What’s your favourite ad campaign?

There have been some great advertising campaigns lately, and to go hand in hand with our articles focusing on individual campaigns, the CIM SW board shared their thoughts on their favourites ads…

Tesco Food Love Stories - https://www.tesco.com/zones/food-love-stories

There are so many fantastic marketing campaigns from companies big and small that it's difficult to choose just one, but I think Tesco's 'Food Love Stories' campaign stands out as a particularly special - and effective - example from recent years.

The campaign asks people to create a meal and dedicate it to a loved one. In doing so, it positions ordinary people as the face of the supermarket chain, helping to give a more personal impression and create an emotional bond with their customers. The wide range of people involved also creates a real sense of community, which has never been more important than during the pandemic when people have been separated from family, friends, colleagues and neighbours.

I also like how the campaign is so easily transferable across different media. People will recognise it from TV, radio, outdoor, digital screens in stores, and social media - where videos are shared by the supermarket and its customers create user generated content and post to the hashtag #FoodLoveStories.
Adam Jones, Communications Ambassador

On the Beach

There are inevitably a number of campaigns that have grabbed my attention recently. There is still some very innovative stuff happening, but the one that I find the most intriguing is the On the Beach summer 2021 campaign.

There is a brave message and, in many ways, a clear link to the uncertainty the travel industry is experiencing currently.

Taking their June, July and August holidays off sale until further notice, is perhaps an unconventional call, especially given that this is their peak season. However, On the Beach CEO Simon Cooper, is on record as saying: “There’s nothing we want more than to be able to send customers on holiday, but with the current number of unknowns we don’t think that now is the right time for customers to book new holidays departing in the next few months.”

It might look a bit of a topsy turvy approach to the average marketer, but the more I think about it, the more I respect it. It demonstrates a clear strategic stance, at a time when quick wins could easily be the flavour of the moment. A kind of we'll be ready as soon as it's right to be ready stance. I wish them well and shall watch the story unfold in the coming months.
Brian Doidge, Chair


Let’s start with a show of hands!

Who remembers that advert with an older woman at the wheel of a sports car? Or the one with her in that smartphone campaign?

Gin? Whisky?

OK, what about designer kitchens? Designer clothes?


Me neither.

But I bet you’ve seen her advertise life assurance, equity release, retirement homes, pension plans, funeral plans, home food deliveries (ok, we’ve all done that recently!), mobility scooters, walk-in baths, comfortable trousers/shoes….and health charities.

And I bet she either looked ‘spritely’, or ‘miserable’, or ‘vulnerable’.

The chances of her looking like a Senior Executive running a business, say, or out on the town with friends, or going for a run, are practically zero.

This appalling stereotyping which is being perpetuated by global marketing campaigns needs to change.

Because let’s be honest, both men and women in their late 40s and 50s are a very long way from retirement.

Most in the older age bracket are still working and some probably have a great deal more spare cash than many of their younger, potentially more junior counterparts who are saving for housing, childcare etc.

Remember, this is a generation that broke the mould. These are women who smashed the glass ceiling and began en masse to carve out a business/executive career of their own. But this smart, independent mindset now apparently is barely worth a single dime of FMCG marketing spend.

It seems in little more than a decade, people in their 50s and women in particular are no longer of interest to the media, and therefore to many marketers of mainstream products.

The New York Times covered a report into ageism by the AARP earlier this year (April 24, 2021). Its editorial summed up the situation very well:

“Older consumers, who hold trillions of dollars in spending power and make up a growing portion of the global population, would seem to be a prime target for advertisers.

“Instead, the demographic is shunned and caricatured in marketing images, perpetuating unrealistic stereotypes and contributing to age discrimination.”

So, my nominated memorable campaign was a multi-media one (of course), but one where societal norms around age are challenged.

In 2019, L’Oreal attempted to break the ‘invisible grey cloak’ (my words, not theirs) that seems to cover older women, clouding societal views as much as their hair.

It partnered with British Vogue to run The Non-Issue, yes to promote its Age Perfect range, but also to highlight the issue. The issue featured international celebrities who have certainly smashed through stereotypes in the past: Jane Fonda, Dame Helen Mirren and Isabella Adjani. 

According to Campaign magazine, the aim for L’Oreal was “to do something "transformational" to really change minds and reframe ageing from a negative to a positive.”

It came with a QR code to take readers to more online content via Messenger. Facebook used “target recognition” to “create an interactive front cover on mobile” along with interviews of the celebrities featured.

L’Oreal wanted this to go global, so McCann Worldwide created Facebook and Insta ads.

According to Campaign, the magazine was the highest selling issue of Vogue that year. Metrics included:
• Jane Fonda’s first social-media post to promote the issue received nearly 100,000 likes.
• It reached 13 million people on Instagram.
• Offline, the campaign reportedly reached nearly four million people.

To sum up, I can’t improve on the quote from Charlotte Franceries, EVP, beauty, McCann Paris:
"Ageism remains an often-overlooked form of discrimination; unconsciously accepted by so many in everyday life. This is why we felt the world’s leading beauty brand, L’Oréal Paris, and iconic British Vogue were the perfect platforms to help turn age into a non-issue. It’s time we all awoke from the inertia of everyday ageism."
Gerry Vincent, Events Ambassador

Fisher Price Skates

For me, a great advertising campaign is a simple one and this advert for Fisher Price skates back in the 80s is absolutely spot on. Combining light humour and a serious safety aspect, this image makes you think without even having to show the product.

Could we imagine an advertising campaign now that is so clever it doesn’t show the actual product?

The 1986 advert shows the other children who were not wearing Fisher Price skates has slipped over and the boy wearing them remains stable on his skates.

Not only does this ensure the safety aspect to parents but also gives confidence to the kids who’ll be wearing them.

A very simple, yet incredibly effective ad campaign.
Claire Bryant, Vice Chair