Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Fun is the hardest work of all.

         At the end of one of my advertising classes, a student thanked me for making it so much fun. I probably blushed.

          I work pretty hard at making learning fun. Probably because when you create advertising as a profession, you learn quickly that if an ad or commercial isn't fun to create, it won't be fun to look at. And if it isn't fun, it may not get much of a response.

         One example is a jewelry store chain here in the Bay Area. The owner does his own commercials and is on the radio constantly. Or it certainly seems like it, as he drones on about his buying trips to Antwerp and how he's your friend in the jewelry business. He's so dull and uninspiring, the firm even made a jingle about that.

          Now, I ask you: do you need another dull friend? Does dullness equate to honesty or authority? The familiarity of his name probably makes his business known, but instead of driving to him, most people I know are driven away. He probably does okay with the engaged-in-high-school crowd; the guy sounds like everybody's brother-in-law.

         On the other hand there are commercials we love to see and hear, and we even go to YouTube to see again and again, and tell our friends about. The commercials actually become, in some strange way, a part of the product --- a part that you feel good about.

          Take Progressive Insurance, for example. We love Flo! She talks like a friend at work, she's bright and has great emotional intelligence. We'd buy anything from her, and she sells a ton of insurance.

          So does the Geiko gekko. We adore him, too. He's smarter than the boss, he's humble, and he really tries. He's sure more likable than that questionable guy named Mayhem at Allstate who creates problems everywhere. Of course, you're not supposed to like Mayhem.  You're supposed to avoid him.  But you do notice him, and the commercials are fun to watch.

           Most commercials say everything that needs to be said, show the product in a good light, and still you know they aren't going to win anyone over.

           These commercials probably take themselves too seriously. As a copy supervisor once told me, "Remember it's only advertising."



No comments:

Post a Comment