'Fresh' is a tricky concept in advertising. It looks so easy from the outside - client wants a fresh campaign, something people haven't seen before. Creatives go away and rip off a wacky music video from Taiwan or Pakistan or something that recently got a million hits on YouTube which they saw while browsing Laughing Squid. Wacky idea is set to the sounds of a dude reading beat poetry, rhyming 'waste' with 'toothpaste', and everyone laughs all the way to the bank. (At least, this is how it seems to me, looking at some of the uninspired ads that have reaching into my living room and throttled me around the throat recently).
This piece from giffgaff is a rare gem, a genuinely fresh and refreshing piece of communication that - and I'm going to whip out bold here for all ECDs drinking their morning coffee - communicates a range of product benefits while keeping the audience entertained. The comparison game is a dangerous one to play, both in life, and in advertising - but I've seen a range of disappointing ads on my TV the last few weeks that combine the cardinal sins of boring me, showing me a stupid visual montage, and combining said montage with a VO poem delivered by (insert client's preference here: urban black guy/ cockney common guy/ middle class Mummy).
But wait, there's more.
Charlie Smith, Brand Manager at giffgaff:
Thanks everyone for the kind words on our new ad. Since the start of the year we now have new way of working (much like giffgaff in many ways), which has got rid of some of the traditional approaches, like having an ad agency. Instead we now manage everything internally, pulling in experts and people we'd like to work with on specific projects. And of course we got members involved as well. Members provided lines for the script, recorded loads of the voiceover and appeared in the ad as well.
Did you get that? Since their last ad by Fallon London was banned they've said bugger to the whole system and started making their own ads. Now as much as it might be vindicating to see them mess it up and then turn to an agency to clear up the mess, this is certainly not what we've witnessed so far. 'Hey You' is a fun piece of product driven advertising with a strong and consistent visual style. Along with the Clarks In-House Branding Team, giffgaff should be patting themselves on the back.