You will find me quite often complaining about the character counts on Facebook ads. I mean really, people. I know no one LIKES to read. But 25 characters for a headline (and that’s only if you are taking them away from the Facebook site) and 90 characters for body copy is limiting. For instance, the name of a company isn’t always Nike. Or Puma. Or Macy’s. Sometimes it’s HUGO by Hugo Boss. Or BCBGMaxAzria. Or Neiman-Marcus. And then all you really have room to write is NAME OF PRODUCT from LONG NAME OF STORE. And you’re out of room. The end. No more characters. No more love. Just done. Time to move along. I’m not looking to wax poetically. I’m just looking to create ads that make you want to do something.
Speaking of which, this ad is what caught my attention today. Yes, it was in my Facebook feed and yes, it made me laugh. So – kudos to the folks at Emergency Creative for catching my attention. And making me click through with so few characters (even if you needed the image space to do it). Nice website, by the way.
Also… since I brought up Macy’s… I thought I’d also plug their new tv spot. Because celebrity endorsements aren’t easy. And they are doing it with class. You get 5 stars (even though you’d probably be happy with just one that’s big and red!).
Okay, so Clorox is not the sexiest of products. But they are doing a great job of cutting through the clutter with their “Life’s Bleachable Moments” campaign from DDB Worldwide. The campaign launched a year ago (see New York Times story) and has caught my attention time and again when I see it air. I found this little ditty online when I did a search on YouTube. (And I mean, what parent HASN’T doen the sniff test, really?) Some folks are even creating their own spoofs of the campaign, which can be downright disturbing. I won’t post any here, you can go find them yourself. In the meantime, I’ll be watching for the next commercial on air – and for the Clorox on the shelf.
I just haven’t had a lot of time to devote to it lately! Totally my fault. But upon hearing that someone checked it out (I love the @sbux5points crew – they were so nice not to shame me for my lack of updated content), I started thinking – it’s been way too long. Then last night, when watching a little bit of ANT Farm on Disney with my kids, my son told me I had two special talents – writing and being their mom. I melted a little bit at that out-of-the-blue comment. And then had realized I needed to stop being lazy and start blogging again. And then, this morning happened. What, you ask? This: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fDeGMqf6b2g
While I stood there (no doubt with my mouth hanging open in shock that someone would rip off the Most Interesting Man in the World concept), my son said – hey, there’s the Dos Equis man doing a piano commercial. Oh dear. They fooled my kid. But they also confused him. Because this was neither the Dos Equis man or a piano commercial. It’s a local establishment trying to parody a well known brand. For their own gain. If it were a book or a movie, would someone sue? I’m no lawyer. But if I were the person behind the Dos Equis campaign, I’m pretty sure I would see this as infringement of my creative idea. And if it is running here in Columbia, there’s probably a million other folks doing the same thing in other towns across America. Which makes me think… YIKES.
So today, this (long-coming) post is dedicated to creativity of the original kind. I beg you… go out there and do something different today!
A: His children.
If you haven’t seen the Google Chrome spot on fatherhood, check it here. You won’t be disappointed. In fact, the storyline will get you, the score rocks, you have to read it to get it (which everyone says is a no-no) and it leaves you both happy and hopeful. In a word, this TV spot is perfection. And in my mind, it’s the best 1:32 you can spend on YouTube.
I was watching a video yesterday that a client had put together. It was a good one, too. And in it was the word stationery. I was totally thrown back into time, when I was just as green as they come – trying to impress the company that I was interning with during college. See, my tasks there ranged from buying groceries for the break room to putting together really cool publicity kits for the Durham Bulls. Anyways… I was trying to work quietly at my desk and I had left a page up on screen that said STATIONARY. I left to go to the bathroom. Upon my return, the owner of the agency’s husband had stopped by unexpectedly. He was in with the boss, talking about something or other. But when he got ready to leave, he tapped me on the shoulder and said – hey, it’s with an e, not an a. I had NO IDEA what he was talking about since I had long passed the previous page that I was working on. But I was so intrigued by his out of the blue comment that I went back through the document and studied word for word what I had written. And BLAM – there it was. It took at least two times reading it through to find that I had misspelled something without even realizing it. To this day, I always think about how the boss’s husband taught me a lesson about checking my work. And I am forever thankful.
This question comes as proof to two things: One, I’m old. And two, I’ve been at the mercy of advertising since I was a kid. Because I loved this commercial. When I was a kid. Which is way before other people that I work with were kids. And that was made clearly obvious when I asked a few people if they knew the answer to this question and they missed it without the help of our friend Google.
Here’s what else this tells me… just because you’re nostalgic about a brand doesn’t necessarily translate to spending money with a brand. Yes, I loved this commercial. Yes, I had a birthday party at McDonald’s when I turned 8. Yes, a Big Mac is the bomb. But I don’t eat there. I haven’t eaten there in eons. And my 5 and 7 year-old kids have never even been inside a McDonald’s. (Not kidding.) What I love about the McDonald’s brand is what it used to mean to me. Not what it can do for me now.
So when thinking about creating content for the brands that I work on, there’s a line that has to be drawn between advertising that makes you feel good and advertising that makes you buy. Because if people aren’t buying, then there is no brand.
Oh, and if you want to watch the silly old commercial that got this whole thing going, you can find it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yBwv3DoQNCA
A: It’s now possible, with Fatty Natty Light.
I almost ran into the outdoor board when i saw the headline: Wrap Your Hands Around a Fatty. A Fatty Natty? Is this for real??? Apparently so… it has it’s own facebook promotion. So what did I learn from this lunch experience? I’m NOT (maybe never have been?) the target audience for this campaign. Now… can somebody pass me a Samuel Smith’s Oatmeal Stout?
Here’s the thing – when a spot NAILS exactly how you feel, then the writing is dead on target. This :15 spot does just the trick for any girl who loves her white jeans well past Labor Day. The casting is pretty doggone good too – I can feel that attitude coming at me, girl. Bravo to Tide for getting it white. I mean write. I mean RIGHT.
A: Have you ever asked anyone if their meal is authentic?
I know, you’re not supposed to answer a question with a question. But both answers are a resounding no (except if your are indeed David Anderson, who has no problem asking if lunch is authentic). I’ve now worked with David for 14 years. Gulp. That’s hard to even type. But he’s brought me up right, I guess. Because at the stroke of noon, my body says it’s time for lunch. Even today, when we were prepping for a 1:00 client meeting, he told me to write faster so we could go grab some grub. I did, naturally. And while we dined at the famous Groucho’s Deli, I got to hear how he took his youngest to college last week, how he needed at least two dill pickles to finish out his meal and how my heels were too high. This is typical DA style – he tells it like he sees it. I just wish he was in Columbia more often so we’d get numerous chances to reminisce over 14 years of crazy stories. Is that authentic? I thinks so.
A) It’s almost basketball season!!!
As a Tar Heel, I frequently get razzed about our football team. This year is no exception with coachgetsfired-gate going on at my beloved school. Just ask Tim Kelly – he gives me hell constantly (on more topics than just athletics, BTdub).
Frequently during lunch, I’ll see what’s abuzz in ad news. Today on AdAge I found an interesting tidbit about an agency review for Under Armor’s basketball shoe. Here’s what I find interesting about the article, which you can read here: the creative featured in the jump is freaking awesome. Under Armor used twofifteenmccann for creative and the directorial beauty of Peter Berg to create this TV spot titled Footsteps. Check it out. Now. Because even this college basketball fan can appreciate the anticipation of football season after watching this spot.
PS – For the record, I wish the other three contenders for the Under Armor’s basketball campaign good luck. Because beating out twofifteenmccann is gonna be tough.