A Better Course

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The Ramsay in G&T

September 8th, 2007 · No Comments

I thought I was really going to like the new Gordon’s campaign when I saw this:

I love this – it’s so simple, but so effective. Whilst it features a celebrity very prominently, there’s almost no reference to that celebrity; it’s hardly even an endorsement. The message is no more complex than “Gordon[‘]s don’t like (and by extension, don’t make) mediocre things”. Gordon Ramsay has two obvious qualifications for being in the advert – he is called Gordon and is, we imagine, impressively exercised by the word “average”.

From this, I’d assumed that they whole campaign was going to be built around the idea of adjectives that the Gordon[‘]s like or dislike. I’d respected the fact that the endorsing celebrity’s brand was so obviously in second place to the product’s brand. A well placed adjective has (in the direct mail I’ve been involved in recently) doubled response rates, so building an entire print and outdoor ad campaign around brand-defining adjectives looked like an excellent idea.

Consequently, I was increasingly disappointed in the next adverts I saw:

This one’s not so bad – there’s still the big adjective, there’s still the Gordon/Gordon’s parallel, but it’s not developing quite as I expected it to (and Brand Ramsay is flexing its muscle somewhat)

The above makes explicit a link that was really better left implicit, if you don’t want to insult your audience; these things are called Gordon. This is the kind of advert I’d expect to see in the initial stages of an agency presentation, before less clunky ones were developed. It’s also more Ramsay than it is about gin.

See comments above about Brand Ramsay; this also has the thoroughly unfortunate brand association (for an alcohol product) with being loud and sweary. It’s also an artless endorsement – “I am shouty Gordon Ramsay and I choose this gin!”

It feels so much like a missed opportunity – so much could have been said about the brand, but more has been said about the famous person in the posters.

Categories: advertising · branding

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