America has the Super Bowl. England has Christmas. We don’t have a big event that people actually look forward to advertising, argues Andy Flemming, creative director at ad agency M&C Saatchi.
Hailing from England, Flemming said Christmas is a big time for brands and their advertising, mainly because it’s “so fucking cold” all people do is sit inside and watch TV. And the US has the Super Bowl where the ad spots – which can cost upwards of $4 million – are dominated by brilliant ads as eagerly anticipated as the game itself.
However, in Australia we don’t have a similar community event. Christmas could be a time, however as it’s during summer, Flemming argued the season is more the event, rather than Christmas. And no one sits inside glued to the TV to watch the summer ads.
Drawing on the recent release of John Lewis’s Christmas ad, which is so looked forward to it’s analysed and parodied within days of the launch, Flemming said it was amazing.
“The media really seizes upon the Christmas work [in England] in the same way the Americans analyse the Super Bowl spots,” he said.
“Over here it’s a bit different. There is so much celebration about summer, that it’s quite difficult to come out and go ‘and it’s Christmas!’.”
Flemming points to the TV networks to help create this community event where advertising is celebrated, not something to skip.
Much like the Super Bowl, the NRL or AFL grand finals are watched by millions. It’s here the advertising could be celebrated and anticipated, reckons Flemming, rather than just having regular ads.
There are big ads for these sporting events, don’t get us wrong, however Flemming wants to see more.
“It would maybe be nice for the networks to encourage it,” he said. “Just go for it and make people look forward to the ad break as opposed to skipping it all together to make a cup of tea or get the beers.”
Big ads for big events do end up having a “trickle down” affect, where it’s like a “mini showcase” of advertising, he added.
“What it means is clients try and out-do each other and that can only mean the work gets better. That’s good for everyone.