It was my birthday this week and as I’m officially moving deeper into my thirtysomething years, I’m therefore always on the look out for ways to ensure I still look as though I’m enjoying my later twenty-somethings instead.
Water’s long been the “secret” to great skin, better metabolism etc. and perhaps it really is the elixir of youth, but somehow the Evian “Live Young” campaign that has been around for a couple of years now, has always left me cold, and frankly done absolutely nothing to endear the brand to me. Quite the opposite in fact. Especially as their more recent work seems to be moving away from what I imagine were some of their more established brand values – origin, health & youth.
Nowadays they seem to be falling into the all too familiar trap of doing quirky, whilst retaining only a tenuous link to their strategy. Their initial Live Young TV ad seemed a slightly better brand fit, tonally, although I’ve got to be honest CGI babies are among some of the creepiest things that you can associate your brand with in my personal opinion – it’s not natural, they look really, unnervingly odd!
But this new “viral” that they’ve got out – it not only leaves me feeling a little confused about the brand, but it completely gives me the heebejeebes!
Currently at No.2 in the AdAge Viral Video Chart a fair amount of people are watching it I suppose. But what’s the propositon really? Evian makes me more youthful? That’s a category truth though – where’s the product truth? Where’s the thing in Evian that makes me look/feel younger than if I drank 3 litres of standard tap water? Combined with the fact they’ve (to my mind anyway) managed to completely lose any genuine brand personality, there is apparently no reason for me to choose it.
So I won’t.
That and the fact I don’t want the energy of a baby – awake & hyperactive for 2 hours, then grouchy & irritable and then asleep for 3 hours?? That’s what coffee & mid-afternoon chocolate’s for, no?
Kudos to them for trying to do something that will stand out in a category it’s probably hard to make any genuinely distinct claims in, but dancing babies aren’t going to make me want to drink their water; lack of a distinct personality, USP or any real engagement certainly isn’t either.
Also, why the “viral” ad if they’re not going to do anything else online? Their website doesn’t have the same tone for starters (no, showing the ad there too isn’t enough), as it seems to be very much where they used to be – conservatively european, clean, aspiring to be high-end and perhaps a bit dull. If the ad has entertained me enough to seek out your site, I want to be worth my while – engage with me, let me interact with you, don’t bore me. If you’re quirky, be quirky.
Having clearly spent a fortune on a TV ad, I think they’re missing a mightily big trick. It’s not all about TV anymore, and it’s certainly not about an online strategy being the release of a “viral”. They’ve got a creative device that could have real legs across all media, but especially online (albeit slightly creepy, chubby babies’ legs). Why aren’t they using it to its full potential?
I can see why they would want to move on – but follow it through. If a job’s worth doing and all that jazz.
My verdict – Stop trying too hard, just try & be smarter. Pick a brand personality, stay true to your values, make sure it’s in the fibre of all your communications and engage, engage, engage.
There endeth my sermon for today 😉