Monday, October 24, 2011

This commercial is perfect in every way but one.

         This TV spot for Combos is a joy to watch. It's very, very funning, the casting and directing are superb. In fact, after you look at it, look at a couple of others in the campaign. They're just as funny, or more so.


           Every time I watch it I laugh. Every time I show it to people, we all laugh.

           Then why did I have to try all kinds of tricks to remember the name of the snack? And why, having seen this commercial over and over again, haven't I bought the product, or even sought it out? You've probably seen a quarter of a million commercials in your life; tell me what's going on.

           I believe the selling idea is very funny. "What your mom would feed you if your mom were a man." It comes as a surprise that makes the commercial "click" in your mind. But I believe the basic strategy is flawed. It's reminding us that our mothers wouldn't want us to have this, but dad --- overweight, self-indulgent dad --- likes it.

          Is the dad in this commercial the authority on snacks? Do you want something he recommends, when your narcissistic father really doesn't care much about you? Not me, thank you.

          There's a danger in humor, and we in marketing should watch out for it. Humor can be irresistible. It knocks us out, and can make us forget about things like strategy, persuasion, and good marketing sense.

           To be effective, humor should come right out of the strategy, not obliterate it. Even if obliterating it makes you laugh.

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