This doesn’t work

First, watch this –

That’s right, it’s an advert FOR CHIPS.

Such a great ad, wasted on completely the wrong brand/product.

John Lewis?

Definitely not.

That is all.

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Author: James Whatley

Chief Strategy Officer in adland. I got ❤️ for writing, gaming, and figuring stuff out. I'm @whatleydude pretty much everywhere that matters. Nice to meet you x

17 thoughts on “This doesn’t work”

  1. I thought this last week when I first saw it. Was all engaged (there’s that word again) only to feel let down at the end of it (didn’t even notice the carefully placed chips littered throughout the ad).

    Great ad. Wrong product.

    Daddy or Chips. Now that worked.

  2. I disagree, I mean what was the brief.

    “position McCains as a premium brand, lifting it over supermarket own products,
    and reinforce the brand as an essential part of family life”

    or some such.

    the family wamrth / nostalgia / food angle has been done many times before and will be again.

    I’m nether for or against it. it just is.

    whatleydude Reply:

    Fair comment about the brief. The pay off still jars…

    mac morrison Reply:

    I think the key thing is its a branding ad, not a product ad, expect more tactical stuff probably in press/online relating to products to accompany this.

    Also at 1min long it will only air a few times but kick off something longer term.

    whatleydude Reply:

    You’re exactly right there chap.. and I agree with you. When the pay-off shows the hanging of the ‘McCain’ photo/painting at the end, that was the first thing I thought of.

    But you still look around it and you still see wedges, oven chips, crinkle cuts…

    It just doesn’t work!

  3. Completely agree. The product and the creative are at complete odds with each other, with chips fighting for breathing space. Odd is the only way I can describe it. Also, I’d been interested to see how or if it has been rolled out across other media.

    whatleydude Reply:

    *wishes he had a ‘like’ button for his comments… 🙂

  4. Totally have to agree, I saw the advert and was expecting a clothing supermarket even camera brand at the end.

    Not chips.

    whatleydude Reply:

    Yes! That’s the first thing I thought of; a camera brand!

  5. Would you not say by producing an advert so irrelevent to the brand it actually causes discussion? Because I’m pretty sure you wouldnt have posted this if it were an advert with a talking chip or something more appropriate? 🙂

    whatleydude Reply:

    I would rather be super relevant and cause discussion for the RIGHT reasons than make the whole brand a mockery because they’ve completely misjudged the market…

    Vicki Reply:

    Ok, then let me ask you this. Did you talk about ‘go compare’ before the opera dude appeared? If you can tell me what relevance he has to ‘go compare’ then I would be very interested to hear it 🙂

  6. Ads like this are often designed & storyboarded BEFORE a client is found. In some cases, they’re filmed and the product’s logo is simply placed at the end.

    An agency will spend a lot of money pitching – why throw away that hard work?

    In this case, the agency almost certainly lost a pitch for – as others say – a camera brand, John Lewis, etc. So when McCain roll up, the agency pull this out of the drawer.

    Yes, it’s stupid. But it’s not homoeopaths killing cancer patients. Just a chip company with delusions of grandeur.

    Mind you, I haven’t watched an advert on TV since I got a TiVo nearly 10 years ago. Perhaps they’re all like that now.

    whatleydude Reply:

    I’m hoping you’re wrong; knowing how hard some agencies *do* work on creating engaging and thought-provoking creative… but there’s a part of me that thinks you might be right…


  7. This is a really interesting area of debate – the fact is, brands such as McCain who sell relatively ‘unhealthy’ products need to be very careful in terms of their messaging and creative… more now than ever before. As regulation gets tougher in terms of marketing to children and promoting HFSS, they can’t just say ‘chips are brilliant, waheeey!’ and be done with it, at the risk of having to pull their advertising completely.

    McDonalds, for example, can no longer advertise burgers on TV during kids programmes, but they still do the fresh fruit stuff (because that promotes a healthy diet). So they’re not marketing fatty burgers but it’s still promoting the brand. So McCain’s are actually being smart here, and that’s probably why they’ve gone for the family/emotive angle.

    I think we’ll see an increasing amount of this more abstract marketing from similar brands in the future, just as alcohol brands have had to do more of over the past few years. (Skittles on Facebook is another good example, talking less about the product and more about the ‘ethos’ behind it.) And for what it’s worth… I thought the ad was alright. I’ve definitely seen a lot worse!

    whatleydude Reply:

    Great comment Amy and thanks for dropping by 🙂

    The shift towards more brand-centric advertising is one that has been happening over the past couple of years (for some reason Persil springs to mind) and I don’t see it changing much either. Especially – thanks largely in part to the world wide web – as consumers become more and more in tune with the companies and brands *behind* the products.

    While I totally appreciate and understand the need to bring the brand to life in this way, I still think that when it comes to the products it produces, McCain falls just a little too short of authentic for my liking.

    The advertising restrictions are one thing yes, but trying to convince the country that chips mean family in this way is just plain wrong. The idea is great, the thought behind it admirable but the execution? Wrong.

    I really mean it when I say thanks for stopping by, it’s great to get this kind of feedback – hopefully I’ll see you back here again sometime.


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