Speak Media


News & insights


Monday Funday: rivers of salmon


Seize the awkward

In its latest campaign addressing mental health problems, American public service announcer The Ad Council has produced a clever video encouraging young people to offer support to one another.

When dealing with such a sensitive subject it takes a skilful writer to devise a script that is both punchy and caring. The Ad council has done just this, crafting a clip that is packed with amusing gags – while simultaneously promoting an important message.

We are introduced to a character symbolising awkward silences – you know the things you get one someone breaks wind in a lift, or when you ask Mark Hughes if he’s got work in the morning.

The character playfully pops up in the bathroom, gate-crashes a young couple’s prom night and of course makes an appearance in – the Mecca of awkward silences – the bedroom.

Marketers must tread carefully regarding mental health – and rightly so – but The Ad Council has shown that with the right approach you can create content that is funny, compassionate, caring and memorable. Bravo.

How not to do it

News website Quartz has let rip at the laughable taglines from exhibitors at the world’s largest consumer electrics show – where brands have been unleashing campaigns about as exciting as watching Songs of Praise with your Auntie Doris.

From anti-virus software company McAfee to Japanese mobile phone giant Huawei, no one is safe from the site’s scathing yet hilarious analysis of the drab copy on offer.

Here is what not to do, and how not to do it.


We’ve dug up a thirty-second funny from John West Canned Salmon – which aired in 2001.

The clip starts at a peaceful river mouth featuring calming waters, friendly looking bears and picturesque trees – rightly or wrongly, it’s how Monday Funday envisages Canada to look like.

However, it doesn’t take long for the tranquil setting to be shattered – when an orange trouser-wearing yob steams into the the scene and attempts to fight a bear for his salmon dinner.

Taking on a Grizzly is one thing, but if you really want a challenge try getting your mitts on the last packet of smoked salmon in the Marks & Spencer’s East Dulwich branch. Now there’s a challenge.

Joe McAweaney