Three of my favourite ads- It pays to wander off the beaten track

great advertising

Three of my favourite ads are the kind of ads that would have done really well in the days when traditional advertising was the only option. This is not to say that I resent digital or that I’m unaware of the overwhelming advances it has allowed advertising to make, it’s just that these ads are simple.

They are not fully integrated campaigns that have enveloped the world nor have I ever really heard anyone talk about them, they’re just really nice ideas which I think are communicated perfectly.

1. Axe- Susan Glenn

This ad jumped out at me because it is so unlike any of the rest of Axe’s adverts. Axe, or Lynx as it is known in the UK, Ireland, New- Zealand and Australia are known for their racy and borderline sexist ads in which the man, despite anything to do with his looks, personality or achievements is successful with the ladies purely because he smells like a man:

Sexist ads

I’m not sure if the makers of this ambient advertising understand the limitations of the female body, i’m not sure if they want to.

sexist lynx ads

It is of course not this straightforward

sexist ads

You get the idea

So Lynx/ Axe ads are quite sexist and usually side with the needs of the man, there is never just one girl in the ad but hoards. This is what makes the Susan Glenn ad so different :

The ad still sells the original idea of a scent leading to confidence which leads to sex but in a very different way. Here there is one girl who is given the kind of depth that I never thought possible from Axe/ Lynx advertising.

The copy at the end tells the viewer to ‘Fear no Susan Glenn’, they are still appealing to the kind of man who wants to succeed with women but they are appealing to the human, vulnerable and sexually unsuccessful side so rarely seen in ads which usually portray the user of the product in an almost violently confident way to demonstrate the advantages of using their product/ service. Susan Glenn is a brave venture from the usual tone of their advertising.

2. Thinkbox- Harvey and Rabbit

This ad is also a little different as it’s an ad about ads. It’s aimed, I assume at businesses who may feel that advertising is something that they can do without in order to cut costs during a recession or just those who think that advertising’s not really that important. This ad demonstrates the power of a good ad on two levels; both within the dog-rabbit story and through the power and persuasiveness of the ad itself  :

3. Southern Comfort- Whatever’s  comfortable

Again, much like the Lynx ads, alcohol advertisements usually rely upon sexy imagery to sell their products:

sex sells

Sex sells, this girl doesn’t even need to have a face. It might just be a man with shaved legs.

Southern Comfort in their least sexy ad yet have reached out to and embraced the everyday Southern Comfort drinker by sending the message that you don’t need to be a beauty to drink their drink or more importantly you shouldn’t even try to be one. Just be yourself and do ‘Whatever’s comfortable’. The ad is simple, unique and refreshingly normal :

What I learned from these ads is to keep it simple and that it pays to wander from the kind of communication that’s usually expected of your brand.


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