Dulux: A paint ad that's a bit like a beer ad

Dulux: a bit of fun with a lightness of touch
Dulux: a bit of fun with a lightness of touch

Marketing's unique weekly analysis of ad recall in association with TNS.

Choosing from the list of most-recalled ads this week was perplexing. They seem to come from every sphere of the consumer goods and services landscape and, being of 'quasi-scientific' mind, I decided to let fate decide: I stuck a pin in it (which I don't recommend, as iPads don't respond well to this sort of thing). Dulux it is.

Anyway, the story goes something like this: a group of mates at university are a bit bored one day (and, possibly, a bit tipsy) and wonder where that slightly strange bloke Dan, who lives upstairs with his dog, might be. Naturally, he is upstairs, painting his room pink. With his dog. Clearly, being a loner with a dog and painting the room pink is a shocking offence and much mirth is derived. I'm thinking: 'This is starting well - it's like a beer commercial.' I'm hooked. We cut to a dimly lit Men Behaving Badly-style boys' living-room scene, complete with traffic island light and some banging tunes, where they are all sitting around responsibly drinking orange juice.

But wait, where are the girls? The funny fat bloke (apparently based on James Corden) starts dancing on his own. Priceless comedy trope, right there. I bet the client roared when the agency read the treatment out.

Suddenly, they remember that the bloke who lives upstairs with his dog, who painted the wall pink earlier, is mysteriously absent. They charge upstairs, only to find...

no way! He's playing Bradley/Sanchez and the room is so full of girls dancing and responsibly drinking orange juice that you barely see the pink wall. Plus, there's a girl stroking the dog, which I hope I'm not reading too much into. I think he says 'pink' to their astonished faces and the voiceover soothingly tells me that Dulux colours can change more than just my walls, that Endurance paint is party-proof, that match pots are only three for £1 and invites me to 'Let's colour'. Phew.

Brand strategy verdict

Does this ad build on the multichannel strategy of adding colour to people's lives to create a difference? Yes, because it brings a lightness of touch to an idea that could otherwise have ended up being a tad 'worthy'. No point in overanalysing it: it's a bit of fun, the strategy isn't overpoweringly obvious and I liked it.

6 out of 10

table headerWhich of the following TV commercials do you remember seeing recently?
Latest rank March-20 Brand Agency/TV buyer Recall
1 (-) Wonga.com  Albion London/PHD 64
2= (-) Galaxy 

Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO/


2= (-) Aldi 

McCann Manchester/

UM Manchester

4= (-) Dyson Ball DC50  In-house/PHD 40
4= (-) Dulux  BBH/MediaCom 40
6 (7) DFS  Krow/MediaCom 37
7 (-) Allinson 

Contagious Content/


8= (-) Freeview  Leo Burnett/MEC 33
8= (-) Netflix 

Crispin Porter & Bogusky/


8= (19) Tesco 

Wieden & Kennedy/



Adwatch research was conducted from 14-18 March 2013 by TNS as part of its twice-weekly OnLineBus omnibus among 1000 adults aged 16-64. For details of the survey, contact Bob.Salmons@tnsglobal.com (020 7160 5581). Ads were compiled by Ebiquity (020 7650 9700) and Mediaedge:cia UK (020 7803 2000).

table headerWhich of the following online ads do you remember seeing recently?
Latest rank Feb-27 Brand Agency/TV buyer Recall
1 (8=) Sky 



2 (1) British Gas 

Waste Creative/


3 (-) Netflix  In-house/MEC 28
4 (-) Aviva 



5 (5) Direct Line 

MRM Meteorite/


6 (-) Ladbrokes 


Walker Media

7= (6=) Jackpotjoy.com  In-house/In-house 17
7= (-) Samsung  Cheil UK/Starcom 17
7= (-) Vodafone 

TBG Digital/

TBG Digital

7= (-) Marks & Spencer  In-house/In-house 17

Adwatch research was conducted from 12-14 March 2013 (November and December internet advertising) by TNS as part of its twice-weekly OnLineBus omnibus among 1000 adults aged 16-64. For details of the survey, contact Bob.Salmons@tnsglobal.com (020 7160 5581). Ads were compiled by Ebiquity (020 7650 9700) and Mediaedge:cia UK (020 7803 2000).


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