November 13, 2013
A quick thought about storytelling…
Thought this ad was a nice example of storytelling and nifty animation to boot.
Here’s a pretty cool look at how they made the ad:
Along these lines, I saw this interesting article in the Wall Street Journal about how “Carrying a bottle of Vegetable Juice Has Become a Status Symbol.” The point the article makes which I hope circles back to this advert (see how I used the British term for a British ad) is that people buy things it sends a signal to the world about who they are, what they believe, what their values are. A $10 bottle of juice is crazy unless it “…convey[s] the impression of superior health and discipline.”
See storytelling works both ways. A product a candidate has to tell a story to get folks to pay attention, but where things get interesting is when the audience adopts the brand because it tells their story too.
October 8, 2013
A lot of back and forth the Virginia Governor’s race. I’ve ignored most of it because frankly the ads have been eh.
I wanted to write about this ad not because it’s great, but I think it’s missing something important.
What’s it missing?
Why is she supporting Cuccinelli?
Why isn’t she supporting MacAulaffe?
And, just because Tichi is a mother and Democrat, why should I listen to her? Frankly, why should I believe her?
Is it enough she’s a mother and democrat? Is it enough that she’s african-american? That’s obviously what Ken Cuccinelli believes.
But it’s not enough to be on message, it’s not enough to make your points, people want to hear a why because we want to understand and connect. There was a study that people were more likely to let someone cut into a line, let’s say to make photocopies, if they only gave a reason (a why), even if the reason was something as obvious as “Can I cut in because I need to make some copies….”
The audience is smarter than you think. Without the why, there’s not credibility. Without the why, the ad is just platitudes. Without the why, it all too easy to ignore the message and the messenger.
September 6, 2013
Send to me by a friend, I thought this spot was a nice compliment to the Wrigley gum spot I looked at a couple of posts ago.
Beer commercials run the gambit from silly & offensive (most) to sentimental and emotionally overwrought. What I like about this commercial from Guinness (apart from the unexpected ending )is that it’s telling a story about the viewer. If you’re the kind of guy who would use a wheelchair for a couple hours to play basketball with your friend who has to use a wheelchair, then you’re the kind of guy who drinks Guinness beer.
You can buy a beer because of the taste or you can buy a beer because the story of the brand matches your story — or at the least it matches who you want to be or how you want to be seen by others.
Guinness gets that, and in telling this story they’re not competing with other brands on taste or cost, their playing the game on different turf.
September 4, 2013
I like this spot so much better when we’re hearing from the candidate…
It’s like passion, energy, connections, then Blah (message), Blah (poll issues), Blah (on the nose), energy again.
When it comes to emotion v. message which one will you remember from this spot?
August 29, 2013
A header like, “If you have a heart, this Wrigley gum commercial will make you cry,” set a pretty high bar, but also sets off my ok, I’m gonna call that bluff response. Well, the stupid fricking ad did indeed make me cry or the room got incredibly dusty as it climaxed.
Is the gum a bit of a macguffin here? Sure, it could have been anything, but staking out that space, telling an emotional story about a parent and a child, about sharing something in good times and bad, well that’s powerful. It’s too easy to say, well it’s just gum, we should talk about it’s flavor or it’s ability to solve a problem. Like this crappy gum ad I saw last night:
The Wrigley commercial for Extra gum goes to a higher place on the hierarchy — other gums are minty or clean your mouth, this gum you share and experience, this gum is about love and connection.
The downside here is that I’m not sure this brand of gum has enough of a pre-exisitng space in my brain to make an impression (what’s the brand name again). So an ad like this one for a brand that doesn’t have a position needs repetition in other mediums, it has to tell this same story of sharing again and again in a myriad of different ways (what about directions for making those Origami birds on the inside of each package or a Web site about creating your Wrigley moment).
Still it’s a great ad, and a good reminder that it’s not about the function of the product, but something more.
August 12, 2013
So technically I’m on vacation, but I had to mention this ad because it just seems so… oblivious.
Two things struck me about this ad:
1. How similar in tone and content it is to the Spitzer ad(s). I don’t think that’s a coincidence.
2. Anthony Weiner just doesn’t get it. An ad that ignores what’s happened to him only reinforces the idea that he doesn’t get it, that’s he’s arrrogrant. The subtext of this ad is everything he’s trying to avoid. Instead of confronting his personal issues like Spitzer did in his first ad, Weiner uses the same tone and message, but without similar results.
You can say you get it all you want (which is essentially what Weiner is doing), but if telling people you get it shows them that you don’t get it, well which story do you think wins?
August 8, 2013
Not an entire review, but Just because I like them, here is Spitzer’s newest entry. I like the fact they have two versions of the same ad, though I prefer the narrator version. The CG version I find hard to read and the CGs break up the visual flow.
Still good copy and nice visuals. I’m good with that.
August 7, 2013
My first thought: Wow, Senator Pryor really doesn’t like Tom Cotton.
My Second Thoughts: This is part of a new trend of early ads (this ad is for an election over a year away) whether to buck up your support or keep your opponent from every gaining steam, these ads are becoming increasingly common.
My Third Thought: What a mess. They start by hitting Cotton for blind ambition, but then say, “…but let’s talk about Cotton’s record.” I have a rule of life — everything before the but is either a lie or doesn’t matter. You’re a great guy… but… You’re doing great work… but…. That’s a terrific point… but….
So we have blind ambition and then a litany of issues Cotton is on the wrong side of. So what’s the walk away here? What’s my new story about Cotton? There is none. This ad seems akin to pouring gas on a car, hoping some will get into the tank. Ads should make choices, they should weave a story, but there’s no choice here except a chocie to throw the kitchen sink at the guy.
So instead of hammering a message, introducing a story about Cotton, there’s no message and nothing to hang your hat on, except this is another political ad, isn’t it early for that?
August 6, 2013
There’s something quirky about this spot that I like. I really like the line “Corey may be the frontrunner in this race, but he’s no progressive.” There’s an honesty to it that I think voters will appreciate.
Still I just can’t bring myself to love this spot. It’s one of those that ads that I’m ambivalent about — those are my favorite to write about. I write abou them because when I’m ambivalent, I usually can’t put my finger on what’s bothering me. Thats the case here.
Could it be the spot is a little too on the nose? Could it be the opening which is distinct (the scientist from Jeopary) but somehow akward (too self promoting maybe)? I don’t mind the middle issue section because those are a MacGuffin, a way for Holt to signal his values without saying he’s a progressive. But then they go ahead and say Booker’s not progressive and use progressive in the tag.
I guess I can see the potential of this spot (I’m a scientist, Booker’s the front runner but his story doesn’t match his values — do they match yours), but it doesn’t really reach it, and leave no room for the audience to put themselves in the spot, instead telling us what to think.