03 Feb

Two Covid Beauties

You cannot make it through a single day without a mention of Covid at some point – it’ll be on the TV, in the papers, on the radio, on any news site you land on.
Unless you switch off from all forms of media, it’s unavoidable.

In terms of ads, they’ve largely been dire. How many brands have used video call screens? How boring and predictable is that?

But…two ads caught my eye. They do the job, the tone is just right for what they’re trying to say, and they don’t use video call screens.

This one is from the NHS:

Screenshot 2021-01-28 at 11.27.42

It’s harrowing. It’s unsettling. But it works.
It’s disruptive.
You find yourself looking into the patient’s eyes, and you find yourself saddled with guilt: have you been round to see a mate? Have you been to the shops unnecessarily?
If this was for a brand, it would be considered mercenary – guilt-tripping people into doing what you want – but for the NHS the forceful tone is just right.

Then there’s this, now infamous, ad for Ryanair, which has just been banned after over 2,000 complaints:

Screenshot 2021-02-03 at 13.30.07

It’s obscene. It’s outrageous. But do we expect anything less from Ryanair – it’s completely in line with their ‘don’t give a f***’ tone of voice, which stems from the man in charge, Michael O’Leary.

In terms of a call to action, it couldn’t be more blatant: we want your money – get the vaccine. This one definitely is as mercenary as they come.
But I like it. It works for me. It’s ballsy. It’s shameless. It gets to the point.

So, in a time when anything Covid starts to become like wallpaper, two ads that at least do something to disrupt your thinking.

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