I love the recurring theme about how effective European advertising is, or isn’t. And I’m not talking about the use of nudity and other subversive aspects. The use of metaphors or the cinematic approach is what I mean. And a vague call to action.
The lack of a clear message is something people on other continents often has problems with. And I guess this new spot from Plan International will raise the same question.
The tagline is clear: “Winning the war on poverty starts with educating girls”. But how does it work for Plan International? Is it Fundraising, awareness or branding?
The line at the end, “Join the fight to educate girls at www.dayofthegirl.org.uk” followed by the hashtag #dayofthegirl isn’t very noticeable after the visual jewelery in the 50 seconds before.
I admit, I have my doubts too. I watched to spot a couple of times today without taking the next step.
Fortunately the accompanying text on YouTube explains more. But It is remarkable that Leo Burnett London, the agency behind the spot, is doing this a lot better than Plan International itself. But both forgot the campaign url and the hashtag.
Plan International: “The new TV commercial demonstrates the impact education has on girls and the world around them. We know that girls are the key to solving world poverty. They have the power to free themselves and their communities from poverty with education and the right support. Plan’s ‘Because I am a Girl’ campaign aims to support 4 million girls to stay in education and fulfill their potential.”
The spot has been seen on CNN and is launched in UK cinemas from August 23rd
Leo Burnett London’s ad appears ahead of the very first International Day of the Girl, which has been inaugurated by the United Nations after lobbying by Plan. It takes place on October 11th, 2012.
BTW: the headline is my personal interpretation, the campaign title is ‘Mass Construction’.
As a critic from “another continent” I agree with you that the specific call-to-action is buried in the overwhelming visuals. But at least the message is clear and carried consistently throughout.
The point that this is better for the agency than for the client is the most important one, however. This will most likely be remembered as “that really cool Leo Burnett London ad with the girl bombs” rather than “The #dayofthegirl ad for Plan International.”
But this is not only a European problem. Agencies worldwide always attempt to derive maximum PR value out of their pro bono work. That’s just good business. But it the cynicism with which it is done can occasionally be troubling.
I’m not really troubled by this one, however. At least Leo Burnett London is carrying the more detailed Plan message on its YouTube link, instead of agency credits. But in my opinion it would have been more in the spirit of corporate social responsibility for them to promote Plan’s YouTube channel (which would draw in more donors) instead of splitting the views with it.
Posted by Tom Megginson | 3-09-2012 15:07
Economics, as ever, matter. What did Plan pay for the creative? What are they paying for the media? What do they expect to get in return (in terms of money, funding, influence?). What did Leo Burnett invest in terms of time and money and what are they after in return? All those facts would help me love it more, or less.
Posted by reuben | 3-09-2012 16:32
I agree with you both. The question that raises:
Who was in control here, Leo Burnett or Plan? I guess the Media Buying is very well arranged. But where is the PR and the Social Media strategy?
Finally the hashtag #dayofthegirl is the most important message of the campaign. That’s not clear enough. It’s where this campaign failed.
Don’t get me wrong, I love the visuals. the cutting and the sound. It’s just the last 10% what is missing.
BTW I see some similarities with another campaign done by Leo Burnett London: House of Cards.
Posted by Marc van Gurp | 3-09-2012 21:17
Waitaminute… we all AGREE?
Where’s the fun in that?
Posted by Tom Megginson | 4-09-2012 00:28
I’m sorry. I meant that you both asked the same questions I had in mimd.
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