Posts Tagged ‘boom in the shot’

Don’t see this every day….

January 31, 2014

The Super Bowl is one of the most anticipated events in the advertising world, and I’ll definitely be writing some thoughts on the ads post game next week.

But this ad caught my eye not only because its not the usual type of Super Bowl ad, but also because it’s not the usual issue you see advertised.

I liked the sparseness of the copy, and some of the images were very compelling. I also thought the punch line was strong, like a good punch to the gut, you’re watching and wondering where this is going, and when it gets there, I found it surprising (maybe *because* they haven’t run ads around this issue before). The ad also is very effective at humanizing a minority group that is often lost in the shuffle (at least on the East Coast, maybe less so out West or in states with large reservations).

They aren’t just Indians or Native Americans, they’re people  — fathers, sons, mothers, daughters etc, just like you and me. I like the sense of Native American pride that it evokes without resorting to the usual myth making or hyperbole. There’s just a nice lyrical nature to the ad.

I had three issues with the ad:

1. It’s too long. Maybe they felt they had to go big because its the superbowl, but the message is so simply and cleanly delivered, they could have done it much more effectively in a minute. About half way through I started to lose interest at the repetition (interesting as it was, it was becoming familiar), and I’m not sure that extra minute adds anything to the message or to the emotional punch. You get it after 30-40 seconds, don’t need it reinforced and all it does it take away from the emotion punch at the end.

2. I found some of the images not as compelling as others.

3. Not sure if this is an issue or not, but I was struck by the native accent of the narrator. I understand the reasons for using a Native American to narrate the ad, and I’m not sure using the standard narrator would have been appropriate or effective, but it was distracting for me in the sense that I was thinking about the narrator instead of the content of the message or images (maybe that also goes back to point 1, it was too long, so I was able to “see the boom in the shot” because my attention was wandering).

Still overall I thought this was a really nice spot, and I wonder if the more lyrical copy, slower pace, and overall tone of the ad will help it contrast especially with the other Super Bowl ads that often feel the need to assault your senses.



September 10, 2010

There are certain guildlines I try to think about in ad making:

Storytelling. Emotion over logic. Show don’t tell.

Well, this ad has them all.  I showed it to my partner, afterwards his face was red and he was teary eyed, I had a similar reaction, that’s from two jaded political ad professionals.

Great ad. I could talk about the execution or whatever, but in an ad like this, all that doesn’t matter. All that matters, is that its an amazing story, that says something critical about the candidate’s character, and it does so in an emotionally compelling way.

They say positive ads don’t move numbers, well if any positive could move numbers it’s this one.  Might be the best ad I’ve seen this year.

Dueling ads in… Nevada

March 31, 2010

I like these dueling ad posts.  As campaign season gets into full gear, there might be more of these to come.

Moving from Arkansas to Nevada, where there’s a Republican primary to see who will replace, err,… I mean who will go up against Harry Reid in the fall.  We’ll go bio a bio:

First up is Sue Lowden who’s way up in the polls:

I find her likable enough, though a little phony — it is just me?  Not sure what the swishes are doing in there, it’s one of those elements you put into an ad because you can, but I’m not sure it’s helping with the message, also I think they’re distracting me.

There’s a film school adage, if you see the boom mic in the shot, it doesn’t matter.  What that means, is if people are noticing things like the boom mic coming ever so slightly into the shot, it means they’re bored and they’re not connected with what’s happening on screen.  That’s what’s happening here, the spot is alright, I like the opening archival shots, it’s evocative — the immigrant story of coming to America to follow your dreams, that’s good stuff (ironic isn’t it how the story of immigrant is so powerful in retrospect, given the current state of immigration reform).

I just can’t quite connect with her, the smile feels forced or something.  Also, I’m not from Nevada, but the backdrop of that room looks pretty plush. A good backdrop for a political spot is something that’s both unique and generic at the same time.  Something that isn’t too nice, this feels a little too nice to me.

Here’s is her opponent’s spot:

I really like the effect they use pulling out the photos from background.  It ads something interesting for my eye.  Also I like the archival stuff of him, for whatever reason, images like that are always powerful to me, maybe because they feel so real.

I torn about the understated CG’s for the bio section.  I like them, they’re simple and clean, but are they adding anything by simply repeating what we’re hearing?  Why couldn’t they add some piece of new information?  It’s a constant struggle with CG’s in a political ad, what is they’re purpose?  On one hand people think they should reinforce the voice over, like a powerpoint slide or something.  I think they should reinforce the feeling you’re going for, what if they used words or ideas that weren’t already in the voice track, what if those powerful words like values or family where replaced in the track, but left that for the CG’s to describe, that could be a power reinforcing of the theme and feeling of the ad.

I leave this ad feeling like I don’t really know this guy.  Here’s what I remember, he grew up in rural Nevada and was a businessman, he has a family… There’s nothing that grabs me or my emotions, and it doesn’t make me necessarily curious to find out more.

Sue’s ad, I remember she was a business person, her job is your job or something like that, she had some event with a mayor where she stood up to the guy or something, I’d like to know more about that.

In general both these spots are good enough, have some interesting elements, but are a little generic and don’t grab me.  That’s especially important for Chachas ’cause he’s at like 1% in the polls.  It’ll be tough at this point no matter how much he spends to get traction unless his ads stick out a little more.

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