Today is one of those lucky days where I have a breather to go blog visiting and I chose to roam at Ivan’s Ads of the World. For us in the advertising and design industry, Ivan’s blog is a treasure trove of delights.
I chanced upon this series of Durex Extra Safe ads:
Advertising Agency: DDB New Zealand ~ Executive Creative Director: Toby Talbot ~ Senior Art Director: Dave Brady ~ Art Director: James Tucker ~ Copywriter: Simon Vickers
Most of the Ivan’s fans thought that the illustrations suck and the idea was lame.
Actually, there is nothing wrong with the illustration. They are just not the typical DC comics, Japanese anime or even the hip, retro style that we are more accustomed to in our day-to-day life. Such an illustration style is mostly found in nurseries, pre-schools and pre-schoolers’ pictorial books. That might be something many of us may not be in touch with or are already out of touch with. If these ads were actually wall murals in a nursery as what Rainman said, I would say it is a great match to the medium.
As for the idea is lame. Well, we can look at it from two perspectives.
For ad folks like us, we take a first look at the picture and wonder why the stork is abandoning it’s traditional and noble role of delivering babies? And we start chuckling when we see the white coloured Durex Extra Safe logo at the bottom right page. The connection is fast and clear. No copy is needed in the ad and yet we understand perfectly that the stork is now out of job because Durex Extra Safe works exceeding well to prevent unwanted pregnancies. So the poor stork’s got to find a new job delivering flowers and pizza. So, the message is delivered loud and clear.
For the general public who do not work in the creative fields as suits, copywriters, designers or production specialists, they may understand the relationship between the stork and Durex by the 2nd look, if not the first. The message is delivered but more importantly – is the advertisement effective in encouraging couples to use condoms during sex? Most couples feel that sex is more intimate and enjoyable without the presence of rubber. Some resort to other preventive measures to avoid pregnancy, rather than checking out if Durex is better than Trojan, or is Crown living up to it’s name to be the safest compared to Beyond Seven. This ad is claiming that Durex is Extra Safe, better than all it’s competitors; and that’s why it can boot the stork out of it’s job. However, does the public care about such comparison? As far as the reports and studies show, condom advocates are more keen to know which condom has interesting features that can heighten their pleasure. It is a given that condom prevents pregnancy up to 90% of the times. No condom manufacturer dare make that bold 100% claim. So, to many, one brand is as good as another in preventing pregnancy. Most don’t even bother if it’s made with 100% pure latex unless they have a skin condition. Had the ad convinced couples that sex can be as fun and pregnancy can be avoided with Durex Extra Safe, the conversion chance may be higher.
Are these ads effective? Well, according to the advertising maxim of AIDA (attraction, interest, desire and action), it will definitely get a tick for “A” and “I” but I’m not certain with “D”and “A”. How about you? Do share your views.