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April 16, 2008 / Toby Dayton

UK Advertising Crushes U.S. In Creativity (Again)

The annual screening of the British Television Advertising Awards reminds me every year of not only how phenomenal good advertising can be, but also of the somewhat depressing fact that most U.S. advertising is excruciatingly boring and entirely uninspired. As I sit in the Walker Art Center’s theater each December and watch about 90 minutes of British commercials, thoroughly moved and/or entertained by almost every spot, it’s hard not to reflect on the fact that a similar film of U.S. commercials would last about 8 minutes. And it has happened again this week.

News International recently ran a series of full-page ads not only touting their UK daily newspapers, but the general strength and certain longevity of the printed newspaper itself. The campaign consisted of imaginary headlines and news stories from the future (i.e., England wins the World Cup in 2043, Brits decry Heathrow’s terminal 17 in 2058, etc.).

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It’s a simple yet powerful campaign that not only amuses readers but also fosters thoughtful reflection on how meaningful and relevant news and newspapers have been, are, and will continue to be for both individuals and a nation.

Contrast News International’s impressive campaign with the ludicrous blather concocted by the Newspaper Association of America (NAA) touting the appeal of daily newspapers.

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I’ve written about this dreadful campaign on multiple occasions (here and here), but suffice it to say it’s a joke. And yet again in the world of advertising, we can look to the Brits to demonstrate what’s possible with a compelling campaign.

[tags]UK Dailies, News International, NAA, Newspaper Association of America, Freaky Aliens, Englad Wins World Cup, Heathrow Airport, Terminal 5 Disaster, Bad Marketing, Flawed Marketing, Inspired Marketing, Solid Creative, Harvard Business School Case Study[/tags]

One Comment

  1. K.A. / Apr 17 2008 8:38 am

    Is there anywhere we can go online to see these commercials?

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