To be completely honest, I’m over advertising. It’s dead. Finished. Marketing communication has to serve two purposes, it has to make people feel something – and do something. If it doesn’t, it’s a waste of resources.
Especially today, where linear TV and print is pretty much dead, and agencies and brands rely on social sharing to get their messaging across. Nowadays, people have better things to spend their time on than ads, and agencies and brands keep chasing a very limited audience, without managing to create a bond with the consumers.
So, I am truly hard pressed to find something current that I think is both great entertainment and that serves a branding, marketing and/or sales objective at the same time. It all seems to fall in one of two buckets; either it’s purely tactical, and no feelings, or it’s pure fluff. I literally can’t remember the last time I shared an ad.
Seriously, why would I?
To be completely honest, I’m over advertising.
It’s dead. Finished.
Still, I’ve found two ads that I do like. The first one is a few year old, but is a great example of how good storytelling can elevate a simple call to action ad into a beautiful moment. This was not shown on TV, it was a very small, and low budget film for a limited market. But every time I watch it, I get charmed by the simplicity and immediate emotional connection I feel with the characters.
I’m not going to give away the punchline, but I can say that the acting is beyond superb, and the facial expressions really hammer the message home. Here is one of my favorite ads of all times, the Young Director Awards call for entry 2010.
The second ad I like, is recent, and made by my old friends in Åkestam Holst/The North Alliance in Stockholm. It’s a print ad(!) for IKEA, that allows women to pee on the ad to see if they are pregnant, and thus qualify for the IKEA Family discount on a cot. A quite technical and utilitarian idea, but perfectly executed, and has created a huge media buzz, which I assume was the whole point.
Well played IKEA, well played.
Now for an ad I hate
It’s hard to select, because there are so many awful ads out there. But I chose something recent and big budget since I truly believe that the agency (The Monkeys, Sydney) was hoping to create a viral sensation with this ad. I don’t think they have, and it comes in a long line of recent Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA) ads that are just trying way too hard.
Not so many years ago, MLA’s lamb ads was something that truly captured Australian culture, and managed to show both humor and mouth-watering food at the same time.
Now, of course, Australian society has changed from mono-cultural to multi-ethnic, multi-religious, and multi-diverse in every way, so it’s hard to perpetuate the old stereotypes of the quintessential Aussie without offending the many non-anglo Australians of the 21st century. So, the agency tries very hard to include everyone, and play on the polarisation of society, with a “funny” and “charming” take on West Side Story.
The problem is that it’s neither funny nor charming, it’s rather mundane and flat. And it certainly doesn’t sell lamb to me. And I’m already a lamb-loving foodie… I’ll take a hard pass on this one. Next!