The Nanny State Of Advertising

The Nanny State Of Advertising
SHARE
THIS



Remember the good ol’ days of advertising when you could crack an off-colour joke or show a woman’s buttocks without fear of running foul of the Advertising Standards Bureau?

Perhaps the latter example isn’t such a great one, but you have to wonder if we’ve lost the ability to laugh at ourselves in ads.

Darren Spiller, executive creative director at DDB Melbourne says we’re turning into the “nanny state”.

“Big brands have always used humour to make a connection with people. And it makes perfect sense because ads that use emotion are more effective,” he says.

“However, ads today are more conservative than ever before because marketers are often nervous about doing something that could offend – and I think a lot of brands are shying away from using humour in their advertising as a result.”

Most humour in ads, Spiller says, comes from someone else’s misfortune.

“Think about it,” he says. “Think about the last thing that made you roll on the floor laughing and chances are it was at someone else expense – I’m talking about light-hearted harmless funny here by the way – and even that is seen as politically incorrect nowadays.

“The Australian culture is losing its ‘larrikin’ stereotype as a consequence and becoming a nanny state.”

Creative partner Mike O’Rourke at ad agency Bloke says it depends on the type of brand as to whether humour is appropriate but agrees with Spiller’s suggestion. “Absolutely we’re getting too politically correct,” he says. “There doesn’t seem to be anyone other than the beer brands that are able to laugh at themselves anymore. It’s a shame.”

However executive creative director at agency McCann Melbourne, Pat Baron, disagrees.

“We haven’t lost the ability to laugh at ourselves,” he says. “McCann’s own brand campaigns for Metro Trains ‘Dumb Ways to Die’ and V-Line’s ‘Guilt Trips’ are great examples.”

Creative director at Huckleberry Agency, Carmela Soares, says it’s not just an Aussie issue.

She says: “The whole world is becoming more politically correct, and brands in general are using less humour. I think the fact that brands are using less humour in their campaigns has probably more to do with a combination of elements. Lower budgets, time pressure, excessive focus on best, existing practices and fragmentation in strategy are just a few of the issues that might affect the decision to pursue riskier ideas.”

Al Crawford, executive planning director from Clemenger BBDO believes it could be an issue of a company putting all the hard yakka into a brand and having an agency say they’re going to represent that brand with a series of funny skits.

“I can understand that quite a few people would sit there and go ‘that sounds like something that isn’t necessary a brilliant representation of my business’. We have to realise a lot of the time in advertising we always think that by saying ‘this is the best thing for the consumer, it’s going to win the day’, but in reality communications often have a much larger array of stakeholders than just consumers.”

DDB’s Spiller says the ad industry needs to quit being so straight laced. He says: “We need to see more of this larrikin attitude in our advertising and stop taking ourselves so seriously.”

 

Please login with linkedin to comment

Latest News

Zenith Sydney MD Karen Halligan To Depart
  • Media

Zenith Sydney MD Karen Halligan To Depart

Zenith Sydney's Karen Halligan has pulled-up stumps, although that's not to infer bad light had anything to do with it.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
PR Agency Hotwire Rebrands
  • Marketing
  • Media

PR Agency Hotwire Rebrands

PR agency Hotwire has rebranded, yet sadly not to "Hot Cocks Who Rock Your Socks Off". Which would've been far cooler.

Challenger Agency VCCP Wins Creative Account For Torrens University Australia
  • Advertising

Challenger Agency VCCP Wins Creative Account For Torrens University Australia

After a competitive pitching process involving five agencies, Torrens University Australia has appointed challenger agency VCCP as its new brand strategy partner and creative agency for 2018. Acclaimed for its work on dynamic brands including ING and Compare the Market in the financial services sector, Laureate Australia CMO Anne Da Cunha said VCCP’s reputation as […]

GumGum Appoints Ansible’s Sarah Baskerville As Victorian Sales Director
  • Advertising
  • Technology

GumGum Appoints Ansible’s Sarah Baskerville As Victorian Sales Director

AI advertising company GumGum has announced the appointment of Sarah Baskerville as its sales director for Victoria. Baskerville joins GumGum from Ansible, where she spent two years as its Melbourne mobile director. Prior to joining Ansible, she was head of specialist sales and partnerships at News Corp Australia, and also held a number of sales […]

The Diamond Concierge Gives Away $85K Ring In Campaign By McCann Queensland
  • Advertising
  • Campaigns

The Diamond Concierge Gives Away $85K Ring In Campaign By McCann Queensland

McCann Queensland’s second instalment of ‘The 5th C’ campaign launched over the weekend for online diamond retailer The Diamond Concierge, which received over 47million views around the world in the first 48 hours of it being released. In this second phase of the campaign, The Diamond Concierge gave away an $85,000 diamond ring, with Gold […]

Sparro Recruits Key Account Director Following Client Wins
  • Marketing

Sparro Recruits Key Account Director Following Client Wins

Digital marketing agency Sparro has announced the appointment of Hannah Jones (pictured above) as a key account director following a spate of client wins. Jones joins Sparro’s senior team alongside founders Cameron and Morris Bryant, overseeing a portfolio of accounts that includes Webjet, Domino’s Pizza, TAFE NSW, Temple & Webster, F45 Training and Bing Lee. […]

Women’s Health’s Jacqui Mooney On Driving A Women’s Brand In An Evolving Industry
  • Media

Women’s Health’s Jacqui Mooney On Driving A Women’s Brand In An Evolving Industry

In an industry facing change, Jacqui Mooney, editor of Women’s Health believes brands such as hers will continue to be a constant. Please note: this article was contributed by Magazine Networks. The magazine industry may be seeing substantial change but Jacqui Mooney has a goal that remains firm: to create happier, healthier lives for Australian women. […]

Why Consumer Brands Are Failing Aussie Mums
  • Marketing
  • Opinion

Why Consumer Brands Are Failing Aussie Mums

Is your game chainsaws or large marlin wall-hangings? Can't seem to attract the mums? This couldn't come soon enough.

Opinion

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Network Ten Creditors Approve CBS Deal
  • Media

Network Ten Creditors Approve CBS Deal

It seems the fight for Ten between CBS and media moguls Lachlan Murdoch and Bruce Gordon may finally be over.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
MKTG Signs Exclusive Commercial Partnership With PlayersVoice
  • Marketing
  • Media

MKTG Signs Exclusive Commercial Partnership With PlayersVoice

MKTG has announced it has signed an exclusive commercial partnership with newly-launched sports storytelling site PlayersVoice.com.au – an agreement that will see the agency move into a new territory of sports marketing. The partnership between MKTG and PlayersVoice will see the business managing brand partnership opportunities for the new platform; working with clients to deliver […]

Domo Introduces New Data Security Software Solution
  • Marketing
  • Technology

Domo Introduces New Data Security Software Solution

Domo has announced it has introduced new cloud security technology for its Bring Your Own Key (BYOK) software, which includes unique capabilities like rolling generation of data encryption keys and a built-in kill switch. Domo BYOK is the first BYOK enterprise software solution for cloud analytics and business intelligence, and builds on the company’s existing security, compliance and […]

Shopper Media Group Grows Sydney & Melbourne Sales Teams
  • Advertising
  • Marketing
  • Media

Shopper Media Group Grows Sydney & Melbourne Sales Teams

Shopper Media Group (SMG) has continued to grow its Sydney and Melbourne sales teams to keep up with the demand for Smartlite Panels for shopping centres. Ashley Munro joins SMG as group sales manager for Sydney, having previously worked in a similar role at NOVA Entertainment. Laura Mason has been appointed as SMG’s business manager […]

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - AUGUST 14:  Usain Bolt of Jamaica competes in the Men's 100 meter semifinal on Day 9 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium on August 14, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)
  • Advertising
  • Media

Olympics, Census Prove Tough Hurdles For Media Agencies: SMI

Australia’s media agency market has experienced another tough month in August, according to the latest data by Standard Media Index (SMI). SMI noted the softer demand this time around was primarily due to the Rio Olympics and Census providing abnormal bookings last year, resulting in demand for August 2017 so far being back 12.1 per […]