Home > Uncategorized > The laziness of whimsical advertisements

The laziness of whimsical advertisements

These two TV spots came on the other night consecutively, both with fantastical imagery and vaguely folk-like music. The goal of such campaigns we suppose is to elucidate what the brand of the product is all about; how it should make the consumer of said product feel when they open themselves up to experiencing it. It’s seen most often for those products with intangible benefits or hard-to-discern advantages over their peers, like cars and mobile networks. A few years ago, and ad using this type of approach would have been distinctive; no longer. The problem now is that all these adverts with brands presented as ethereal experiences blend together as much of a muchness, a gloop of mediocre, wishy-washy intellectualism. It’s specifically the music, which many a creative (and Zeitgeist included) may be a fan of, but it occupies such a niche as to be repetitive and conversely reductive of a brand’s unique identity.

So let’s please curtail this ephemeral, intangible, whimsical attempt at an execution. Not because it never worked, but it’s been so overused now that it surely can’t be effective, because it is certainly no longer attractive.

Sigur Ros for one is glad that he’s inspiring people with his music, except when his music is being plagiarised.

  1. Kari O'Brien
    October 8, 2010 at 12:57 pm

    Question: I believe you “whimsical never worked” but can you tell me why it doesn’t work? I like it, so I’d like to avoid making the same mistakes.

    • davidllewelynjones
      October 8, 2010 at 1:03 pm

      Actually what I wrote is that it did work initially, at a point when the sheer amount of similar advertisements were few and far between. But now we just see so many of the same ilk that they seem to lose their individuality; they become indistinct from their peers’ offering.

  2. Sarah Green
    October 8, 2010 at 1:12 pm

    Agree, but in the case of Nissan my kids LOVE the ad and they’ve not been exposed to ads beyond their 6 and 7 respective years (and let’s assume in their first year ads had no impact)….so they shout out for me to come and watch the ad when it’s on – the music had an impact on them because of familiarity with the song, then various quirks of the ‘story’ (the water pouring out of the washing machines, the mouse on the subway) all appeal to them. Obviously they’re not in the market for the Nissan Juke. But I am.

    • davidllewelynjones
      October 8, 2010 at 1:24 pm

      Obviously I’d have to completely agree with you (for a reason completely unrelated to the fact that you commission work for us). As a caveat; “the music had an impact on them”… what impact did the ad have on you, other than being dragged into the living room to watch it?

  1. February 14, 2011 at 8:26 am

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