Adwatch (Feb 16) - Top 20 recall: Yakult hits the spot

Yakult ad avoids scientific jargon
Yakult ad avoids scientific jargon

'Gut instincts' theme of the probiotic drink's ads meets the creative challenge head-on.

Skip to full table

Regular as clockwork. Not my daily commuter train service from Victoria to the Kent coast, nor my digestive health for that matter, but the New Year advertising onslaught in favour of the good guys in your gut. Those annual instalments trying to get us all into 'good' habits, the routine of ensuring that enough of these friendly little cultures are sat happily in our tummies.

Whose turn is it this year to be the leading authority on telling us 'the science bit'? Well, it appears to be ourselves, thanks to Yakult's latest 'Listen to your gut' ad.

I, too, feel I have been on this journey with the 'nutraceuticals' for a number of years now, carefully navigating the choppy waters of what an ad can actually say. We have seen these products successfully steer the ship through consumer understanding that there's a war in our guts, and that we need enough of the goodies to balance the baddies.

There have been softer dramatisations of the story, with the fluffy and cutesy blue bear of the Activia 'Look after your inner self' campaign a few years back, to the uber-intelligent take: it must work, because these 'good' bacteria have a scientific, Latin-sounding name, with Actimel's L.Casei Immunitas.

So, as cynicism and scepticism about 'functional food' have quite rightly encountered the jeweller's eyepiece - from both a consumer and regulatory perspective - the issue of the scientific efficacy of these products has thrown up new creative challenges. Specifically, the need to say something without actually saying anything.

As a marketer, I look at this £170m, 60% penetration category with great admiration. The client brief must read like a classic game of Articulate: this is what it does, but you aren't allowed to use these words to communicate what it does. The team behind Yakult has largely got it right, without the science, bacteria-naming and Martine McCutcheon telling me to love my tummy. For once, I may just 'trust my gut instincts', advice that must resonate with most of us as we reflect back on previous poor errors of judgement, where we didn't go with what, deep down, felt right.

This is fertile territory for creatives to plough with more ingenious executions. The latest jogging girl is a beautiful and humorous follow-up to the 'haircut' ad, again mirroring Peepshow-esque touches that trigger a sense of deja vu. A lovely insight to combat the creative straitjacket.

What remains to be seen, however, is whether this type of emotive trigger translates to a voice in my head saying 'Buy Yakult!' next time I'm grocery shopping. I hope so.

Adwatch (Feb 16) top 20 most recalled ads
Latest Feb-09 Brand Agency/TV Buyer Recall
rank       %
1 (16=) Tesco  The Red Brick Road/Initiative 45
2= (16=) Argos  CHI & Partners/Mindshare 40
2= (–) Gillette Fusion  BBDO New York/MediaCom 40
4 (–) PG Tips  Mother/Mindshare 39
5 (–) Lloyds TSB  RKCR Y&R/MEC 38
6 (–) Jobsite  Hooper Galton/MediaVest 37
7 (–) Yakult  Euro RSCG/M2M 36
8 (–) Dreams  re:production/Starcom 35
9= (–) Harveys  Velvet TV/MediaVest 32
9= (–) Royal Caribbean Cruises  JWT London/AMS Media Group 32
11 (–) Homebase  Leo Burnett/Mindshare 28
12= (–) Waitrose  MCBD/Manning Gottlieb OMD 27
12= (18=) Morrisons  DLKW Lowe/MEC 27
14= (–) Garnier  Publicis/ZenithOptimedia 25
14= (–) Avon  Soho Square/Starcom 25
16 (–) Apple iPad  TBWA\Media Arts Lab/Manning Gottlieb OMD 24
17= (–) TRESemme Naturals  FBH Incite/Carat 23
17= (–) Thomas Cook  (Beta)/Arena 23
19= (–) Mattessons Fridge Raiders  Quiet Storm/Vizeum 22
19= (–) Nisa Local  3sixteen/MediaVest (Leeds) 22

Discussion

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus
Brand Republic Jobs

subscribe now

Latest

Waitrose boosts content strategy with 'Weekend Kitchen with Waitrose' C4 tie-up
Hottest virals: Cute puppies star in Pedigree ad, plus Idris Elba and Fruyo
Amnesty International burns candles to illuminate new hope
Toyota achieves the impossible by calming angry Roman drivers
Tom of Finland's 'homoerotic' drawings made into stamps
YouTube reveals user habits to appeal to 'older' marketers
Ex-M&S marketing chief Steven Sharp consulting at WPP
Wolff Olins reveals new CEO after Apple poaches Karl Heiselman
Glasgow offers £30,000 prize to best digital idea for 2014 Commonwealth Games
Google's revenues surge but shares drop as it grapples with transition to mobile
Facebook beats Twitter to most 'marketing friendly' social media site crown, says DMA
Fableists believe children like Finn should be outdoors enjoying life
Homebase, Baileys and Camelot join the line-up at Media360
MasterCard renews Rugby World Cup sponsorship to push cashless message
Lynx unleashes £9m 'Peace invasion' campaign
Social Brands 100 Youth: Pizza Hut most social youth brand in UK
Cheryl Cole is wild and arresting in new L'Oreal work
Morrisons told not to show alcohol ads during YouTube nursery rhymes
O2 head of brand Shadi Halliwell departs after 23 years at company in restructure
Tesco hit by further sales decline as it turns to digital Clubcard and social network
Branding guru Wally Olins dies aged 83
Duracell short film captures epic Transatlantic voyage
Ash runs Tinder experiment to show smokers are less desirable to opposite sex
British Airways teams up with Gerry Cottle Jnr for summer of rooftop film screenings
Arklu says 'girls can be superheroes too' with doll design competition
Coke enters squash market with Oasis Mighty Drops
Virgin Galactic signs up Land Rover as space flight sponsor
Motorola marketer Andrew Morley departs as Google gears up for sale to Lenovo
US Airways apologises after tweeting obscene image at a customer
Mumsnet admits users' emails and passwords accessed via Heartbleed bug