Paul Simons: let’s hear it for long-running campaigns

There is so much written about ad campaigns that have a short life, often changed when a new marketing chief joins a business.

However little or nothing is ever written about ad campaigns that run and run.

One that must get the prize as the longest running single TV ad is Galaxy chocolate. I must have seen it 30/40/50 times over recent years. It’s the one with the Audrey Hepburn lookalike set in an Italian Riviera location and she steals the cap off a coach driver then gives it to a handsome hunk in a beautiful Mercedes. The song Moon River plays away in the background.

That must have cost a few quid.

Now the Mars group are not dummies, in fact they are probably one of the top manufacturers in the UK with marketing at the centre of their business. None of this sloppy approach to changing brand assets we see so often with many big brands.

They are milking (excuse the chocolate reference) their asset in particular on ITV3, the Daily Mail of television, so their cost of production must be tiny annually as their finance team would spread the original, expensive production, over several years – amortising the capital expenditure.

It would be interesting to hear of any other campaigns and/or individual ads that enjoy a long shelf life like Galaxy.

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About Paul Simons

Paul joined Cadbury-Schweppes in brand management and then moved to United Biscuits. He switched to advertising in his late 20s, at Cogent Elliott and then Gold Greenlees Trott. He founded Simons Palmer Denton Clemmow & Johnson in the late 80s, one of the leading creative agencies of the 90s. Simons Palmer then merged with TBWA to create a top ten agency. Paul then joined O&M as chairman & CEO of the UK group. After three years he left to create a new AIM-quoted advertising group Cagney Plc. He is now a consultant to a number of client companies. Paul also shares his thoughts on his blog. Visit Paul Simons Blog.