Scots advertising creatives ‘much better’ at harnessing emotions – says Farrell

SCOTLAND is “much better than [London’s] Soho at harnessing powerful human emotions to produce excellent public service advertising”, according to one of the country’s leading advertising creatives.

Writes Gerry Farrell, in today’s Scotsman: “Scotland’s a small country with a big, self-deprecating sense of humour. When we deploy that in our work, we cut through much quicker than a London agency trying to reach the same market. We share a ‘tell-it-like-it-is’ attitude that’s closer to Sydney than it is to Soho. It was the Australian Meat & Livestock Commission, after all, who were brave enough to run nationwide billboards that said, ‘Eat more beef, you bastards’. My favourite irreverent Scottish equivalent is the current Edinburgh bus-back campaign that proudly declares. ‘Our pies are pure mince’.”

Farrell is creative director at Edinburgh-based Leith Agency. He is speaking today at the Edinburgh International Marketing Festival.

He adds: “Now, after 25 years working at the Leith Agency, I’ve realised that the most fool-proof way of getting folk on your brand’s side is to treat them like human beings, not ‘consumers’, using language you would never find in a strategy document or a PowerPoint presentation.”