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CREATIVE STRATEGY: Sky attempts to conjure a fairy-tale ending

Simple. Charming. Well-crafted. Simon Kershaw asks are these words you'd associate with advertising from Sky?

Sky: fairytale ad campaign

Sky: fairytale ad campaign

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Nope, me neither. And that’s why Sky’s current campaign for its broadband service took me pleasantly by surprise.

It’s a hard campaign to miss. So far, I’ve seen it online, on 48-sheets, as tube card panels, in the national press, as a doordrop – and I was even collared by some geezers in Waterloo Station one day, handing out leaflets.

Sky is certainly spending. But then in the bloodbath otherwise known as the broadband market, they probably don’t have much choice. BT, Virgin, TalkTalk, O2, Plusnet and goodness knows who else are all after our custom.

Creatively, Sky has chosen the language of fairy tales; "Broadband Happily Ever After" is our theme.

Headlines include: "Ding, dong, the Wicked Switch is dead." and my personal favourite: "Oh Grandma, what consistent speeds you have". 

The copy is short and sweet, the illustrations delicate and colourful.

Even the doordrop – a generally shabby medium – has superior production values. "Mirror Mirror on the wall" is printed on mirror-board, inviting you into a double-gatefold piece that has plenty of room to make all the detail of the deal digestible.

My former creative partner Phil Keevill often quoted his alma mater JWT on the effectiveness of advertising that is "likeable".

In other words, when you enjoy spending time in the company of a brand, you’re more likely to listen to their argument.  Sky’s broadband campaign seems to have taken this principle very much to heart. 

But this campaign has an ugly sister.

Also on a billboard near you right now are the ads for Sky’s five Sky Sports channels. Bog standard stock shots. Dull copy.

And five, yes, count them, five sub-brand logos to accompany the massive "Sky" watermark slapped in the middle of the layout. 

If a brand must have a multiple personality, why not make them both likeable? That would be magic.

Simon S Kershaw is a creative consultant and a former creative director at Craik Jones.

Sky attempts to conjure a fairy-tale ending

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