Friday 15 February 2019

Should advertising always be a mirror?

I read an excellent article this week by Graham Booth, entitled Why your advertising should be MAD. Graham presents a reel of 15 ads that he's helped to create during his 30 years' experience and comes to the conclusion that all of these - though very different  - have something in common: a genuine creative idea. The ads are well worth a look, and I'm sure even someone not employed in the ad industry could say, with confidence, what the idea in each is.

By contrast, we're surrounded these days by idea-free advertising, as I bemoaned a couple of posts ago. But, as Graham says, "every ad should aspire to be more than the strategy put on screen, or the brand purpose spoken over generic visuals, or some reflection of the 'real life' of the consumer." Looking at his 15 ads, he remarks that they all employ metaphor, or exaggeration, or contrast. None of them "tell it straight." Hence the title - Make Advertising Drastic (or Daft, Dangerous, Dada ...)

But Graham is just an account man turned researcher. What does a creative director say?

Here's a creative director getting a bit mad, too, but in another sense. I suppose you do get mad when you have someonething telling you that you don't exist. But I do wonder when and where all this "demanding to be reflected" business started. For someone creative, it seems to be taking things terribly literally. I am sure that Graham Booth had plenty of respondents in his group discussions saying they didn't like the ad because the woman on the storyboard had blonde hair, and they've got dark hair.

"Representing diversity" is not a creative idea.

How does this creative director know that the woman in the trainers/chocolate/car ad isn't lesbian? Is sexuality of any relevance whatsoever when you're selling floor cleaner, anyway? Shouldn't we be looking at finding universal human truths that unite us, instead of being divisive?

I vote for getting away from these real life ads (which all look like what we used to call "mood videos") and get creative, and MAD.

But if you're going to do real life, do it well. This ad from Coke is a terrific example and, I'd say, uses a slightly MAD mirror.

1 comment:

Sue Imgrund said...

here we go, here we go, here we go --- "blandvertising"