Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Taking it to focus groups. That's the hard part.

You know that scene in “A League of Their Own” where Gina Davis decides to hang up her cleats after hubby Bill Pullman comes home from the war? Where she tells Tom Hanks that playing pro baseball was just too hard? Hanks looks at her in disgust and says “It’s supposed to be hard. If it was easy, everyone could do it.”

Well, I just took a look at the 5 final “consumer-generated” Doritos spots for the Superbowl, and you know what?

Apparently, everyone can do it. As George Parker pointed out, these are not bad spots. (Well, "Live the Flavor” is a pretty bad spot but the other 4 are pretty good.)

And as any number of people have pointed out (and others, including me, predicted), the people who created them are not exactly amateurs. They are art school students, aspiring filmmakers etc.

But as I watched the spots, I was struck by something else. These spots were not only pretty professional-looking, they all had the distinct feel of Superbowl spots…that sort of BBDO/DDB jokey-hyerbolic comedic style. The guy who duct-tapes his roommate to keep him away from the bag of Doritos. The rock climber who loses his grip because he’s clutching a bag of Doritos.

This is old school TV creative. Not bad. But not new. If you showed it to David Lubars he’d kick you out of his office. And this is the future of advertising? Having people who are trying to break into the business do work none of us would view as fresh?

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