We were sent the new Let’s Get Racy commercial produced for the Australian Turf Club and asked for our opinions- which is tough without knowing the client’s brief and objectives.
Plus, perhaps it works for the Australian market- though, IF aimed at a new and younger demographic- not yet having the spot up on YouTube is a bit strange.
One thing, however, we have been harping about has been the piss poor creative product out of most racing clubs that lack any semblance of relevance or credibility and which we put down to poor briefs and racing executives barely able to do their own jobs, thinking it jolly good fun to get involved in the creative process.
This ALWAYS leads to anal retentive committee decisions, a watered down product with no edge and becomes that dreaded eight-humped corporate camel lost amongst the television and online clutter.
Many racing executives desperately wish to feel needed and be re-assured that they have the “Cool Factor” which leads to meddling while those working below them suddenly become deaf, dumb and blind and those hired to lead and be creative throwing in the towel as deadlines are looming.
They just give the client what they want, get paid and never ever return to go through the same painful foxtrot again.
This is why NO racing club has ever won a Clio in New York or a Gold Lion in Cannes for advertising excellence- or know about these awards shows which can help them understand the standard of creativity that makes, for example, the commercials aired during Super Bowl sometimes more entertaining than the game itself. Like this year’s game.
There is little or no core idea in what is produced by many racing clubs while the technique can never compensate for an ill-conceived client brief that might be as vague as “make it funny and classy with memorable music.” Or, “Show that racing attracts a diverse group of consumers- and make it tongue-in-cheek, cool and clever.”
And if a racing executive decides to also write the copy, an ad agency with any pride in its work should fire the client saying you’re not some glorified order taker.
Trust us when we say that we know- and have worked with- international ad agencies that have declined pitching for racing club business. Or fired them.
There’s no money in it, there’s no pride of ownership in the final product, the pain of all those numbingly boring meetings, and the numerous changes and presentations, does one’s bloody head in as no one can make a decision- but everyone wants a say.
What you end up with is bad casting, and a dopey spot that misses the mark by lengths and will join all the other wallpaper advertising around.
When “research” shows that this epic has not made a dent on the psyche of consumers, well, Sherlock, the ad agency and production house are left holding the bag while copping all of The Blame Game.
Who needs it? And, anyway, which young person today watches “ads”- or television?
The medium is no longer the message, Marshall McCluhan. The medium is not even the massage and producing mainstream “advertisements” for a very cynical customer segment that recoils at anything smelling of corporate bollocks is as daft as trying to “relax” that awful term known as a “dress code” on a race track.
Most of this youth market or the next and new generation of race-goers are not aliens nor do they appreciate being put into little boxes, being pigeon-holed and talked down to like kids as they have choices.
This consumer group is savvy, they know what they want when they experience it and no amount of old-fashioned advertising and “relaxing of dress codes” will bring them to racetracks.
What will bring them in is still the most effective communications: word-of-mouth advertising from their peers and understanding and seeing and feeling the thrill and excitement of winning- not through corporate ad campaigns and corporate bollocks.