Bust out the Beanz – Heinz Baked Beanz TV ad

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Here is a truly iconic brand that has consistently been in shopping baskets since first sold in Fortnum & Mason in 1901.

Most of us still associate it with the famous 1967 “Beanz Meanz Heinz” slogan created by advertising executive Maurice Drake.

In other words it is a true perennial that is still in most households.

I love this ad because it shows some proper insight on the shopper. It relies on the fact that most of us have a can, but many of us have lapsed with our usage if not love of the beleaguered bean.

The message immediately resonates with the viewer. It reminds us of a neglected friend hidden away that deserves better!

Tom Ward, head of strategy and insights at GPY&R, said:

“The problem is that all too often that is where they stay, to the point that people will sometimes end up with two or three cans tucked away.”

This sort of genuine shopper insight is great to see. Hopefully the campaign will grow as we see how people have rekindled their love affair and bust out the beautiful bean…

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U by Kotex leakage freakage

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Kimberley Clark are going out of their way to push the problem.

It might be “leakage” or it could be the risk of attracting dogs by virtue of an unclean bum (ref Kleenex Cottonelle).

This latest effort is confronting women with what we are told is a common problem. The solution is U by Kotex.

In both cases the company tackles the problem with clear product solutions.

Both approaches and that of Carefree raise an interesting question. Do consumers respond better to direct, descriptive advertising and what level of directness is more effective? The word “vagina” has recently been a subject of many complaints regarding the advertising campaign for Carefree Actifresh.

It’s interesting to ask if this approach researches well with all women / consumers? The industry likes to trumpet from on high and say we MUST change the consumer – “better out than in!” and remove ourselves from these suppressed notions of discrete advertising…? A vocal minority applaud the use of language that can make mums and dads cringe into their sofa. “It’s a vaginal discharge so lets herald it from on high!”. I’m not so sure.

There is a subtle balance between being direct and being overtly confronting to women and families in their own living rooms. U, which is firmly youth targeted, gets it right. We aren’t shocked into awareness of the problem and efficacy of the solution, we don’t hear language that is too confronting and we are indirectly very aware of the problem without being told that it is a “vaginal discharge”…territory other brands would prefer to own.

At the end of the day it is about understanding the audience not just the user and when it is the mass medium of TV the family audience matters. This is why it is an interesting topic for discussion when used in mass market media (rather than more directly targeted communication).

Without being overly conservative I sincerely hope that brands don’t continue to reach for stand-out notoriety by the use of the lowest creative common denominators in overtly describing what many real people consider to be discrete categories.

The true creative challenge is to communicate the problem and benefit / solution without the reliance on the literal descriptions and language.