The 2014 Commonwealth Games launched in Glasgow on July 23, and the build-up included a host of adverts from sponsors and broadcasters with a stake in the event. We’ve seen video promotions from BP, Irn-Bru and the BBC, and noticed a recurring theme in how each brand has approached the task, albeit with their own spin.
Each has a dramatic thread running through it to inspire the audience while reflecting the nature of the games itself, as demonstrated by the opening lines of BP’s slot: “all dream, but not equally. Those who dare, wake, and turn the follies of the night into realities of the day”. The ad continues in a similar vein, explaining the character of the athletes using gushing adjectives as clips of them training and competing play on.
The BBC’s launch trailer employs a similar visual approach but instead features a short script. It portrays the athletes as fiercely determined and competitive individuals through shots of them gazing sternly into the camera, and as the crescendo peaks the voiceover states: “Welcome to the friendly games. The pleasantries start twenty third of July”. The statement seems ironic given the preceding visual, and it says plenty in just a few words. Once again, this demonstrates how concise copy can have the biggest impact when all the elements of an ad complement each other.
The final slot was from Irn-bru, a brand known for its tongue-in-cheek approach to advertising. The focus here is on the brand’s home, Scotland, and again dramatic music is joined by a rousing voiceover that starts: “Oh proud land, we may take more wee steps than giant leaps, but that is what makes our metal”. The promotion parodies the style of those from BP and BBC, but channels it through Irn-Bru’s informal and mischievous tone of voice just as the audience would expect. “Us” and “we” features heavily, and this sense of unity is a tactic employed by other soft-drink brands often, namely Coca-Cola.
Overall, the trio of ads shows that while established tactics may be used to meet a promotional need, they shouldn’t get in the way of a brand’s recognised tone of voice.