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Rhyme beyond reason

17 October 2014

Which advert do you hate more than any other? The ad that comes on TV and just ruins your day? Most seem to think the singing GoCompare idiot or those 40 seconds of faux-techno from the old We Buy Any Car ad are as bad as it gets.

We disagree.

For us, advertising reached its grimy trough with Santander’s You Save ad for its 1-2-3 Account. If you’re fortunate enough to have forgotten it then we suggest you stop reading now. You’re not going to thank us for taking you back there.

You talk. You save. You walk. You save. You play. You weigh. You save. You throw. You save. You mow. You sew. You save. You write. Invite. You sit. You hit. You do your bit. You save…

Sorry we had to do that.

For those of you who still don’t remember or never saw it, the advert continues with this infantile rhyme for nearly a minute (including soft piano melody for added enchantment). The makers were no doubt convinced they’d just transformed the rather uninspiring subject of a bank account into a captivating piece of marketing.

For us, though, they really failed.

What makes it so painful is obviously the way it uses rhyme. If instead they’d said You get up. You eat. You dress. You drive. You work. You dream. You leave. You eat. You talk. You watch. You love. You sleep then it would still be rubbish but much less irritating.

Admittedly, the relentless rhyming and use of the word save 13 times makes the advert pretty memorable. But then so was 9/11.

Rhyme in advertising is a powerful tool, able to make almost any piece of tedious information become unforgettable. But where verse excels is in the delivery of content, fat with ideas or information. Rhyme inherently simplifies what it says. So if your content offers no new ideas or information to begin with, by the time you’ve started rhyming all over it you’ll be left with nothing more than a wet mess.

The fact that advertising is usually most effective when using simple, direct information is probably one of the main reasons you rarely hear a convincing sales proposition from a poem.

We feel a bit sorry for Santander, to be honest. The bank account actually seems quite good. The point the ad was trying to make was that you save when you spend (with cashback) and also when you don’t (with interest). Whatever you’re up to, you’re saving. It’s just a shame you’re forced to endure 40 seconds of bosh before stuffing in the interesting bit right at the end. At which point you’ve probably switched over. Or run out of the room. Or murdered your family.

Please use rhyme responsibly.


Posted by Rob.

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Spoon Media, Cleatham, Kirton Lindsey, Nr Gainsborough, North Lincolnshire DN21 4JN
X Walter's Lincolnshire


Company profile

With Walter’s you’re right at home. Spoon Media’s theme for Lincoln estate agent Walter’s immediately lets you know you’re dealing with a company you can trust – in this case the longest-established estate agent in Lincoln.

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When you’re working with a successful brand that’s been around for longer than two centuries, you can’t take any chances. Which was why Spoon Media’s gentle rebranding and carefully tweaked logo were the perfect counterbalance to an all-new, ultra-clean website with full content management, SEO copywriting and property search facilities incorporating bespoke MySQL databases. Needless to say, Walter’s new customers came very quickly indeed.

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Quest-eeze is a one-stop country store, animal feed retailer and online equestrian shop. Based in Lincolnshire, Quest-eeze supplies everything for the pet owner, horse rider and farmer on a local or national level.

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Spoon Media loves animals even more than our Apple Mac computers, so Quest-eeze was a natural business partner. Picking up a part-started website and semi-established brand allowed us to make our own little mark on Lincolnshire’s loveliest pet shop, extending to a complete online shop with secure payments and delivery database.

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