What should an advert do?

To me, it should inform the viewer about the product and inspire or encourage them to go out and buy it.  So many ads these days do neither, yet companies are obviously willing to spend thousands of pounds on their advertising budget on these nonsense ads and I don’t understand how they can justify it.

Ads on TV at the moment are broken down into 3 categories - for me at least.  First there are those which do inform me about the product, but are simply wrong for some other reason - mainly because they are plainly just ridiculous.

The ads for Sainsbury’s insurance services fit this perfectly - yes they tell you about the services Sainsburys can offer, but it’s misleading to imply that changing your car insurance to them will transform your car!  Your car is an inanimate object, it doesn’t care who insures it - or even if it’s not insured at all!  “Is your car dozing away…” - NO!!  I hate this ad…

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Having said that, if I found out that Sainsburys insurance offered good cover and at a cheaper price then I wouldn’t have any qualms about taking them up on the offer.  Unlike the products featured in the second category - those whose adverts would actually put me off buying the product no matter what.

There aren’t many on TV at the moment thankfully, but the series of ads for Phones 4U are definitely up there.  Maybe there are hidden depths to these ads that I just don’t see, but I’ve watched often enough to doubt this is the case.  How are more of these being commissioned?  They started off being pretty weird, and just get weirder with every new one that appears.  It’s a travesty…

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Here’s another quite recent one…

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Finally, we have the ads which I love - they normally have little to do with the product either but are cleverly done.  I like ads that make you think - but not necessarily about the product!  The most obvious recent one is the Cadbury’s gorilla advert.  It must have been quite a brave move to commission this advert, and there are loads of people who just “don’t get it” but I love it!

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I saw another ad on TV last night for the first time, and it’s already my favourite advert of the year I think - if this was filmed in one take then it would have been an awesome achievement!

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Although I’m an iPod user, and this probably wouldn’t make me want to switch to a Sony Walkman, it’s still a superb advert.