Magazine article Marketing

Adwatch

Magazine article Marketing

Adwatch

Article excerpt

Marketing's unique weekly analysis of advertisement recall in association with TNS

RED CROSS

'Crisis' ad is a compelling and potentially effective way of repositioning the charity

It's well accepted now that marketing in Britain's big charities is world-leading and every bit as prestigious as marketing in a big retailer or FMCG company. Gone are the days of charity ads being seen primarily as a vehicle for agencies to win creative awards.

A piece of work from the Red Cross must therefore be subject to the same hard-nosed rigour we would apply to ads from Tesco or Procter & Gamble.

Here, the charity's cause is personified as a young woman talking about the various kinds of damage she will cause, be that an accident or medical mishap. It's compelling and chilling, and a potentially effective way of moving the Red Cross off the foreign section of the TV news and into your back garden.

It is a great piece of film, beautifully shot, and a tour de force of writing. Nonetheless, it leaves me with two nagging questions.

First, after the woman's litany of threats, her punchline is: 'I am a crisis.' This troubles me. I'm not sure that's the quickest association with the Red Cross. It's too abstract, and fails to give the ad the urgency it needs. It also feels like the ad is trying to do two things at once (move its association from medical help to 'crisis' support and get people to see its does as much in the UK as abroad), and that always runs the risk of neither succeeding.

Second, I'm not sure what I'm meant to do after seeing this. The endframe (on screen for a full three seconds) has a tastefully art-directed phone number and website in a font size normally reserved for terms and conditions (and the mystifyingly intricate URL redcross.org.uk/local, as though none of the marketing team knows how Google works). So I assume it does not have any response targets associated with it.

I just hope the Red Cross has a strong direct-response campaign running in other media to make its investment worthwhile, as brand equity isn't much use when someone's choking on a sausage.

BRAND STRATEGY VERDICT

A stunning, compelling film that is raking in the YouTube views - but I have doubts about its effectiveness.

7 OUT OF 10

Q: Which of the following TV commercials do you remember seeing
recently?
    24.10   Brand                   Agency/TV Buyer                    %
1=    (-)   Argos                   CHI&Partners/Mindshare            42
1=    (-)   eBay                    Tribal DDB Dusseldorf/Carat       42
3     (-)   Littlewoods             St Luke's/Carat                   38
4     (7)   Plusnet                 Karmarama/Maxus                   37
5     (-)   SCS Furniture           Martin Tait Redheads/
                                    Martin Tait Redheads              36
6     (-)   Red Cross               Leagas Delaney/ZenithOptimedia    31
7     (-)   Diet Coke               Wolkoff & Arnodin/Vizeum          29
8     (-)   WH Smith                DLKW Lowe/Carat                   28
9=    (-)   Currys/PC World         M&C Saatchi/Walker Media          27
9=    (-)   L'Oreal
            Excellence Creme        McCann Erickson/ZenithOptimedia   27
Adwatch research was conducted from 18-22 October 2012 by TNS as part of
its twice-weekly OnLineBus omnibus among 1000 adults aged 16-64. … 
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