Ad Breakdown: Persil’s “and a hint of”

Persil ad showing empty oven dish with a dish description as the copy

The ways of influencing behaviour supersede the advertising medium. You can be writing a 50+ page financial promo or a 1-page newspaper print ad, and the principles are the same.  There’s a particular principle shown in today’s ad that’s as fundamental (and brilliantly executed) as they get. Let’s have a look. Here’s the ad. Who […]

Ad Breakdown: Sony’s “Stamina”

Sony Stamina ad

Getting the balance between too easy and too difficult is something advertisers often struggle with. Make the ad too easy, you insult (and bore) your audience. Make the ad too difficult, you lose them before they read the ad. Ads need a little challenge. That’s what makes them engaging.  But knowing how to make them […]

Ad Breakdown: Lyons Coffee’s “Has beans?”

Lyons Coffee "Has beans? ad

Substanceless ads are boring. They always have been, and they always will be. You need a little spark, a little something to get your reader’s mind ticking. And finding the balance between too easy and too difficult is something many advertisers struggle with.  If you make it too easy, you insult your reader. If you […]

Ad Breakdown: Langley House’s “Unbreakable”

Langley House Unbreakable Flask ad

As winter digs its heels in, what better time to think about keeping your soup (or drink) warm than with this lovely flask ad from the 1992 D&AD annual? I have a few points to discuss, so let’s dig in. Who The Idea A new product will always face resistance as it enters the market. […]

Ad Breakdown: London Underground’s “Starve a meter.”

Today, we’re looking at one of Mary Wear‘s great ads. She has an extensive portfolio of brilliant work, including the famous “Make Poverty History”.  She created a lot of her work with her ad partner, Damon Collins. I’m going to share some thoughts on one of their earliest pieces, which Mary describes as a “poster […]

Ad Breakdown: London Transport’s ‘Simple’

“’Making London Simple‘ won the pitch, and several D&AD Pencils. And ran for many years.” says Ewan Paterson, one of the copywriters from today’s ad. It’s also worth noting that it won a Silver Award for the most outstanding Consumer Transport Poster in the 1998 D&AD annual too.  It’s a brilliant example of an exaggeration […]

Ad Breakdown: Weetabix’s “Withabix”

Weetabix ad with "paediatrician" spelt buy a baby

Welcome to the next part of an unintentional 2-part series of baby ads. You can catch “part one” here. Today’s ad isn’t about baby food, nor does it use a baby in the same way… so let’s explore. Ad info Weetabix’s infamous tagline, “Have you had your Weetabix?”, started in the 90s. As we’ll see […]

Ad Breakdown: Cow & Gate’s ‘&’

This one’s going to be fun. A copywriter breaking down an ad without any copy. Today’s ad is for Cow & Gate, and it was created by Rob Oliver (art director), Peter Russell (copywriter) and notably Nadav Kander (photographer) in 1995 for AMV BBDO.  Let’s take a look. No sh*t, Sherlock A business grows by […]

Ad Breakdown: British Airways’ Yo-yo

British Airways Yo-yo ad

Most of you have seen Uncommon’s British Airways campaign. Advertisers – including myself – thought it was pretty special. But, flicking through the 1998 D&AD annual, I spotted this and thought it was clever. There’s one main technique at play – with a couple supplementaries that make the ad work a little harder. This was […]

Ad Breakdown: Sony’s Fruit Bowl

Sony Fruit Bowl ad

Today I’m setting a new “blog rule”. It’s a bit of fun for me but it means you’ll get more for less. And that’s what counts. Every ad breakdown from now on (at least until it doesn’t feel right) will be 600 words. Not a word more. Although, there may be some ‘special editions’ coming… […]