17 June 2010

When Is a Great Ad a Lousy Ad?

It's great when-
  • it stands out from the pack
  • it captures the imagination.
  • it makes you laugh.
  • it makes you want to see it again.
  • it makes you want to share it with friends.
  • it lives on through the Internet- (here, for instance) long after its birth.
It's lousy when it doesn't sell the brand.

Here's an easy test- plug any- and I mean any- cellphone brand in at the end of this spot. Go ahead.  I'll wait.

Still funny, isn't it?

This is great entertainment, not a great ad.  I'm glad I saw it.  I'm glad you're seeing it.  But as at least one great ad sage has noted, when you can remove the brand from an ad without the ad falling apart, there's something seriously wrong with it.

If the brand- it's Kyocera, by the way-  ran this as part of a long series of ads in the same headspace- to a point where that mnemonic at the end was associated with first-rate ads (like a swoosh, and the words "Just Do It"), then this ad could be one piece in a powerful branding machine.  But as a one-off, it's a confection: sweet, delicious, irresistible, quickly forgotten.

Tricky thing, this ad business.

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