Thursday, May 22, 2008

Bad Ad Rodeo: Nestea Singles

Something really stuck with me from the American Idol finale last night. No, it wasn’t the noticeable absence of Taylor Hicks or the spastic breakdancing that Ryan Seacrest busted out during a Donna Summer performance…it was one of the most inappropriate ads I’ve ever seen.

It starts with a couple driving along the road in a car. The cinematography is oversaturated and very sunny. Boston’s “More than a Feeling” is playing and the girl is relaxing in her seat while her boyfriend drives.

She leans over, gives him a kiss, then stands up on the centre console of the car and stand up through the sunroof with her arms stretched out.

The clip then cuts to Nestea Singles Tea being mixed with ice water to make a refreshing blended iced tea. The voiceover reads something like “new Nestea Singles iced tea. It’s so refreshing."

Ok, let’s analyze: the product is fine, there’s nothing wrong with powdered tea mixes. The song is catchy, everyone likes Boston “More than a Feeling”. What about the fact that she’s standing up in a moving car without a seatbelt?


Why Nestea would feel it’s appropriate to associate their product with unsafe driving is beyond me. Sure I get the point that the new powdered tea is so refreshing that it feels just like a summer breeze on your face, but it feels like a summer breeze on your face as you’re barreling down the road at 60kph unrestrained? It’s just iced tea.

Wow. I’m actually not going to blame the agency for this one. I’m blaming the Nestle marketing department. They shouldn’t have let this schlock out the door.

Speaking of other ads which belong in the toilet, we’ve all seen this one for Dentyne Ice gum.

So, the guy’s head fell off? So he’s dead now? So the gum killed him?

Again, what were they thinking? It’s all tongue in cheek and very playful, but at the core of the ad, Dentyne Ice gum has been associated with cryodeath!

Ad executives: preview your ads and think logically about them. Would you behave the way that the characters do? Does the ad associate your brand or product with something it shouldn’t? Sometimes the ads can’t be as clever as you’d like.

For a full list of advertising no-nos, head to this helpful list of commercial offenses I found.

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