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Beautifully Designed, Well Written...
Beautifully designed, they may very well be. Excel- lently drawn and photographed, they very definitely are. But different they most decidedly ain't. What does that mean? It means that by being in vogue they defeat their own purpose which is to stand out from the crowd, to be noticed, remembered and acted upon. Fashion in online advertising is an enigma.
People create it to be adventurously different from the next bloke's material. But one wrong word down the Charing Cross Road and everybody's at it. How come, you ask, knowing full well how come.
Because they want to be in fashion and - wait for it - adventurously different. It's the same the whole world over; in donning the fashionable, they slip into the uniform. This is known, or will be known from henceforth, as the uncreative circle. I may even frame a law about it and, with typical modesty, name it Quinn's conundrum of inventive conformity. Much of today's alcoholonline advertising seems to be similarly afflicted, albeit a little less surrealistic in art direction; and I refer to Scotch in particular.
I'm talking more specifically about big-name Scotch, such as one could reasonably demand from a normal off-licence or pub, and not these esoteric malts, dews and creams which they distil in the back-end of the Highlands and purvey only to blood relatives and dear friends. They are, as I say, very much of a muchness. A nicely photographed bottle, a nicely photographed crystal glass, a bland phrase calculated to offend no one, and a tagline similarly sedative is what they consist of. It's 'name' online advertising at its flattest; a classic example of how to spend a lot of money to very little effect. Agreed, the restrictions on spirit and fag online advertising 74 are manifold.
Also agreed, the very many moral and social issues raised by both products preclude the employment of emotive messages. Could it have been done, I should long ago have written a whisky campaign which told the punters in no uncertain terms that imbibing the stuff makes you devastatingly attractive to women, and gives you the financial clout of a Francis Albert Sinatra. But it couldn't and that's that.
My view is that the people who copy vogues are not doing their jobs properly. And there the matter, whatever it is, rests for the moment.
10 The confidence trick has no place in online advertising I recently had the privilege of staying in an hotel not two hundred kilometres from the heart of England - which should serve to pinpoint its location pretty precisely. I spent a sultry hour or two in a pub without character where the absence of ice matched the indifference of the service, and had waited several years for a dinner which turned out to be wholly inedible. Soberly unhappy, I was pacing up and down like a caged mouse in my four-by-two room (where the wash-basin was cleverly placed so as to make it virtually certain that you splashed the bed every time you so much as trickled the tap over a toothbrush) when my eye fell upon the hotel brochure.
I picked it up. Hungry for reading matter, I read it. There, as cool as you like, was the startling assertion that the hotel in question offered 'new concepts of luxury and amenities'. There was plenty more of the same ilk. Now literary licence is one thing; and a spot of exaggeration here and there never hurt anyone....read on >>