Did Deliveroo create a monster with its recent controversial and unforgettable ad?

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Did Deliveroo create a monster with its recent controversial and unforgettable ad?

Background

There’s a lot of hate in the world right now – in fact, sometimes it’s easy to wonder whether the only thing keeping the lights on in the UK is the power of sarcasm, bitterness and Greggs’ meal deals.

If social media is anything to go by then the most disliked figure in Britain at the moment isn’t Boris or Jeremy Corbyn, it’s the woman from Deliveroo’s latest advert.

The sound of a shrill Northern voice saying “Buongiorno Italiano” is the sound that haunts the dreams of a nation.

The Big Idea

The clocks have gone back and now any hope of an active social life at the weekends has drifted into the rear-view mirror as Brits favour slumping in front of the TV and eating something microwavable or better yet – a takeaway!

Which is why Deliveroo created an advert to show that it’s a delivery service that has food to suit the tastes of everyone on these cold, dark nights. It decided that this advert should be shown in every advert break on every channel that shows adverts at every hour of the day. And in doing so it may have created 2019’s most hated advert.

What They did

Deliveroo created the most controversial ad since Protein World asked: ‘Are You Beach Body Ready?’.

On paper, this Deliveroo ad is a simple and fairly wholesome concept.

The mother of a large family handing out a variety of popular takeaway items to her extended family out of a seemingly bottomless brown Deliveroo bag in their living room like millions of families do every week.

On paper though, Brexit seemed like a good idea (according to the majority of the UK population) and, not to be hyperbolic, but it’s possible that this advert may have had a similarly, if not more damaging effect on the morale of the British public.

The Review

What this comes down to really is whether an annoying advert is better than a forgettable advert? 

Is this advert annoying? 100 per cent. 
Forgettable? Regrettably, no. 
Does it deliver the brand’s key message? Yeah.
So is it a ‘good’? Well no, no it’s not.

In fact, if you go on social media and search ‘Deliveroo advert’ or ‘Deliveroo woman’ you’ll see that this isn’t a piece of content that is widely loved by the internet either – it’s spawned a thousand negative comments and inspired memes that are too tasteless for the pages of this venerable site.

So how come an advert this innocuous has riled up so many people?

It comes down to three things – the script, the delivery of that script and the number of times people have been exposed to that script.

The star of the advert, our happy-go-lucky ‘everymum’, delivers every line in a kind of singsong manner like she’s the star of a musical (Julie Nando-rews?) which is pretty annoying in its own right

On top of this, the script she’s forced to deliver is just a list of restaurants with quips thrown in to add some level of ‘personality’ and ‘relatability’. 

Particular lowlights in the script are the lines: “Greek salad! No carbs before Marbs eh Karen?” a punchline that belongs in the year 2010, “Korma, daring as ever Deano!” a joke as unadventurous and weak as the curry itself and then, most egregious of all, is the line: “Boungiiiiiorno Italiaaaanoo” which is annoying to look at, let alone to hear hundreds of times!

Put these two together and then ensure this ad is shown in every single ad break and you start to understand why it has gone down so badly with those who us who have eyes and a television.

In Hindsight

Fundamentally, it’s likely that this ad might not be long for this world given that its main concept is factually incorrect – it’s not possible to get multiple deliveries from different food outlets delivered at the same time on Deliveroo – believe me I’ve tried! Let’s let the ASA decide anyway.

Creating an advert that’s memorable and quotable is an advertiser’s dream but what if that advert is memorable for the wrong reasons and hate-quoted rather than remembered with love?

In a world where advertisers are fighting to justify their own existence is it any surprise that they’re resorting wackiness and earworm tactics to get their message across? 

Are Deliveroo at fault for this dud or is it the fault our short attention spans?

It’s definitely their fault.

Anyway, all this hate is making me hungry – Deliveroo anyone?

Oh f*ck, it worked!

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Will Holloway

Will Holloway

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