Whatever happened to fun adverts? Well, they still exist, and here's a great one for West Country pasty brand Ginster courtesy of TBWA\London.
Once upon a time, TV ads were mini-movies, frequently hilarious and commonly held to be "better than the programmes". No one really says that any more, which may be partly because the programmes themselves have improved. But it's also because, as Teemu Suviala of Landor & Fitch pointed out in my recent interview, today's commercials and branding in general are becoming increasingly brand.
However, at Creative Boom, we're all about applauding creative work and accentuating the positive. And so we had to share this fun ad from south-west England pasty brand Ginster to provide a bit of balance.
The new commercial follows the trend of emphasising the quality of Ginster's ingredients. This approach is sensible in principle, but in practice, it often leads to adverts that are quite a little on the boring, worthy and samey side.
Not so, though, here. That's largely due to the excellent comic acting behind a new brand character called Merryn.
She's a quirky and passionate farmer called Merryn, who will go to any lengths to grow only the best vegetables for Ginsters. And she's brilliantly portrayed by Lauren Hendricks, calling to mind the likes of Daisy May-Cooper and Dawn French by poking affectionate fun at West Country folk without ever sliding into offensive stereotypes. (As someone who's spent most of my life in Bristol and Somerset, I can attest to that).
The spot begins with Merryn, resplendent in full Wurzels-style costume, in a field dressed as a scarecrow. The camera pans back to show her colleague is also out there, looking less than pleased.
As the ad continues, it delves into the increasingly outlandish ways Merryn goes above and beyond in growing her vegetables... from getting upset when potatoes leave to putting baby monitors in the field to saying goodnight to the onions via a baby monitor.
“A farmer is the perfect way to tell a quality ingredient story," says Andy Jex, executive creative director at TBWA\London. "We just needed to do it in a more stand-out way with a voice that felt authentically Cornish and Ginsters. We were lucky to find Merryn, a seriously funny farmer with a serious view of veg."
The ad is part of a new brand platform called 'Taste The Effort', which also features OOH material and highlights the quality of the ingredients within a Ginsters pasty.
The aim is to tackle the misconception that it's a low-quality, cold snack to be eaten on the go. Instead, Ginsters prides itself on the quality of its products, which are sourced from local and British suppliers and never include artificial colours, flavours or preservatives.