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

You Know How Boring Adland Is Becoming When A Leaflet Is The Best Thing I’ve Seen In Ages …

If you’re wondering what the photo above is, it’s an insert that was placed in the X-Ray machine trays that you place your electronic items in at airports.

In other words, it’s a paper insert in a plastic tray.

And yet it’s the most fun piece of advertising I’ve seen in ages.

OK, so part of the reason I like it so much is because the standard of advertising right now is pretty poor, but the other part is that whoever was behind it, understood what the brand – in this case, Narcos – was all about.

The cheekiness of advertising a TV show about drug smuggling at the very place in an airport that is designed to stop them, is brilliant.

Yes, you may say it’s obvious … but there’s many obvious things that don’t get made because ‘ambient media’ doesn’t have the reach of mainstream broadcast or the targeting of digital.

And yet this paper insert in a plastic tray made me smile.

Made me take a photograph of it.

Made me write about it.

And while the reach of this blog is about 5 people, that’s still better than 99% of campaigns churned out in the mainstream world.

I admit I’ve always been a sucker for good ambient media stuff.

Sure, it got a bit mad there for a while … where it was less about extending the spirit and purpose of the brand in interesting and relevant places and more about just putting ads wherever you could get away with … but when it’s done right, well thought out ‘brand experiences’ can have an impact that is bigger and better than many multi million dollar ad campaigns.

So to whoever did it, thank you … you reminded me that creativity is more than just what you do, but where you do it.

19 Comments so far
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It’s better than season 3.

Comment by Bazza

watching paint dry was fucking better.

but season 3 was still much fucking better than reading this shit.

Comment by andy@cynic

I have to say, seasons 1 and 2 were definitely my favorites – but I like the premise of what they’re doing and let’s be honest, even though season 3 wasn’t their best, it was still much better than seasons 4 and onwards of House Of Cards.

Comment by Rob

They put white powder in nightclub toilets as well.

Comment by DH

how the fuck were people supposed to notice that among all the other lines of white powder in ever hollywood fucking nightclub?

Comment by andy@cynic

Yeah, I heard that too.

I know it’s for a show celebrating drug smuggling and usage but that’s still pretty ballsy, especially for – what I am now discovering – uber conservative America.

Comment by Rob

More conservative than Maggie Thatcher in her prime.

Comment by DH

I’m not sure I agree. I could be wrong but I think when Maggie was in her first term, she gave the country this insane confidence she was moving things forward and so the nation had a sense of swagger they’d not had for a long time. It was bollocks of course – as it was when Blair did the same a few years later – it just took a while before she – and he – was found out.

America may have a President who is trying to convey that same ‘Maggie’ confidence but – and I can’t believe I’m writing this – she had more substance behind her heartlessness which is why people – and companies – fear what is going to happen and so are desperately hanging onto what they can be sure of which has resulted in an absolute lack of desire to try anything new.

For a nation that used to be epitomised by a ‘gung-ho’ spirit, it’s now more frightened than a 5 year old on Halloween.

Comment by Rob

For the record, not every company is like this … but for all the talk of Asian conservatism, the similarity between the 2 regions is far closer than they would probably like to admit, which is why half my battle – as it was in China – is helping clients realise the power of creativity in moving them forward. It will be interesting to see how it goes, for them and for me, hahaha.

Comment by Rob


Comment by DH

I hate agreeing but it’s more fun than most of the ads I see and all of the “experiential” campaigns being put out. Depressing isn’t it.

Comment by DH

well done campbell on proving adland is in its fucking last gasps of air.
still better than 90% of last years cannes winners.

Comment by andy@cynic

Alarming that you no longer have a lackey to place your stuff in the trays.

I feel like something similar was advertised in airport trays some time ago, but you wouldn’t have noticed it when you had an entourage.

Comment by John

i bet he fucking does.

Comment by andy@cynic

I did. Donn was traveling with me.

But he’s bigger and tougher so I decided not to ask him to put my birkenstocks into the tray for me.

Comment by Rob

id rather eat fucking anthrax than touch your fucking lesbian shoes.

Comment by andy@cynic

I believe this was done in-house. The opposite to the Pepsi debacle.

Comment by George


Comment by Mel Gutiér

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