Hurrah and huzzah! After seven years, the UK is poised for an extended heatwave. And what happens? Supermarkets have been unveiling their Christmas collections this week (Heston’s Christmas pudding will be filled with - ta-da! - chocolate) while The Co-operative Group broadcast a summer celebration ad… featuring a Christmas jingle.
” Can someone please come up with a great ad to celebrate the summer heatwave?”
The Co-op is trying so hard. And twinning a feelgood commercial with an Andy Williams soundtrack has certainly been disruptive. But the feedback has not exactly been ‘Wonderful’, and airtime for the radio version has already been reduced by half. No wonder. Stores always get complaints when, in late August, Christmas decs are put up, the jingles start blaring out, and mince pies go on shelf. And the Co-op has effectively brought the date forward by a further two months. What’s wrong with a summer song, like Summer Loving from Grease, or Summer Fun by the Barracudas if it wants to be more edgy? I can only assume Andy Williams is out of copyright.
Still, at least Let There Be Beer, the new ad campaign funded by the five leading brewers, celebrates the summer in unequivocal fashion, with ice bucket dunks, and the sizzled visages of parched men standing over a hot barbecue. Unfortunately, its reception has been little better, and not just because of the rather creepy scenes weaved into its strange and stylised narrative. With a succession of thinly disguised brands being necked, it’s quite a good way to promote binge drinking but, in all seriousness, the industry is on even thinner ice suggesting it doesn’t care what brand of beer you drink so long as you drink beer. Having lost share to cider in recent years, brewers would be better off telling consumers about the sweeter and lighter beers they’re now successfully producing in response, or using great creative to remind consumers of the individual and more savoury characteristics of their bestsellers.
So, can someone please come up with a great ad to celebrate the summer heatwave. The only ones we can think of - from M&S, Sainsbury’s, Famous Grouse - were in 2012. And the sun wasn’t shining.