There have been a number of adverts in this campaign, stretching back to 2014. The first, is very well put together. Featuring Mo running in a scenic mountain range, the sound design combined with the quirky editing makes a very good impression. It has a nice pace to it, with an informative voiceover that takes you through the advert ‘story’ quite nicely (in a previous blog post, we’ve mentioned how we’ve felt this was the key to a successful campaign). As a marathon runner, Mo also feels like the perfect match for this campaign – healthy eating, healthy lifestyle, it makes perfect sense. His tagline at the end – Practise…Protein…really helps sell the product concept too.
This is why we find it particularly frustrating that in the newer version, released later in the year, this all falls apart.
We initially get the same polished feel – the same track, a familiar reassuring voiceover and a simple setup – Mo serving Quorn meals from a food truck. It works well, and makes sense – as a brand ambassador for the product, he’s helping to spread awareness by handing out samples of what can be done with it. We then see him sit down to tuck into his own meal, only to be confronted by a grumpy looking child – who prods him with a tennis racket.
He obliges her by handing over his meal, and she skips off looking happy, as he in turn, just looks confused. Quite frankly, I don’t blame him. We’re not sure what the producers were going for here – maybe it’s a reference to something I haven’t seen – but to us, the scenario just feels odd. We understand that they’re trying to show Mo as a nice guy – but we’re not sure how it helps to sell the product. There’s no voiceover during this, just an awkward pause.
We’re well aware of brands using children and humour to sell products to parents – and can think of some great examples (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2XdKxo7NaFM) – but doing it in this odd, quirky way just distracts from the action. Suddenly, we’re not thinking about the benefits of the product, we’re trying to figure out what’s going on – the lack of context is just confusing. We get an endpack where Mo states “game set and match to Quorn!” – which does make sense given the tennis theme – but we can’t help but feel they could have used this time better.
Interestingly enough, they repeat this concept for the updated 2015 advert (both appear to have been filmed simultaneously) – during a marathon, we see Mo in his truck handing out meals, and think huzzah! Perhaps they’ve combined the two adverts to make a stronger concept that makes sense. Except once again – as he sits down to eat his meal, he is confronted by an angry child demanding his food, this time with the order of “not so fast!” (we assume the pun is intended). It was probably included as a throwback to the last advert to resonate a sense of familiarity, but it still just feels out of place and unnecessary.
It just goes to show, that even when employing a big star to help sell your product, an advert can still be let down by poor writing and conceptualisation.