Chocolate advertising

Post length: 793 words, about 3 and a half minutes.

I like to think I’m not one to be taken in by TV adverts. In fact I don’t generally see many adverts on TV — the majority of things I watch are on the BBC, and those things which aren’t I generally don’t sit and watch, they’re just on in the background (Sunday’s omnibus of Come Dine With Me on More4 is the background to my weekly flat cleaning efforts). So I recon there are only two reasons I’d really notice what’s being advertised — an attractive young lady, or something a little bit different.  Both of these have caught my attention of late.

The first is the current Dentyl advert.  There’s a divide in our house on this one — I like it, while Dana doesn’t.  I understand the point that it’s a bit creepy having a man with a piano sitting in your bathroom (although, lets face it, if you had a big enough bathroom for a man playing a piano in your bathroom you’d probably have a big enough house to have a second bathroom you could use!), but I can’t help feel that the young lady in her pyjamas more than makes up for it.  I can also understand why Dana doesn’t appareciate that view.

The second advert (or, to be fair, series of adverts) is the current campaign for Cadbury Creme Egg.  The adverts dipict Creme Eggs finding ways to ‘release the goo’ using household items.  Basically, it’s a string of Creme Egg suicides.  The adverts are pretty amusing, but something just concerns me a little about them.  I can’t put my finger on it — perhaps there actually isn’t anything really, perhaps it’s just I feel I shouldn’t aprove of eggs committing suicide — but something just makes me think it’s not quite right.  That said the ads are very clever, and they have made good use of the internet and made the most of viral marketing tacticks very effectivley.  I gather this year is the second year they have run the same campaign.

This follows the three recent Dairy Milk adverts which have taken the UK by storm.  Now there’s obviously a difference between the two aproaches — the Creme Egg adverts are very short (around 10 seconds each) and there are a number of them along the same lines leading up to an impressive finale, while the Dairy Milk adverts are longer and clearly on a much higher budget — but there are similarities in the way they have harnesed the internet to get much greater coverage than they would have got simply by being on TV.  This made me wonder: the Dairy Milk adverts go under the “A Glass and a Half Full Productions” banner while the Creme Egg adverts don’t, but were they in fact from the same creative agencies?

Finding out about the Creme Egg adverts was reasonably easy.  It seems there was quite a bit of fuss made about it in the advertising press when it came out — the move away from ‘how do you eat yours’ being seen as a pretty significant change.  The agency behind these adverts is Publicis.  Finding out about the Dairy Milk adverts was harder.  The idea is that they have their own in-house production company making the adverts but in reality I thought this was unlikely.  And it turns out I was right, the creatives behind the Dairy Milk adverts is an agency called Fallon.

While I was researching this I found this Guardian blog post which asks a good question — do these adverts really make people go out and buy more chocolate?  It could be argued that the Dairy Milk adverts don’t aim to promote the product but to raise awareness of the brand and on that front I think they probably work but, when you’re talking about such a well known confectionary, will that tactick really gain them much?  I’m pretty sure if you were to ask people in the street to name a chocolate brand about 90% would name Cadbury’s Dairy Milk.  This is in comparison to Creme Egg, a product which is only produced between January and easter, and which I’m sure benifits enormously from simply being brought back to the mass conciousness.

Either way, Cadbury seem to have played a blinder with these adverts.  They made me sit up and watch an advert, and I’m certainly not the only person who has noticed them and decided to write about them.  While £3.7m might seem a lot to pay for a couple of kids wiggling their eyebrows for a minute, I’m sure if someone were to add up the value of all the blog inches generated from that minute of TV, it really would come out as great value for money.

Posted on Monday 16th March, 2009 at 3:47 am in Obiter dicta.
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