Posts Tagged ‘dialogue’

You call this negative?

April 15, 2013

For followers of this blog, you know I love it when consumer brands go negative:

1. It tickles me because many traditional advertisers have a holier than thou attitude towards negative advertising,

2. and it’s always interesting to see their takes on negative ads. Some like Apple do it very very well, others like Direct TV and Dish, eh not so much.

Mircosoft is the latest to join the negative ad bandwagon. They have a whole “don’t get scroggled campaign” which generally goes after google for being less than their vaunted “do no evil” policy. The appoach is interesting because previously they tried to show how their search engine Bing was superior. I guess that campaign wasn’t so successful so Microsfot decided they would (horrow) go negative.

So is their negative campaign any better than their positive one (which sucked)?

Wow, you get two ads for the price of one.

Ad One is two real people conversing casually… expect their spouting Bing talking points. These ads work to the extent that the acting and diologue sound authentic and real. This ad fails in that respect… fails pretty miserably. The acting is stiff, but maybe that’s cause the dialogue sounds more like they’re reading from a memo. Seriously Microsoft this is the best you can do?

Ad two is a ponteially interesting concept, having these goofy Internet type people, intereacting with the two actors because they know so much about him. I think the ad would have been better served moving full force with this concept, rather than trying to balance the two concept. It has potential for humor and more critically potential to show the viewer what’s wrong with Google, rather than telling them via awkward talking points.

This is almost a parody of a negative ad, and it’s neither this nor that. Not funny enough to be interesting and not pointed enough to make it’s point with force.  Without this sounding too snarky it feels like a pollster’s ad, all message but poor execution.

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Pet Peeve…

February 18, 2010

Sigh.  Ok this kind of ad drives me nuts.  I think it’s great to have “real” people talking or actors pretending to be real people talking, it can be effective in mirroring what people are thinking.  In effect, it allows the “real” people in the ads to become surrogates for the listener, they connect with them so they connect with the message.  Great idea.

But like in the case of this ad, often these attempts are clumsy and sound more like policy wonks talking than “real” people.  Come on, do real people talk like this?  Would a real person say Congresswoman Bachmann five times? Or would they say Bachmann?  Would they say :

“Congresswoman Bachmann actually said we should be “weaned” off of Social Security and Medicare. She wants to privatize Social Security and replace Medicare with some kind of voucher system that won’t even cover the full cost of medical care or prescriptions.”

Listen to the ad again (if you can).  Does that sound like the way real people speak?  To me it sounds like two actors who are being told to “talk conversationally” while they’re spouting talking points. When you write dialogue, you need to hear how real people speak, how the conversation ebbs and flows.  What you lose in precision and factual detail, you gain in authenticity and affect.

Nothing about this ad rings true: The sound mix sounds fake, and the actors aren’t believable, even if they were given better lines, I doubt they’d be able to pull it off.  The key to any commercial is authenticity, but particularly in ad like this it has to sound real to connect.  They’d have been better off just using a narrator to read a straight attack rather than trying to fool people with something that wouldn’t fool my six year old.

Sorry for the rant, you can return to your regular programming now.


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