Fold7 takes on £40m Gocompare creative challenge

Price comparison websites are a genius business – big, profitable, hardly rocket science – but your shop window, assuming the site works of course, is advertising.

And, more often that not, big budget telly advertising like wot it used to be.

So it’s a challenge for agencies, some of whom don’t do that sort of stuff much any more, and the client who, among other things, needs to realise that this stuff needs a high level of skill and, probably, the price tag that should accompany it. Which some of the people running price comparison sites struggle with.

Gocompare.com rose to fame and fortune using ads by indie creatives Chris Wilkins and Sian Vickers. These may have driven the nation up the wall with their bawling Welsh tenor Gio Compario but they worked – in an old-fashioned, Allen Brady and Marsh sort of way. This is probably the best of the bunch, directed with undeniable elan by Graham Rose.

Then the business moved to Dare, the result of a merger between digital agency Dare and respected shop MCBD. but the MCBD lot shipped out post-merger leaving the agency a bit bereft in the creative department, at least when it came to the likes of Gocompare. Which makes you wonder why it chose them.

Anyway, the result was an advertising car crash, although Gocompare is still running the awful ads even as it completes its review.

Next up is to be Fold7, according to Campaign. Fold7 Isn’t saying anything which may mean one of many things – probably that some grump at one of the losing agencies (Dare and RKCR/Y&R) got their retaliation in first.

Is Fold7 up to this demanding task? It’s been around since 1995 (good, presumably), works in all sort of media and has produced some serviceable TV work for Carlsberg and its cider brand Somersby.

So we’ll see. But there has still been only one really good campaign in this market and that was VCCP’s launch of Comparethemarket’s Meerkats. And this has now disappeared up one of its orifices by selling meerkat toys.

So the bar isn’t that high. But it’s still a challenge.

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About Stephen Foster

Stephen is a former editor of Marketing Week and London Evening Standard advertising columnist. He wrote City Republic for Brand Republic and is a partner in communications consultancy The Editorial Partnership.

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