Home > marketing ramblings > Clearcast asleep on the job?

Clearcast asleep on the job?

If you’re going to introduce fellatio into advertising, you need some ten stone testicles, because Cadbury’s Flake is a hard act to swallow. I mean follow. But Confused.com have done exactly that, with Brian the Robot, their new, quirky, smutty spokesperson.

I have been watching TV while Brian and his innuendo-laden TV spots have aired, and haven’t paid much attention to them. That’s the price you pay for inflicting on us several years of the most irritating and insulting advertising known to man, Confused. But I guess your research told you that. So rather than the cuddly meerkat route, Confused have opted to shake things up in a different way, by introducing (and I think I’m on firm ground in saying this) by far the most blatant and unsubtle reference to a blow job ever aired in a British TV commercial.

As I mentioned at the start of this post, Cadbury’s Flake came first. (I’m sorry – I’ll stop now.) But their soft-porn chocolate-noshing took place in the context of a woman enjoying the product in a way that was relevant; not sitting in a secluded car-park situated high above a “beauty spot”.

I’m not going to get on my high-horse: my Caffrey’s commercial of a few years back contained, for want of a better word, a cum shot. Even my best friend’s (very) prudish mum choked on her Hob Nob when that aired.But nothing that I can remember is quite as graphic as this. When our Caffrey’s commercial was sent to Clearcast, they requested several changes to a bar scene that contained some unclear, cleverly edited shots where, in the immortal words of our Clearcast rep, “something’s going on, we just aren’t sure what.” They didn’t spot the cum shot. Or, if they did, they were fine with it. And it wasn’t something we did deliberately; it was an idea of Walter Stern, the director, that was relevant to the way the product was served, and the concept behind the ad.

When my colleague Chris saw the Confused.com spot on TV last night, he rewound it three times because he couldn’t believe what he had just seen. I can’t believe no one at Clearcast asked the agency for an explanation of exactly what is going on at the start of the spot, and if they received one, what that explanation was. Some inspired account handling must have taken place.

As for the confused.com ads, they are smutty, infantile and indefensible on a number of levels. But they made me smile, and they are well cast and directed. And personally I find them less offensive than that singing cartoon they had before. Maybe that’s what Clearcast thought too.

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Categories: marketing ramblings
  1. Anonymous
    July 4, 2013 at 6:53 pm

    Love the introduction of Brian, even the name adds to the peculiarity of the ads, which fits perfectly with the brand, as they do leave you marginally confused – but in a funny, memorable way and not in an irate, ii want to hit the TV kind of way..good work this time.

  2. July 4, 2013 at 6:54 pm

    Anonymous :
    Love the introduction of Brian, even the name adds to the peculiarity of the ads, which fits perfectly with the brand, as they do leave you marginally confused – but in a funny, memorable way and not in an irate, ii want to hit the TV kind of way..good work this time.

  3. Anonymous
    July 5, 2013 at 1:47 pm

    Poor bloke. Perhaps he was just suffering from an attack of pancreatitis… where’s Gillian Taylforth when you need her?

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