Have you noticed recently (and by this I mean the last few months) the increase in ads where you follow a story arc over the different ads that they design to get you emotionally attached to the characters?
Yes, I’m talking about you, Rhonda.
The ad campaign by AAMI is probably the trend-setter here, with the relationship with the ‘good driver’ Rhonda and her foreign cocktail-wielding hunk Katut. The second ad continuing this storyline features Rhonda and pal at an oddly-timed school reunion (why is the class of 1991 having a reunion in 2013? Maybe it was a year of ‘artists’, not mathematicians). Rhonda’s glowing, – despite her inability to lean in for a hug up without falling over in the presence of an attractive man – but where’s Katut? Ah, enter mid 30’s Regina George and pal to deliver the oh so witty, “Maybe Katut’s kaput!”
Anyway, the ad is going all hunky-dory and there’s a feel-good vibe going when, oh no – Katut (also with no sense of timing) arrives to the reunion as the lone janitor sweeps champagne, confetti and the puddle of unachieved hopes and dreams off the dance floor.
Even the most stoic friend of mine has watched this and asked me what happened – and thus, joined the rest of us as we wait for the no doubt happy ending for Rhonda that the third ad will bring. You can actually vote HERE for who you think is right for her, though I think Katut will win by a fair amount, considering he didn’t pinch Rhonda’s cheek like Trent did, all too reminiscent to that weird old relative at family gatherings, causing this face:
Perhaps in the third ad Katut will rock up at Rhonda’s house and sweep her off her feet and into his slightly-rusted ’89 Toyota camry, and they’ll drive off into the sunset to live their happy ever afters… right after they stop off at the immigration department for a visa for Katut.
Other than this brilliantly executed story arc, there are also the RACV ads, with Jason and the lovely Kelly, a new employee, who together give off the sexual tension of 16 year olds after their first drop of illegal alcohol. Jason is a long-standing ad character for RACV, and I suppose after the success of Rhonda + Katut
(Rhatut? I SHIP IT), the creators decided that they would write in a girlfriend for him. Who would then get just as overly enthusiastic about the job as he does. Are they the Leonard and Penny of the advertising world? I guess time will tell.
Also deserving a mention is who I’ve come to recognise as ‘the red cardigan lady’ from the Toyota ads, most remembered for her quirky and honest reactions to all the different people buying cars and sharing way too much about their personal lives. Who’s that talkative to car-salesman-receptionist ladies anyway? She flies the solo flag for her ads, but her face is still as recognisable as the others, at least to me.
What I’d absolutely die for is a collaborative ad between the three, although with AAMI and RACV both being insurance companies I’m sure this would never happen. But humour me for a moment while I continue: Red cardigan lady gets approached by – wait for it, big reveal – Rhonda and Katut, who’ve just gotten married, and are after a car for themselves and baby Katut who is on the way, who’ll no doubt be a safe driver too. Soon after arrives the RACV couple, also after a car. Insert witty banter from red cardigan lady about two different types of car, over-enthusiastic responses from the two couples, and for the hell of it, throw in some sort of dance-off, with the Toyota’s nice and present in the background for another bout of product placement.
Fade to black, aaaaaand scene!