Flora Buttery Advert Small Print Surprise

Gary Rhodes is on a mission. A mission to convince people that a crappy margarine product tastes marginally better than awful. He goes around in a camper van, giving people Flora Buttery and recording their suppressed grimaces.

This advert goes down the slightly taboo route of naming a competitor. It’s an approach that tends to antagonise the competitor in question for obvious reasons. In this particular case, the competitor is Lurpak Lighter Spreadable and the advert follows a Pepsi Challenge sort of pattern, comparing reactions to both products.

The advert concludes that:

More people preferred the taste of Flora Buttery

This is probably a fair point if you’re comparing the taste of Flora Buttery with uranium, or Benalyn, or dog shit, but slightly less fair in the case of Lurpak Spreadable. Because the small print says this:

Out of 200 people tested, 48% preferred Flora Buttery Taste, 45% Lurpak Lighter Spreadable, 7% had no preference.

In other words, the Flora Buttery people happily admit that from their own sample (200), the majority of people (104) actually preferred Lurpak Lighter Spreadable or had no preference than expressed a preference from their own product (96).

I like Gary Rhodes. He’s a fine chef and seems like a nice bloke. But this advert is shit.

EDIT: The advert was subsequently banned for these misleading figures

Confused.com – friendlyeasywelcoming

There comes a time in every thrusting new internet start-up’s life when it has do ditch its desperate, cheap, attention-grabbing campaign and rebrand itself as warm, cosy, non-threatening and decidedly middle-class.

This means that its ads go from the television equivalent of someone slamming a can of tizer in your face before spraying its contents into your eyes, to a cup of unpleasantly milky and sugary tea – not as immediately annoying but guaranteed to have you feeling decidedly queasy after a time.

This brings me to Confused.com’s new friendlyeasywelcoming adverts, which evince a definite effort to position the company as a non-threatening mainstream brand.

This means lots of normal-looking people talking about how friendlyeasywelcoming the new site is, as if anyone really looks at a website and bases their judgement on its quality by how ‘friendly’ it looks. The BBC has a long way to go by this standard.

“Oh, it’s recording!” is how things kick off, with a young man with an emo haircut feigning surprise that his camcorder is working. This, apparently, is AmazingPhil. AmazingPhil has a successful Youtube channel where he talks about his life.

This means that there isn’t really any attempt on the part of Confused.com to pretend that these are actual customers. Phil bookends the advert by the drawing a smiley face on his hand and making a ‘ta-da’ noise. He may not be a complete prick, but that’s certainly the impression given by the advert.

Elsewhere in the ad a variety of target demographics repeat words discovered by a focus group to be important to people searching for car insurance comparison sites on the internet, hence friendlyeasywelcoming. The overall effect is like drowning in Horlicks. Tellingly Confused.com has disabled ratings on its Youtube video.

Unfortunately while Confused.com, GoCompare.com and MoneySupermarket.com have all gone for the same approach, ComparetheMarket.com has thrown a massive spanner into the works by creating a campaign that is both funny and memorable in their CompareTheMeerkat.com ads, blowing the others out of the water.

Confused.com has immediately responded with an unfunny new advert featuring a small blob of rubber called Confucius. It’s a weak comeback when faced with Aleksandr the Meerkat, but it doesn’t make me want to kill AmazingPhil.