Sunday, August 16, 2009

Is the Recession affecting TV Adverts?

I may be imagining it, or on the other hand it may be self-evident and others may have made this observation before and with more expertise than me, but I can't help but notice two apparent developments in TV advertising since the recession started to bite:

1. There has been a return of adverts not seen for years, recycled for a 21st century audience. The Milky Bar kid has swaggered back into town, Persil is broadcasting its greatest hits, the OXO family are back round the kitchen table, and the red car and the blue car are once again racing to promote Milky Way. Perhaps the companies are saving the cash of which they are strapped by using archive ads rather than making new ones. But I suspect it is more to do with appealing to viewers' desire for security in troubled times, for reminders of "better days" even if they were not much better at all, and to show that these particular products have stood the test of time.

2. Some British TV adverts have adopted the practice of directly slagging off their rivals. Is it Morrison's telling us how many more price cuts they have than Asda, or was it Tesco dissing Sainsbury's? I can't remember, but while this sort of stuff has been standard on say, US TV, for decades, in Blighty it was always seen as rather too distasteful or impolite. Profits down, knives out, it seems.

Which all begs the questions ... Any old-time ads you'd like to see re-broadcast? Or any that you hope will never see the light of day again? And any companies you would really like to see sticking the boot into others? Comments box open ...

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