Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Tic Tac Knocks Out a French Town

At one time in our lives we’ve all had to share confined quarters with someone who has bad breath. The worst part is that the only person who doesn’t suffer the consequences of the noxious odors is the person who has bad breath, as they often are unaware of their effects on their neighbors. Breathing by your mouth, usually relieves you of the effects for a while, but if you have to spend 8 hours a day boxed up in a shared cubicle with Mr. Coffee-Breath, or Mrs. Smoker-Mouth, not even mouth breathing can help you.

Tic Tac has used humor in the above ad to show the devastation of the effects of bad breath on a small town in France. This ad is a take on the flash mob videos that have popped up in the past few years. The best part of the ad is that you don’t need to speak a word of French to understand the key message: Tic Tacs will take care of your bad breath.

When completing the Innovative Marketing Strategies Unit of the Masters of Marketing we analysed how humour can be used as a powerful marketing tool, but also how when humour used poorly can have devastating effects for a product and/or brand. When using humour an ad agency has to be careful not to put a market segment offside by negatively stereotyping a group ex. all old people are grumpy, or all young people are reckless. Country, political situations and target audiences are important to consider when creating your campaign.

Ideally you want your ad to be memorable: people remember your ad AND the product being advertised AND one key message. The icing on the cake comes when people talk to their friends about your ad, that’s when you really know that your ad has been successful.

I think that Tic Tac has done a great job in the above ad because it has met all those criteria. It also has international relevance, which not all humourous ads can boast of as it can easily overcome the language and cultural barriers of most countries in the western world.

Next time you’re in a confined space such as a lift, a car, or even on the street asking someone for direction, have a Tic Tac handy!

I would love to know what your favorite humourous ad is.

Mina D'Souza
Current student in the Master of Marketing program at the University of Sydney Business School

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