Ad Break#22 Milk, Moon and the pocket tap!

Arla Cravendale - “It’s not milk”

First shown last year this amusing ad is back on screens albeit accompanied by some controversy over its slogan. “It’s not milk” declare a variety of different characters yet in fact the product is actually milk. So just what is going on?  The ad itself is great. We see a Steve Jobs like character addressing a conference hall declaring “It’s not milk!” and giving a high kick as the audience cheers. A burglar is surrounded and told to put down the milk but  calls out “It's not milk!”. There’s a snippet of a pop video with a synthesized voice singing `Its not milk” and the `pop star` (called Lil Milky) dressed as a milkman! A butler brings a glass to the lady of the manor but corrects her when she calls it milk. “No madam, it’s not milk,” he advises.  There’s even a cat and some tennis players. 


Made by Wieden and Kennedy of London, directed by Conor Byrne and produced by Hungry Man it originally debuted in October 2019. Has it come back because of the controversy? Most companies would quietly have locked it away and returned with a different campaign. In fact the slogan should probably be “It’s not just milk` but that’s not half as funny.  At the 2019 launch, Emma Stanbury, at Arla Cravendale, said: “The new campaign celebrates what makes Arla Cravendale a cut above; that it’s filtered for purity. Throughout the ad we see Cravendale being sought after in lots of different scenarios to convey it’s milky marvelousness.”

The whole thrust of the advert is in that slogan yet what it is promoting is “fresh milk filtered for purity.” So it’s not milk, it’s fresh milk. This has obviously riled some people especially Vegans and those who are allergic to dairy ptroducts.  It caused enough controversy for the Advertising Standards Authority to become involved. In all they received 111 complaints saying that the ad was “misleading” or even “irresponsible”. 

However in its verdict the ASA concluded that the scenes presented were not those in which milk would normally be featured and “therefore considered that consumers would understand that the claim “it’s not milk” in the context of the ad was likely to have a comical double meaning.” They also pointed out several aspects of the advert which confirmed the product was dairy for example “in a kitchen which had figurines of cows in the décor and black and white patched items as the milk was poured into a bowl of cereal.” They also drew attention to the final seconds where a voice over clearly states “It’s not milk, it’s fresh milk filtered for purity” while this was also displayed in very large text on screen . Their ruling concluded: “We considered consumers would understand, by the end of the ad, if not before, that the claim “it’s not milk” was a play on words, intended to highlight the different way the product was processed from other dairy milk during its manufacture, rather than as a statement that it was not dairy milk.” Lil Milky was unavailable for comment.


Chanel - “We’re on each other’s team”

A blend of imaginary images accompanied by a song about small cities forms the basis for Chanel No 5’s latest ad. We see a couple engaged in a contemporary style dance across what seems to be the lunar surface albeit a gold coloured version. Without gravity their moves are longer and broader culminating in them spiralling into the air. It is as captivating a sequence as any. The music is Lorde’s 2013 song `Team` which has weirdly fascinating lyrics - “We live in cities you’ll never see on screen, Not very pretty, but we sure know how to run them”. It’s a version sung by French actress Marion Cotillard who also stars in the advert itself. The lyrics are actually about smaller, less well off places that you rarely see on television.

The advert is directed by Johan Renck who created the stunning ten- minute video for David Bowie’s `Blackstar` five years ago, surely one of the best promo films ever? Marion Cotillard wears a dress made up of over ten thousand sequins hand stitched by sixteen people into gold lace. The outfit is apparently inspired by something worn by Gabriellle Chanel, the founder of the brand, herself. Marion Cotillard and her co-dancer Jeremie Belingard are choreographed by Ryan Heffington (amongst his work was Sia’s memorable video for `Chandelier`) who says he wanted the dance to reflect “a true relationship”, communicating through their movement. It was probably not shot on location on the Moon.


Asda- “Pocket tap!”

Like a band reforming after years apart the return of the Asda Price pocket tap has been an unexpected thing. Back in the day all Asda adverts ended with a little jingle “That’s Asda price” and someone tapping their back pocket twice, the suggestion being that it was full of extra coins because Asda was so much cheaper than other supermarkets. Fast forward to 2020 and rivals like Lidl and Aldi are seen as the best value names while we don’t really even use coins to shop any more. Yet still the pocket tap is back! It first featured in 1977 and ran for thirty years but in the midst of the pandemic has been revived.

Launched in September the campaign aims to reflect 2020 as is and has a family -– dad Sunny, mum Amy and their three children – showing why the supermarket should bring “Asda Price back to the people”. It ends with the Asda pocket tap and a reworked version of the Asda jingle. In fact Sonny is so enthusiastic he does the pocket tap four times!

The advert was created by agency AMV BBDO and Asda’s chief customer office Anna-Maree Shaw says: “We are so excited to be bringing Asda Price and the pocket tap back, but with a more modern look and feel. Sunny is a real family man – a fun-loving savvy shopper that is always on the hunt for a bargain, like so many of our customers.”Asda CEO Roger Burnley says: “We know that given the year it has been, saving money is more important than ever for our customers, which is why we’ve invested in rolling back the price of thousands of products this September and will keep doing so through the rest of 2020 and beyond."

Sonny is played by actor Muzz Khan however it is his real family in the ads of which there are already several including one where their Xmas lights are the Asda pocket tap symbol! The initial ad was quite low key and made to look as if the family had come up with it themselves. While this didn’t go down too well with those preferring high tech expensive ads it suits a year when the likes of Zoom and Instagram have been marking our lives. Later ads are a bit slicker and the premise of Sonny `making` the ads is less prominent. They also continue to acknoweldge the times with the Xmas one saying that  the season will not be the same. In this way it seems more tuned in than some of the other festive campaigns which assume everyone will have as much money to spend on things this year.  




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