01 March 2011

Using Ad Clutter to Your Advantage

You may have come across this ad-  it too was honoured at Cannes in 2010.  If you'd be so good, I want you to look at it with one word in mind:


When you see an ad like this- from YouTube, you can enjoy it as a self-contained entertainment.  But you probably don't imagine what the spot 'feels' like in the context of broadcast- running as part of a noisy pack of messages and promos within a commercial set.

I'll bet you a nickel that most of the ads that usually surrounded this one were comparatively fast-paced and frenetic, stuffed with quick cuts, graphics and audio-visual information, in the spirit of the "MTV Effect" Terry and I discuss in our book.

That's this ad's secret weapon.  It has such a simple brief:   promote the Young Director Award. That gives the spot room to breathe-  space to spin out a story.  In this case, without dialogue through most of it- which in itself catches an audience's attention; ads are typically so busy, so noisy, and so verbose, that non-dialogue grabs the viewer by the ear.

And what a great moment it all leads to. 

In context this is a relatively quiet, deliberate, intelligent few moments of great storytelling, framed on either end- and I've got a nickel riding on this- by manic, loud, caffeinated sales pitches.

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