Vanish Carpet Cleaner: Just what the ‘housewife’ needs

vanish-carpetstreetSo, now that we’re all spending so much time indoors, we want to make sure the place is spick and span don’t we? And, with perfect timing on its side, in comes a new campaign for Vanish Carpet Cleaner, designed to show that the dirt left after vacuuming is just as bad as the muck on the street (yep, really).

Now, while some of you might be thinking we’re scraping the barrel with this review – Vanish Carpet Cleaner FFS? – we all need a little light relief these days (and there’s not a lot of new work out there either).

Created by Havas London, the ad is set to a version of Grieg’s In The Hall of the Mountain King, and, er, “amusingly” brings a whole community of people through a “housewife’s” living room (some things never change), in scenes designed to emphasise just how dirty carpets can be.

According to director Sye Allen, the spot was filmed in Warsaw with OTO Film and everyone had a blast. However, it looks like a pretty standard, British suburban living room to us, complete with net curtains and mother-in-law’s tongue (the houseplant you fools).

Anyway, just as said housewife thinks she’s finished vacuuming her cream carpet (some people hey?) suddenly there’s a Jumanji-style stampede through the room, including a dog being chased by its owner, a group of builders pushing a wheelbarrow, a gaggle of commuters, a crowd of football fans, cyclists, and a flock of pigeons (each one violating current social distancing rules tut, tut).

By the time they have all raced through, the carpet is flooded with fetid feculence. Luckily, help is at hand as in walks a “Vanish” rep – another woman of course – with a hatful of Vanish products to save the day. (Mind you, one of them does look suspiciously like Shake ‘n’ Vac).

Coming to a screen near you soon, the ad will be running on TV, video-on-demand and online and is voiced by Games of Thrones’ actor James Faulkner (although we preferred him as Pope Sixtus IV in the TV series Da Vinci’s Demons).

Havas creative Rosie May Bird Smith said: “If people knew how dirty their carpet really was, and all the filthy fibres it was harbouring, they might be persuaded to do something about it. It’s great to bring a burst of energy, humour and irreverence to what is typically quite a hard-working, functional category.”

Reckitt Benckiser Vanish category manager Ruxandra Ionescu is equally chuffed, it seems: “We wanted to create a new form of the traditional ‘torture test’. We wanted to creatively show consumers how dirty their carpets really are, whilst highlighting the benefits and performance of Vanish. We’re thrilled with the result: Carpet Street is engaging, it stands out, and brings the issue to life beautifully – before presenting our best solution, Vanish Gold Carpet Cleaner.”

So, what is the consensus around the Decision Marketing office? Will we be rushing to the shops to buy “essential” Vanish Gold? Will we actually be able to get hold of any, given the public stockpiling of every cleaning product available? Is this really the best we can come up with? Is this yet another case of gender stereotyping in advertising?

Answers in no particular order: no, probably not, no idea and not really. Still, there’s nothing like a Reckitt Benckiser ad to put a small on your face…Cilit Bang anyone? And we all need something to smile about in these troubling times.

Now, we’re not too sure it’ll pick up a White Pencil or a Gold Lion for that matter, but hey, it gets the job done and there aren’t many ads that can boast that.

Decision Marketing Adometer: A perfectly clean 7⅜ out of 10

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