Ad of the Week: Drop the beat
by Oresti Patricios (@orestaki) Mr Price presents its spring fashion catalogue in a TV campaign that is as bright and fresh as… well, as springtime. The brand (also known as “MRP”) has been operating an in-house agency for a few years, which is now being led by Sue Napier, formerly managing director of Ireland/Davenport.
Marketing to Generations Y and Z – those teenagers and 20-somethings with the most disposable income – is something that retailers often struggle with. Discount clothing outlets often slip into a “Sale!” or ‘price-war’ mode, and forget that, for this age group, while cost is often a consideration, it’s more about choosing from a variety of clothes and creating your own style. Designer labels are less important than they were for Generation X.
Mr Price, while known as a ‘discount’ clothing brand, is serving up a range of bright, fresh fashions for the younger age group, and the campaign for this spring is equally bright and fresh. The TV campaign comprises four ads that use the same music and work off similar themes. There is no dialogue, and each ad has a ‘punchline’ that ends on a humorous note.
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The first ad called “Sing it girl!” features four young women who get into a red sports car, a classic 1965 Ford Mustang drop-top, no less. They are on their way to – well, we never find out, but the point is they’re on their way and they’re having fun. They are singing along to a song on the radio, the universal song of the ad campaign, which is a bouncy, hip-hop dance track by Durban’s Raheem Kemet.
The young women are all dressed in the clothes from Mr Price’s Spring fashion line and, to add variety, there are scenes intercut with other outfits being modelled. These are filmed on a plain studio infinity curve, but the mood and movement of the models matches the rest of the ad: they are jumping, dancing, laughing and having fun.
It’s edited very much like a music video but with a minimum of ‘tricksy’ video effects. Colours are saturated and the music builds to the chorus. At this point, the young women are pulled up at a stop sign, singing along to the track, alongside another driver. We see them through his window, as they sing and bop, and the music mix shifts: the main song’s sound dips, and all we hear is them singing, “Chuck Berry, rock ’n ro-o-oll … Fire!” – which is the main chorus. The other driver, who is merely glimpsed, laughs as they roar off and the music track swells to full.
In “We’re with the band”, the stars are young men, who are playing in a garage band. The way the soundtrack is mixed, it looks as if they are playing the song, posing and dancing and acting like rock stars. Once again, the action is intercut with quick cuts of people modelling other items from the spring collection. The punchline comes when a young woman sticks her head in the door and the sound switches to a more realistic point-of-view: it’s a bit of a garage-band-ey mess, and the kids all turn to her and yell, “Get out!” She dutifully ducks back out again and they all crack up with laughter.
The ad called “When the beat drops” features some seven or eight youngsters, male and female. The source of the music in this case is a boom-box, and they are hanging out in a dried-out swimming pool. There is an old settee, and they are dancing and skateboarding. They all dance very well — one of them even does some crazy breakdance moves — and they end up with a unison dance that all looks impromptu and natural. The punchline comes in the form of a hand wielding a hosepipe, showering them with water, and they all scatter, shrieking and laughing.
The final ad is called “Spring now loading” (see above), and it is a composite edit, using footage from the other three. It ends with the same group dancing in the pool, but this time the punchline is created by the most ‘nerdy’ guy in the group trying to demonstrate some dance moves, but failing miserably, causing much hilarity.
Good, clean fun
The models are all what one might call ‘normal-looking’. One young woman has a big frizzy hairstyle and a gap in her teeth — but a smile that you can see from miles away. A couple of the young men have beards, or long hair. Not your ‘typical’ models but perhaps your typical teenagers?
“Good, clean fun” is the phrase that comes to mind, and this seems to be the image that Mr Price is trying to portray in all its communication.
The camera work is imaginative and dynamic; it looks as if a camera mounted on a drone was used for some of the car sequences, giving the whole ad fantastic production value.
Well done, Mr Price, for creating a watchable, entertaining and innovative TV campaign; I’m sure it will bring the teen/tween/twen foot-traffic and produce results.
Agency: in-house at Mr Price
Music: “The Fire (Remix)” by Raheem Kemet
Ad of the Week, published on MarkLives every Wednesday, is penned by Oresti Patricios (@orestaki), the CEO of Ornico, a Brand Intelligence® firm that focuses on media, reputation and brand research. If you are involved in making advertising that is smart, funny and/or engaging, please let Oresti know about it at firstname.lastname@example.org.