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7 September 2020

The 'pocket tap' trap.

by Jason Stone


Asda: “That's Asda Price” - 30s

Unlike many commentators and – even more people who work in advertising – we at DAVID have always been reluctant to blame everything on the client. But there are situations where one has to suspect that client heavy-handedness is responsible for a particular outcome and, given how unlikely it is that it was the agency who wanted to revive the Asda 'pocket tap', this is such an occasion.

If WPP's Mark Read is to be believed then very few of you were working in the advertising industry when Fallon took over the Asda account in 2007 because you were too busy having your dinner money stolen by bullies and revising for your Geography GCSE, but those of us around during those carefree days may remember how the supermarket announced that it was finally ditching the 'pocket tap'. It had to go really... how else was a union between the hottest shop in town and one of the country's ugliest brands supposed to start? But celebrating its demise was like relaxing when the killer in a horror movie is lying motionless on the ground after a blow to the head. That fucker ain't done yet.

Indeed, the relationship between Asda and the pocket tap is like one of those marriages where one spouse dramatically flounces out of the house at regular intervals with a fleeting sense of finality, only to inevitably return with their tail between their legs once they discover that the single life lacks the allure of younger days.

There's a little bit of a post-modern twist in the pocket tap's latest incarnation which has a young British-Asian man claiming to be making the advert that Asda should be making, something which implies that the 'pocket tap' is back by popular demand. Yeah, right.

Asda appears to have a love hate relationship with its own image. It benefits hugely from being the big supermarket most associated with being 'inexpensive', but it isn't really possible to associate yourself with inexpensiveness without evoking the idea of 'cheapness'. Advertising like this really brings that point home… it absolutely reinforces the idea that you will pay less for your weekly shop at Asda, but absolutely at the expense of the idea that it will be a pleasurable experience.


Creative Agency: Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO Ⓟ Ⓦ
Creative Director: Alex Grieve
Creative: Clark Edwards / Andre Hull
Film Production: Merman Ⓟ Ⓦ
Producer: Amy Appleton
Editing: Marshall Street Editors Ⓟ Ⓦ
Post Production: Electric Theatre Collective Ⓟ Ⓦ
Sound Design: String and Tins Ⓟ Ⓦ

David Reviews is hand-crafted by Lovely Lenzie Ltd, 7 Seven Sisters, Lenzie, Glasgow, G66 3AW. Editor: Jason Stone. Phone: 0141 776 7766. E-mail: jason@davidreviews.com.