20 September 2010

Boag's Draught: the secret power of simplicity

In many respects, this is a complicated ad.  Lots of concepts and ideas.  Funny moments.  It makes you listen at one level and watch on another.  All are techniques used by some of the greatest ads.  But one facet- above all- makes this spot work.

It's focus on a single, simple concept, articulated in the first line:

"These pure waters are special.  Something goes in there... comes out different."
There.  In cement.  A single, strong, simple creative proposition.  The rest of the spot riffs on that.

Anyone who's pitched a campaign in a boardroom knows what a gentle flower a great, simple idea is.  And how easily it's crushed beneath a well-meaning manure pile of unnecessary detail.

Such simplicity runs counter to the traditional agency/client process.  I'll bet you a nickel that someone saw the virtue of this idea, wrapped her arms around it, and protected it from Category Four bombardment of suggestions and additions.

What emerges and grows is a spot worth 60-seconds of the viewer's attention.

An all-time classic?  Probably not.  A fun, watchable monument to creative discipline?  Absolutely.

As though, this once, the creative process was dipped in some special water...

03 September 2010

Monday at Noon: hear "Help Wanted: Searching for Labour Day"

MONDAY SEPTEMBER 6th  (Labour Day)
CBC Radio One

What do you get when you cross singer/songwriter Mike Ford (Canada Needs You, ex-Moxy FrΓΌvous) with the producer of The Age of Persuasion?

You get Help Wanted: Searching for Labour Day- a one-hour radio special on CBC Radio One.  Join the Mike's and travel back- and forward- in time, and all over the world to explore the origins, politics, and personalities behind Labour Day, the "Charlie Brown Christmas Tree" of stat holidays.  Ignored. Overlooked- and perhaps just in need of a little love.

Keith "the Sonic Swede" Ohman, MT & host Mike Ford

Recorded at CBC Radio's Studio 213, it's a new kind of radio/documentary/musical storytelling style.

If you want to listen online, you can catch it in your choice of time zones:  click here.

Here's a brief home movie I took of Mike warming up, as The Swede sets up the mics:

I hope you'll tune in.