15 April, 2008

Mailbag: Why Do You Promote Lameness?

I wanted to follow up on a post made in response to what I wrote about Trucks.

"I agreed with your last post that the first version of the ad was pretty lame. Then, people decided to make their own lame versions. Then, you wrote a blog propping up those lame versions?"--2nd Lt. Anonymous

1) Apparently, we've never met. 2) I actually didn't think the ad was lame at all. I thought it was fun and excitedly enjoyed it for 90 seconds. What it didn't do is make me want to buy chocolate, which is why I felt it was entertaining, but not a successful "advertisement." In contrast, Gorilla not only didn't make me want to buy chocolate, it made me wish I could take back my 90 seconds of life from the person who made it.

But a huge difference between Trucks and Gorilla is that, yes, Trucks is very fun, but Gorilla is unique. Have you ever seen a man dressed in a gorilla suit drumming along to Phil Collin's In the Air Tonight to advertise chocolate? More than two million people wanted to see. And the uniqueness factor is where Trucks falls short. I've seen car commercials. I've seen wacky commercials featuring commercials. Here's a great commercial for the Pontiac G8 based on the 1980s arcade game Spy Hunter.

Kudos to Leo Burnett for creating a spot that will grab the attention of every male age 25-45 (a notoriously difficult-to-reach market) who stepped into an arcade at some point in the 1980s. Burnett also has two more ads for the G8 out right now, a :30 TV spot and a :78 viral. The :30 plays into a similar hot wheels vibe, but just doesn't nail it like the Spy Hunter spot. The viral is supposed to be cool and edgy, but really it's just annoying and nothing I haven't seen before. However, they do go right after BMW. Fellow blogger Matt said he liked the viral. And it has received more than 125,000 views on Youtube since it was posted last month. In the advertising world, taste will always be subjective. In the end, sales will be what matters to both Cadbury and Pontiac.

Oh, and the original Trucks clip posted to Youtube March 29, has now received more than 40,000 hits. The Spy Hunter ad posted a month ago had received more than 60,000 hits. Only time will tell which is the most succesful. Now I'm just waiting for someone to use Q*Bert or Burgertime in spot. I'm looking at you Nestle!

--Captain Awesome

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