Thursday, September 20, 2012

Good Ad vs. Bad Ad


We are in the era of selling by not selling. And, like people, I appreciate it when brands just are who they are and leave it up to me to decide if it works for me or not.

Which is why I love this ad from Southern Comfort. On paper it doesn’t work: Fat guy wearing a Speedo and business shoes walks on the beach to get a drink while a song about “you gotta be me” plays throughout. That shouldn’t work. But it does because it’s all about being “comfortable” with whoever you are. The dude walks with purpose and he has a moustache that lets you know that he’s always like this.

And then there are the shoes. The shoes! What’s the story there? Is this an impromptu sojourn on the beach? Does he not believe in flip-flops? Are they $1200 shoes and he just doesn’t care?

The fact that there is no dialogue makes it all the more compelling—it’s a simple story that’s easy to understand. You understand it, even with the sound off.

And speaking of the sound off, there is this ad called “Hope and Change”. That Dad Guy sent it to me and suggested I watch it on mute. I did and it’s a pretty good Obama ad. Except that it’s by the GOP. Whoops. In this era of sports watching, where a lot of times you’ll see a commercial without sound, and DVRs, where you just see the images as you fly on by, it’s a big mistake for any brand to just show the competition. Also, when you do put the sound on, you get, “would you try creating jobs by creating debt”? Isn’t that what a business loan is—taking on debt to increase business? Weird.