Thursday, January 22, 2009

An annoying. Annoying. Annoying way. Way to. Way to edit.

Once upon a time there was Nike’s “If you let me play” spot. It was a beautiful commercial, and edited in a startling but ultimately logical way. The echoing words, plaintive and insistent, coming from the mouths and thoughts of young women of different cultures, ages and sports, became a kind of incantation.

Fast forward to now, where this editing approach is used constantly, and annoyingly, to try to give heft to spots devoid of interest. You see it everywhere, from cereal commercials to this new IBM campaign. “We need/we need to work smarter/work smarter/smarter” indeed.

And stutter less.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Ads from the Great Recession

Following the recent layoffs at O&M and elsewhere, there are maybe 32 people left to make ads for every client in the world during the Great Recession.

Some of these clients are staggering ahead, zombie-like, their ads suggesting they don't know they're actually dead and that the living are in pain. While Citi natters on about never sleeping, a concept that was novel in the pre-digital, pre-global, pre-ATM' 70s but flat-out stupid now, ING is getting with the program by championing savings and the savers who save it.

Tiffany reacted with what I thought was tremendous speed (probably because they had this campaign ready to go for the Doomsday scenario currently unfolding) with their holiday ads talking about buying fewer, better things and gifts that hold value. Moral issues aside (and they are legion), this was clever thinking.

But I knew we were well and truly deep into the Great Recession when I saw a Gillette spot pleading with people not to re-use their disposable blades. Brother, can you spare a 5-blade Fusion cartridge?