Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Do We Love For The Love Of Wispa?

It started with a Facebook group, which attracted 206,792 Wispa fans.

Then came some wonderfully fresh-looking bus sides, which declared "For the love of Wispa, we need cheerleaders" (or marching bands, etc).

The process was brilliantly stage-managed, and led up to the filming of the TV ad at the beginning of December, in Alexandra Palace, which features grannies, lasers, fireworks and a barbershop quartet.

I'm not going to say what I think of the actual ad, because it's the end of the year and I'm getting sick of how opinionated I am.

But what I wonder is this: have we arrived at a point where the way an ad was made has become more interesting than the ad itself?

Maybe nowadays, in the case of a 'big event' TV ad, the ad itself is just one piece of the engagement plan.

Compare with the life-cycle of a Hollywood movie. The movie truly begins with a tiny newspaper story about a big-name director deciding on his next script. Next, the papers fill up with a discussion of which stars might be in it. Next, gossip from the shoot. Then pre-release merchandising. Then the book of the film (comes out before the film). Then press previews of the film. Then the posters come out. Then media interviews with the stars and director. Then the premiere. THEN THE FILM ACTUALLY COMES OUT IN CINEMAS. Then people review it on iMDB. Then the DVD comes out. Then it runs on TV.

The film itself is just one small part of your 'experience of the film'.

Is our business going the same way? Are we now making ads where the true goal is to get people to watch the 'making-of' the ad, on the website?


Ted said...

Yes Scamp, but the result is boring. I hardly resisted the 2 minutes.

Anonymous said...

Peter Marsh will be feeling somewhat vindicated this Christmas. I'm not sure if that's a good thing or not.

Anonymous said...

The end result still has to be brilliant otherwise it's all just a load of pointless mind wank. Take Ford Orchestra - the actual idea is quite good, the instruments went on tour, were used to make a record, appeared in a video. It should have been a truly modern execution that could be used in multiple media but the TV ad was so badly executed it rendered all the other stuff pointless.

Anonymous said...

For the ultimate behind-the-scenes, take a look at the original creative strategy behind the campaign. It makes a pretty interesting read we think you'll agree!

Anonymous said...

Looks like someone's been sick on some film. Careless wispa.

Anonymous said...

It made me smile, just thought hte music could have been more.

Today it is all about the how and the why and how it got there. Brands are inviting participation in marketing, not just from a 'blogger write about the finished product' position, but all the way through. The results are probably just as mixed as the more traditional methods - some brilliant, some crap! But if it's crap, at least you still have all the PR from the .making of' process

Anonymous said...

I really want to like this. On one level, you'd have to say it was an interesting way into the TV. And the TV is a joyous 2 minutes for sure - feel good telly. Leaves a smile on the face etc. etc.


And sadly, there is a but. Like Ted, I found myself growing weary of it and skipping to the end to see what the pay off would be.

Unfortunately, I just come away from it with a feeling of "Eh?"

However. Consider this. While it might be easy to take a swipe at it, I would say it was quite a triumph to pull it off. It probably cost a few quid too.


If this had been Fallon's first for Dairy Milk and it said "a glass and a half full of joy" you'd be falling over yourselves.

So, amidst the gloom of recession and "are you worried about your job" at least the Wispa ad got a smile out of me. Panda costumes and fireworks? Come on! That's a shoot and a half in anyone's book!

Anonymous said...

It's bad on every level. All fur coat and no knickers.

Ben Kay said...

Apparently, when this went out to production companies, it was on the understanding that everyone would work for free (hence the endline), so it probably cost a few quid less than you think. Personally, I think this carrot-dangling so that a huge corporation like Cadbury's (or indeed Fallon) can save money is not right. But as long as there's someone willing to undercut someone else, situations like this happen.

And it's too obvious to be a 'Glass and a Half of Joy' ad, so I for one wouldn't be falling over myself about it if that were the case.

The difference between one of these and the PR rumble for a movie is that what is happening with a movie is of great interest to some of us, whereas what's happening in the creation of an ad rarely is, which explains why I didn't even notice all the 'hype' for this one.

Anca said...

Can't find the right words to express my opinion about this ad. At least not the decent ones.
(Now it's not off-topic anymore, Simon.)

This is an example of what it means to be discreet, clever and meticulous. You'll also find the making of clip there, but it was shot just as a proof that the ad was not computer generated -- I'm convinced all of us would've filmed such an impressive project.

...it is a 30 second TV ad... after all that effort -- that is real passion and real wisdom of knowing when to stop.

Fortunately this idiot fashion of making sure that everyone knows how many times the creative team used the toilet until the ad first aired does not affect the entire Europe. Washing your dirty laundry in public is not really necessary in order to convince everybody that you're wearing clean clothes. Unless they're all stained -- careful with all those ___-tropes...

Anonymous said...

It's shite.

It may be very modern with all the making of, dvd,imbd stuff, but it has nothing to do with nothing.

it could easily be for Sony Bravia 'Colour like no other', It could easily be for Cadbury's Dairy Milk Glass 'A And A Half Full Production', it could be for Orange 'You Are Me And We Are You And Everyone Is Nothing Without Other People So Let's All Be One',Etc, Fallon, Etc, Fallon, Etc, Fallon.

Also, Fallon asked the directors, crew etc to 'Donate' their time, wonder whether Fallon 'donated' their time?

Anonymous said...

"have we arrived at a point where the way an ad was made has become more interesting than the ad itself?"

long time ago.

Anca's example also proves it. better job but still...

put your hand under your armpit and go pfffffft!

Anonymous said...

it's truly awful. perhaps the ultimate agency handjob on a client/product. bet the participants have to cry themselves to sleep at night. re: your point. the recruitment site was passed round at my digital agency a few months ago and slagged off for its lameness, even at that stage.

Anonymous said...

The ad looks like an award entry video that never won anything. And how long has Scamp been 40 year old? At least a year and a half.

Anonymous said...

Re: what If This Is A Blog said about production companies being asked to accept payment in chocolate bars... this letter was sent in anonymously to the APA...

With regards to Fallon's recent proposal that Production Companies make a commercial on behalf of Cadbury 'for the love of chocolate' I would like to add my full support to the idea. Only recently we produced a commercial for Tinkerbell's Fairy Dust © and what a success it was!

The licorice camera worked well under the lights (courtesy of the jam jars filled with glow worms), and the toffee strip film (35mm) only snapped when the clapper loader (Bilbo Baggins) tried to eat it.

Luckily one of the electricians (Pinocchio) adapted one of the stand-by Pixie's hats - making a rather natty time-machine, so no overtime was incurred throughout the entire dream.

Fallon were excellent payers, a chariot lorry full of not fair trade chocolate driven by 6 white mice promptly pulled up outside our office the next day. A parking ticket made of pink ricepaper was issued, but it was no problem when a sudden downpour of rosewater happened - it just dissolved!

After we sent the crew, (Santa's Little Helpers, as they prefer to be called), their bars of chocolate, everybody went on a picnic with the Teddy Bears and a fun day was had by all.

The Tax Man and the Bank where particularly pleased with their payment.

Yours Sincerely,








Jam said...

If it wasn't so insider-y, I'd anon 4:38 definitely needs making into an ad.

Yes, the Wispa one's grandeur makes it seem as though its almost taking a pop at itself, but in reality that territory's never quite reached.

Anonymous said...

Feels like a extended DAVE (the tv channel) Indent. Boring and Fallon need to change their tune.

Anonymous said...

Yes, we love it.

Anonymous said...

Is our business going the same way?
Wouldn't it be a shame to have all the fun at the end - "wasting" the time in between?

It is heading there, and we will have our fun trying to manage that.

Anonymous said...

Wow, it looks an awful lot like this:


Bow, ever noticed how Scamp is never critic of Fallon's failures? He's always either sick or on a silent vote or blah. what a wuzz

Anonymous said...

who are the fallon team behind it?

Anonymous said...

Ah, psychedelic racoon, ever heard the phrase, 'you'll never work in this town again'?

Amelia said...

I just thought that it was a terrible ad - dull and a bit pointless. The Facebook "Bring back Wispa" was a brilliant piece of PR, in fact I think that it won gold at the PR Week Awards.

IMO there just wasn't any real connection between Wispa and the punters they used in the ad. When you watch "the making of..." on YouTube, its full of people saying things like "well they were looking for a brass band, I'm in one, so I thought why not" or "most people in my rugby team don't remember Wispa but I did, so we came along." Hardly over-whelming passion for Wispa.

Its an interesting way to cast an ad, but Anonymous@10:40 was right when he/she said regardless of how interesting the story of the ad is, the ad itself still has to be brilliant. Just like Ford Orchestra, this wasn't.

Which is a shame.

(Merry Xmas BTW)

Anonymous said...

For the love of Christ. My eyes. My ears...

Anonymous said...

A great example of an advertiser pursuing the next great peice of creative, at the expense of planning and logic....all I can say is that I'm glad that's not my cash....that UGC bobbins is just another excuse to ignore the rigour and produce yet another TV ad....probably not the last turkey I'm going to see this Christmas

Anonymous said...

i don't think advertising is moving more towards the 'movie experience' as you called it, but i think it is positive that advertising is experimenting with this media. Movie's are similar to boxing matches. I for one would not have been the slightest interested in watching de la hoya vs pacquia (excuse the spelling) if it wasn't for the huge hype leading up to the event, with the 24/7 documentary and the weigh in's for example. I think with more hype around an advert, this can only generate more interest and consequently more profit. Advertising is showing that it is willing to take risks which is hugely important to keep things fresh and innovative. (20 year old aspiring Ad man)

Anonymous said...

a bit late to this one. hey, i've been busy!

i do think we've reached a point in advertising where you're either extremely timely and useful and highly targeted (google) OR you create programming, not advertising, that is inherently interesting and attracts its own audience. Whopper Freakout being a good example. Wispa sounds like they're in the same arena. More PT barnum than bill bernbach.

happy crimbo. damn i still miss UK telly at xmas.

Anonymous said...

Haters, haters haters haters.
Scamp only seems to review fallon work. Hence all the attention to fallon campaigns. No other agency gets as much attention.
The spot is good. The idea is good. The PUBLIC love it. Once again, this blog, full of navel gazing, introspective ad people can't seem to get past different ideas that don't serve their formulaic agendas. I guess you really do hate people when they are ontop. The idea is good because it is an outlet for an already latent love for the chocolate and its bigger than an ad fuckwits. The ad is not the main part of this campaign if you bothered to engage with it. The ad is the thank you to a much larger bigger idea.

Anca said...

"The ad is the thank you to a much larger bigger idea."

I thought one should choose the most beautiful words, the most wonderful flowers, the most refined present, the best etc. to thank someone...

"Thank you" is certainly going up in flames, I'm just so old-fashioned.

Besides, big ideas have their gift for arousing high expectations.

"The ad is not the main part of this campaign..." -- yes, it's more like the carelessly scrawled end of a signature, always found it appropriate for a TV ad...

Anonymous said...

Great campaign, except for the TV, which is a very dull waste of cash. Nice one!

Ben Kay said...

'If you bothered to engage with it'?

Marty, dear heart, it's not up to me to bother to engage with someone's campaign. It's up to the campaign to get me to give a shit.

Mission 100% not accomplished.

Anonymous said...

such a great idea for an ad.
such a rubbish ad.