Shiny, happy people
I often ask myself why I love this campaign so much. After all, this is the third time I’ve mentioned it in a blog. I must really love it. Part of that is a personal affinity; part of it a professional one.
I’ve talked at length about the professional one. I talked about the use of various devices to drive brand link and the excellent brand integration. I’ve talked about how they’ve tackled the issue of overt identification of celebrities, as this is a perennial problem with celebrity spokespeople (the most famous of whom still aren’t easily recognisable for everyone).
What does Mo Farah bring to this? MO-mentum. (Sorry, I couldn’t resist because it’s true). The Bolt version of the campaign has been around for ages and, although each touchpoint told a slightly different part of the story, there was always the risk of wear-out (by which I mean diminishing return, not necessarily that people wouldn’t want to see it any more). But, riding high on the nation’s love for Farah, they’ve injected new life into the campaign, without deviating too much from the original winning formula.
What about the personal affinity? It’s hard to pick that apart objectively because it is a fairly deep-seated affinity, but I’ll give it a try. The root of it seems to be the sense of fun, even joy inherent in the campaign. The participants are clearly enjoying themselves and enjoying the joke. I can picture laughter on the sets and some funny out-takes. Whether or not they really exist, they do in my mind. I love a good bit of shiny, happy people, me. I suppose if the researcher in me (along with my colleagues at Ipsos ASI) were to try to pick this apart, we’d point to strong biometric responses and the importance of engaging below the surface level of the brain, which are so compelling to see on screen.
There’s probably some brand affinity in there too. I’m already a Virgin Media customer. Although I was driven first to choose them by an extremely bad experience somewhere else (not naming names, it’s not my style), I’ve been a loyal customer for over five years. To put my researcher hat back on, I’d say that this is a typical response: brand users are more likely to notice advertising from ‘their’ brands. This isn’t to say that’s always a bad thing. After all, when this campaign first occurred, I didn’t yet have access to superfast broadband in my area, but I do now. And it’s all had a positive effect on my brand perception, encouraging me to stay loyal to the brand.
So, let the joy be unrefined, the Mo-mentum be momentuous and the loyalty be fierce: I celebrate this next step in the Superfast campaign.