Post-pandemic creativity: Hegarty’s Simba and W+K’s Visa

BBH founder Sir John Hegarty is no fan of much contemporary advertising, seeing it as primarily click chasing at the expense of the brand. His The Garage Soho is an incubator that backs brands – including Simba mattresses and other sleepy products – and even produces the ads on occasion.

As here plugging Simba’s technology with a couple, a cat and a classic Fred Astaire tune.

Simba co-founder and CEO Steve Reid says: “Our mission from day one has been to innovate rather than replicate. There is overwhelming scientific evidence to support the view that better sleep leads to improved energy and performance as well as being a powerful stress reliever.

“Just as our technology continues to evolve in leaps and bounds, we know from our 150,000 five star reviews that our customers are waking up healthier, happier and with a renewed spring in their step.”

Hegarty says: “We believe in advertising that champions the brand and what makes it superior. The hero of this particular piece is the 5,000 titanium springs that help you sleep comfortably. So we created a campaign that showcases that feeling of being in heaven.”

Running on mainstream TV as well as digital channels, it is, indeed, an attempt to take the high ground in an increasingly competitive beds market. Has Sir John pulled it off? Maybe, although surely a product named Simba should have a bouncing lion cub?

MAA creative scale: 6.5.

Meanwhile, at other end of the marketing spectrum, Visa, via Wieden+Kenedy, is telling us it’s not a payments facilitator but a “network” (aren’t we all these days, darling?)

Trouble is, still not sure why.

Visa and rival Mastercard spend billions on marketing but do we ever actually choose one over the other? Cards just come that way don’t they?

Is the aim to reassure us? Or fend off new payments rivals which seem to be popping up all over the place (not always with positive outcomes despite their improbable supposed valuations.)

Still mystified. Maybe the next one will elucidate better.

MAA creative scale: 4.

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About Stephen Foster

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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.