30 October 2010

An Ode to Breathing Room

To follow The Age of Persuasion is to get an earful about the legendary Volkswagen campaign by New York's Doyle, Dane, Bernbach.  And rightly so.

Funny how illogical this classic ad is.  No one who's ever driven in virgin post-blizzard snow would swoon over the virtues of a VW Beetle in such conditions. Flying in the face of logic, this ad says simply, "don't worry."  But without explanation.  A spit in the eye of "Reason Why" advertising.

But have a look at this ad for a moment, or several moments, through a different filter.  Consider how casually it tells its story.  Over 60 seconds- something you so rarely see today.  Notice the long stretches of 'nothing'- no graphics.  No "0.9% financing!" or engineering attributes or asinine mice-type legal disclaimers. No wet-road 'beauty shots' of the car panning quickly by.

It takes its time, and the audience doesn't seem to mind a bit.  Long, silent shots fill out the story in a way no client would accept in today's over-caffeinated mediascape.

Grab a cuppa joe, and treat yourself to 60 seconds of good old-fashioned ad storytelling.

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