‘Advertisers Watching Ads’

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The Gogglebox Of Advertising

TAKUMI Group CEO Mary Keane-Dawson took part in the launch of a new video series, ‘Advertisers Watching Ads’, inspired by the renowned TV programme — ‘Gogglebox’. In this special edition blog post, Tom Ollerton Founder of Automated Creative guest contributes and recaps on the key takeaways and highlights from this new and exciting weekly series!

What do advertisers think of KFC, Cadbury and TikTok’s latest TV ads?

Automated Creative has launched ‘Advertisers Watching Ads’, a weekly show where advertisers watch other advertiser’s ads and discuss what they love and hate about them.

The first episode, hosted by Automated Creative’s Tom Ollerton, features Lastminute.com’s Helen Saul, GSK’s Jerry Daykin and Takumi’s Mary-Keane Dawson, discussing ads from KFC, Cadbury and TikTok. The episode is brought to you by The Conscious Advertising Network.

Low budget doesn’t mean poor creative.

We kicked off the show with KFC’s coronavirus spot, ‘KFC is back!’. It features a cute but not-quite-good-enough homemade attempt at recreating a KFC meal, and closes with the lines “We missed you too. But we’ll take it from here”.

Helen chose this ad as she felt that in the midst of all the heavy, solemn content that brands have been producing over the last few months, it was refreshing to see a brand take it the other way: “it’s nice to have something a bit more lighthearted and less serious”.

Jerry agreed, and pointed out that KFC had just launched a campaign before Covid-19 kicked off that was all about literally licking your fingers, which they then had to pull for obvious reasons: “they found a way to respond when best laid plans get completely bulldozed”.

Our panel highlighted the fact that the ad had been made on a low budget as another win; as Mary commented, it’s a “really great display of how UGC works on social”. She also gave them points for Celine Dion’s All By Myself music as the soundtrack of the moment.

From a creative perspective, it’s a clever ad that shows that marketers don’t always have to spend a ton of money to make great things.

Ads need to be distinctive — now more than ever.

Next up was Jerry’s choice: Cadbury’s much praised recent ad, titled ‘This doesn’t need to end’.

In contrast to KFC, this is a slick ad that could have been shot at any time, so the high-quality production in lockdown is particularly impressive. It taps into the sense of local support and community that many people have felt more than ever over the last few weeks, pulling on the emotions that many of us are feeling during lockdown.

While the Cadbury branding is very subtle (verging on too subtle) Jerry points out that it’s where Cadbury’s has positioned itself for the last few years, and while its ‘normal’ content perhaps wouldn’t fit now, this “hits the right tone”. Jerry and Mary both share one big criticism though — the ad is too long.

Helen believes the subtle branding may be due to Cadbury’s not wishing to look as though they’re captivating on some of the emotional themes. She also has a few criticisms though, primarily that the plodding piano soundtrack seems ubiquitous in the tear-jerker ads of today: “there’s a lot of this content out there at the moment for coronavirus”, and while this one might be relatable, it’s also more easily lost in the crowd.

TikTok is the platform for the cultural moment.

On to our final ad, chosen by Mary — TikTok’s ‘A Little Brighter Inside’. Its first-ever UK TV ad, the spot features celebrities and influencers to give an insight into people’s activities during lockdown. “It’s a brand ad” Helen points out — there’s no clear call to action.

TikTok is getting out into the big wide world of TV advertising and announcing itself to the world (or the UK at least). Our panellists discuss the fact that it’s interesting from a media perspective; Jerry points out that it’s interesting for a social platform to have to turn to TV, while Mary believes that TikTok is telling advertisers that it’s even bigger than TV.

The ad really leans into TikTok’s strengths — it’s content — and it’s an interesting mix of established celebs and influencers — as Mary says, “people can behave quite ridiculously on TikTok, even more ridiculously than on TV”.

The chat around the ad leads into an assessment of TikTok’s position in the market, and I pointed out how Twitter must be kicking itself for closing down Vine, and the fact that Facebook failed to buy Snapchat, closing the door to that younger demographic. It wasn’t just good fortune or others’ mistakes though, Mary points out that “the musicality of TikTok can never be underestimated” and that much of its phenomenal engagement comes from music.

Jerry adds that “the barrier to taking part and doing anything good on Vine was too high”, along with the fact that it’s super easy to share TikToks anywhere online. While there are no doubt people who do spend hours creating content, the ad reflects the fact that you don’t have to.

And the winner? A unanimous vote for KFC.

This episode of Advertisers Watching Ads is brought to you by The Conscious Advertising Network who are a voluntary coalition of over 70 organisations set up to ensure that industry ethics catches up with the technology of modern advertising. CAN recognise that how we act in marketing and where we spend our money can have a big impact on society, and they’re here to help you make it a good one — visit them at consciousadnetwork.com

Thank you, Tom, for contributing to the TAKUMI blog! If you are interested in guest contributing, drop us an email us at hello@takumi.com