Rome Travel Guide

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Friday, July 19, 2019

Sweet Guest: 2019's Ad Campaign of the "Year"

When we're in Rome we read the Rome edition of one of Italy's national newspapers. These days we're reading Il Messaggero, mostly for its local coverage of city issues, from the garbage problem to the closing of Metro stations.  Now and then we are also attracted to an ad campaign.

This year's favorite advertising campaign featured a company known as "Sweet Guest," which apparently has a relationship to the home rental company Airbnb.  Most of the Sweet Guest ads ask, "Do you want to get more from your rented apartment?"  The company offers to help the owner value the property correctly, and it manages the rental, freeing the owner, as the ad says, from all worries.

Our interest in the ads had little to do with the company's purpose or business model, and much to do with the old folks used in the ads--the same man and woman every time--and the way they were presented.  Over two months, we found 4 different ads.  The first one is at the top of the post.  Here  are the others, in chronological order:

The ad directly above makes a somewhat different pitch: "You've hit the ground running, now you can only accelerate."  Beyond the words, our first reaction was that the characters in the ads were simply designed to attract attention, because they're so different--and not just in age--from the younger people that dominate advertising.

On second thought, the ads seemed to be targeted at the older people who, in a rapidly aging Italy, own the majority of Rome apartments.  They suggest--possibly, we're not sure--that if you use Sweet Guest, you'll have time for, and be in a relaxed mood for, leisure pursuits: playing basketball (make sure to wear goggles), serving donuts in your stylish clothes, riding a motorcycle (without helmets), and....well, we're not sure what's going on with the short-sleeved, striped 1980s shirts, white undershirts, and winter hats--maybe just enjoying one's bad taste.


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