Two conversations over the weekend prompted this piece. In fact I would like a dollar for everytime I have had this conversation. They: "Wow I saw this amazing ad!" Me: Oh yeah? Who was it for?" They: Ummm, I don't remember?"
I was at a terrific birthday party and we were talking about the Super Bowl ads and ads in general. Folks just love to discuss ads!
One of the people at the party wanted to show me a 3D ad for a Japanese beer that they thought was simply amazing. This place where we were gathered was quite snazzy! My firend had his laptop and TV and sound and God-knows-what-else, tied into a big screen in the rec room.
Anyway, before he pulled it up on YouTube to show on the 50" flat screen, I said, I am pretty sure I have seen this – and I love it. But, I stopped him before he ran it, as I tried to remember what beer company was the advertiser? Sapporo, Kirin or Asahi? I guessed right – it was Sapporo … but, should I be guessing?
In a following conversation we all agreed that we loved the Little Darth Vader spot that ran on the Super Bowl. I did an "over-the-back-fence" market research survey. I asked them … Great ad, it was for a car, but what car company and what model?
See if you can remember? Answer at the bottom.*
There were 5 of us – two got the brand right, one got the car company right, two got it wrong. We all could almost recite the ad scene by scene, we had seen it so many times. Truly, we all loved it.
So, is that the state of the ad biz? Ads are mighty funny, very pretty, some absolutely beautiful and a whack of them brilliantly entertaining, but what if people, at best, have to strain to remember the brand and, at worst, can't remember the brand the ad was meant to sell?
I have always been in the Ogilvy camp. An ad has to sell a brand.
It starts with an amazing Creative Brief and diligent, professionals in the ad biz to decipher the brief, hone in on the USP and deliver creative that sells. And sells the brand, not just the product class.
Ford does not want you buying sports cars, a product class – they want you buying Mustangs, a brand!