Poster Watch: And the best are…

Nescafe’s traditional ‘girl with mug’ campaign clinched top spot for most memorable and likeable campaign. Less popular were Net brands, which Gerry Moira thinks need to find more exciting ways to differentiate themselves

This month’s posters included several from dot-coms, which are relatively new users of the medium, and comparatively unknown to the general public. It is hardly surprising, then, that well-known brands, some of which have been advertising on posters for longer than the Internet has existed, were more likely to be recognised by passers-by.

Nescafe’s traditional “girl with mug” campaign enjoyed the highest awareness by far of all the posters – just over 70 per cent of interviewees remembered seeing the campaign (or possibly one of its predecessors) before. TCP was a clear second, remembered by four out of ten adults.

In terms of recall, there is little variation between the rest of this month’s posters. Talk Radio’s re-launch campaign as Talk Sport scored 27 per cent, and there was a dead heat between Fairy Liquid, First Choice Holidays,, Virgin Direct, and Smile, all recognised by 23 per cent or 24 per cent.

Although Palmolive’s “girl in shower” is the latest execution in a long-running campaign, only a fifth of interviewees remembered seeing it previously., the computer and entertainment specialists, was recalled by ten per cent of adults.

Nescafe also came top of the liking poll, with 72 per cent approval, but the gap between all the posters was far narrower than in the recall chart. First Choice, Fairy Liquid, and tied for second place, with between 60 per cent and 58 per cent approval; while TCP was only slightly less popular, scoring 55 per cent.

Palmolive and Talk Sport shared sixth place, with 45 per cent, while four out of ten people liked the Virgin Direct campaign. Thirty-seven per cent voted for, and a third for Smile’s campaign for Internet banking.

Ipsos-ASI interviewed 300 adults aged 18-60 during February 2000. They were shown photographs of ten current posters, each with the advertiser’s name and logo removed, and asked which they had seen before, and whether they liked or disliked them.

Contact Alan Hodges

0208 861 8000

Net advertisers can learn from older brands’ flair

Once, e-commerce was something you negotiated with the bouncer on your way into a nightclub on a Friday night, but that was a thousand stock valuation millionaires ago, and these days every self-respecting creative knows his dot-coms from his Dot Cottons. The real question is whether we are any the wiser. Have advertising agencies adapted our time-honoured techniques to the special needs of these new traders? Creatively speaking, this coming together of the new cyberspace brands and conventional media has been uninspiring, and nowhere is this more true than in the poster medium, traditionally the hang-out of big brands.

In this batch of posters, neither ebookers nor Smile communicate their difference to their respective earthbound competitors First Choice or Virgin Direct. It’s left to older brands, such as Fairy Liquid and TCP, to use the poster medium with confidence.

Fairy Liquid’s new-found sense of humour is well worth celebrating, and TCP’s candour is totally disarming – after all, everyone believes in the efficacy of nasty tasting medicine. In contrast, Palmolive does not feel like a confident brand to me, and Talk Radio will have to raise its creative game if it is to compete for our attention in the sports arena.

Gerry Moira is executive creative director of Publicis London


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