Does an advert have to make sense to work?

I’ve seen some dodgy ads in my time. It seems I can’t get through a night in front of the TV without shouting obscenities at the latest, big-budget commercial. And tonight’s little gem? The ASOS sponsorship ads! Who on earth would sandwich Britain’s Next Top Model neatly between two talking cats? Seriously?!?

This is one of the world’s most successful fashion brands. Everyone knows who they are and their social networking has always been one step ahead of the competition. But their first foray into TV – DISASTER!

Or is it? Much as I hate the adverts and get angry whenever I see them, they do make me wonder – does an advert have to make sense to work? At the end of the day, they remind fashion hungry viewers that ASOS is only a click away. Would they do better if they were more fashion-focused, if they had a gripping story or a fantastic selling message? Probably – and they’d probably get better results too, but the fact is they don’t need to.

They’re big enough and popular enough to secure a purchase with nothing but a talking cat. After all, when an ad for a top fashion brand is aired alongside a high-fashion show, it’s always going to make the trend-pack want to shop – and ASOS is right there to help them do it!


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  2. It depends on what the task is. If they’re just trying to have a moment of disruption and then point to the website then no they don’t have to make sense. Saying that you need a brand that’s some what established for it to work.

    Some challenger brands do try this nonsense approach but at some point it’s always followed up with explanation style adverts that what the new service actually does.

  3. Copy Girl

    Exactly, ASOS can do it because they’re the head honchos – even if it does leave us befuddled.

  4. Jen

    The ads don’t offend my copywriter sensibilities… they’re not particularly groundbreaking or creative, but I can understand their (loose) relevance to both ASOS and BNTM. Fashion is catty, right?

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