Effective single-mindedness

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Submit yours at: adsthatsuck@strategymag.com or adsthatrock@strategymag.com. Note: only signed submissions will be published.



The TSAs for squeezable Hellmann’s mayonnaise are really something. For one thing, they’re transit shelters and I actually noticed them.

But, more than that, they’re just the right kind of ‘grab you by the lapels and shake’ advertising necessary to bump the Hellmann’s consumer out of his usual buying slumber and into, I suspect, a higher margin SKU. Hell, it might even switch over the practical-minded Miracle Whip lover. This ad aims to change behaviour, not water mouths and I think it is a terrific example of single-mindedness.

Jeff Spriet, Wiretap, Toronto

Laughing out loud…and wishing for Scrooge

I saw an ad just a few weeks ago that I believe was for Sports Select. A bunch of painted-up large men are seated behind the home players’ bench at a hockey game. In the course of cheering on their team they push their big bellies against the glass, and it collapses and squashes many members of their team. The lone guy in the crowd cheering is the guy who bet on the visiting team.

Very seldom do I laugh out loud at a commercial. Unfortunately that is the only time I’ve seen that commercial. Instead, I have been cursed with that migrane-inspiring Canadian Tire campaign…

…Never, ever did I think I would find myself waiting impatiently for Canadian Tire to kick off its annual ‘Give like Santa, save like Scrooge’ campaign.

But after sitting through countless, annoying, grating ‘Mommy’s Home, Daddy’s Home’ commercials, I’ve found myself praying for good ol’ Scrooge to make a triumphant return and use those ‘putters for everyone’ to lay a beating on Mommy & Daddy.

Canadian Tire’s current campaign is not catchy, which is, I’m sure, what they were going for – it is simply horrible. But that is not the worst of it. The frequency of this campaign is out of control. I can’t watch a hockey game without seeing that commercial a dozen times.

It has reached the point where I refuse to do any Christmas shopping at Canadian Tire this year. They have never dazzled me with their ads, but their current campaign has achieved a whole new level of annoyance.

Robert Valpy, creative strategist, Edmonton

Confusing cross-branding

I keep watching the chocolate Ovaltine ad and laugh at it every time.

It starts off showing an ‘Ovaltine Man’ with his cart, and a bunch of kids running towards it after one kid shouts ‘Hey, there’s the Ovaltine Man!’

Later in the commercial one of the kids, who is drinking Ovaltine, asks whether this is Nesquik. Now we all know that kids aren’t so dumb. The kids already know that it is the Ovaltine Man, right? So why talk about another brand as an afterthought?

This is one of those moronic ads that I don’t understand and would like someone to throw some light on it. Maybe they know something I don’t, in which case I’m willing to learn…not withstanding my 10 years in the ad business.

Wonder where the agency’s brain was when they thought of this script. Wake up guys. Your ad sucks!

Raj Rao, advertiser, Toronto