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

When Is An Orange A Lemon?

So as you read this, I’ll be on a plane to Portland …

While this is good news for you as I’ll be away the whole of the week, it’s terrible news for my friends at NIKE and Wieden+Kennedy as I’ll be poking my head in their lives and business for the next 5 days.

To help everyone either celebrate or commiserate over this news, let me leave you with a very short post.

I saw the above ad on the underground recently …

What. The. Fuck?

I get it’s a nice looking razor … I get some people may even want to buy it because it’s a nice looking razor … but what the hell is the point of that copy?

Seriously, what are they trying to achieve with it?

In advertising, there is a phrase called ‘see say’ … where the copy, or voice over, explains what’s being shown, despite the fact that in the main, the person looking at the communication can see perfectly well what it is.

I’ve never understood why it continues to happen – just like I’ve never understood why people do presentations then read exactly what’s on the screen – but this ad is taking things to a whole new level, or should I say depth.

What pains me more is that Boots originally were a Nottingham company so I feel some sort of responsibility to their actions and behaviours … even though they’re no longer English and quite frankly, my attitude is more mental than sentimental.

What next, fruit ads that have copy explaining the fruit you’re looking at what its colour is?

If our industry is about helping brands resonate with culture, our work seems to suggest we’re either saying people are stupid or brand managers are.

Good job I’m going to hippyville so I can calm down before I explode.

See you in a week … where it will only be 2 days till my birthday.

[Hint Hint]

19 Comments so far
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Am I safe in SF?
I’ll even agree that ad is rubbish if I am.

Comment by Bazza

A lot of meetings and creative thinking went into this. Sadly they never came out the other side.

Comment by John

That is terrible. (I mean the ad, not flying to Portland)

Comment by George

Both are bad.

Comment by Bazza

Though FAR better than trying to be woke ie “a best a man can be”.

Comment by John Smith

Rob mate, please come on…

Spend a moment looking at the category and the brand. A category filled with techno-jargon to justify ludicrous markups.

Harrys is a disruptor, playing off this category, focusing on a feature, not pretending it’s a benefit. Long hard day at work, waiting for the tube back to miserableville, it may just squeeze a smile out of a punter, or the very least stick in their mind.

The advertising industry takes itself too seriously. It’s an ad, ignored by most, liked by few. The razor is orange, I bet very few others are on the shelf at Boots. There’s your memory cue right there.

Have a safe flight.

Comment by Orange is the Razor

You say they are a disruptor but this ad doesn’t demonstrate that. Quite the opposite.

Comment by George

King George… it disrupts by doing the opposite of competitors.
Would Gillette or Schick use that tone of voice? Hardly… hence it stands apart and moves the conversation away from techno jargon to simplicity.

Gillette “it has five razors and a cool absorption gel strip embedded in an ergonomic razor head to effortlessly glide across your face”

Harry’s “it’s a razor. It’s also orange”.

Comment by Orange is the Razor

For someone who says advertising takes themselves too seriously, you might be overestimating this piece of communication. You are correct that Gillette and Schlick would not use this tone but Dollar Shave Club have and are more of a disruptor than this ad suggests Harry’s are.

Comment by George

I should point out that I do not know the Harry’s brand so I am just basing my view on Robert’s post.

Comment by George

We’re shit, they’re shit, your shit, so buy orange.

Comment by Shave my tube.

When your disruption strategy is the color of your product, you have a short disruptive shelf life.

Comment by Pete

Bic have been doing orange razors for 20 years.

Comment by DH

How long are you in Portland for Rob? I may be traveling there on thursday.

Comment by Pete

You can sleep well on your luxury plane bed Rob, because Boots weren’t behind this ad. They just distribute Harry’s products.

You’re welcome.

Comment by DH

The best I can say about this is that it is at least clear what they are saying. It is why they are saying it that is not clear.

Comment by Lee Hill

posters used to be the benchmark of campaigns. now theyre fucking pollution.

Comment by andy@cynic

what a load of shit. theres a big fucking difference between scrapping the planning hype bollocks and stating the fucking obvious.

Comment by andy@cynic

Rob’s unplanned planning.

Comment by DH

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