Monday, 17 February 2014

I’m a Secret Lemonade Drinker

Rod Allen was a founding partner of the successful London agency Allen Brady & Marsh and he wrote this memorable ad for R White’s lemonade. It was so effective that it was originally aired in 1973, revived in 1983, and remade in 1991. To turn an ordinary sunny afternoon drink into a guilty pleasure is almost as delicious as lemonade itself. It’s a world where bad mothers swig sherry from mugs, and chocoholics hide their stash for fear of sharing. Allen’s words were as delightfully daft as the tune was irritatingly memorable:
I’m a secret lemonade drinker (R Whites! R Whites!)
I’ve been trying to give up, but it’s been one of those nights (R Whites! R Whites!)
R White’s lemon-a-a-ade, R White’s lemon-a-a-ade
I’m a secret lemonade drinker (R Whites!)
At least three things that make this pure genius:
  • Inversion. Turning an innocent pleasure into a guilty secret is memorable (as well as silly). Allen was a funny man, apparently fond of telling Marsh “I’ll come to your funeral, if you come to mine”.
  • Research. Allen Brady & Marsh analysed market research data to great effect. Their ads were based on the best data their clients could buy. Mike Brady was the analytical part of the trio and no small part of their success.
  • Advertises the brand. Crazy as it sounds; not all advertising does this. The brand name is repeated 7 times in this 30 second ad.
Allen is known for having made brilliant and economical use of words to great commercial effect with slogans such as “This is the age of the train”, “Milk has gotta lotta bottle”, and “That’s the wonder of Woolies”. All were backed by thorough data analysis and research which enabled them to understand their customers.

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