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Company: Egg
    View Company Scorecard / Contact Company
Brand: Egg
Ad Title: Bed
Business Category: Dot-com
Media Outlets: Television
Country: United Kingdom
Region: Europe
Agency: Howell Henry Chaldecott Lury
Year: 2000
Target: Mainstream
Ad Spotter: Alli Hirschman
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Theme(s)

Same-Sex Affection

GLBT Punch Line

Theme Breakdown

AdRespect Score: 
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This internet-only bank, whose parent company is insurance giant Prudential, has 1.1 million British customers.

The company admitted it was "very nervous" about the $4.5 million campaign yet, according to The Independent newspaper, it was a move to "represent a new set of values" to attract "younger and less traditional" new customers.

In the series of four semi-creepy ads, a menacing man named Rob materializes in the apartment of Stuart as he sleeps and showers. It is not clear if Rob is part of Stuart's imagination or is supposed to be real, but he gets into intimate situations as Stuart's eyes bug out but never stops the action.

The ads end with children chanting, "Egg and me, up in a tree, k,i,s,s,i,n,g."

The Independent quoted Tony Williams, head of marketing for Egg, as saying, "We considered having two women who could be gay and thought that was too edgy, and a man and woman would have been just normal. We think this is edgy but getting it right."

Spike Jones, creator of the offbeat film "Being John Malkovich," directed two of the ads, including the phone call (but not the shower or bed ads).

"The whole concept was actually about other banks always saying they were with you day and night and could help in many aspects of your life," said Steve Hicks, Egg's Head of Brand Communications. "This was a typical play on that by the then cheeky brand... It was hard for the average Joe Public to get this but that was not the audience we were after. In our Victorian mindset over here people naturally saw 'gay' in the relationship. That was not intended and the 'customer' had a girlfriend in one of the spots.

"No sexual tension was intended and with Spike Jones, darkness was assured, which is what was wanted because other banks trying to be friendly and run your life was a bit Big Brother and smothering to us. It worked well -- got praise and was criticized -- as were most of Egg's TV ads back then (only three of my press ads were banned!)."

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Michael Susi , New York, NY
THIS IS REALLY CREEPY!

Chris , New York, NY
I think this ad is very effective. What I'm not very sure of is whether there is any kind of a "gay slur" here though. I mean, wouldn't anyone (man or woman) be a bit alarmed by a total stranger (man or woman) having found there way into an intimate situation to pitch a bank? I think it's just plain kooky, and likely to attract a customer looking for a younger, hipper bank that understands them.

Max , Antioch, CA
I did not see any gay slurs in this ad. I don't think this ad is a negative portrayal of gays.

Max Shultz , Antioch, CA
I did not see any gay slur in this ad. I think the advertiser was aiming at making an origional commercial, and did not mean to offend anyone. I disagree with Egg manager Tony Williams, that "two women who could have been gay would have been too edgy." With all the horny straight men who get off on watching lesbians, I think gay male sexuality is more taboo and "edgy." I think this ad is sexy in a threatening, edgy way.

Steve Hicks , London, UK
The ads did exactly what they were meant to do: push boundaries. I was in Tony's team and was one of two of his senior team members that are gay--we saw no issue with it... but were they gay??!

They were never meant to be gay although gay people automatically assumed they were - I was one of them on first view! But then, I am so would read that. And trust me, if they had been remotely homophobic, playing on straight people's fear, it would not have got past me or my other gay team colleague. Granted they were a bit stalker but it was a short run -- got the press and actually only annoyed homophobics!

Noel , Troy, MI
I thought this ad was just plain creepy.

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Guinea Pigs
Company: Egg
Brand: Egg
Country: United Kingdom
Region: Europe
Year: 2006

AdRespect Score:


Phone
Company: Egg
Brand: Egg
Country: United Kingdom
Region: Europe
Year: 2000

AdRespect Score:

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