Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Advertising task- More thoughts

Since my last post, I have been considering some of the constructive criticisms of our ideas following our group presentation, and thinking of various ways that they could be overcome. By this point, as stated in said previous post, we are all pretty settled on moving forward with the Bruce Lee Volvic advert campaign. Nevertheless, whilst these other ideas may not become reality for our project, I feel it would be useful to share some of my thoughts, that the various other ideas we had were still viable options for our task and did have potential that could still have been explored.

With regards to our penguins and Lipton ice tea idea, people seemed to really like the idea of the penguins acting as mascots for the brand. In particular, the fact that there were a range of different brightly coloured penguins added to their charm, represented different flavours of the drink, (such as lemon ice tea), and also created a cast of characters that could be attributed with different personality traits, making them suitable for recurring roles in adverts, an online web series of short cartoons, or uses in other mediums such as internet Flash games.

The criticism however was with our aim to make the Lipton brand appeal to a wider target audience, by creating a family-friendly advert campaign. Questions arose as to whether it was appropriate to promote tea (a product with caffeine) in a manner that might prove popular and desirable amongst young children. 

I agree that it would be inappropriate to focus on children as a target audience, though have to say that this was not our aim. I cannot deny that the penguins themselves would appeal to children, but I would question whether the effect of such a campaign would be that children would actually go out and buy the product themselves. It is reasonably foreseeable that, in such an event, a child may ask their parents for the product, and (being responsible) should they feel it is not an appropriate product for their child, they would not get it for them. As a similar situation, I would use the example of the hugely popular 'Compare the Market' meerkats. I seriously doubt that the advertising campaign in question has inspired hundreds of children to attempt to purchase online car insurance.

Nowadays, animation is perhaps most thriving in the advertising industry, as every brand seeking success is looking to create their own soon-to-be-infamous mascot character that consumers will instantly recognise and associate with their brand. The public opinion of animation has changed dramatically in the past decade, and I believe that the view that cartoons are purely for children is something that is fast disappearing. There is a growing acceptance that cartoon characters are for all ages, sometimes geared intentionally toward an adult market. In my opinion, having a cartoon character to promote a brand no longer necessarily signifies a young target market.

For our second idea, focusing on the Lucozade brand, there were some issues relating to the visual metaphor of the car, which we intended to use to show how the product can keep you energised. Some people wondered whether the message from the advert would have translated well to people. 

I thought for some time about how our car idea and keeping the advert focused on people could be reconciled, and ultimately came up with a potential solution. Inspired by the well-known cartoon 'Wacky Races', I imagine that we could keep the same theme as before, yet make it clear that it is the people themselves who are driving the car, and feeling the effects of the product. Without anthropomorphic cars, the emotional change would be expressed by the human characters. For example, an exhausted racer almost out of petrol stops to refuel, fills his car with Lucozade, then speeds away reinvigorated. The message/tagline would be that Lucozade energy keeps you going for longer. As a typical ending, the Lucozade-powered race car could then win the race. This idea could coincide well with a Flash game, for example a car that slows down over time, getting a 'fuel' boost every time the player collects a Lucozade bottle. The aim would be to steer the car past obstacles, collecting as many bottles as possible, to see who can keep the car moving the longest.

Lastly, with regards to our Bruce Lee Volvic idea, the only real criticism was that we should perhaps show Bruce drinking the water, which gives him the power to defeat his enemies, as opposed to him using the water itself to fight. To this comment, I have no real suggestions at this point in time. I would only say that we intended to have Bruce Lee physically using the water as a weapon as a strong visual metaphor for how the water helps you overcome obstacles and reach extreme performance. To deviate from this idea would we feel lose some of this meaning, in addition to forcing us to remove/reconsider our water bottle nun-chucks joke (empty bottles wouldn't do very much against a wave of ninjas!). 

For now, we shall continue to discuss our idea and decide exactly how the storyline should play out. Of course, we will take comments that we receive into consideration, and determine what the most appropriate course of action is. 

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