Arrrghh…I hate Turtles

19 Nov

I’ve never liked those overly sweet, cheap-chocolate caramel reptiles.

Now I have a new reason to hate them: their advertising!

First they hit the consumer-generated content campaign trail a few years back to encourage Canadians to “Sing the Jingle” for a chance to appear in their TV advertising.

I love this quote from John Herbert, assistant brand manager at Nestlé Canada: “The Turtles jingle holds a special place in the hearts of Canadians,” he said. “I don’t know anyone who can’t sing along to “Mmm… I love Turtles™”.

“Mmm…I love Turtles trademark.” Catchy.

So we get a lot of tuneless, instant-fame wannabees playing into Nestle’s hands by singing about how much they love the product. Hey gang, the cliff’s over here!

Don’t even get me started on consumer-generated content. It was cute for about 6 minutes. A few years back. But when it’s orchestrated like a giant money shot all over the product?

I just caught their newest commercial on TV. It’s a spot about a guy visiting his girlfriend’s house at Christmas to meet her parents for the first time: He stands on the front step and practices what he’s going to say in a voice loud enough to set off car alarms. Rather than drop a piano on him, they invite him in. He brought Turtles as a gift! It’s going to be OK.

I tried to find it on YouTube to share with you, but it’s so bad they didn’t dare post it.

I hurled a sock at the TV and shouted “Stupidest commercial ever!”

Stupidest Commercial Ever™.

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13 Responses to “Arrrghh…I hate Turtles”

  1. Renee November 19, 2010 at 11:44 pm #

    I’ve never liked ’em either. Don’t really know anyone who does, either. And Canadiana? Really?

    Full of meh. I can see why this annoys.

    • dougbrowncreative November 19, 2010 at 11:48 pm #

      They taste like crap and they always get your fingers covered in chocolate. Which would be fine if it was good chocolate, no men?

  2. A.J. November 20, 2010 at 12:05 am #

    Line of the day, quite possibly of the week:

    “But when it’s orchestrated like a giant money shot all over the product”

    Nicely done. 😉

  3. cyberbardbarry November 20, 2010 at 7:09 am #

    I assume you didn’t make it then.

  4. dougbrowncreative November 20, 2010 at 7:16 am #

    > Thanks A.J. It took a bit of self-censorship to get that one into family-friendly form. 😉

    > I’m very self-deprecating Baz, so who really knows. Funny.

  5. variedthinking November 20, 2010 at 7:16 am #

    I don’t watch a lot of TV these days so I’m not bombarded with these sorts of stupid commercials and I don’t have to throw socks or beer cans at the TV, rather I fry what little brain cells I have left on this computer, but it was some where in the some what distant past (that could mean anywhere from yesterday to 1970) that I heard or read that the only reason they make stupid commercials with stupid jiggles in them is so that the stupid public that are watching them will remember them and more likely than not will buy the stupid crap that was being advertised, even if it tastes like s**t.

    • dougbrowncreative November 20, 2010 at 7:50 am #

      A jingle, when done well, is like a Guinea Worm that burrows itself into your brain and lays a million eggs there which then hatch and wriggle around your frontal lobe, stimulating the area that suppresses reason and increases desire. A very dangerous combination when you find yourself out at Shoppers Drug Mart or Zellers. Thanks for the opinion variedthinking – I feel you were holding back.

  6. Amy November 20, 2010 at 8:47 am #

    “But when it’s orchestrated like a giant money shot all over the product?”
    Laughing so hard at this! And then I actually tried to picture what this would look like and I laughed even harder.

    My ex-stepfather loved these damn things. I can’t stand them for that reason alone, but they really do taste like crap. But, I’ve had home made ones from nice chocolate shops that are wonderful.

  7. dougbrowncreative November 20, 2010 at 11:08 am #

    “Ex-stepfather” liked them huh? Say no more….say no more.

  8. mike fromowitz November 20, 2010 at 3:38 pm #

    Firstly, there’s 500 channels on TV and most of it is a joke. Half the channels are shopping networks. The rest are 2 minutes of dull programming followed by 10 minutes of the dullest TV commercials. What’s with Canada eh? Why is it our commercials are so boring and STUPID.

    Today we are paying for the privilege of being inundated with lousy commercials that betray the brands they are meant to help grow. Turtles is one of them.

    I’m also especially tired of all the pharmaceutical commercials that currently fill up air time. The side effects of drugs, which take up 30 seconds of a 60 second TV spot, makes me wonder why anyone would take any of the drugs being pushed on television. One of them notes side effects of dizziness, kidney or liver failure, chronic flatulence, and a possibility of thick, dense pubic hair growing out of … well let’s not go there, as I am presently eating a sandwich.
    Did you see the new sleeping pill ad, the one that warns that taking this sleeping pill might cause drowsiness, or that you shouldn’t drive or operate heavy equipment? Are they kidding?

    Campaign Palace of Australia once coined the phrase: No one buys when they’re asleep. We couldn’t agree more with that.

    Why should the consumer think well of your brand when the messages are dull, boring, STUPID and off-brand? So many of these messages fall on deaf ears.
    In the case Turtles, how is a consumers to remember a TV spot that has no significant, memorable “idea”. Sure, some of us remember their tag line, but for heaven sake, the rest sucks.

    Seeing dull, boring commercials makes me think that perhaps ad land is experiencing another crisis of confidence, living in a time-warp of its own making. It seems that advertising has allowed itself to get left behind, to the point where there is now a gap between what clients want and what advertising agencies deliver. Advertising agencies have become separated from the end result, many lacking the balls to sell the client what’s best for them. Many agencies today also lack the entrepreneurial skill sets they once had—the ones that deliver great strategies, great creative ideas.

    Commercials like Turtles—and believe me, there are others on TV that are even worse—are throw backs to 1950’s. Today, the real challenge is for both agency and client to bring some fresh thinking, fresh ideas to the party, to inspire new thinking, and perhaps discard some now out of date models and ways of thinking. Although change is uncomfortable, spending less on production values and achieving more through brilliant ideas should be an attractive motivator. After all, the idea is not to outspend your competition, but to outsmart them.

  9. dougbrowncreative November 20, 2010 at 4:56 pm #

    Mike I think anyone trying to get into advertising today would do well to read your comment. I think mindsets at the beginning have changed. Advertising used to be a business for non-conformists, the independent minded and the courageous. Today it attracts people looking for comfortable and interesting careers. Believe me, I see a lot of people.

    It’s a very valuable comment Mike and I hope a lot of people read it.

    Coincidentally, I was ranting last night to my family (in a comical way, naturally) about pharmaceutical ads and how useless they must be. You generously split the product benefit/possible side effects to 50/50. I see it more as 25/75:

    Director: “Sally Field on an Elliptical, take 10.”

    Sally: “If you’re like me and suffer occasionally from thinking people don’t like you, you’ll be thrilled to know there is now a drug that can reduce the occurrence of such moments.”

    Sally smiles broadly while walking on the Elliptical machine.

    Sally: “LikeMe™ may not be for everybody. You may experience heart stoppage, strokes, facial paralysis, necrotizing fasciitis, internal bleeding, gelification of your joints, a foul smell coming off your body, brown sauce dribbling out of your nose and ears, waste products appearing unannounced, the extinction of the tiger, global warming and a extra weight in the thigh area.”

    Sally: “Ask you doctor if LikeMe™ is right for you.”

    Ba dum bum.

  10. variedthinking November 20, 2010 at 6:40 pm #

    So out of Mike’s comments came a question that only Doug can answer.

    have you ever written a commercial that has aired nationally and was it real dumb?

  11. dougbrowncreative November 20, 2010 at 6:51 pm #

    Mike will tell you that during my time working for him at The Ball Partnership in Hong Kong (1987 – 1989), I produced one of the worst commercials he had ever seen, for President Butter. A good idea (President Bush Sr. was in the fridge when the husband went to get the butter) but brutally mangled in the execution. It was my second commercial ever. I was about 25 years old and my art director was even more inexperienced then me. But I have NEVER concepted a boring, dumb commercial. And thankfully I got better at executing them.

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