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

Are Jarrah Into Self Harm?
July 13, 2009, 6:34 am
Filed under: Comment

If you have shares in the Jarrah company … SELL THEM NOW!

I don’t know why – and I’m sure it’s actually illegal for a company to behave in such an anti-shareholder way – but they seem intent on bringing the company DOWN.

We’re not talking share price ‘dip’, we’re talking total bloody annihilation.

What am I talking about?

Well remember my post about this ad?

I think it’s fair to say we all agreed it was almost as shit as their ‘cino powdered coffee.

Anyway, whereas I hoped it was a momentary lapse of reason, it would appear it was part of a more dastardly plan … the slow and destructive death of a brand

You see, whilst I was skimming through one of the wife’s trash mags, I came across this …

Yes … more of the bloody thing.

And whilst they have had the decency to get rid of the stupid ‘serving suggestion’ copy – they have pretty much kept everything else, including the bloody woman whose having a fiddle in a bath of boiling hot brown liquid.

This is badvertising, sadvertising and madvertising all in one double page [it’s a fucking double page spread for christsakes!!!] ad!

So what am I to believe other than the CEO of Jarrah approved this shit campaign because he/she was offered a back hander from Nestle or someone to kill off the brand and take away some of the competition from the category.

But hang on, maybe it’s not corporate suicide, maybe it’s corporate murder.

Maybe the agency [does anyone know who it is?] were offered a shedload of cash from Nestle or someone to kill off the competition.

Jesus, I know adland is in a bad state but what’s it come to when an agency has to offer their services as corporate hitmen just to make a few bucks?

But in all seriousness this does lead to another question: should an agency get paid for doing an ad that is almost a mirror image of the one they did before?

Well the answer is obviously ‘yes’ – however should it be the same amount?

Of course the agency/client will say it’s all part of one integrated campaign and so they can’t be treated as separate pieces, however to me, this isn’t an integrated campaign, it’s an imitated one.

If I was a betting man, I’d say this originally was supposed to be a brand campaign and then the client got nervous so thought they would find it easier to justify if they linked each ad to a particular product.

The problem with this approach is that the ads are so similar that its all ended up blurring into one contrived, cliché-ridden bit of wallpaper, with nothing standing out, getting remembered or being differentiated from other sub-brands.

For me, integration isn’t about an overly standardised approach to sub-brands or executions … in fact one of my pet peeves is when someone calls a campaign ‘integrated’ just because they’ve taken a shot from a TVC/poster and then plastered it over every other media they could find.


For me, integration is when a brand expresses their underlying core idea – be it a thought, philosophy, attitude or tone – in continually new, fresh, relevant and exciting ways.

If you want me to express that as a total cliché, it’s where things are the same, yet different.

For me, this approach was one of the major contributing factors to Tango’s success – because every time someone encountered the brand, they experienced it in a fresh, energetic, exciting way, even though underpinning it all was a common belief/thought, relevant to the personality of the sub-brand in question.

Well I say all that, but in reality it was a bunch of guys having a lot of fun with a brand and client who believed advertising should be remembered for more than the 30 seconds it was forced upon your mind – but that’s a post for another day, something I am very passionate about and something – having discussed with Charles and Leon – I feel is quite relevant, which makes a change. Especially for me.

Anyway, getting back to the point …

You see even though someone could argue Jarrah’s campaign is created off the single thought of “liquid relaxation” the reality is their approach is soooooooooooooooooooooo similar [and remember they’re for different categories: coffee and hot chocolate] that it is almost impossible to differentiate one sub-brand from the other and whilst they’ve spent a fortune on a double page spread, the fact is even if they bought the whole bloody magazine and filled it with ads for all their products, they’d still end up with a bunch of society who [1] couldn’t tell the difference [2] wouldn’t care … which is possibly the biggest crime of them all, because at the heart of adland should be the desire to make people give a damn about stuff because then you might be onto something that can turn a brand into something people want rather than something people choose to ignore.

19 Comments so far
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Welcome back Rob, this is a great post.

Dave Trott wrote something about campaigns that are made up of basically duplicate executions and I agree with him and you this approach has limitations and far reaching implications.

I don’t think it’s fair to just blame agencies for this situation because like you mentioned, many clients push this approach because of price, laziness, lack of marketing awareness, lack of agency trust or simply the need to appease the boardroom.

But one of the side effects of this duplicate execution campaign theory is that many agencies now adopt it because to them it is quick which allows them to maximize their decreasing fee.

The result of all this is meaningful ideas don’t get a chance to be explored or pushed, the agency focus is ads rather than solutions and the whole industry takes another step back.

Of course not all agencies are like this but with big networks treating their staff as worker ants, the number of people who think in single executions rather than being trained to consider game changing ideas/solutions is probably 100:1.

Wow this issue really bothers me doesn’t it. LOL.

Comment by Pete

bigger question is why the fuck would anyone want to duplicate that shit ad in the first place?

Comment by andy@cynic

the answer to andy’s question is because they are bloody lazy morons!

I don’t actually blame the tunnel visioned clients for this because I can see how they are so ‘immersed’ in corporate and brand bullshit (right now I’m picturing a whole bunch of suited men submerged in dung surrounded by cows but never mind that thought)…. or desperately trying to kiss the CEOs arse who might have in passing one day said ‘it’s like being drowned in the taste of our coffee’ that they would see this crap making sense. But the AGENCY…..need to be shot. This is when you walk away…..when you politely say, I wish you all the best but I rather go bankrupt than work on this brief…media agency included!

I agree with you Rob – two different sub brands, two different drinking occasions, two target audiences……. but apparently one idiotic agency.

Okay, back to saving bears!

Comment by Juanita

You’ll be happy to know I am in total agreement with you on this post Robert.

Comment by Lee Hill

So George’s threats worked then eh? Ha!

Comment by Rob

I’d rather look at their ads than drink their powered crap. Really. OK no. Whose the agency? Bet its not on their reel. Unless its Y&R.

Comment by DH

You are a naughty boy David.

Well done.

Comment by Rob

Keep in Andy’s good books.

Comment by DH


Total bland unoriginal badly though out pap.

Comment by Rob Mortimer

It’s not about the repetition/duplication, it’s an issue of quality.

Comment by john

Yes it’s an issue of quality … but it’s not exclusively that as there’s been many examples of good ads ending up with multiple versions of the core execution because the client/agency thinks that makes it a ‘campaign with legs’.

Comment by Rob

That was my point.

Comment by john

Well can you make that point next time please? 😉

Comment by Rob

No – I don’t repeat myself.

Comment by john

Except where we’re talking about your mistakes.

Comment by Rob

rich creamy toffee bath additive. makes your skin smooth. and sticky

Comment by peggy

i love this ad. i think it’s a rallying cry for those who just need to have some time out. that soaking tub.. awesome. nothing like the previous ad.

Comment by lauren

sarcasm is the lowest form of wit. its also fucking awesome. top marks lauren.

and congratulations to peggy for making the most sexually suggestive comment of the day. you think i am being a sad fucking perverted bastard dont you, but i know saucy when i fucking see it. hope the judge agrees with me this time.

Comment by andy@cynic

regardless of what i think – thanks a bunch andy 😉

Comment by peggy

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