Created By: Premonition45 on March 16, 2012 Last Edited By: Premonition45 on July 23, 2015

Advertisement Decay

An advertising campaign's message gets lost.

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In business, it pays to have a effective advertising campaign: one which shows what they're selling, and doing it in an entertaining/amusing manner. Though sometimes, the campaign loses sight of what it was supposed to do, and their message is lost.

Compare Magazine Decay, Network Decay, The Artifact.

Needs a Better Description.

Examples

  • Capital One credit cards had an ad campaign with Vikings that represented harsh fees from banks, who would go away once the customer revealed they had a Capital One card. This somehow turned into a campaign where the Vikings were the customers, going on wacky trips with their card.
  • The UK campaign for comparethemarket.com starring Aleksandr the Russian meerkat (it doesn't really make sense in context). Originally Aleksandr complained that the site was too easily confused with his own comparethemeerkat.com, but current ads are about him promoting his former 'rival'. Losing sight or just changing focus?
  • Another example would be the Geico gecko- similarly to the comparethemarket.com thing, it was originally about a gecko complaining that people thought he was Geico rather than a gecko, but then he just became a mascot for the company.
  • Old Navy's earliest commercials featured a dog named Magic who was the designer of the clothes, and the commercials were based around his runway fashion shows and included former Vogue editor Carrie Donovan (the old lady with the big glasses) and Debbie Harry discussing Magic and his vision. ...then they sort of became a plotless retro party celeb cameo thing, with Magic as just a dog mascot, and Carrie Donovan inexplicably still hanging around.
Community Feedback Replies: 20
  • March 16, 2012
    LeeM
    The example seems to be about a campaign that changed its message. Doesn't necessarily mean they lost sight of it.

    A similar example would be the UK campaign for comparethemarket.com starring Aleksandr the Russian meerkat (it doesn't really make sense in context). Originally Aleksandr complained that the site was too easily confused with his own comparethemeerkat.com, but current ads are about him promoting his former 'rival'. Losing sight or just changing focus?
  • March 16, 2012
    Met
    But did the Viking commercial change the message that a Capital One card is a good thing to have? It doesn't seem like the message changed. And with the meerkat commercials, maybe the meerkat switched sides, but did that change the message that comparethemarket.com is a good thing?
  • March 16, 2012
    Premonition45
    The Vikings were supposed to be representative of the other "evil" banks, with their massive fees, and then suddenly, they're the "amusing" protagonists? This can't be mere Menace Decay or Villain Decay.
  • March 16, 2012
    nemui10pm
  • March 17, 2012
    Kayube
    I don't think so. That laconic description doesn't seem to be what's really meant. It's more like an element of an ad campaign that's kept around in future ads as a mascot for the company, even though it originally had a more specific purpose that isn't used in the later ads. Another example would be the Geico gecko- similarly to the comparethemarket.com thing, it was originally about a gecko complaining that people thought he was Geico rather than a gecko, but then he just became a mascot for the company.
  • March 17, 2012
    Premonition45
    Yeah, I guess this Needs A Better Description. I was inspired by this Cracked article when I first wrote this YKTTW.
  • March 17, 2012
    Duncan
    Old Navy's earliest commercials featured a dog named Magic who was the designer of the clothes, and the commercials were based around his runway fashion shows and included former Vogue editor Carrie Donovan (the old lady with the big glasses) and Debbie Harry discussing Magic and his vision. ...then they sort of became a plotless retro party celeb cameo thing, with Magic as just a dog mascot, and Carrie Donovan inexplicably still hanging around.
  • March 18, 2012
    Met
    But the message still isn't muddled. The commercials are still saying: Buy clothes from Old Navy, or use Capital one. So it definitely Needs A Better Description if these examples fit. Maybe you can focus on the mascots, how they seem to switch sides or get "recruited" by the company.
  • March 18, 2012
    MorganWick
    What about, hypothetically, a character that originally promotes the company, but the reason they're doing so gets lost? Or what about the Energizer Bunny?
  • September 14, 2012
    NESBoy
    The Energizer Bunny was originally designed as a riff on Duracell's commercial involving toy bunnies powered by different batteries, with the narrator explaining that "Energizer wasn't invited to their playoffs". The Energizer Bunny subsequently starred in a series of Commercial Switcheroos, and at one point was antagonized by Supervolt, a fictional corporation willing to eliminate the competition by stealing his battery. Now he just appears in Energizer commercials.
  • September 14, 2012
    NESBoy
    There was a commercial for Budweiser brand beer that consisted of nothing but three frogs going, "Bud." "Weis." "Er." The frogs appeared in subsequent commercials before being antagonized by the envious Louie the Lizard, who hired a ferret in an attempt to kill the frogs. This only resulted in the middle frog suffering muscular irregularity, and Louie took his spot for a few commercials before announcing that he and the remaining frogs were fired. The ferret became the new mascot for Budweiser, but soon the ad campaign faded.
  • September 28, 2012
    SAMAS
    The commercials for Cookie Crisp cereal: Originally they starred the Cookie Cop catching the Cookie Crook when he tried to steal the cereal. Later, Cookie Crook got a sidekick; a dog named Chip that always howled "Coooooooookie Crisp!" when he saw the product, whether or not that was a good idea (it usually tipped off the Cop). Eventually, both Cop and Crook disappeared, and Chip and his howl became standard mascots.
  • September 30, 2012
    OmarKarindu
    If it weren't so unclear and snowclone-y, I'd suggest Becoming The Mascot.

    Perhaps Mascot Shift or Promoted To Mascot?
  • September 30, 2012
    WeAreAllKosh
    If it's about "becoming (about) the mascot", I'd add the Geico caveman, and the absurdity of there being an actual (but thankfully very short lived) TV show called Cavemen based on this very mascot. One could argue that some people might become so sick of these mascots and other such lame gimmicks that they might get turned off to the company itself, especially if there are plenty of competitive alternatives. I can get that way myself.
  • September 30, 2012
    WeAreAllKosh
    On the other hand, I often find myself remembering a particularly brilliant, funny, or creative TV commercial, but cannot for the life of me remember what product or brand it was actually selling (and not really caring that I don't either).
  • September 30, 2012
    kevinjwoods
    In Britain there are ads for Walkers Crisps featuring ex footballer Gary Lineker, originally they were about him doing evil things in order to get hold of Walkers Crisps based on the fact that he managed to go through a top level footballing career without being booked once, in the most recent ads he is just their, occasionally for no reason other than he is expected to appear in the ads even if he is just sitting there without any dialogue.
  • September 30, 2012
    Emreld3000
    This feels rather similar to Dada Ad.
  • July 10, 2015
    NESBoy
    • Pedigree's Dentastix campaign had a Commercial Switcheroo ad (seen here) where the initial product being pitched was "Doggie Dentures", which is pretty much human teeth for dogs. When the real Dentastix portion of the ad begins, a second announcer reacts to the preceeding Doggie Dentures content by saying, "You're kidding, right?" Later commercials such as this one dropped the Doggie Dentures aspect, but still kept the smiling dogs with human teeth around.
  • July 11, 2015
    randomsurfer
    Done deliberately by Stan Freberg, who created a six and a half minute long radio commercial for Butter-Nut Coffee which doesn't mention the product until 5 and a half minutes in. It became a big hit and rereleased in a 9 minute version without the commercial.
  • July 23, 2015
    maxwellsilver
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=6y4bm3hk8gwin55tyx4lc3n6