An Analysis of the 2003 John Smiths Televised Advertising Campaign

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The John Smiths advertising campaign of 2003 developed the way products are advertised. It looked in at the advert instead of the product and concentrated on making them effective. Endorsed by Peter Kay, the adverts are witty, ironic and funny. Winning and award for best campaign 2003 proves how effective the adverts have been. Their aims were to get younger drinkers to step away from lager and start to drink their beer. The idea of ‘No Nonsense’ I believe came from the fact that lager and Alco-pops are ‘fancy’ drinks especially Alco-pops which are sweet and taste almost like cocktails.

The advertising campaigns for these drinks say that by drinking their drink your lifestyle will be improved. In reality of course the drink you choose to consume has no affect on your lifestyle. You drink a drink because you enjoy the taste. Seeing this John Smith embarked on a different approach by saying that John Smith’s will not change your lifestyle therefore is a ‘No Nonsense’ drink. They have used this before in previous campaigns. With the help of Peter Kay I believe they have set up a winning formula, with Peter winning awards in his own field and also producing the results for John Smith.

The initial advert John Smiths released is called ‘Ave it’. This advert takes place in a football teams pre-game warm up. The advert begins with a footballer practicing kick-ups and then adding in some tricks. After this he flicks the ball on with his head to another player who also executes some fancy moves. A pattern is expected to arise with another footballer doing some more tricks but instead John Smith aka Peter Kay kicks the ball hard and says ‘ave it’. This is very ironic as the exact opposite of what is expected takes place. After this he goes over to the touchline where he sweeps of the oranges from a tray and picks up the can of John Smiths. This works for its target audience as beer drinkers are prepared to have a laugh at themselves whereas some other adverts are not. All the adverts contain the ironical element.

Another advert released in the year was the diving advert. Yet again containing the ironical element it proved to be a very funny advert. The diving competition has come down to the three final divers and after two very successful and graceful dives John Smith of Great Britain steps up to the board. He runs along and bombs into the pool. There is some narration or running commentary as it happens and the commentator says ‘and the crowd love it’ as he lands.

Then the judges hold up their scorecards and he receives full marks for his dive. This ironical as you would expect the winner to be someone who does a very elegant dive with say 3 back flips involved. Yet again its shows that beer drinkers are prepared to have a laugh at themselves. If you enter a diving competition and bomb into the pool rather than dive you would expect to be laughed at.

The third advert in the campaign is the one, which is set in a restaurant with John Smith his wife, and two friends. During the meal the babysitter looking after John Smith’s daughter rings up and says tells him that she is having nightmares. He tells her to put his daughter on. She says that she is scared of the wardrobe monsters. Rather than soothing her like every other father would he tells her it’s the burglars that come in through the window that you want to worry about. This is the ironical part of the advert as yet again the opposite of what is expected happens. The final advert televised is the advert that include John Smith’s mother. In this advert he tells his mum that its time to go. She replies go where. He then says the nursing home. The reasons then follow which in principal are completely unreasonable though make the advert even funnier than it already is. He says that he wants to put a snooker table in her bedroom and that the kids are scared of her moustache.

All of these adverts show the slogan ‘No Nonsense’ at the end. Each advert portrays this in its own way. Take for example the advert with the daughter. Rather than trying to cover up the and say no matter what you will be okay he tells her the truth. Though it is harsh it is the truth. The adverts are very funny with the excellence of Peter Kay in each one. They stick in your mind so if you were going to the shop to buy some alcohol for a party you would remember the adverts and buy John Smiths. The adverts I believed reached the target audience, which were young adult drinkers. This advert is not for everyone as it is dry and clever humour, which younger children may not understand.

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