Apparently, there was some big thing on in America over the weekend. Something to do with a reality pottery show or something. Anyway, there’s been a lot of hype about the trillions of dollars spent by brands during the recent Super Bowl.
Well, I watched the YouTube AdBlitz, which contained all 58,000 ads that aired during the breaks, and here are my gold, silver and bronze.
Cue a fanfare of biblical proportions…
The Bronze award goes to…
Volkswagen for their ‘Darth Vader’ film. Unquestionably charming. Unquestionably well shot. Unquestionably well written and directed. But questionably VW.
The reason I question its VWnicity is that, to me, VW ads are based around a product promise. That might be an actual benefit the car has, such as – ‘Ever wondered how the guy who drives the snow plough gets to work’. Or ‘Surprisingly ordinary prices.’ Or that lovely ad where sales assistants are measuring the back of a Golf because they can’t understand why the gargantuan flat-screen TV they’re loading into the back of it looks tiny.
This ad, whilst heart-meltingly lovely, isn’t like that. It’s a gag. It’s a lifestyle ad. And yes, it is a product attribute that shocks our protagonist into believing he’s used ‘The Force’ to jumpstart his dad’s Passat, but the benefit isn’t centric to the ad.
I think it would be better suited to a brand like Toyota. If it had been produced for that brand, would it have received so many plaudits?
Having said all of that… I still really, really like it. And I wish I’d done it.
I suspect it will win more awards than the two ads I have chosen above it. But when you look at what the ad must do – sell, I think the following ads work harder at convincing their respective target audiences of the merits of their products whilst also being very creative too.
And the Silver award goes to…
(Fumbling of envelope tearing)
Volkswagen ‘Black Beetle’!
How many car ads don’t feature a car? I’ll tell you… er, not many.
This VW ad has bags of charm and bucket loads of promise of what’s to come. (I presume we’re going to be witnessing the launch of a pretty nifty sporty Beetle sometime soon, otherwise we’re all going to look like dicks.)
And, unlike the previous ad, the zip, whiz, whayhayhay! are all about the product.
And the Gold award goes to…
“I’m feeling nervous for them, aren’t you?”
Chevy! For this beautifully scripted, and shot, spot for the Silverado.
It is, in fact, a product demo. The pick-up is used in various vignettes to solve a problem: pulling, pushing, off-roading, you name it, this bad boy is built for it. The wit, charm and brand personality comes from the ‘what’ the product is demonstrating – that coupled with writing like “How did you get into a whale’s belly in the first place?” and “I didn’t even know this town had a volcano.” Lovely smile in the mind stuff.
I think the most memorable ad out of the three is definitely the VW Darth Vader spot. But will it be the most effective?