John McCann's Steel-Cut Irish Oatmeal: Strength

After 800 years of British oppression, the Irish still find the strength to wake up each morning.
There are few things Irish people hate more than the English. Missing breakfast is one of them. That’s why, for over 200 years, McCann’s has been making oatmeal the only way they know how – the Irish way. See, McCann’s uses only the finest steel-cut oats in the world. And where are those oats grown? Right in Ireland’s own backyard, on the same fertile soil Irishmen have been farming for thousands of years. There’s a reason the Irish consider McCann’s a national treasure. They know a real meal when they see one.
Give your body the meal it deserves – a hearty, healthy bowl of McCann’s Irish Oatmeal.

Advertising School: The Creative Circus, Atlanta, USA
Creative Director: Nik Bristow, Fitzgerald+Co
Copywriter: Brandon George
Art Director: Will Lindberg

29 comments

Guest's picture
Guest

If there's one thing the Irish hate more than the English it's the Americans. Mainly because of their lack of understanding of Ireland and its people. Because they feel free to talk about British oppression and the famine (in which over1.5 million people died) in an ad for oatmeal. This series of ads is full of historical inaccuracies and vagueness. The research is poor and the copy is lazy, sweeping and full of cliche.

Guest's picture
Guest

I wouldn't say the copy is lazy. Techincally, it's solid. But my god they took a long time to say nothing. The copy takes you heeeeeeeeeeeere then theeeeeeeeeeeere and then nowhere. Sorry, don't mean to be rude but it's really average.

ricklongo's picture
ricklongo
1244 pencils

I disagree. I find the copy in this campaign to flow just right. The only flop in my opinion is the use of the word "hate" in the beginning of this one, which almost pushes this from "playful" to "too heavy for an oatmeal ad".

Guest's picture
Guest

very good campaign

Guest's picture
Guest

I second that

Guest's picture
Guest

I'm sorry but this ad is just plain racist. White on white racist, but racist nonetheless. Harping on the past has no place in a free and united Europe. All of which could possible be forgiven had the ad been remotely witty or charming. But, it isn't.

Guest's picture
Guest

"....free and united Europe..."

Go on...that's just a made up story that justifies every mistake of the European countries that are members of "the club".
Actually, if you're a member of the exclusive EU, you have the right to use and abuse people (mostly minorities) and still get away with it!
Sorry, not only get away with it, but you're sure to be promoted as "one who understands the standards" of the "free world". Whatever that means!

Just look at the Gypsy people in the Check Republic, Slovakia and Italy.
The Macedonians and Turks in Greece.
The Basks in Spain.
The Muslim Minorities in France and England.
The Serbs and Gypsies in Kosovo (another great European project).

Should I continue?!

shahidali's picture
shahidali
4067 pencils

the guest above wrote "If there's one thing the Irish hate more than the English it's the Americans.". Even if the comment wasn't true, it will be now with the advent of these series of ads coming from an agency situated in atlanta, usa.

shahid

Guest's picture
Guest

Just an FYI, The Creative Circus in Atlanta is an advertising (portfolio) school. So, I doubt these will go further then Brandon and Will's portfolio.

opposite of u's picture
opposite of u
301 pencils

bad typography....

Guest's picture
Guest

Thanks for the comments.

These ads purposely go over-the-top in some places -- mostly because we're students.

Maybe for final pieces we could drop the body copy altogether? A single page execution, possibly.

Thoughts on that?

Guest's picture
Guest

Brandon George is da man.

halfmanhalfidea's picture
halfmanhalfidea
30 pencils

Yes, we're students at Creative Circus.

Also, I'm a 1st quarter writer and Will's a 4th quarter art director, so hopefully we'll have time to work out our flaws. Like our American citizenship. And our apparent racism.

Guest's picture
Guest

I'm half English and half Irish. I find the ads rather amusing.

Guest's picture
Guest

Have any of you haters ever produced an ad? Or do you just sit around in your bathrobe all day, talking shit?

bknowlden's picture
bknowlden
3647 pencils

the typography ruins them for me - good shot though...

Guest's picture
Guest

Even as students, don't assume "over the top" means being shocking or borderline offensive. You don't want your book to stand out for the wrong reasons.
Also, your art direction needs to be fresher. Your right hand pages look like half the ads I laid out for my student book, and I'm a copywriter.

Guest's picture
Guest

how does "white on white" racism work? i hate you because you're white though i'm white? i no longer visit this site for the work but rather the comments. keep it up!

Guest's picture
Guest

The typography looks like a kid did it and as an Irish citizen I find it to be not only completely offensive, but just plain awful, please take this muck down.

A stranger abroad's picture
A stranger abroad
427 pencils

I think the best part of the ads is your endline: "Grown in Ireland by people grown in Ireland' is pure class. Well done there.

I also applaud your decision to go for a headline and copy approach, rather than go for fashionable 'find a visual pun with no word' route.

And I think you have found a good territory for your headlines, but some of the lines don't quite get there IMO.

'While Americans were revolting the Irish were making breakfast' is a bit so what to me. The revolution is still more interesting than your product in that headline.

But a good start IMO. I'd keep the concept but have another go at the headlines. The one on this page is the best, but it can still be refined. There is a little confusion with tense here as it is present tense and the Republic has been independent since 1921 odd.

Perhaps, "After 800 years of English oppression, how did the Irish find the will to get up in the mornings?' Just my opinion of course. Ignore at will. But overall, a good job and a promising start. IMO.

Guest's picture
Guest

Fair enough if you are students.
This might go down well in the US where historical knowledge of Ireland is minimal.
But this is the internet, you have an international audience, including Irish people like myself.
The copy needs to be much tighter and more research needs to be done.
Don't pander to the ignorant, look for some genuine insight into Irish people and our history.
I tried to dig out some examples to show you what I mean, but we don't really talk about "the English" or " the famine" in advertising.
Still a bit of a touchy subject to be flippant about it.
During the famine our population went from around 8 million to 4 million in ten years through death and emigration, mainly to the states.
Hope this helps you understand my previous negative reaction.
I think overall the work shows talent and ambition though, and that's more important at this stage of your careers, so good luck.

ricklongo's picture
ricklongo
1244 pencils

I agree that a bit more research wouldn't hurt. However, the fact that this is on an international advertising site isn't, and shouldn't be, the main factor upon which we should rate this ad. If this is supposed to be published in the United States (where historical knowledge of Ireland is minimal, as you say), it is perfectly suited to meet the average consumer's expectations. This is advertising; whether the ad sells the product to its target audience or not is clearly more important than being as historically accurate as possible.

Guest's picture
Guest

This is great work... my church bulletin uses the same template. We got it from cheaptemplates.com. Actually we were thinking of outsourcing our bulletins and weekly news letters... would you be interested? Send me your number... my email is betty@churchofthetheapostlepaul.com.

Guest's picture
Guest

this is the first time that oatmeal has made me mad.

Guest's picture
Guest

Overall the art direction is a little misdirected. On the left, the words suggest a feeling of sad reflection while the stacked bold type suggest bold and fierce. I almost feel as though you are screaming a nice thought at me. On the right, I feel as though you took no liberties at all. It is almost as if you opened word processor, selected from a list of templates and then just entered the data. In the future, recognize first and foremost that the writer writes and the art director directs. In looking at this I'd say you were trying to embellish the writer's words when in fact you did more harm to them than good. You, as an art director need to make the writer look good by making the ad work like it should.

Try a really thick serif font on the left (if you are stuck on the stacked type) — something that speaks to the subject at hand. The sans-serif is really too modern for an oatmeal made in Ireland.

What is the story with the background behind the stacked-type? I don't think it does anything for your ad... in fact, I'm not even sure what it is. Try just a black background... or try the Irish flag or... I don't know... scrap the whole stacked type thing and make it a headline on a single page ad with the body copy smaller.

Hope this helps.

Guest's picture
Guest

How on earth is it racist???

You need to look it up.

"If there's one thing the Irish hate more than the English it's the Americans"???

I'm sorry but i'm Irish and painting us all with the same brush is so narrow minded. I don't hate the English or American, and i know a hell of a lot more people who wouldn't care if you were purple. Never mind English or American.

BJ's picture
BJ
102 pencils

How on earth is it racist???

Telling history doen't make it racist.

You need to look it up.

"If there's one thing the Irish hate more than the English it's the Americans"???

I'm sorry but i'm Irish and painting us all with the same brush is so narrow minded. I don't hate the English or American, and i know a hell of a lot more people who wouldn't care if you were purple. Never mind English or American.

On the creative side its a bit aggressive, and as a product you want to sell, you're doing yourself no favours by digging up bad history which will only put off people buying it. As in this example the English Market.

I'd try a bit of Colour maybe, as the black and white Guinness use a lot so could at a glance be mistaken for it.

rich43500's picture
rich43500
6 pencils

way to close to a campaign from a fellow student at my undergrad program

http://www.people.vcu.edu/~bkcamden/students/

Guest's picture
Guest

All of these ads say, "Life sucked for the Irish, and the only thing they had to eat was slop." Very, very unappetizing.

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