The ads consist of Jo, her sound guy, and a camera person, interviewing celebrities about products they trust. During the talk about trust, the image usually cuts to some footage of the product or service being used or implemented. I think the camera person is drunk or suffers from a severe inner ear imbalance as it keeps shaking side to side, doco style. Maybe they’re using hidden cameras so they can get a genuine response? At one stage I started getting motion sickness. The footage alternates between colour and black and white, so is automatically far kewler than sticking to the one type.
Only someone with the intellectual stimulation of a magazine only reading diet could possibly confuse Nicky as representing some sort of unbiased consumer advice service. So I got no problem with that. In fact, here’s the blurb on Zoot Review from their parent company the Buchanan Group.
Zoot Review is a unique vehicle for television. A celebrity is chosen, and their experiences trialling your product form the basis of a Zoot Review Execution. Well-known presenter Jo Bailey asks the celebrity conversational questions about the product. Stylish, upbeat and spontaneous in execution, Zoot Review combines third party credibility with honest, entertaining action and dialogue. These stand out qualities have delivered impressive sales results for a wide range of products.
Apparently drunken camera persons are unique to Zoot. That’s good to see. And I’m glad they’re choosing celebrities right for the product then getting them to test them in operating conditions. Sorry, that should be trialling them (that might be where it may be unique – since Trialling is not actually a word). How exactly would the choosing of the celebrity go? Two men enter, one man leave? Top 12 whittled down by judges with a withering commentary combined with some sort of skills test like spontaneous laughter? Someone that has faded out of the spotlight and desperate for the work?
Do they ever actually get approached by celebrities and have to turn them down?
‘I’m sorry Mr Roger Rogerson, while you tested very well for the niche corrupt cop market, we’re going to go with a celebrity that has never actually taken a human life – even if it was in the course of your legal duties and not your extra-curricular shady ones.’
Moving on. Not only is it an ad. It’s an 'Zoot Review execution'. How professional. Makes them sound like high tech assassins. Perhaps Jo Bailey descends into the room on a wire, Mission Impossible style, then conducts her ‘conversational interview’ whilst slowing twisting in place? Jo Bailey is of course ‘well known’ as Zoot have noted – after-all who can forget her on Sale, and, er, other … Zoot ads? No one, that’s who.
Now we come to my favourite bit of the Zoot pitch.
“… Jo Bailey asks the celebrity conversational questions about the product …”
Conversational questions about the product…
‘So, you used it? Oh yeah, did ya like it? Oh cool. So were there any side effects ? No, actually, don’t answer that one. So tell me about the first time you used it. Did it rock your world. It did? Excellent. Here’s your cheque.’
But wait, it gets better. Zoot promises you, the product or service owner, that the ad is ‘stylish, upbeat and spontaneous in execution’ and ‘combines third party credibility with honest, entertaining action and dialogue.’
The third party I guess is the celebrity (sports figure / C list entertainer). Who have extreme credibility with the product. Yep, that’s why Jo went to talk with Alyssa Jane Cook – known for her knowledge of auto-mechanics, for a recent commercial spruiking a brand of auto-mechanics. Apparently she had a good experience with them and recommends them. Quality, thoughtful analysis by a world class celebrity fully conversant in all aspects of the automotive trade.
The spontaneous part I assume is the seventeen takes they shoot in order to get enough 'genuinely interested in discussing this issue' footage to splice together, all the while why Drinky McDrunk the camera person is sculling down shots like there’s no tomorrow. Which probably explains why the stability of the footage ranges from shot during a mild squall to a full blown hurricane.
Honest, entertaining action and dialogue. Like when Jo Bailey throat punches Andrew Daddo, staddles him, thumbs off the safety cap of the Nurofen for Children, then yells at him to ‘swallow you clown, you think you’re better than Cam?? Do ya??’ Then she forces them down his throat. He tries to spit them up, but she strokes his Adam’s apple and he swallows reflexively, all the while she's crooning soothingly and whispering about the time the Home Viewer was accidentally mixed up with Hendo, and they had to fix it in post.
That was awesome man. She fully got him good.
I’m not exactly sure what the good people at Zoot consider as entertaining action, but feeling sea sick as Andrew Daddo looks at wife Jacqui with a look of concern as they remember an incident where their child was poorly and Nurofen might have had an effect, does not qualify in my book.
I have no doubt at all these are great ads for the budget conscious and stable of stomach. And I also have no doubt that they have improved sales.
But they still shit me up the wall and make me yell at the TV.
For a complete list of knowledgeable Australian celebrities (and other markets Zoot dip their toe in), please see their website. http://www.zootreview.com.au/
Here’s a sample of other products and the celebs who endorsed them.
· Rebecca Gilling promotes Wattly 10 paint and discusses how she painted her back yard fence with her body, having rolled in the paint to apply it, then rolled along the fence. She also notes it is the best tasting paint, bar none, she has ever consumed.
· Hayley Lewis explains how Nutella saved a drowning man from swimming when she threw it to him to use as a life buoy, despite it clearly saying that it was not intended as a life saving device on the side of the jar. She also pulled a muscle throwing the Nutella, so backs her talk up with some love sonnets she spontaneously crafted for Nurofen Gel. ‘Nurofen, sweet relief for my sore nethers, you provide relief from the ache of my breaking heart.’
· Tracey Curro gives the lowdown on Garden Harvest – apparently it’s ‘It’s got a fresh taste – it’s really delicious’, ‘you just know that it’s packed with goodness (how can it not with a name like Garden Harvest?), and ‘for a great taste and goodness it’s hard to go past.’ Allegedly it’s in the fridge near the juices.
· And how can you go past Jane Hall, from All Together Now, promoting Jarrah Sunset Selections – the most indulgent way to end a Dinner Party – and Jarrah Flavoured Coffee – with 10 flavours, and they all taste great, even the arsenic and 10 day old body in the warm sun flavour. Of course this is a slight departure from Jane, who recently served as the voice for panicked pedestrians being run over, shot, stabbed, bitch slapped, and thrown in the boot of a car in Grant Theft Auto: San Andreas. Presumably she was well stocked with Jarrah Sunset Selections – the perfect end to a perfect abduction.Ah Zoot Review. You complete me.