Advertising 101: Monkey Business

Raise your hand if you’ve ever seen an advertisement, a TV commercial, Youtube pre roll, or print ad, that made you cringe.

One such commercial that comes to mind is courtesy of Oliver Jewellery, this infamous Cashman spot is one that everyone in Toronto has seen at some point in their life and just cringed, hard. Cashman is so bad it’s almost good in that if the ask, the pure objective, is to create retained awareness, the ad agency might just get a pass.

I’ve always wondered what the concept behind the commercial is. I can’t for the life of me understand why Russell Oliver ever thought it is a good idea to put himself, behaving in an overly loud and intrusive manner, on camera. I guess in some circles it’s always a good idea to wave bills in front of half-dressed girls while singing: I’m the cashman? With this portrayal the Oliver Jewellery brand is associated with adjectives ranging from cheap to gaudy to indent – not exactly the most desirable terms for a brand to be aligned with. Personally, I feel this reel is one that borderlines disrespect for the customer. This whole commercials just screams: WHY?

Why would a client ever chose to authorize a media buy to deliver the commercial that portrays their brand in such a manner? Why did the agency even produce such an artless annoying commercial that is just packed with aggressive selling? Moreover, why was such a concept even presented to the client?

A few weeks ago a member of the creative team I work with shared some insight about the role of the agency as we sat in a meeting musing over concepts. He had this to offer:

Don’t present a monkey (to client) unless you want to hear ooh-ooh-ahh-ahh in the commercial.  

The client may be the one with the final word on the concept that is distributed but it is the agency that has control over what is presented to client. I believe the agency has the responsibility to ensure work that they produce and facilitate is work that the client and the agency itself can be proud of.

On the flipside, head over to Marketing Mag  for Ads You Must See.

Ps. I don’t know about you but I’m feeling 22 🙂





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