Wednesday, March 16, 2005

:: adgruntie :: Marmite Blob Restricted & Strategy Stealing

+ Media Guardian reports that the Marmite "Love it or Hate it" Blob spot was pulled from kids' TV. The ad, created by DDB London, spoofs "the classic 1950s sci-fi horror film The Blob has been banned from kids' TV because it gave children nightmares. And it terrified two- and three-year-olds into refusing to watch television, the Advertising Standards Authority said."

The ad shows a large blob of Marmite squelching its way through the center of a busy main street, with some who try to out run it and others who happily run towards it and dive in head first.

Ad can be viewed here at Marmite's web site. It's a shame that the spot is going to not be able to be viewed during shows that small kids watch along with their families, like Pop Idol. I think the spot is rather good and the positioning that DDB has taken with the product is very spot on.

+ And now for the bad ad. Or actually, bad strategical move. Last Monday, reported that Gillette was launching their advertising for Tag body spray, which will be competing against Axe. The campaign, created by Arnold Worldwide, Boston, takes the exact same strategy as Unilever's Axe (and Lynx in the UK/Europe). I saw one ad last night (which if you are a SuperAdgrunt, you can view here), which creatively wasn't bad. The copy at the end which includes a warning list is amusing.

The problem lies in the fact that Arnold just ripped off the strategy that BBH created for the Axe/Lynx brand. Why? Heck, even the packaging looks similar. Seems their AEs must have slept through their Advertising 101 classes. How an agency like Arnold that has a rather decent record for producing good work, creatively and strategically, ends up creating something like this is beyond me.

I'm curious what BBH's response to this will be. Could be that they are just laughing because obviously Arnold thought that this was either the only way to go, or that because Axe/Lynx's strategy was working so well for them, they might as well jump on the bandwagon themselves. One also has to wonder if, internally at Arnold there was at least one person who said that this was a bad route to take. That it was just ripping off another strategy.

One other issue I have with the campaign that Adage mentions in their article is that online ads will lead to a website," which has a "Hide the Hotties" game and a viral effort that invites guys to send stalker e-mails to their buddies from fake women." Um, there's something wrong with sending fake stalker emails. I know it's meant to be funny, but that sort of thing is seriously FUBAR. I'm curious how that got past the legal departments. It must have some massive disclaimer on the email that is sent.

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