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