Why is it we can always find the coolest commercials on YouTube, and are bored to death by the ones we see on television?
For example, the best candy commercials I've ever seen are on YouTube. The ones for Dove Chocolates, in Australia. They're fantastic --- wonderful casting, hilarious stories, and beautifully filmed and edited. Only on YouTube. But not on U.S. television.
Or the Chanel commercial called "It's a Man's World", on YouTube. Riveting.
What's happening on American television these days? Do the prices of TV time scare the ad managers here? Are the Australians and the French more creative than we are? Experience tells me no. Television time is more in demand than ever, and we have incredible ad people here who consistently pick up Clios and Lions at the Cannes Film Festival.
Something else must be going on, and I suspect it's the economy. Advertisers are anxious and impatient, and they're trying to make the commercials sell harder. Got a line of chocolates that are perceived as a luxury? That's not good in a recession! Tell everyone they're good and worth the money, and step on it! Got a fragrance that's a little expensive for young people in times like these? Do something! Give them seven reasons why it smells so good.
When times get tougher, voices get louder and shriller, commercials get strident and come to the point faster, and ads get awful. I believe we're going through a period like that right now. Alec Baldwin, a terrific comic actor, is walking through airports, pointing at signs, in a credit card commercial. Everyone's walking and talking and saying nothing. At the top of their voices.
The AAAA --- the American Association of Advertising Agencies --- conducted a study of advertising in a recesssion. The advertisers who keep their bearings and their budgets up, and continue to properly support their brands, come out of the recession much faster and much better.
Let's remember that. Grace under fire. Let's start putting good, brand-building commercials back on TV, where they can do some good.