Thursday, 11 July 2013

Summertime Sadness

The creativity bar has been raised somewhere to the heavens for UK retailers in the last few years, so no doubt Leo Burnett relished the challenge to develop a Summer Food ad for the Co-Op.

Unfortunately, it seems that the "search and re-apply" tactics applied have turned this particular summer spot into a real turkey.

You can imagine the client brief:

'Let's borrow some of the success factors of the John Lewis campaign - you know, they always build an emotional connection with music, and their Christmas ads are always fab!'

So the creatives scuttle away and pull an old idea out of the drawer - and cut to fit for the Co-Op. It's clever and ironic and the trick is that your ears think it's Christmas, but your eyes tell you it's summer! (And your clever, clever brain picks up little Christmas rituals-restaged-in-summer...)

Sorry, but this is not the way to engage the emotions. In psychobabble it's cognitive dissonance, and it makes people annoyed.

If you don't like psychobabble, you can go for common sense and experience, as the many customers and Co-op staff who complained about the ad did. When do you not want to be reminded of Christmas? In summer, and especially not by a supermarket. Is there anything more depressing than seeing Christmas puddings and mince pies in the shops before the schools have even gone back?

To quote from one of the staff:

'Get rid of the bloody christmas song its driving us demented and sick of customers moaning about it.'

Happy holidays!

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