Thursday, 16 January 2014

From Banned to Viral

When it comes to Broadcast Marketing there are a strict set of rules, enforced by the Advertising Standards Agency, that adverts must abide by. What happens when an advert breaks these rules? Looking back at the Ad history of Tango, one of Britain's most “ridiculous’ ‘and “offensive” soft drinks, we can see how their risky approach to marketing works and what happens to their adverts once they are banned from television.

Tango first caused public outrage over an ad in 1992. The advert titled Orange Man, which showed a man getting “hit” in the face by the taste of Orange Tango, had to be banned due to fear that children were at risk by copying it. It was shot in the style of a football reply it features an orange man smacking his victim around the face and ends with the tag line “You know when you’ve been Tangoed.” 
After numerous reports of children being hurt in the play ground by copying his antics and might perforate each others ear drums. It is believed that it’s this advert that gave rise to the “Happy Slap” craze.

Two follow up adverts were made, almost identical to the first, shows the orange man kissing the victim in one and the victim running away in the other.

The “You know when you’ve been Tangoed” ad campaign was the product of Howell Henry Chaldecott Lury creative agency. From a man screaming ‘Oranges!’ in a woman’s face to an old lady exploding they were all bizarre and outlandish. 

Despite being banned the original version of Orange Man was voted the third ‘Best Television Advert' in 2000 in polls conducted by Channel 4 and The Sunday Times. It was also voted fifth on ITV’s top 20 adverts in 2006. With the original advert claiming over 40,000 views through multiple videos on Youtube and comments such as “Did anyone else get a ton of detention for doing this at school? :3” it is clearly remembered for the impact it had. 

 In 1998 James Corden, star of BBC’s Gavin and Stacey, got has big break in one of Tango’s Banned Ads. In the advert Corden is followed by a group of ginger haired men who repeat his every word through orange megaphones. Corden seems traumatised through out and is forced to beg viewers and shops to buy more Tango. “It is very important for me... and my state of mind.”
The advert was taken off air after two weeks after complaints it encouraged bullying fat children. There were also several complaints over the distressing nature of advert. Once again this advert is the work of Howell Henry Chaldecott Lury creative agency.

After causing upset with their Tango adverts, Howell Henry Chaldcott Lury caused further offense in 2005 with their advert for Pot Noodle titled ‘Pot Noodle Horn.’ The advert, featuring a man getting the “Horn” for Pot Noodle, escaped cencorship after 572 complaints from viewers. These complaint were over the use of blatent sexual refrences to sell a food product. The ASA rejected these claims saying that “the agency’s intention was to convey people’s desire for Pot Noodle in a light-hearted and humorous way and accepted the pun referred to sexual arousal and might not be to every viewer’s taste.” - ASA Regulator. 

This however wasn’t the first Pot Noodle advert by Howell Henry Chaldcott Lury to create a stir. The entire campaign was banned after a series of complaints to the Independent Television Commission over the the tag line “Slag of all snacks.” The ITC ruled that all versions of the advert featuring the word “slag” must be withdrawn. The tag line was changed to “It’s dirty and you want it” and the adverts were re-aired, but they were only allowed to be shown after 9pm due to the ‘red light district’ theme.

Howell Henry Chaldecott Lury was named creative agency of the decade in 2000 but fell upon hard times in the years to follow and eventually was forced to close down. Tango was on of the agency’s biggest client and their working relationship spanned over a decade. Clemmow Hornby Inge toke over responsibility for marketing Tango and in 2004 an advert, titled “Pipes,” was banned from television by the ASA without hesitation. 

The advert features a young man wrapped in a carpet filled with oranges, rolling down a hill, crashing into a tree and being hit my concrete pipes exploding the oranges over him. “The hit of the whole fruit.” The football style commentary is not to dissimilar to that of the “You know when you’ve been Tangoed” adverts of the early 90s. The reason for the ASA’s swift action on this advert were due to “Serious Nature” of one of the complaints. This was from a family who’s son had died while playing on concrete pipes. There is no sense of consequence as the boy gets up at the end un-harmed so children may not see the danger in recreating such a stunt.

Clemmow Hornby Inge had kept to Tango’ outragous and risky brand identity and followed in HHCI’s footsteps with another of Tango’s advert reaching viral fame after this advert was banned.

Fanta, Tango’s soft-drink rival, nearly had an advert banned in 2006. The ad, named ‘Fanta Bamboocha,’ features two Pacific Islanders being slapped be their girlfriends for saying the wrong thing. The advert was compared to Tango’s “Orange Man’ and several complaints were received fearing that it would spark of a similar copy-cat craze in children.
These were rejected as the ad’s followed a slapstick style similar to that of the ‘Carry On’ films and was less likely to be copied as the slap comes as a direct result of a specific situation, not a surprise attack.

There were also a few complaints raised over the issue of domestic violence. The ASA concluded that the advert was likely to be seen as “light-hearted portrayal of theatrical violence.”

It is not just Tango’s TV campaigns that have been offending the general public. A series of Posters, designed by Boyle Hegarthy, were dubbed as “vulgar,” unedifying” and “ridiculous’ by the ASA after a series of complaints were made. The ASA received more than 80 complaints against the poster stating “Too much Tango made me suck a bull’s udder,” claiming it suggested oral sex with a bull. 

The ASA rejected these claims saying “Despite the possible sexual implications to some, we considered that the ad presented an outlandish and ridiculous scenario opposed to an explicit reference to bestiality, and any perversity was outweighed by the absurdity of the notion.” - ASA Regulator.

Two complaints were also made about the “Too much Tango made me shave my Nan, Innit.” as the topic of pubic hair was inappropriate. 

A similar series of posters was done by Illustrator Serge Seidlitz for Tango’s latest drink Turbo Tango, showing a very strong brand identity and sense of humour.The main poster used in the campaign reads “New Turbo Tango Made Me Foam Myself” in bold, comic style writing. 

Serge Seidlitz also did a series of poster’s for Tango that were meant to go up in Odeon cinema’s, but due to the sexual implications and style of the typography the posters were rejected. “Clearly the public aren’t ready for ‘Hairy ball-bag’ typography.” (Serge Seidlitz)

In 2006 Tango released it’s ‘Tango Balls’ advert as a spoof of the famous Sony Bravia ‘Balls’ viral. Sony’s original video features 170,000 brightly coloured bouncy balls being released down the streets of San Francisco to the sound track of ‘Heartbeats’ by Jose Gonz├ílez. Filmed in high-definition and shot slow-motion it purpose is to show off that the Bravia has “Colour like no-other.” Creative director of the advert was Richard Flintham from Fallon who was also the creative behind the Sony Bravia ‘Paint’ and Skodia Fabia ‘Baking Of’ adverts. All these adverts have become huge viral hits on the internet.

Tango’s Parody sees various items of fruit, instead of balls, bouncing down Cambridge Street in Swansea. Set to the same music and shot in a very similar style it shows an avalanche of fruit leaving a trail of destruction as it falls down the hill. A watermelon smashes through a window, window-boxes get knocked of by falling fruit and another watermelon explodes on a car windshield. The mass of fruit ends up in a pile at the bottom of the hill and a woman emerges from it holding a bottle of Tango Clear. The tag line reads “Refreshment like no other” a clever spin of Sony’s tag line. It then goes on to say “You know when you’ve been Tangoed” which Sony certainly has been.

Video was unavailable to insert. Check it out at

A website claiming to be the ‘Swansea North Residents’ Association’ voices it’s outrage over it’s town destroyed by fruit, ““On the 17th of February 2006 it rained fruit in Swansea North, causing much damage to property (for which we have received no compensation). The filming of this TV advert traumatised many small, domestic animals and a number of our older residents are now too afraid to leave their homes. With enough complaints, hopefully those responsible will think twice before soiling the streets of Britain with fruit pulp again.” This site, along with two others, are owned by Clemmow Hornby Inge, the creative agency behind the advert, as part of viral marketing.

With more and more people now using the internet to watch films, television shows and videos, companies are having to change the medium they use to advertise. In 2007 YouTube introduced its first video adverts and, despite general feeling of annoyance from the YouTube community, it continues to be the most effective way to advertise. It also allows for advertising companies to be more creative with their videos and due to age-gates are able can get away with more than they would under the regulations of the ASA.

This can certainly be seen in Tango’s latest viral add for Turbo Tango which can be found on their very own YouTube channel “Tango’d Films.” The video features a man named Gary having an unusual dream to the sound of dubstep. 

From ‘skanking’ with a dwarf to a foam bath with two girls with oranges for heads, his dream is both obscure and sexual. The video is filled with innuendo’s such as Gary getting slapped with a fish in the cubicles and having a fireman spray him with a fire extinguisher. In the last part of the dream a woman walks towards Gary while a voice over comments “I know it’s your best mates mum but it’s worth a go.” Gary wakes from the dream and pulls back the duvet to reveal a wet patch and the video ends with the tag line “Turbo Tango made me foam myself.” Under ASA regulations this ad would of never made it onto Television due to it’s erotic nature.

Viral Videos are videos that become popular through the means of internet sharing. This is usually through video sharing sites, such as youtube, and social networking sites such as Facebook.
These viral video’s often gain over night fame, turning the most likely of people into celebrities.
However Viral Videos did exist before YouTube and Social Networks. Funny videos, such as “Evil Penguin” were sent around in offices emails in the early 90’s. 

In fact Viral behaviour can be found through history, right back to some of the earliest forms of society, where ideas and news were spread by word of mouth. This is know as Memetics. A meme is a cultural unit, an idea or value or pattern of behaviour, that is passed from one person to another by non-genetic means through imitation. In terms of the web; memes are usually images or videos that, through repetition and parodies, becomes popular.

Web-based advertising is becoming a lot more effective than television. With millions of people using site’s like Youtube and Facebook world-wide these adverts can now reach more people and companies are gaining new customers from places that wouldn’t of known about them otherwise. For example a Long-board company in New Jersey saw a 40% growth after uploading it’s first video and their business went from local, to national, to global. 

With new technology now available site’s can also now start tailoring adverts to suit the interests of the user. This means the user will see less of what they don’t want and more of what they do. This is done using cookies to track what the user looks at while on the site. These cookies can also be used to measure the effectiveness of adverts as it can tell which users were shown an advert and who went on to buy the product. 

Advertising on Youtube will also push creative agencies to be more creative with their advert to stand out against the millions of videos already on there. The style of these adverts is often more bizarre than that seen on television and tend to follow traits of viral videos rather than abiding to the rules of the ASA.

Despite having a number it’s advert’s banned Tango continues to be one of Britain's best selling soft drinks. Tango puts this down to it’s strong marketing campaigns and memorable television adverts. These banned adverts are still remembered by many, even 20 years later. The key purpose of an advert is to create a link to the product that the customer can remember. So a good measure of an advert is how well it stuck in peoples minds. The “Orange Man” advert gained more recognition through the controversy behind it getting banded and because of this is still firmly imbedded in our memories. In conclusion making adverts that push the boundaries and rules can be a risky strategy but can often lead greater publicity if successful.


Orange Man Slap
Orange Man Kiss
James Corden
tango balls
Pot Noodle ‘Dirt and you want it
Pot noodle ‘slag of all snacks’
Evil Penguin
Turbo Tango Dubtep