26 Oct

When ‘me too’ doesn’t quite work

A couple of weeks ago, Lidl put a great long copy, press ad out there, hammering Morrisons:


It worked, it got people talking, and it showed off that rare beauty – the well-written, long copy ad.

Long copy press ads are a dying breed. Firstly, no-one wants to read them any more: they get in the way of what consumers actually want to read (the editorial content), and who’s got that kind of time to dedicate to an ad.
Secondly (and in some ways, because of the first reason), the art of writing a good long copy ad seems to have all but disappeared: what’s the point in honing a skill that will rarely be used in modern day advertising?

However, all of the above means that when – once in a blue moon – a good, long copy ad is produced, it gets noticed.

It was the same with the Dixons long copy ads, a few years back:


It was also the same, when that wonderful long copy ad came out, for Cadbury’s Wispa:

The problem is, however, that sometimes one brand sees the success of another brand, in using a particular media channel or style, and thinks that they should employ the same tactics…

I came across this, below, on the front cover of the Metro newspaper:
MetroCurrys1 copy

My first thought was; ‘this is an ad for Smeg’
My second thought was; ‘it is a toaster’
My third thought was; ‘is this a continuation of the “this is not just a…” M & S campaign?’

When I turned to the back page (it was a wraparound ad), I saw that it was actually an ad for Currys:
MetroCurrys3 copy

However, there’s an even bigger problem with this attempted follow-on from Lidl’s long copy success… it’s bloody awful.
Where Lidl’s effort worked, this doesn’t. Here it is (click on it for a better view):

MetroCurrys2 copy

Where Lidl’s attempt was effortless, this reads as someone desperately trying to write a good long copy ad. It’s contrived.
The whole thing is written in that simple, conversational style that usually makes for a decent press ad, but it’s too simple: it sounds infantile.

The word ‘technology’ has been keyword stuffed (eight times) into the ad, even though it’s a press ad rather than online content.  Highly irritating.
Also, the word ‘amazing’ has been shoehorned into the copy a few times, making it sound like a 14 year old, or an extra on TOWIE.

…and this bit is just cringeworthy: ‘… we don’t start with technology. We start with you. Who you are.’
*vomits in own mouth*

Actually, I think the final few lines top the ‘We start with you’ line:
‘Because when we get that right, you get exactly the right product,
at exactly the right price. And that, that really is amazing.’

No, it’s not amazing – they’ve still only bought a toaster, nothing more.

I am being quite harsh (maybe because it’s a Sunday evening and I’m feeling grumpy), but after being wowed by the Lidl long copy ad, this offering from Currys really is a bit of a let-down.

I just hope there isn’t a spate of long copy ads that try to compete with Lidl’s effort. Let one good example shine for a bit, then try to match it at a later date.

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