Posts Tagged ‘unexpected’

At least he’s trying. Spitzer’s second ad.

July 26, 2013

Gosh I wish Elliot Spitzer could run ads from now till 2014.

I’m not sure this is a great ad, not even sure I like it, but at least the guy (well probably Jimmy Siegel) is trying.

What I like about this ad is it doesn’t hit you over the head with it’s message, doesn’t feel the need to fill the quiet space nor pump you full of talking points. It keeps you waiting, and doesn’t reveal itself till the end and even then, it doesn it with a crinkled newspaper headline. I really appreciate that they trusted their concept.

I’m not sure the music is right, but again, think of how this ad vould have gone: Elliot Spizer has spend a career going after Wall Street… Blah… blah.. blah… Instead of the usual talking points, they engage you with a reveal, and let your imagination fill in the rest (gosh, he has been a thorn in Wall Street’s side) to my mind that’s worth a 1000 talking points.


Wow… this worked. Why? (Dawn Dish Detergent Ad)

July 8, 2013

Watching TV this afternoon, I was caught by surprise by this commercial:

Wow, it was so simple it worked. Dish detergent is pretty much a commodity. I buy the one that smells good (or I think will smell good) or is in a neat bottle. But otherwise I usually don’t think much about it.

After watching this commercial I’m buying Dawn.

Commercials make all sorts of claims all the time, we’re used to it. Unless the brand has some internal credibility, we usually slough it off or we need a third party validator. Well this ad uses a pretty powerful 3rd party validator — I mean we’ve all seen those pictures of the cute animals covered in oil and wondered if they could get cleaned up… well they can with Dawn!

Maybe as much as the validation, this Dawn ad speaks to my story of the consumer I want to be. I can buy something as mundane as dish soap, and be helping the environment? That’s me I love the environemnt.

Ok, so maybe the ad is trying a little too hard to tug at the heartstrings you know what? Next time I go to Target to buy my dish soap, I’m reaching for the Dawn.


A tale of two videos.

March 8, 2011

Wow, has it really been a month since I blogged? Well that’s just too damned long.  While there has been a dearth of interesting ads and videos (by interesting I mean something that I offers the potential for enlightenment — good or bad), I miss writing.  Also if you enjoy the blog posts you ought to be following me on twitter as I do tweet several times a week with interesting ads, design and the like.

Today, if you didn’t hear, is International Women’s Day. Over on twitter I was directed to two videos which basically give a snap shot on the status of women in the world. I will state before hand, I know that the two videos are different in scope and perspective on the issue (while espousing the same basic message), and in some ways it’s like comparing apples to oranges, but I work in politics, you should never let the facts get in the way of a good argument.

Ok, off the bat, I think the first video from the Harvard Kennedy School is pretty good. It’s professional and gets a lot of information in, isn’t completely technical and boring (which is easily could have been).

The second video obviously has a huge advantage, with Daniel Craig and Judi Dench (how awesome would it be to have Judi Dench narrate a political ad), that’s an advantage, but it’s not what makes it better in my opinion.  Judi Dench and Daniel Craig — the whole James Bond thing, is really just a MacGuffin. It’s a hook to get you to watch the video, and an anchor or shorthand to explain some of what they’re discussing (like the double standard on sexual promiscuity).

I also love the simplicity of the second video, the black with the light behind.  With so much information in the narration, it helps to focus our attention on the message. In fact the information in this video really is a Macguffin as well, you aren’t meant to absorb any one fact but rather the total sum of all the facts is what matter — it’s the impression that sum makes that is the impact of the video, but if you were asked in a survey to recall them, my guess is you wouldn’t be able to, yet the video is impactful nonetheless.

The strength of the second video is that it does in 2:00 minutes or so what the Kennedy School video takes 7:00 to do (and this is just the short version). Being to the point is important. I’m interested in the message of these videos, but the Kennedy School video loses my attention right around the 2:00-3:00 minute mark, after that point, I’m frankly bored. As good as the video is, it needs to make the point and move on, making the same point again and again becomes self defeating and self indulgent. I walk away unsure how I’m supposed to feel because, well because I didn’t make it through to the end (well only because I was watching for this blog).

I think the video feels in some ways like the inverse of the Bond video — each fact is as important as the other, but at the end of the day, by losing the emotional punch and my attention, it adds up less than the sum of it’s parts.

Is it enough?

June 30, 2010

I know I just posted, but this ad is worth watching.  I think it is well, done, it’s tie in to images that are in the public consciousness is very effective, it doesn’t take time to over explain its premise, it has some nice detail (the scrubbing of the hands and watch), and it has an element of the unexpected.

The spot does a good job of brining attention to the issue of Climate Legislation, though I’m not sure if actually makes a good case for why we need that legislation.  Is invoking images of oil covered animals enough?

When there’s an elephant in the room…

January 5, 2010

Wow.  When was the last time you saw a company rag on their own product or at the very least pass along consumer’s negative comments about their own products.  Now you’ve got my attention.

Sometimes you have to admit the problem.  There’s no running from it.  A few months ago, I saw a Wall Street Journal article about Wal-Mart.  For years, Wal-Mart tried to defend it’s image from attacks, they tried to gloss it over, they pretended they were different.  Then the CEO did the unthinkable, he “stopped defending the company’s practices and started changing them.” (WSJ July 16, 2009)  It seems obvious, but so often it’s not.  It’s hard to hear criticism, especially when that criticism is public.  Authenticity is hard.

This is the trailer for a 4 minute video, that I would encourage you to watch (there’s a :30 commercial out there, but I couldn’t find it on youtube).  It’s stilted in places, but overall it’s well done, and get’s me interested in a brand I had little or no interest in before.   Dominos goes from a faceless company in the business of delivery, to a company with personality and people who care in the business of making good pizza.  That’s a pretty good shift even from a four minute video.

I grew up in New York City, and I’m a pizza snob, and I’m interested in trying the new Domino’s pizza because of this commercial.

Spin can only get you so far, excuses usually sound like excuses.  At a certain point you have to come clean and state what everyone knows, it shows you’re human, maybe more important it’s authentic and real, and it captures people’s attention because it’s so damned rare and unexpected.

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