Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Don't Be Different

I find the latest ad for Tesco Mobile a little weird.
It is essentially saying, don't be an individual, be like everyone else and follow the herd.

Now I appreciate not everyone wants to stand out a mile, but do people really want to be exactly like everybody else? I find it hard to believe that anyone likes to think of themselves as being just like those around them. Surely everyone, (no matter how dull or mass market in their actual choices) likes to believe that they make their own decisions and have elements of their personality and lifestyle choices that make them the individual person they are

I get that they are trying to say that sometimes lots of people choose something because it is the best, and that following the herd isn't always a bad thing. But I find it hard to believe that people actually want to feel like part of a herd. At the very least they could have exaggerated the 'individuals' and tweaked the wording slightly to make it sound less like a push to lose your individuality, and more like a push to join those in the know.
"You are all individuals."
"We are all individuals!" - "I'm not."

They've usually tried to mock the big imagery of the other mobile networks and contrast it with being down to earth; but this feels like a bit of a mis-step. Perhaps presuming not quite enough variety and personality in their audience.

The only real question for me is what age group they are targeting. Maybe an older audience with less knowledge of mobiles would feel more confortable with this message, but otherwise I just can't see people under the age of 35 feeling connected to the brand at all from it. I watched it and instantly felt put off from the brand.

Given Tesco's behemoth like position in the UK supermarket world, the image of them as the place where everybody goes, but not everyone is quite sure why (not the cheapest, not the best products*, not the best range**, but ubiquitous presence), I would have thought voicing out loud a blanket herd mentality position would be a no no.

Edit: The online is much better at avoiding the 'same as everyone else' idea. On another viewing I think it's just the middle bit that seems like it is too 'herdy', but it was enough to put me off still, even though the overall idea of grouping together is a good one.

* Personal opinion
** Personal experience outside of the biggest few stores

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