James Hammond, The Brand Doctor says:
I’ve written before about the ridiculous Happy Egg Company TV ad. But it bears repeating.
Just when you thought it was safe to watch commercials on TV, the pitiful advert for The Happy Egg Company has disgraced our screens once more. In terms of stupidity, it emphasises how bad things have become in the world of creativity. Because whoever created this ad at their agency, The Clinton Partnership, is either a trainee, or simply hasn’t the brains to come up with a decent advertising idea. As for the client, how in the world could such lousy work be accepted – unless Geraldine Phillips, Happy Egg’s Marketing Director (or the previous guy, Rob Newell) is equally clueless.
If you haven’t seen it, you haven’t really missed anything except a few morons getting paid to do something really doltish. But you can watch the entire nonsensical offering by clicking here or on the image below.
First, we see some guy holding a crate of Happy Eggs he’s apparently just collected. But wait…he’s not walking towards the camera, he’s…he’s…dancing. Yes, dancing. Well, actually, his moves are so bad it looks like he’s simply trying to avoid all the chicken shit on the ground. No wonder the hens are happy.
I get the feeling this actor (possibly needing the work) knows he shouldn’t be embarrasing himself like that, but he has to put food on the table (probably not eggs), so let’s not be too hard on the poor sod.
Thankfully, the camera doesn’t stay on him for long before it switches to a woman in her kitchen. What is she doing? Preparing breakfast? Cleaning the kitchen tops? Oh, do tell. Okay, she’s coming into shot…and she’s…erm…dancing. Well, it could be that she’s not too sure where the breakfast plates are as her dance seems to take her in several directions.
After astonishing us with such a creative idea, we cut to a little girl who is carrying a boiled egg on a plate to the table. But instead of simply walking, she…dances. Yes, she dances. And all the time, dipping her bread into the yolk. How many takes did that routine need during the shoot without her dropping the whole plateload? And if she carries on in that manner at breakfast, she is definitely going to be late for school.
As if we haven’t already been such a mind-blowing exposion of ideas, the camera swings again. This time it’s to some guy with a sandwich who dances backwards and forwards – and then to yet another woman who makes a few moves before sitting down. Nothing here stands a chance of winning Strictly Come Dancing, but all are definitely contenders for Strictly Come Prancing.
This is a really terrible advert. It shows how some so-called ‘creatives’ assume that consumers are so vacuous and airheaded they’ll fall in love with this kind of crap. Maybe the client’s budget was small, but that’s no excuse for ultra-poor creativity.
I can just imagine the agency presenting this tv ad to the client:
Geraldine Phillips, or Rob Newell (aka Client): ‘Well, what’ve you come up with?’
Agency: ‘We’ve got a really brilliant, uber-creative idea. It’s unique, original, sui generis, exclusive…’
Client: ‘Talk me through it.’
Agency: ‘Well, we show some people doing a little dance while carrying eggs.’
Client: ‘Err…okay. Then what?’
Agency: ‘That’s it. There isn’t anything else.’
Client: ‘But what about the eggs? What does it say about the eggs? What about freshness? What about taste?’
Agency: ‘They’re Happy Eggs, so the dancers are showing that they’re happy.’
Client (clearly deluded): ‘Oh, I geddit. Dancing, happy, eggs, Happy Eggs. That’s fantastic. I’m gobsmacked. Really well done. It’s bound to win an award. No, make that several awards.’
In fact, the brand did win an award from the Grocer magazine, who gave the advert the thumbs up (and we know exactly where their thumbs were up): ‘Happy Egg makes hay with this [advert], showing the chooks bobbing around a dewy field to a Motown cracker. And their happiness is infectious! A jolly egg collector dances in manic spasms, cheerfully risking his precious cargo. There’s more strangely hysterical movement in a series of clips of egg-lovers enjoying the product…’
Sorry, I can’t go on. I need to lie down in a darkened room. The lunatics have taken over the asylum.
Now, it wouldn’t be fair of me if I didn’t give the agency a chance to explain its ‘strategy’ for producing one of the worst ads I’ve seen in a long time. Their website says: ‘The agency was central in helping develop the brand positioning, creating a fully integrated marketing and launch plan. We created a cut through, award-winning TV campaign, as well as a multi-channel, integrated and ongoing activation plan.’
Yes, dears. Keep on reading the ad agency’s book of inspeak bollocks, and you’ll go far. They’ve even managed to use ‘integrated’ twice. And don’t you love ‘cut through’? As the saying goes, ‘Here’s a tissue, you have a little bullshit on your lip.’
A famous copywriter by the name of Alastair Crompton, sadly now departed, once said: ‘If it sounds too stupid to say it, then sing it.’ The Happy Egg Company and their agency have gone one better. For them, if it sounds too stupid to even sing it, then just hire a group of people who can’t dance to cavort around the kitchen, and it’s in the bag. (Or on the plate.) Getting someone else to sing, (the late Frank Wilson’s Northern Soul ‘Do I Love You?’), doesn’t alter the dopey, unhinged tripe that attempts to pass for an ad.
Seems to me it’d be a more appropriate commercial for March hares than hens.
In a previous Brand Blog, I talked about using animals to make great emotional connections. If The Happy Egg Company eggs really do come from well-looked-after hens, then there would have been many interesting, creative ways to involve those doing all the hard work. Live footage, cartoons, animations…the options are many. And that would lead to lots of other below-the-line marketing opportunities too.
(Mind you, if this undercover report from 2011 is to be believed, the hens are anything but happy.)
Sadly, this whole ad is bereft of anything useful or interesting. From start to finish, the concept is, forgive the pun, bird-brained. And it’s definitely struck a new low in an already gimmick-ridden, playground-humour-led time of advertising hogwash. Expect nothing but rubbish, and you won’t be disappointed.
Why The Happy Egg Company and its lightweight agency has chosen to inflict us with this pathetic attempt at engagement is perplexing. Especially when all they come away with is egg on their faces.