Copy and Post: CBS Londoner

What can I say - I am a sucker for a good pun.

Seeing as I would eventually like to get into copywriting, I've decided to start including a regular trend on this blog of ads I like (and, presumably, those I don't) and why. So to kick things off, I'm beginning with the advert that inspired me to do this - CBS's The Londoner campaign.



Things I like about this ad
I should start off by saying this isn't the one I originally saw and liked - that one was something about carrying a coffee and walking quickly down Oxford Street (something I've become a bit of an expert at since I've been coming down here), and sadly I can't remember where it was other than a Tube station somewhere on the Northern line. - curse my photographic memory! But this is the only version of the long copy one I could find - I'm not so keen on the short electronic ones on the escalators - so needs must and all that.

First of all I like that it picks up on things that aren't stereotypically associated with Britishness - as in, the sorts of things that only Londoners would do and know that they do (and that tourists generally dismiss as rudeness) which by default sidesteps the traditional image of straight-laced, pinstripe suits and bowler hats, everything stops for tea-ness that has been link with the city for decades. I also like the colour scheme - whilst dark blue and green wouldn't have been my first choice, on reflection I really like it as it lets the copy speak for itself. It's only since I started getting interested in copywriting as a career, as shameful as this is to admit, that I started noticing how few long copy ads there seem to be in relation to the short copy ads, and I don't know if that's because a lot of the ads I see don't lend themselves to long copy, but to see one that I enjoy and feel like I can identify with (as an unofficial Londoner) is always a bonus. They've also just started doing versions of the short ads with comments from Facebook and Twitter - as seen at Oxford Circus earlier today - which I quite like too.

Things I don't like about this ad
With this particular one, I think the percentages make it seem a bit, well, uppity. Whereas the 'maybe it's because...' bits feel authentic, the stats are going back to that perception of the snooty Londoner. I don't think they're that accurate either - to take the theatre example, whilst I'm sure that many Londoners do visit the theatre regularly, an awful lot of that box office, especially in the West End (which presumably we're taking to be mainstream theatres churning out musicals rather than the likes of the National on the South Bank, which has always struck me as more of a 'local's' theatre), is likely to be tourists, but equally it's impossible to tell how much of that box office is tourists, so it's not an entirely accurate statistic. I should add though that on some of the other advertising for the campaign the statistics are a lot better and feel more relevant rather than this slightly strange mishmash. I'd also have liked a very subtle city skyline to the bottom of the ad or in the background, because whilst I do like the simplicity of the artwork I also think it's too easily transferable to other cities - even though you don't want to stereotype you still want your ad to say 'London'.

So, all in all, I'd give this campaign a 8.5 out of 10 - there are a few minor fiddly things I'd like to see but sort of accept that they're pretty impossible to solve, and the quality of the copy for me cancels a lot of those niggles out.

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