Archive for August, 2013

Always aim higher

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.

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Sigh. Damn the torpedos.

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?

Just because…

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.

That’s a mouthful… (and my “but” rule)

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?

Always leave room for milk… and the Audience

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.


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