Reflecting on Samdex’s decade old campaign where its wit still carries weight

Reflecting on Samdex’s decade old campaign where its wit still carries weight

In an alternate universe, I have matching heritage brand luggage to rival Coleen Rooney. Yep, even the vanity case.

In reality, I pack a family of five for a ten-day holiday by making strategic use of the hand luggage allowance (vacuum bags are your pal).

Luggage, then, isn’t my thing. I have three matching small wheelie cases from Sports Direct. And I have (or had) one random one, stolen from my mother in law. So why did this premium luggage campaign catch my eye when it popped up on LinkedIn, half a decade after winning several Lions?

Samdex isn’t a household name, but its use in airports is widespread. The technology allows passengers shoes to be analysed without the need to remove them. Samdex automatically detects, in a few seconds, the presence of explosives and metallic and non-metallic threats such as firearms and knives.

And, above all, they make a good advert. But what makes it special?

First, there’s the imagery: A head-turning billboard you can imagine Dave Trott would be proud of. “They need to actually look at your ad before they can see what you’re selling” is something I imagine Dave would quite rightly say. If I knew him. Which I don’t.

Then there’s the insight: luggage isn’t just about what’s on the outside. Sure it’s nice to have expensive, good-looking luggage. But you know what’s nicer? Getting to the baggage carousel to NOT find your greying underwear doing a merry rotation in front of your fellow passengers because your luggage HASN’T split open.

Then there’s the idea that brings them all together: there’s people behind that conveyor belt. Those people have lives outside work like you. Those people have bad days. Do you want that flimsy bargain suitcase to be the thing they take it out on?

This triangulated work of beauty is even better than the obligatory airport Toblerone.

I feel it in my bones.

Midnight, Fuerteventura, 2016. Losing your stuff is no fun. Especially when it contains nappies for your 1-year-old baby and you’ve got one in your handbag to last the next 12 hours before the shops open. That’s what made me resort to hand luggage only.

But latterly, France 2023. An angry child, forced to walk to the station, knocked a wheel off a wheely bag within five minutes of leaving the house. We were saddled with luggage rolling with all the elegance of Del Boy’s van for the next ten days’ multi-stop break.

So, this might be the year I re-embrace hold luggage and re-evaluate the real cost of a suitcase, thanks to a five-year-old ad. ‘Cos that’s the thing isn’t it, like good luggage, a good idea lasts.

Can we all just pretend we didn’t see the bizarre tiny floating panic shot someone clearly added in at the eleventh hour?

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