Of all the adverts I’ve seen this year, I think this (late entry) surprised me the most. Not because of the concept – the hilarious coincidence that sometimes people who are not famous share names with people who are famous has been used before – or the clumsy copy. It surprised me because I actually know the person in the photograph. And she really is called Julia Roberts.
If I didn’t know Julia, I would have assumed that the person in the photograph was a model, and the strapline a complete fabrication, intended just to get a bit of attention using a famous name.
Ten years ago, that would probably have been the case. Finding a model, in London, of the right age, with the right name, is likely to be more trouble than it’s worth, and also low-impact – if you know someone is a model, you won’t be surprised to see them on a poster. A Facebook search, however, for someone of the right location, age, and name, is incredibly simple – and if one search fails, another one is equally easy.
I’m not sure how much more high impact it is – for the vast majority of people, it will just be the attention grabbing famous name on an otherwise nondescript advert, like they might have seen at any point in the last ten years. But something under that has shifted, and I’d like to see where an agency with more interesting ideas could take that.