Pony ad

‘People’ seem to love this ad:

It doesn’t do much for me. Unlike, for example, Yeo Valley, it doesn’t say anything about anything.

I’m sure you’re already tired of the client comment, ‘You could stick any logo on the end of that’, but in this case it’s true. Was there nothing to say about 3? Really? That’s a shame, but that’s my take from this ad.

‘Silly stuff: It matters. Keep on internetting.’ Thanks for the tip. I was going to fill my laptop with yoghurt and chuck it under a bus, but now you’ve explained why I should continue ‘internetting’ I’m fully enlightened.

What was your client’s name again?

Meanwhile, here’s the sequel:

Comments 45

  1. Creative Tech wrote:

    It’s funny and people like it, but no-one gives a shit about Three. W+K I’m sure just saw this as a chance to have a laugh, although it continues their dreadful Three work…

    Posted 04 Mar 2013 at 10:17 am
  2. Karl wrote:

    Generally, the public could not care less about advertising. So, any piece of communication that leaves people feeling positive is surely a good thing for any brand.

    Posted 04 Mar 2013 at 10:19 am
  3. George P wrote:

    Agree with you.

    It’ll get plenty of ‘shares’ and ‘likes’ which is probably what someone important has insisted is the thing they need to chase.

    Goodhart’s Law springs to mind


    Posted 04 Mar 2013 at 10:23 am
  4. ben wrote:

    Oh, Karl.

    Karl, Karl, Karl, Karl, Karl…

    Poor old Karl.

    Posted 04 Mar 2013 at 10:23 am
  5. Marcus wrote:

    I agree with you Ben. It’s entertaining but so is quite a lot of stuff on youtube or so is the dancing scene in Pulp Fiction but what’s that got to do with the price of tea in China? Truth be told, it doesn’t have any relevance to 3. I bet it was a script that’s been presented to various clients over the years. As it turned out, I actually played the ‘guess the brand’ game when it came on Sat night with my flatmate and I thought it was a new ad for Drench or a revolutionary destination ad for the Shetland Islands. Smiley face.

    Posted 04 Mar 2013 at 10:43 am
  6. Paul wrote:

    It’s just a bit ‘meh’. W+K are maybe bulletproof to criticism, ‘cos so much of their work is fantastic. If this was from another agency, would it have been praised as much as it has been? I think not. (Sorry creators).

    Posted 04 Mar 2013 at 10:46 am
  7. Luca wrote:

    It entertains and is saying the right thing about 3. The only problem is it doesn’t say it clearly or enough.

    It is the only mobile network built for the internet, so their strategy is right. (prior to EE)

    People think 3 are shit, therefore piggybacking on something cool – the internet – is a good idea, based on how they built there network.

    Problem: It doesn’t tell you any of this. It’s been doing it in the print but people don’t read that stuff…they watch the TV.

    Posted 04 Mar 2013 at 10:52 am
  8. nobby wrote:

    I spent all weekend hearing non advertising people raving about how much they love this ad. Young and old, asking me why I couldn’t do an ad like that. None of them knew what it was for.

    Posted 04 Mar 2013 at 10:59 am
  9. Creative Tech wrote:

    Very interesting point George P, if a little impenetrable.

    Posted 04 Mar 2013 at 11:20 am
  10. Hayes wrote:

    While your eyes are glued to the moonwalking pony, you fail to notice all the subliminal clues about 3 and the benefits of joining its network (even though you have 245 months remaining on your current contract – but then you’ll be able to move).

    The remote location symbolises 3’s excellent reception.

    The group of horses reminds us that 3’s a great way of keeping in touch with family and friends.

    And the tractor rolling past represents 3’s competitive deals. I have no idea why, though.

    It’s like the ‘did you see the moonwalking bear?’ ad, but the other way round.

    Clever, isn’t it?

    Also, while you’ve been reading this I’ve nicked a few bob out of your pocket.

    Posted 04 Mar 2013 at 11:38 am
  11. Paul Randall wrote:

    I bet the Three signal is actually pretty shit on that island.

    Posted 04 Mar 2013 at 11:48 am
  12. anti-campaign wrote:

    It’s a Cadbury Gorilla in a Shetland Pony’s clothing.

    a few years too late to be anything great.

    but I don’t think it’s not as bad as you say, Ben.

    Although in SAYING that, it doesn’t make me want to join 3 and I bet they struggle to keep going with work this pure.

    Posted 04 Mar 2013 at 12:17 pm
  13. Anonymouse wrote: Posted 04 Mar 2013 at 12:20 pm
  14. ben wrote:

    Luca, I get the internet on my phone just fine, and I’m not with 3.

    I ‘internet’ all the bloody time, and I had no idea 3 was still going.

    So why would I change anything off the back of this ad?

    Posted 04 Mar 2013 at 12:25 pm
  15. steakandcheese wrote:

    How is this an ad again?

    Posted 04 Mar 2013 at 12:45 pm
  16. Original Richard H wrote:

    What are the odds that Charlie Brooker will pick it to be lambasted in the ‘World of Shitverts’ section of Weekly Wipe?

    I’m sure Luca and karl will that’s a good thing – free publicity!

    Posted 04 Mar 2013 at 1:04 pm
  17. Original Richard H wrote:

    Bloody hell, my typing is rubbish. “…think that’s a good thing…”

    Posted 04 Mar 2013 at 1:46 pm
  18. Allan S wrote:

    Comment number 4 made me do a spit-take. Well done.

    Posted 04 Mar 2013 at 2:07 pm
  19. Luca wrote:

    Ben, I would argue that this isn’t a ‘switch to us’ ad. It’s a brand ad.

    They just want your attention (“I didn’t think they existed anymore”) then they’ll flog you to death with all the deal guff.

    Posted 04 Mar 2013 at 3:08 pm
  20. nobby wrote:

    Luca, if it’s a brand ad there still needs to be something that you can take out of it other than dancing ponies are like well funny, or the internet is like well good. I love it as a piece of nonsense buffoonery, but even if there had been 3 horses. Or two dancing horses that found each other or something to do with 3 then it would have been a piece of communication.

    Posted 04 Mar 2013 at 3:19 pm
  21. Anonymice wrote:

    It wasn’t like this particularly meant anything either, but it was (to me at least) a much better ad.


    Perhaps because it spent less time trying to work out what people ‘like’ online (dancing, animals, dancing animals) and more time being its own piece of random insanity.

    More fun to make up your own mentalness than simply rehash everyone else’s. Harder to make a client take the risk and buy it though. Therein lies the problem…

    Posted 04 Mar 2013 at 3:26 pm
  22. Anonymous wrote:

    An animal gets wrapped up in the joy of music to the point it exhibits human characteristics. For no fucking reason at all. Sound familiar?

    Posted 04 Mar 2013 at 3:54 pm
  23. Jim wrote:

    Comment 4 was very funny, Ben.

    Posted 04 Mar 2013 at 3:59 pm
  24. Anonymouse wrote:

    I don’t think anybody has a fucking idea what the word ‘brand’ means anymore.

    Posted 04 Mar 2013 at 4:04 pm
  25. ben wrote:

    Luca, I get the awareness thing. Whether it leads to a greater uptake of the other guff, who knows? But there was an opportunity here to make a piece of relevant persuasive information about 3. Instead we have a funny bit of film with a logo on the end.

    Look at Cog by the same agency (or Grrr, or any of the Honda classics): incredibly entertaining with a strong message about the product.

    When I was at college we were taught that the aim was different and relevant, so that it would both stand out and make enough sense for someone to do something about it. Here is just ‘different’ and you can see how that falls short.

    And any of the comments about Gorilla: there is fuck-all to say about chocolate, so an ad about ‘joy’ makes sense (I feel joy of a sort when I eat a Dairy Milk). 3 must have a ton of stuff to say about itself now. A communication on that basis would have been better than this.

    Also, if Dave Trott happens by we could ask him about the wisdom of binary briefing, that is growing the category (internet use) vs growing the brand (3 use). I think it would seem obvious to a bag of soil that growing the category in this case is pretty pointless if you could use the opportunity to grow the brand.

    Posted 04 Mar 2013 at 4:31 pm
  26. Tesco Burger Boy wrote:

    It’s Pony.

    Posted 04 Mar 2013 at 5:24 pm
  27. Luca wrote:

    Totally agree Ben, they dropped the ball at the end by not stating exactly what you should think or take from this. But if they’d done that properly it could have worked…

    Posted 04 Mar 2013 at 5:27 pm
  28. Some Old Guy wrote:

    Pretty good at being an entertaining thing. Shit at being a commercial.

    It is enough for an ad to just ‘an entertaining thing’? No. Sorry. It is not. Please try harder.

    I concur fully with your assessment Mr Kay.

    BTW I was taught the similar ‘unexpected but relevant’ from a different source.

    Posted 04 Mar 2013 at 5:33 pm
  29. Some Old Guy wrote:


    A lot of people in the ad ‘biz’ love ads like this. Presumably because it gives them more ammunition for the argument to make things that are just entertaining, without really solving the client’s problem. Lazy fuckers.

    But these type of ads are part of the reason that clients think we’re all wankers, and then react too far in the opposite direction and make people do extremely functional, joyless ads.

    Mark my words (Old Guy phrase) – for every ad like this there is account lost a year later, and a Chief Exec who subsequently reacts to the up-to-then piss poor effects of his marketing, and makes the next agency make dog shit work.

    Happy days.

    Posted 04 Mar 2013 at 5:40 pm
  30. Rob Hatfield wrote:

    Silly stuff doesn’t matter. Not on the internet, and certainly not in advertising. Period.

    Posted 04 Mar 2013 at 7:54 pm
  31. GB wrote:

    When watching this I thought.. ‘Youth based advert, creative undertone of nostalgia through the song and fantasy visuals’

    I get that the visuals have little connection with the company and there could be 1000’s of other options but..

    It serves it’s purpose by association, even the typeface has resemblance to American Apparel, the song you would probably hear in American Apparel.. Horse tie-dye t-shirt? American Apparel.

    It’s not always the obvious association that the consumer or even other creatives look for, it’s the whole concept that changes how the brand is perceived.. it gives ‘3’ a platform which in this case is..hipster youth.

    It’s in tune with culture of a demographic and their interests and lifestyle.

    Where as it doesn’t sway the 30-somethings, it gives 16+ an identity and markets the niche instead of the majority.

    This where sometimes I feel a marketing background in something like fashion & culture lacks from some critics.

    Posted 04 Mar 2013 at 8:36 pm
  32. ben wrote:

    I’m afraid I can’t tell if you’re joking or not.

    Posted 04 Mar 2013 at 8:45 pm
  33. Just some guy wrote:



    Now THAT is ‘internetting’.

    Posted 04 Mar 2013 at 8:51 pm
  34. Just some guy wrote:

    While I’m at it. W+K tweeting all day about how many hits this has had – of course it bloody does, it’s been seeded the pants off. Everywhere I look it appears. That’s like claiming the audience of Corrie watching your ad that you bought a space for in the ad break of Corrie as some kind of creative victory. Muppets.

    Yes. I said Corrie.

    Posted 04 Mar 2013 at 9:03 pm
  35. Oli wrote:

    Beats everything I’ve made in the last couple of years.

    Posted 04 Mar 2013 at 9:29 pm
  36. steakandcheese wrote:

    @31, please tell me which agency you work for, so I can cross it off my list.

    Posted 04 Mar 2013 at 9:44 pm
  37. Venkata wrote:

    LOL at all of this

    Posted 04 Mar 2013 at 11:08 pm
  38. ben wrote:

    Pssst… I don’t even like the pony. There’s something a bit embarrassing about the whole thing.

    Look! A dancing pony! he’s moonwalking! Like Michael Jackson! But on hooves!!!!!1!!11!1

    Do you breathe through your mouth? If so, chuckle away.

    Posted 05 Mar 2013 at 9:44 am
  39. Les McQueen wrote:

    It works because peoples tastes have become more sophisticated, but pleasures are just as simple. In spite of the best efforts of Punk and The Reynolds Girls, people love Fleetwood Mac (16-34s grew up with Tango In The Night, so it evokes nice memories of childhood) and people/things doing neat stuff.
    The brand? The product? “It’s for a phone company” is the best you’ll get for unassisted recall. But the earned media metrics are ace, which may not be what the shareholders are after.

    Posted 05 Mar 2013 at 10:50 am
  40. vinny warren wrote:

    As someone who has worked with horses, I have to say that a stumpy wee Shetland was a poor choice for a dancing equine IMO. Would have been far better off with a nice leggy Arabian or even a standard bred pony. Too late now though, eh.

    Posted 05 Mar 2013 at 12:49 pm
  41. Steve wrote:

    I’d rather watch the dancing pandas from 24 years ago.

    Posted 05 Mar 2013 at 12:52 pm
  42. itsalllies wrote:

    Ben, everyone I have spoken to has said have you seen the 3 advert with the dancing pony. So it can’t be doing that bad in terms of awareness…

    Posted 05 Mar 2013 at 2:09 pm
  43. Some Old Guy wrote:

    “Earned media”



    Posted 05 Mar 2013 at 2:32 pm
  44. Les McQueen wrote:

    Damn right, SOG. It’s all about the switches and sign-ups. Earned media is loved because it costs fuck all. It’s just that earned media isn’t very effective or predictable, so it’s a cunt’s way out. Blast out 400 16-34 TVRs on the telly up to Easter and and now you’re talking proper advertising.

    Posted 05 Mar 2013 at 4:32 pm
  45. john p woods wrote:

    Had me flipping faster than Larry Sanders could make his imploration.

    Posted 09 Mar 2013 at 8:16 pm

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