As many of you may know, I am both a sap and a cynic. After being in the advertising/marketing industry and related fields for more than 30 years, I have grown cynical when it comes to ads. So, it is no surprise that advertisements rarely force me to change behavior.
However, being the sap that I am, I am also a huge fan of ads that are really creative, inspiring or that tell a story effectively. At Nuffer, Smith, Tucker, we believe the story is everything, and I find that the agencies that are willing to stick their neck out and tell a compelling story usually win the prize. When ads pull at my heartstrings, all the better. So you can imagine that the latest ad campaigns from Google that were featured in Adweek, really struck a chord with me.
The Huffington Post recently posted the top 10 commercials of all time and I actually remember loving most of them. When Mean Jo Green throws his shirt to the kid, who didn’t smile? Who did not laugh at “Where’s the Beef?,” “Whaaaz Up?,” any JELL-O commercial with Bill Cosby or the Discount Tire ad with the old lady throwing the tire through the window?
Commercials are a part of our common history. Many of us can still remember the jingles that go with them: “Two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun”, “I’d like to teach the world to sing in perfect harmony …,” “My bologna has a first name” and so many more. Many of our childhood memories can be triggered just by hearing the jingle or seeing the commercial. Whether we like it or not, we have all been influenced by some creative person somewhere. And just like fine art, every piece has it critics.
As usual, I am looking forward to the Super Bowl for this year’s entries in the best Super Bowl ad contest. It will be interesting to see if any strike a chord and make me cry, rush to the computer to view again, or if advertisers will just rehash something from their past. Budweiser won “best ad” for the Super Bowl in 2013 telling the story of a man and his Clydesdale horse who becomes a Budweiser Clydesdale yet still remembers him. Budweiser is master of storytelling and usually makes me come back for more. I always look forward to the company’s next ad. And for me, that is what it is all about … making them come back for more.
For those who want to get a jump on this year’s ads, Budweiser is once again telling us a story of a dog and a Clydesdale , which has already made me weep and immediately repost on social media. Hopefully, the rest of the Super Bowl ads will be as good, because with these kind of budgets, we will be beat over the head with them either way.
So, I guess after 30 years, the sap in me beats out the cynic. I still appreciate a good story. I look forward to those creative ads and I work out my stress by screaming at the ones that miss the mark. Let us know which ads from your past or from the Super Bowl made you want more and which ones you never want to see again.