One-off ads appear in free mag for Indian expats in Singapore in time for Cannes deadline

Persil ad as it appears on left hand page of Tabla! magazine

Persil ad as it appears on left hand page of Tabla! magazine

Ambitiously creative ads for a washing powder and a carpet protector have appeared in two April editions of a free community magazine for Indian expats in Singapore just before the deadline for the Cannes Lions advertising awards show.

The ads, for Unilever brand Persil and 3M’s Scotchgard, do not appear to have run in any publication but the April 17 and 24 editions of Singapore Press Holdings weekly freebie Tabla!.

The deadline for submissions for Cannes was 24 April.

The Persil campaign by Lowe Singapore, in three different half-page ads, depicts overweight children wearing muddied sports gear, with the message that parents should encourage them to do more exercise. “Let dirt shape them, not the TV,” reads the copy in one of the ads above an image of a boy in cycling gear. Another ad featuring a young cricketer reads: “Let dirt shape them, not junk food.”

Persil 'Let dirt shape them, not junk food' ad as it appears in 17 April edition of Tabla!

Persil ‘Let dirt shape them, not junk food’ ad as it appears in 17 April edition of Tabla!

A third execution of the idea, which is a spin-off of Persil’s long-running global ‘Dirt is good’ campaign, featured a forlorn-looking boy and the line: “Let dirt shape them, not video games.”

Persil ad in Tabla! magazine

Persil ‘Let dirt shape them, not video games’ ad in Tabla! magazine

In the same two editions of the weekly magazine, another series of three executions of an idea appeared as half-page ads – for Scotchgard carpets and rugs stain remover.

Scotchguard ad in Tabla!

Scotchgard ad in Tabla!

The ads follow a familiar formula for work crafted with awards juries in mind; a visual metaphor for the product and a small logo placed in a corner.

Scotchguard ad in Tabla!

Scotchgard ad in Tabla!

The ads for the 3M-made product show spilt fluids collected neatly on top of pieces of broken glass, having avoided contact with the carpet thanks to Scotchgard. The copy surrounding the logo reads: “Repels fluids, blocks stains, resists soiling”.

Scotchguard ad in Tabla!

Tabla! is distributed in condos, international schools, 7-Elevens, Shell service stations and Changi Airport, and has a claimed weekly circulation of 30,000. At ratecard, a half-page full-colour ad costs S$2,727.60.

Mumbrella was tipped off about the ads by a reader, who commented on a story about Ogilvy’s recent ‘mums and maids’ campaign (another reader said that they’d seen a poster from the Scotchgard campaign on Orchard Road):

Did anyone else notice that TABLA is now the new IS magazine for scam ads? Flip through the pages of Tabla this month, and you’ll see the ScotchGuard print ad (2 or 3 of them in one issue too!) and 2 half page print ads for some detergent brand.

And this is TABLA. A freakin’ weekly newspaper with a circulation rate of close to 0, I am assuming. I only flipped through it as it came free with our morning coffee. Which client in their right state of non-scam mind would pay for an insertion in Tabla?!

In comparison, there were 0 scam ads in the April issue of IS (or rather, the newly named SG).

Slow claps, people, slow claps.

I-S Magazine, or SG Magazine as it is now known following a rebrand last year, was the only media platform used for the world’s most awarded print ad of 2014. BBDO Singapore’s work for Guinness draught-in-a-bottle ran as five fractional ads in a single April edition of the free listings title just before the deadline for Cannes last year.


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