06/03/2019

Ad Break#10 Cows, Birds and Pigs!


Muller Quark Yoghurt- “Yes, baby yes!”
Have you ever heard of Quark?  Here’s me thinking it was an elemental particle and a key constituent of matter but here’s erstwhile Pussycat Doll and X Factor judge Nicole Scherzinger to tell me it’s an ingredient in the very latest Muller product Quark Yoghurt. We find her in a “secret Alpine village” sporting a milk maid’s costume. She is positively giddy about this product which, she tells us, combines Quark and Yoghurt (obvs) to create, erm, Quark Yoghurt. “Its so creamy”, she declares, “Its…” “Mooollerlicious” booms a passing cow. Covering more or less all the Alpine cliches you can think of the ad certainly leaves an impression even if the product looks as if it might double as putty in an emergency. 


What neither Nicole nor the cow bother to tell us is what exactly Quark is. Technically it’s a soft cheese - do you want to know how its made? Well you acidify pasteurised skimmed milk and then feed it through an ultrafiltration plant to remove the protein in the acidified milk, leaving it separated from the water, most of the salts and the lactose. Can you imagine Nicole and her cow running through this recipe? “Ultrafiltration! Yes, baby yes”.
Quark has apparently been popular in Central Europe for a long time. Given that yoghurt is made by fermenting milk with so called friendly bacteria the resulting mix sounds like something to be avoided, Mooollerlicious or not. Spoiler – its not a real cow! But it is the real Nicole Scherzinger. Muller yoghurt by the way is the official yoghurt of British Athletics which makes you wonder if the sport has other official foods? I wonder whose sprouts are the official sprouts of British Athletics? 

TripAdvisor – “Oooooo”
Owls have long been regarded as wise despite there being no evidence they have ever given advice to anyone about anything. TripAdvisor have nonetheless employed a big eyed bird to sit on a hotel bed wearing a white dressing gown and inform us that using TripAdvisor is the easiest thing ever. Who knew owls even went on holiday? Of course there are several similar companies vying for our attention including the musical keyboard tapping Kayak girls and the oddly monikered Trivago.
Spoiler- It’s not a real owl! I only mention this because if you Google it one of the first questions that comes up is “Is the TripAdvisor owl a puppet?” Really?  In fact the company’s always had an owl called Ollie as part of their logo but this is the first time it’s come to life. The ad owl is apparently named Little Wiser. The animatronic model is rather good but as birds can’t have facial expressions the effect is rather as if the owl is trying to hypnotize you.
TripAdvisor are an American company founded in February 2000. The owl ads began in 2017 and are made by the Supermoon agency based in Santa Monica in California. The owl is voiced by Tony Collins Fogerty. The model itself was designed by Bodin Sterba Design with Legacy Effects. The former describes the bird as being “a mash up of a burrowing owl with horns”. It took me ages to work out why the ad’s musical sting is so brief till I realised it’s supposed be an owl hooting. Presumably because the ads are not aimed at children you can’t buy an owl toy from TripAdvisor’s website though oddly you can buy the bath robe.  
McDonalds Big Mac with bacon– “Its not a Big Mac”
How do you advertise something that’s been a food staple for decades? McDonalds seem to think the answer is adding some bacon to their Big Mac, the first time the iconic burger has been altered since its launch in 1968. Their latest ad has various punters- and some celebs- debating whether a Big Mac is still a Big Mac if it has bacon in it. And here’s us thinking that Brexit is the big debate of the moment! This is a limited campaign only running till 19 March and you can vote on their website as to whether you think the addition of bacon means its still a Big Mac or not. Its not clear if, unlike a certain other equally unnecessary referendum, the decision will be binding and Big Macs might have bacon included forever. Or whether those who favour such an addition are called Baconeers. 

The head of McDonalds Marketing Michelle Graham- Clare said: “I am delighted to introduce bacon to the Big Mac range, a twist on a classic which has sparked debates around the world – is a Big Mac still a Big Mac if you add bacon?” Even before the launch people were taking to social media to express their horror at the development, one person describing it as an “abominable" though how much of this was generated by the company’s PR people remains unclear. There isn’t a lot of information about the ad and it can prove difficult to ignite a public debate if people don’t feel that interested in the question. Walkers have done similar campaigns experimenting with new crisp flavours. Given the limited timespan of the campaign and the fact that McDonalds are highly unlikely to permanently alter the established recipe the whole exercise seems rather a waste of time and bacon. I suppose if the bacon version proves popular they can always launch it as something else, a Bacon Mac perhaps?
Finally…Wayfair. You’ll recall last year we had Lorraine Kelly of daytime tv fame and someone called Kate debating the merits of the company’s “budget friendly” and “high end” wares before dancing a jig in the hall. Well now the dancing has got out of control with the latest ad showing various people dancing like a parent at a wedding all because they’ve bought things from Wayfair. Stop it now - these ads are now the most irritating on TV!

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