It's impossible to reduce the output of HHCL - Britain's 'Agency of the 90s' to a single technique.

Certainly some of their work, like Fuji and First Direct, was avant-garde... but they also employed many time-honoured advertising methods such as adapting a pop promo (the commercials for Maxell cassettes using misheard lyrics were based on the video for Subterranean Homesick Blues by Bob Dylan).

And straightforward (but brilliant) metaphor ads like the fat slapping orange Tango man.

But there's one particular technique that they executed with great panache, which I think is an arrow definitely worth having in your quiver.

First example is one of their earliest ads, for Danepak Lean & Low bacon. This 30 second ad features fully 21 seconds of voiceover that is little more than a list of product benefits:

"We love... good food, like this Lean & Low bacon. And what's great about Lean & Low, this new product from Danepak, is that it's lower in fat, and salt. So it's better for our figures. Plus it doesn't spit so much fat everywhere. Danepak Lean & Low - the natural choice."



Of course, the fact that the Andersen family are naturists, their modesty preserved only by conveniently placed tablewear, makes the whole thing very amusing.

Next up, their famous ad for AA insurance. At the time, it was notorious for being the first ad to feature an Asian couple in a role that wasn't predicated on their ethnicity, and possibly the first ad to own up to the fact that couples argue.

The interest generated by these two factors enabled HHCL to smuggle in scads of product points about the AA's car insurance 'internet site.'

Finally, one of my favourite ads - Blackcurrant Tango.



Ray Gardner, with his flabby belly and disdain for French exchange students, must be one of the most memorable brand spokespeople of all time. In fact, he was so entertaining, we didn't mind that he fed us quite a few sales points about Britvic's new carbonate - that it's "a charge for the tastebuds" and even that Tango have been "working on it for three years."

Perhaps unfairly, I summarise this technique as 'wacky person reads brief.' But used well, it's highly effective all-round. Awards juries are happy - it's a clever conceit. The client is happy - they get to hear all the reasons why their product is so great. And the consumer is happy - they get to watch naturists or whatever.

As a further bonus, the heavy product content makes this type of ad more-than-usually easy to sell.

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