Working in advertising, we can all be a bit guilty of needless nostalgia. A powerful ad can bring you back to a time in your life that may have passed, but you still have a strong memory of it. For some people this could be something as simple as BT’s “It’s Good to Talk” campaign which struck a chord with distant families everywhere or the old favourites from Guinness or Levis that we constantly flick to on youtube.
I was at home in Belfast last week for the summer holidays and I stumbled upon an ad I hadn’t seen properly since I was in primary school. When it was made in the early nineties, the brief was rather unusual to say the least. To stop impressionable youths getting caught up with terrorists. There was a running joke in school that most of my class had nightmares from it for years.
Looking at it now in the cold light of day, it looks terribly dated and almost like a badly made B movie. However, at the time it was seen as a hugely brave stance against people who were determined to wreak havoc in Belfast. It still strikes a chord all these years later because I associate it with my childhood and a time none of us ever want to return to.
Sometimes, advertising can be so much more than screaming above the masses, if it is done correctly it can become an unforgetable message that still resonates years later.