Please use Napier students responsibly

Last week we were invited to chat to some Napier students about advertising, and then set them a creative challenge.

You can probably imagine how the afternoon unfolded…

They arrived. We showered them with sharpies and fun-sized Mars bars. We showed them around…

And then we told them we didn’t really like advertising.

Wait… What?

See the thing is, ads get in the way of the videos we want to watch, the articles we like to read, and the 9 series’ of the Great British Bake Off we want to binge on. They’re annoying and more often than not they’re forced on us (much like the Paul Holywood handshake, actually).

I suppose what we’re trying to get at is it’s not really ‘ads’ that are the problem. It’s the crap ones.

Take Volvo’s Life Paint, Neelvasant’s Life Saving Dot, and something we made for Road Safety Scotland/SG but can’t really talk about yet because otherwise people will know it’s an ad… Yeah, these things are funded by brands – but they feel bigger, more holistic, and better than a 30 second spot about ‘washing powder that gets the whitest whites’.

Each of these ideas break the rules and conventions of traditional ‘ads’, and each are consumed and enjoyed by real people, in the real world.

With all this in mind, we asked the students to advertise Persil Washing Powder in a way that breaks the rules… in a way that’s unexpected, challenging and truly engaging.

Here are our highlights from what the five teams came up with:

  1. We want to put a Persil slip ‘n’ slide in the Meadows!
  2. We’re thinking we could make a Nordic Noir film where the murderer uses Persil to get the blood out his clothes, and then waltzes into the snowy sunset.
  3. Persil Perty!! We’re going to do a Persil foam party for freshers students.
  4. We want to ‘clean up the act’ of famous potty-mouth swear mongers by randomly throwing Persil tabs at them.
  5. We want to create ‘Washing powder on wheels’ – a mobile launderette that goes around washing clothes for homeless people.

Yes! WAY better than an ad with some housewife getting grass stains out her son’s football kit.

Thanks again to all the über talented Napier students who took part. We had a blast! Until the next time…


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