Advertising that Sails...

I saw this picture on the left on Ramesh De Silva’s blog. Simple idea, very nicely done, to promote a nearby café. It doesn’t deserve a Chilli like the comment says, for it is an original!

Then I saw the one on the right – a Rockland Rum ad in the Serendib Magazine – typical Chilli material.

The ad tries to emulate a good trend, but the graphics are poorly executed. No finesse, the lines look very rough and rugged. Logo slapped on in the middle of nowhere, as if the art director was running out the room for a loo break. No time to think, no time craft the ad.

Best of all, is the slogan: “You’ll find no other Rum like ‘dis on ’de earth.”


People from all over the world read Serendib, and they are claiming that there’s no other Rum like this on the earth? Who are they trying to fool? Did the agency think that travellers on-board SriLankan airlines have never heard of other brands of fine rums such as Cruzan for example? Or Bacardi or Malibu at least? It’s not what the slogan says but what it means that matters.

Right now, Rocklands are looking stupid in front of the globe trotters who fly SriLankan, thanks to an agency that writes lines for the sake of revering a brand with no evidence to prove it’s obviously false claim.

And the Chilli goes to..?


  1. yes i saw it...:) interesting eh? and well.. different!

    and yes, i see your point..:)

  2. About the Rockland ad... granted i agree with you on the fact that their trying to make Chillies worthy. But about the logo placement... I dont think he PLACED it there by mistake. If you look at the new Rockland bottle you'll find that same design on the bottle label with the logo in the middle of the copy. I think the look he's trying to go for is to show the label there next to the ship, minus the bottle. Normally that logo placement would be pretty bad, but not if he's placing it there to show that its the same as the label on the bottle.

    Hope you get what i mean.

  3. Rockland ad reminds me of two things: Mlesna ad with the steamy logo coming out of the tea pot and Absolute Vodka – text in the shape of the bottle AND the text on the bottle itself...

  4. Serendib, Chillies are for being creative -- and to be creative, you must be original, but not JUST original -- it should be also relevant. As I said to Ramesh:

    "...what's so creative about that? It's just an unusual use of space, that's all. There's no connection between a boat and the brand or product -- or the menu. On Mt beach there's a place called 'La Voile Blanche' (the White Sail), and if THEY'd done this there'd have been some connection."

    Jaded's right about the use of the font in the ad, and the logo. What MIGHT have been good if the art director had worked harder, would have been to maybe replace the boat's sail with the headline/label. Still wouldn't have been a great ad, but at least interesting. I like the label, though. Pity they've not continued the look across their other products.

  5. And the Chilli goes to the moron at Mel Ads :-) I felt the same when I saw it last time.... I totally agree with you :-)

  6. JS & David, I get what you mean.

    At the same time, I wouldn’t blame the guy who painted the sail for not finding any relevance between the sail and his coffee shop. Perhaps he was only looking for a different way to get some visibility.

    But, what is unforgivable is when established agencies doing work that is not original, irrelevant, and bogus – half-cooked ideas coming from an agency of repute is not at all acceptable while a little nugget coming from an ordinary man deserves a pat on the back.

    That was my point.

  7. Point taken. It wasn't done for a Chillie, and it won't get one (even if it was entered), but yeah, it's eye-catching and nice. I agree.

    Yes, agencies need to work harder!

  8. The boat with the sail written on it is one of the most eye-catching advertising gimmicks I have seen. It did make me think the coffee shop (or whatever) was a cool place that warrants a visit. Some of the "calligraphy" could have been better; perhaps the "amateurishness" (or childish style?) is part of the charm--like a child is charming.

  9. Nobody can beat http://www.photosails.com when it comes to advertising on sails.

    They do double sided imaging with photo realistic artwork in 2 million colors and up to 600 DPI.

    Check it out what they did for the 2008 election ... Http://www.thevoteboat.com

  10. I though twice about posting the above comment about the photosails.com since it’s a clever disguise of an advertisement. Then again, there’s some interesting stuff to see, so I though, what the heck! ;)