'Sorry Dettol, you'll have a hard job cleaning up after this mess' - Creative Hits & Misses of the Week

Sasha Marks, director at Brazen, sorts out the best from the worst of this week's creative offerings.

There’s most definitely a feeling of nostalgia in the air this week.

A typically British wet bank holiday weekend marked the end of summer. Children up and down the country head back to school for the first time in six months, with parents cheering them off at the school gates (or was that just me?). And, as we start to return to our new normal, you can’t help but yearn for times of old.

The creative bods have wistfully tapped into this craving for nostalgia and familiarity, too, with campaigns that make us feel comforted during this period of change.

HITS

Innocent, 'Remember this?'

Hats off to Innocent this week for its fabulous ‘Remember This?’ billboard campaign.

In many ways, it is difficult to remember what life was like before lockdown turned life into a permanent Zoom call, punctuated only by shots of something alcoholic and watching Tik Toks featuring the voice of Carol Baskin (again, just me?). So much has changed.

But Innocent put a smile on people’s faces with a campaign that not only gives us light relief from the new normal, but cleverly nods to the nostalgia of life pre COVID – all in Innocent’s distinctive, witty and humorous way.

The simple but innocently cheeky creatives feature everything from a man in a suit with the line ‘Remember this? This is a suit... it’s like school uniform but for people with mortgages’, to colleagues having a conversation round the office water cooler, reminding people it’s just like a Zoom call but 3D and you need to wear pants.

In a world where everything seems to have gone very serious, this simple and silly campaign is the perfect tonic.

Cheers, Innocent!

ASDA, 'pocket pat'

The high street retail giant has also tapped into the nostalgia theme to bring back its iconic ‘pocket pat’, 43 years after it first launched.

Famous faces like Julie Walters, Michael Owen and Sharon Osbourne have all tapped their back pockets for ASDA since 1977.

The fun and familiar campaign marks a price rollback on hundreds of ASDA products and also coincides with the brand’s 50th birthday. It features the original jingle and references the old infamous saying ‘Asda Price’, but this modern-day version has swapped celebrities for staff and customers and signs off with its current strapline ‘save money, live better’.

It’s not massively clever or innovative but that’s why I like it.

It’s stripped back, good old-fashioned fun and in times like these, we need all the fun we can get our hands on.

MISS

Dettol, 'Keep protecting'

Attempting to tap into feelings of old and make the return to work a light-hearted affair, Dettol launched its 'Keep Protecting' campaign this week.

The good news is that it went viral. The bad news is it was for all the wrong reasons.

The Underground campaign saw a series of creatives featuring 'relatable' things commuters may have missed over the last six months in lockdown, such as ‘hearing an alarm', 'putting on a tie', 'not having to make lunch', ‘standing on the right’, 'hearing buzzwords' and 'proper bants'.

The irony is that those ‘fun’ aspects of office life and the Underground commute catalogued in this campaign are actually the things most people either haven’t missed or didn’t do; let’s face it, have any of us really missed being ripped off for a cheese sandwich or having to wear actual clothes during the day? And do we really need to be reminded of the soul-crushing hideousness of having your face buried in the armpit of a total stranger on the Tube?

The long, cringe-worthy, cliched list is precisely why most don’t want to give up working from home to return to the office.

And the worse bit? It doesn’t even feature Dettol’s brand name or product.

Now, call me old-fashioned, but I’d say that’s a pretty big miss. Not least because commuters were left questioning whether it was part of the government’s campaign to get people back to work – and that’s not exactly going down brilliantly.

Sorry Dettol, but you’re going to have a hard job cleaning up after this mess.


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