Published on March 30th, 2011 | by Éilish Burke9
Ad Nauseam – Never a copycat be
The thing about great work in any sphere is that it inevitably inspires a slew of poor imitators. Having not so long ago praised Jacob’s for good advertising work for their Christmas campaign I’m sorry to say they haven’t kept the standards up with their most recent one. Take a look yourself, though be warned; you may have to watch it from behind a cushion:
I can imagine what the client / agency meetings were like in the run up to this ads creation. I’m sure they were peppered with phrases like ‘a viral sensation’, ‘modernising the brand’, ‘advertising made for social media’, ‘creating a music video, not just an advertisement’ and the like. In short, Jacob’s are trying to pull off what Cadbury’s did with Glass & a Half Productions; create branded content that is enjoyed outside of its role as an advertisement. I’ll bet a few of the marketing execs even thought they could have had a chart hit on their hands – I mean it doesn’t take that much to get to number 1 these days, right? But far from knocking Adele off the top spot, the ad has failed to resonate with the public. 3,419 views on YouTube; I’d probably get more if I uploaded a video of me clipping my toenails.
The ad is so wide of the mark as to be in another country. In fact they have lost the essence of Jacob’s as an Irish brand here, as well as butchering a jingle which is beloved by most of the population. The song itself is so high in the awfulness stakes it would give Rebecca Black a run for her money and the whole concept of Mad Hatters Tea Party meets Charlie and the Chocolate Factory well just….. snore. I mean it’s not like that hasn’t been done a million times before. I felt like I was watching the crap bits off the cutting room floor from Gwen Stefani’s What You Waiting For video. And that’s a compliment. As for the whole idea of each girl characters (try not to hurl, they’re called Kim, Mika and Coco) representing the various Jacob’s mallow biscuit brands, well if they weren’t licking their lips suggestively and doing strip-joint bum-drops I might have a small amount of time for them. But then I’d have to listen to what they were singing; lines like “Hit the spot / I’m a naughty girl / And it’s making me hot”. And continuing the bizzarely hypersexualised theme, the name of the ad is ‘Come Play With Us’, their Facebook page urges us to like them and ‘watch us shake our thing’. Wow, and I thought they were just trying to sell biscuits.
Not that you could forget about the biscuits though; they are in every single frame. What might have been conceptualised as ‘seemless product integration’ turns out as ludicrous Kimberley shaped hats. Yes people are open to sharing ads with their friends, but only if there is a subtlety to the commercial message therein. And if there’s one thing you can’t accuse this ad of it’s subtlety.
At less than 150 fans on their Facebook page after two weeks we can fairly say Jacob’s don’t have the social media success story on their hands that they had planned for. I bet they’re surprised. They shouldn’t be. ‘Come Play With Us’ is a lot of things but Cadbury’s Gorilla 2.0 it aint.