Ask Adboardingpass – your advertising questions answered!

Let’s try something new. Every so often I get advertising questions from you, dear readers – and some of them are so interesting that instead of answering them personally I thought I’d make an occasional post out of them. So do keep the questions and video clips coming, and maybe we can all learn something new!

1. Phil from Austin, Texas sent me the ad below and asks “Is Samsung making a critical error in making fun of the very people it hopes will buy their phone?”

Personally, I think this ad is pitch-perfect. Now, I use an iPhone and I’m a rabid fan of it, but I think this ad gives a sharp poke in the ribs with just the right dose of snarky satire (and this is hard to do! Fall short and you’re bland, go too far and you’re offensive. Needs to be nailed, and to me they’ve done it.)

It would have been impossible to get me to notice a Samsung Galaxy S2 by touting specs or features…I’m just not interested. But with this approach, it got my attention and my chuckling respect!

Of course, this is not going to be enough for Samsung.

The trick here is that this is a small opening of a door – now they need to follow it up right away by doubling-down on the same witty attitude, WHILE ALSO applying it effectively to the communication of features that will be meaningful and attractive. After all, you can’t sell something in the long-term based on what it isn’t, you have to earn the sale based on what it is.

Now, going back to Phil’s question :”Is Samsung making a critical error in making fun of the very people it hopes will buy their phone?

Not at all, because I don’t think they’re targeting Apple users with this, and hence it’s perfectly ok to make fun of them, if done right. In fact it must warm the heart of Android lovers to finally see Apple fan-boys called out for their hipster devotion!

(note: At least I hope they aren’t targeting Apple users, because that’s just not going to happen. I’m not an expert in this industry but I’d assume they’re focusing on acquiring new users upgrading to smart phones, and maybe preventing the loss of current users over to Apple.)

By the way, I haven’t been able to find the credits for this ad anywhere on the web, if anyone knows please share.

2. Tina from Miami, Florida sent me the ad below, wondering if I had seen it and what I thought…

It’s last year’s ad for Canal+ (A European premium channel, sort of like an HBO in the US), and it was developed by BETC Euro RSCG in Paris.

If you enjoyed it, you’re not alone. According to the Gunn report this was the most awarded TV ad of 2010, by far!

It mixes a great story, cinematic action scenes, a clever and very funny twist, and adequate linkage back to the brand. I would have loved to have been present in the creative presentation for this, it must have been a hoot.

But if you’re not impressed enough, consider this. It’s tough to do it the first time. It’s even harder to repeat it the next year…yet that’s exactly what they did. The 2011 Canal+ ad was featured as the Ad of the Day back on October 12. I recommend that you watch it – it features all of the above, plus…a bear. Somehow they were able to recapture the magic.

3. And here’s another good one from Phil in Austin, TX. He sent me this mini-film below, asking me what I thought of the “Chevy Runs Deep” campaign.

This is really a short film, not an ad, I saw this in an ad format yesterday, and it works almost as well although obviously it surrenders some of the texture around the search. It was created by Goodby Silverstein out of San Francisco.

What do I think about it? I absolutely love it. I was hooked right from the start, and teary at the end. A gem. Fueled by a very powerful, daring and timely insight about Chevy (the notion that it is part of the very fabric of this country), and produced with flair and class. Really, really nice.

What do I think about the actual campaign? (there are a series of 30 second ads that you can look up). I love, love, love it. Let’s put it to the 6 questions test: The ads are indeed impactful (in the way they’re shot, narrated, etc.). They are very linked to the brand. They could maybe falter on persuasion because they’re so not product-centric. I do believe they’re campaignable. And the emotional impact I think is extremely high (they were actually built FOR emotional impact, which is rare ). So, I’m in love with it. I’ve always had a weak opinion of American cars, especially Chevy, but these messages make me stop and give them a fresh look. I definitely take my hat off to this campaign!
Now – the interesting thing is that this campaign is being heavily questioned for its ability to sell cars. The jury is still out. Some critics say that it’s not helping to sell enough cars, but GE is sticking with it and they are convinced that the emotional approach is something that cannot be matched by competitors (who could match product performance features easily). And this is big, because normally the client would be the first to bail on this, so if they’re sticking with it it’s significant. I agree with them. But we shall see. Money talks. One significant exposure for them is that I wonder if this will work as well overseas – and overseas is key for growth. I wish them luck.

Let me know what YOU think about all of these. And as always, thanks for reading!


3 thoughts on “Ask Adboardingpass – your advertising questions answered!

  1. Pingback: Superbowl ads 2012 – the full Adboardingpass review – and overall thoughts (part 3 of 3) | adboardingpass

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