Friday, April 19, 2013

Really beautiful advertising

Dove doesn't just sell soap.

What Dove sells is a range of products that give women confidence to know they will look their best and that their best is plenty good enough.

For years Dove has been selling soap by demonstrating the features that make it better for your skin. With introduction of the "Campaign for Real Beauty" years ago, they laddered those features to a higher order benefit that has incredible power and meaning. The genius in the campaign is not that they are telling you that Dove will make you more beautiful as most products in this category do. 

They are saying you are beautiful and Dove will help you find the beauty others see in you.

That's why this video has over eight million YouTube views in five days. That's why it's being posted over and over again on Facebook.

That's why advertising works best when it pairs an honest emotional insight with functional reason to believe.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Royal fail

With a name like Quantum of the Seas, you'd expect Royal Caribbean's newest ship to have an introductory video that's big, really big. Unfortunately this 8-minute exercise in overstatement substitutes big for interesting. 

Featuring a cast of B, C, and D list celebrities – a note to the producers, if one of your "stars" has to identify himself on camera, you might want to consider recasting – this digital tour de farce blends the whiz-bang CGI technology with lame jokes and banal dialogue to create a short film that feels longer and more tragic than Titanic.

I dare you to watch all 8-minutes of it.

I get that the idea is to sell the experience and all the amenities, all the things that make this new product different, special and better. But cramming a video full of special effects, celebrities and superlatives describing and demonstrating its features isn't enough. It needs an idea. A story. An arc. Give me a reason to pay attention and care.

Yes, this ship is awesome. Yes, apparently it's bigger and more posh than any to come before. Unfortunately all anyone will remember upon watching this video is the bad writing, bad acting, and bad feeling they are left with after wasting 8-minutes of their lives watching this.

Monday, April 15, 2013

It's funny. Is it effective?

Kmart has the internet abuzz thanks to a fecal homophone and the fact that most of America has the sense of humor of a 13-year old boy.

I'll give them points for tying the humor to a relevant promise – free shipping – and creating an ad that gets noticed. I like the direction, the casting, the acting, and overall production. It's well done.

With over 7 million views on YouTube and a myriad of mentions on websites and news programs in just five days, I'd say it qualifies as a viral hit.

I have only one question...

What's next?

It's a funny (if juvenile) idea. It's sticky. But is it a campaignable idea or is it the next "Where's the beef?" a great spot that Wendy's was never able to turn into an ad campaign.

Creating one spot that gets attention is relatively easy. Creating a campaign that positions your brand while bringing customers in the door is a whole other matter. If this spot leads to that, then and only then, does it go from funny to brilliant.