Q It Up: Can you recall a recent commercial that left an impression on you, either good or bad, on radio or TV? Why do you think it left an impression on you? What was it about the commercial that you liked or disliked? If you disliked it, how would you have done it differently? Please add any other comments you might have.
Ryan Drean [
John Mangan [
Andrew Frame [
Progressive takes the quirky approach, and Allstate takes the lifestyle approach. While both are usually quite well done, neither makes enough impact to make us want to pick up the phone and spend any significant time with a person who speaks poor English.
The “Jared” diamond store spots are incredibly shallow and annoying, implying that a man is a schmuck if he doesn’t buy a diamond, and a double-schmuck if he “paid too much”. We really don’t need some rich white folk giving lifestyle advice while people are dying in South Africa and other pitifully-poor places to dig these things out of the ground.
One that had us both on the floor was from Heineken. At a party, the women all go into a walk-in closet loaded with shoes and dresses, and proceed to fall over themselves in idiotic bliss. Then from the other side of the house, wailing drowns them out, and we find the menfolk having the same reaction after walking in to a huge cooler full of Heineken.
We won’t drink the beer, but we’ll still watch the ad when it comes on.
Joel Moss [
The message: be extra cautious re: motorcycles... they move so quickly that it’s fractions of seconds that the bike will be completely out of your left side peripheral vision, then into your car. So look left, right, and then check back to the left to make sure. I normally do the ‘triple take’, but having lost two friends in the last 12 months (one of whom was an air talent on ‘EBN for 20 years, Mr. K, to motorcycle crashes), I’m thinking about that spot when I approach a four way stop.
Other than that spot, the baby spot (Grey Advertising, I think) for E-Trade is absolute gold, featuring the digital mouth animation and the voice for the toddler [I’ve since learned the voice is that of the director/writer of the spot(s)]. One thing I’ve never been able to ‘hear’ is that anamorphic thing where you assign human qualities to inanimate things...or, cartoon characters. I think it’s a unique skill. But, the youthful hip voice they’ve assigned to this baby in the E-Trade spots... really funny, clever, well produced. I’d give it a prize if I hadn’t lost all my money using E-Trade. Did you know media stocks suck right now???
As far as really funny/compelling radio: maybe the series of random game show premise spots that Netflix runs non-stop. The initial spots were funny (to me) because they were just so absurd, Monty Python-esque. Q: If pie is in the sky, where’s cake? A: A distant meadow....
Blaine Parker [
This is not the literal, verbatim transcript of the commercial. That is only what I can recollect. I only ever heard the commercial once. That was about eight years ago. But it still seems like yesterday.
It stuck with me because it was so unexpected. Understand, I am the target demo. I think Bass Ale is a fine product and am predisposed to use it. But going in, I didn’t know it was a commercial for Bass Ale. And the surprise was so extraordinary, that commercial has stuck with me for the better part of a decade -- despite hearing it only once.
I’m willing to bet they did research, and the results showed that drinkers of Bass ale considered themselves to be adventurous, offbeat and active -- fancying themselves deep thinkers and men of taste. (I doubt this would have had as much appeal to women at large.) Somewhere along the way, this piece of copy evolved.
It also incorporates a vivid and unexpected use of an image -- the single oldest registered trademark, the Bass Red Triangle.
Being sticky, surprising listeners, and saying things in unexpected yet relevant ways are all important. Using language unpredictably, crystallizing thought, and invoking distinctive imagery that “surprises Broca” (thank you, Roy) can have an extraordinary impact on the audience.
Scotty Papek [
Here are a couple at the top of my list:
3. Canon has a tremendous spot demonstrating their Eos camera lineup.
2. The most interesting man in the world (Dos Equis). It cuts through, doesn’t take itself serious and screams cool.
1. And the new Palm Pre webOS -- new Sprint commercial http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L-tRHNElTo4
The concept of how a product fits into people lives always looks good on paper. It is extremely hard to execute it in a short amount of time. This particular spot moves with a little humor and incorporates everything in Sprint’s character diamond.
I was pissed that Sprint’s commercial was cooler than my stupid iPhone’s.
Mitch Todd [
The “scented candles” one comes most strikingly to mind, when businessmen are driving a luxury car with aroma therapy candles, only to be lulled to sleep and veer horrifically off the road.
They were funny, relatable and most importantly, I remembered who the client was. I prefer image campaigns personally, and I felt that was effective and memorable.
Frank Scales [