Simply The Best

During my years as a broadcaster on commercial radio in the early Nineties I would frequently find myself cringing when clients ran their “original” advertising ideas by me.

From dentists to dog behaviourists; cat sitters to caterers; from fishmongers to photographers; they would suggest the inspired idea of backing their publicity jingle with the track “Simply the Best”.

When asked expectantly for my opinion on this theme for their campaign, I would have to tactfully explain that although they were undoubtedly ‘simply the best’ at whatever their particular business,  the Tina Turner classic had already been done to death on local radio adverts across the globe.

If I had been selected to voice the ad, I would then have to exercise even more diplomacy over the text content. Invariably it would be far too long and wordy as the client tried desperately to squeeze in as much information as possible into his 20 or 30 second spot.

However, I did have sympathy for these clients who naturally wanted to get the best out of their campaigns – even the most skilled and highly paid copywriters find it challenging to be continually inspired with fresh ideas about how to tweak, tempt and tease publicity messages into winning slogans.

“Improve your vision and change your life”, is a slogan used by one High Street business offering Laser Eye Surgery at the bargain price of just 395 pounds an eye. Personally I don’t like the practice of quoting a price ‘per eye’; after all, the vast majority of us do have two and would surely be considering having both of them corrected. I would also not feel drawn to a Laser Eye Surgery practice who include the word “express” in their name; or run competitions where contestants can win free Laser Eye Surgery.

In these campaigns the procedure is promoted by flawless models – chosen for their good looks and perhaps for their ability to look good on a treadmill and underwater – they are not genuine former patients. These smiling, sporty beauties would be just as suited to a cosmetic surgery or dentistry campaign, as an advert for Laser Eye Surgery.

Somehow these gimmicks don’t feel right to me especially when one is considering an elective procedure to correct one of the most precious gifts of all: our sight.

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