My most widely-read post by far on this blog was an article on the classic Volkswagen ads. I noted in the article that such ads were reminiscent of the Mad Men era of optimistic, dreamy advertising. At the time, all advertisements were bright and shiny, alluding to a life of wondrous contentment should the consumer buy whatever product was gracing the billboard.
This is a theme which remains a stalwart of advertising to this day however, when a bunch of advertisers sets out to buck a trend, the results can only be good. Especially when the advertisers in question are PR giants Ogilvy & Mathers.
I’ve never heard of Fernet & Branca bitters. In fact I didn’t know what bitters really were until I started learning how to make cocktails. Ogilvy clearly recognised that I wasn’t alone. Therefore, rather than resort to a standard approach to advertising the product itself, they attempt to catch the audience’s attention with a dark pun on the word ‘bitter’. Being a sarcastic person with a cruel sense of humour, I love what they came up with.