The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]

Rob Is Only Kind Of Here …
December 11, 2007, 7:10 am
Filed under: Comment

Yes, I know there is a blog post and all that, but I’m actually not here … I’m in a land far, far away …  however in a moment of complete stupidity, I wrote this [and every other post appearing this week] in advance.

Now you could ask the question ‘Why’ … and that would be a good question … but as I already pointed out previously, I’m a sad and stupid little bugger.

Anyway, what this means is I have all your evil comments to look forward to reading when I’m back … and given my life now revolves around a cat … it’s something to look forward to. [cue: Violins]

OK, lets get on with it …

Below you will see an ad for ECOVERVE – a Singaporean cleaning company.

Bad Ad Placement

In the ad, they talk about how they only use environmentally friendly cleaning products because they want their customers to be able to spend time with their loved ones rather than

[1] worry about the cleaning

[2] worry about harmful chemicals entering their homes.

OK so the ad is one of those shitty ‘family happiness’ shots and the ‘spend more time doing what you really want to do’ has been done to death …, but it’s a fair proposition which probably has massive appeal to young professional families.

Just one problem. 

This ad appeared in FHM Singapore … a magazine John Dodd’s referred to as ‘sleazy’

Now I appreciate the ‘disruption’ theory in media planning … however just like promoting ‘Meat’ in a Vegetarian magazine would be abit daft, so is spending a heap of cash advertising a cleaning service [using happy, caring, loving families as the underlying message] in a magazine that is almost entirely focused on the denial of family responsibilities and the celebration of gratuitous female flesh.

Right product. Wrong execution.

And is it just me or does the ad feel like it’s been written more towards women than men? If that’s the case, why the hell would you run it in bloody FHM???

[Alright, there’s no evidence whatsoever that’s the case – and while I could try and write about ‘traditional roles’ in Asian culture, I know I’d be talking complete bollocks]

So to the nice people at Ecoverve … may I suggest you kick the person who sold you that media placement really hard in the nuts and to the person who did the selling, pick up your Salesmen/Con Artist ‘Award Of The Year’ at reception!

24 Comments so far
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One thing I noticed is that Singaporeans/Malaysians tend to be less altruistic when it comes to green issues. To advertise for eco-friendly products you would need to list an end benefit for the consumer. Where else in America there’s this whole sermon crap about “We help the environment!!!! Inconvenient truth anyone? help the little children!! Tree hug!”

Comment by Su

Could it be the case that a man who reads sleazy FHM might want to project an image of solid dependability when buying household cleaning materials? About 2% of the FHM readership I would have thought. They really like their tarts in that mag.

Comment by Charles Frith

maybe they’re going for the guilt factor – guilt about ‘family responsibilities’ and guilt about environmental negligence, all in the one ad – is the ad placed after a particularly saucy bunch of tarts?
failing that – yeah, almost but not quite.

Comment by lauren

Unless things have changed since I lived there, Asia is not exactly the most eco-bothered of regions, especially if money is to be made. We did some work for VW in India recently and the overwhelming response was that people saw the environment as the West’s responsibility because they were the main cause of it and this was “their time” for economic acceleration. I have a bigger question, how do you find the time to write all this stuff? Writing a post every day is impressive enough but to pre-write a whole weeks worth? You’re a machine 🙂

Comment by Pete

The man is a machine indeed.

For the majority of Asians [excluding well-educated, middle class/affluent city dwellers] there are generally far more important things on the agenda, such as putting food on the table and saving money for the kids education. Even amongst the affluent, I find eco-friendliness to be accepted only at “low impact levels” such as skipping the plastic bag, for example. But when eco-friendly behaviour means sacrificing either convenience or money [however little], the Asian consumer is not ready to go as far as his/her European equivalent. Yes, I know I am generelising massively here.

Although the situation is slightly better in the US, every time I go there, I literally find it light years behind leading European countries and I hope Al Gore will be able make a difference at home. The man gave a very well written Nobel peace prize acceptance speech yesterday in Oslo. I was impressed by his rhetoric and his criticism of his own country and China.

Comment by fredrik sarnblad

Well. On the Red Bull at the very least

Comment by Charles Frith

Very odd placement there. Unless it is going for disruption or as Charles mentions, guilt; then I don’t know what they were doing…

Comment by Rob Mortimer

This from a man who once tried to get Boddington’s to sponsor alcoholics anonymous.

Comment by George

“Disruption” is seemingly being used as justification for all manner of bad ideas these days. Unless the message, tone or medium has some relevance to the intended audience then you’re basically embarking on commercial masturbation, ie: just screwing yourself 🙂

(Sorry for that, I heard it years ago and have been looking for an excuse to use it ever since)

Comment by George

I agree there George, just cant figure out another reason why they would think it was good media buying!

Comment by Rob Mortimer

Maybe the owners of FHM also own Ecoverve? Eitherway, the opportunity to get their message across in a relevant yet interesting manner was there for the taking and yet they wimped out. What if all the pages around the ad were blank except for a little message saying “This page is now clean and pure thanks to Ecoverve” or maybe all the scantily clad models could of been “overdressed” with the same message appearing. Just thoughts which I’m sure Andy will destroy but this ad could of been made to work rather than stick out for all the wrong reasons.

Comment by George

Sounds perfectly good to me George – I like the idea of anti smut in a smutty mag.


Comment by The Kaiser

The mindset of the reader is set by the content of the magazine and their decision to read it, you’re not going to change that in the space of a single page that the “reader” will be flicking past looking for the real content. It’s the wrong place to advertise and is another example of media buying guided by demogaphic statistics that are just counting the numbers and socio-economic backgrounds of the readers and not their engagement or willingness for it to be interrupted by something completely different to their interest at that time.

And George is absolutely right about disruption – Christensen’s disruption is that which completely turns an industry on its head, not somethign that makes a little noise and is then ignored.

Comment by John

stick to your day job george, whatever that is.

Comment by andy@cynic

alright, its quite a nice idea. you can stop fucking whining now. 🙂

Comment by andy@cynic

Personally I’m getting right sick of all this green eco shit. Give me bleach.

Comment by The Kaiser

Not bad George,not bad at all. If Andy can grudgingly admit that it must be pretty good…

Comment by NP


Comment by The Kaiser

its not that fucking good np, its just good for a planner 🙂

and congrats on whatever the fuck it is youre doing, just remember your place in
the carefully managed agency hierarchy.

bleach marcus? what about crude fucking oil which we can then pour down the throats of every eco hypocrite. youre not going soft on me are you brown?

Comment by andy@cynic

Like fuck I am.

Comment by The Kaiser

thats alright then

Comment by andy@cynic

had you worried didn’t ?

Comment by The Kaiser

Oh I know my place alright.

Comment by NP

Just reviewing the comments that have been made while I’ve been away and it’s nice to see things getting back to normal – by that I mean making no reference to the post at all and going off on a tangent even a protractor couldn’t calculate.

Comment by Rob

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