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

Introducing The World’s Worst Manifesto Since That Gerrard Butler Rubbish For Boss Aftershave …
November 6, 2015, 6:15 am
Filed under: Brand Suicide, Comment, Crap Campaigns In History, Marketing Fail

Manifesto ads do my head in.

There are times when there is a role for them – or at least, a role for a good one – but the reality is they should embody what a brand is doing in their product, service and behaviour rather than be a replacement for it.

Anyway, the reason I’m saying this is that I’ve just seen one that has scraped new depths of the shitty barrel.

It’s not just because it’s an endless stream of every airline ad cliche for the past 20 years … nor is it because it features a script that is so awful it makes – as I mentioned in the title of this post – that Gerrard Butler bollocks for Hugo Boss sound like Shakespeare …. it’s because the guy doing the voice over seems to think he’s doing the trailer for this centuries biggest movie release when really what he’s doing is voicing 2015’s biggest turkey.

Wanna see how bad it is?

Cop a load of this …

Now before anyone says I’m being a bastard because Vietnam is a developing country and I should take that into account when evaluating work.

1. I’d say you’re the one being patronising and prejudiced about the Vietnamese people.

2. The fact is there’s been a bunch of interesting work to have come out of Vietnam in the past few years.

3. This is supposed to be a ‘global spot’ … so it’s supposed to be enticing to all ‘global citizens’.

I genuinely feel sorry for Vietnam Airlines because not only are they a good airline, but they deserve – and I’d argue, need – better than this.

Of course when it comes to who to blame, there’s so many possible contenders.

The marketing director at Vietnam Airlines for lacking ambition.

The focus groups for promoting lowest-common-denominator parity.

The agency [JWT] for taking the money for making this tosh.

While there is an argument that by appearing ‘the same’ as the major players, you get considered in the same group as the major players … the reality is that’s highly unlikely, not unless you’re traveling to Vietnam or come from Vietnam.

If not, then I’d say that to convince someone who doesn’t know Vietnam Airlines to choose Vietnam Airlines over a well known airline will be very hard unless the ticket prices are dramatically cheaper, and then that might make them wonder if the price of the ticket reflects the quality of the aircraft and/or its maintenance.

Whoever is to blame, whatever the reasons, the fact is the end product does a massive disservice to Vietnam Airlines and I would suggest they listen to the advice I was told by a certain gentleman at Virgin Atlantic who sometimes comments on here.

“The moment you decide to play in the big league, you have to plan to win because playing not to lose means you lose”.

27 Comments so far
Leave a comment

I still don’t fucking understand why anyone would make a global ad that is designed to not fucking say anything new, interesting or different. making something that doesnt alienate anyone isnt clever, its the biggest fucking waste of fucking time and money you can ever fucking make. its this stupid fucking mindset that has made link testing popular. you dont change attitudes with link, you end up spending more because the only way to make the shit link churns out work, is to try and brainwash people into believing. link is the tool for the cowards and beige. basically every client of jwt these days.

Comment by andy@cynic

* applause.

Comment by DH

I need to show this to someone I’m dealing with right now. You pretty much nail it.

Comment by Rob

Ah link thanks for reminding me there is something worse than both media arts jar jar binks and queen

Comment by Northern

and i know what youre trying to do with sucking up to lee you transparent fucking sad bastard.

Comment by andy@cynic

“Please Mr Hill, could I have a free ticket/upgrade/plane? Pretty please?”

Comment by DH

Jealousy is so ugly on you Andy. And you, Dave.

Comment by Rob

What a load of rubbish. And what do they mean, “reach further”? Reach further than what, the length of your arm? Is that a good thing? I don’t think so. Another brand trying to sound like Nike without understanding they’re not Nike and that isn’t what Nike does.

Comment by DH

You know your agency is responsible for the whole manifesto epidemic. I know you did them well and you did them at significant moments where they had added relevance, but this is all your fault. Specifically yours.

Comment by DH

Hahahaha … I was wondering if anyone would say that. We certainly didn’t start it, but we might have shown how it can be done in a way that is awesome. At least when the circumstances and occasion justify it. But even then, it has to augment reality rather than try and pretend to be it.

Comment by Rob


Comment by DH

There is not one redeeming feature in that ad. Absolutely terrible.
Another example of WPP’s Asia business model which seems to consist of selling local brands the dream of a global audience without telling them what they’re saying is already 20 years out of date. But all adverising is good advertising isn’t it.

Comment by George

Though that shouldn’t make the marketing team at Vietnam Airlines blameless. They’re either fearful or naive. Both of which are terrible traits, especially for marketing roles.

Comment by George

George goes maverick.

Comment by DH

I’m glad you said that and not me. Ha.

Comment by Rob

Corporate reacharound.

Comment by John

Same applies to all those ads linking FMCG products to the empowerment of women and/or the enabling of local intiatives in third world communities.

Comment by John

The best thing they could have said is no terrorist group will bother bombing one of their planes.

Comment by Billy Whizz

Red card Billy. Not cool.

Comment by George

The voiceover is so distracting, you don’t even remember the brand.

Comment by Pete

The voiceover is one of the worst I’ve ever heard. It’s extra annoying because he says everything slightly slow, to ensure everyone can understand him. Patronising ass.

Comment by Rob

“Retch deeper”.

Comment by Ian Gee

Maybe this is revenge for Vietnam kicking America’s ass? More effective than agent orange.

Comment by Bazza

The manifesto ad is surely trademarked to Chiat day

Comment by Northern

Strangely, a lot of elements from the ad looks very similar to the SQ’s – “Lengths we go to” commercial . Kudos for a subtle lift.

Comment by Putchutney

[…] Sure, every now and then you’ll get a ‘manifesto ad’ where a brands talks about what it believes … however, on closer inspection, you realise most of them are saying nothing whatsoever or are so contrived in their expression, that you realise they’ve been designed to blend in rather than stand out. […]

Pingback by Standards And Opinion Are The Only Thing That Separates Us … | The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]

[…] wrong, I believe the values of a brand are massively important, however so many brands these days spout a bunch of contrived bollocks … either because they haven’t got anything interesting or valuable to say about their […]

Pingback by Old Is Gold … | The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]

Leave a Reply