Moneysupermarket ‘Epic Action Man’ / Mother
Mother’s latest, and last, campaign for Moneysupermarket.com is a hilarious one-minute spot which injects much-needed fun into the mundane world of price comparison. Moneysupermarket.com has run several previous campaigns in the same humorous vein (men dancing in suit jackets, hot pants, and high heeled shoes come to mind…), but this most recent spot is probably its best so far.
The pairing of the familiar ‘You’re so money supermarket’ strapline with iconic 90s track Finally by CeCe Peniston makes the ad instantly appealing. The light-hearted, deadpan tone of the ad is established within the first few seconds: concerned operators at a military base radio in to ask Action Man’s status. From his position lying behind a boulder, he glances at the bombs exploding in the background, and responds: ‘I just saved at Moneysupermarket.com, and now I feel epic!’
While his colleagues at the base exchange seemingly confused blank stares, Action Man launches into an epic dance routine. The segment is made all the more impressive by the fact that the ad seems to have been animated with actual Action Man figures: if my childhood memories are anything to go by, they’re not particularly flexible – and yet we see him twist, turn, and semi-pirouette through the desert.
More and more characters are introduced to the routine. First, three soldiers leap off a jeep and begin dancing in formation. Then a moustachioed scuba diver – inexplicably standing on an inflatable life boat, in the middle of the desert, which seems to move of its own accord – starts nodding along to the beat. More and more characters keep arriving, and by the end of the ad, a whole military unit seems to have gathered to dance behind Action Man.
Ads which are totally unrelated to what they’re advertising often leave viewers feeling confused, and frustrated as a result. There’s none of that here: the bizarre sequence of events will surely raise questions in viewers’ minds – What happened to the bombs that were being dropped? Where did the astronaut and cricket player at the end come from? And just how was that boat moving?!
But they’re questions raised with amusement, not annoyance. The unbuttoned shirts and Burt Reynolds moustaches give it an undeniably infectious camp atmosphere, topped off by Action Man’s tearaway finish which leaves him wearing only his boxers. This ad is pure fun.
Associating Moneysupermarket.com with entertainment is an important part of its brand positioning. For most consumers, the last thing they ever want to think about is their budget, especially when they’re looking for the best deal. Price comparison websites do make it easier, but it can still be a gruelling process as consumers weigh up cheap prices against quality. By focusing not on the ease of using its services, but on how its customers will ‘feel epic’ once it’s done, Moneysupermarket.com has transformed a boring task into a great feeling.
As we saw recently with Specsavers’ Jason Shutter ads, it can be difficult to keep a campaign’s humour alive in the long-term. But Moneysupermarket.com’s imagination and willingness to laugh at themselves has taken their classic ad format to a new, ridiculous, hilarious place. It’s an excellent spot from Mother – one which really makes you wonder why Moneysupermarket.com are ending their relationship.