My TV receives 120 channels. But I only get around to looking at
the same two or three. I probably miss some advertising brilliance
lurking out there in the cable or bouncing between dishes. The following
campaigns, however, stand out on the channels programmed to me.
My first ad is Gap Khakis, an in-house creation. Start with nonchalantly
stylish kids, frolicking about mindlessly. Add the once eye-popping, now
cliched trick of stop-motion camera pans. Sounds like a formula for
something one could either hate or dismiss without much effort. Frankly,
when I first saw this campaign, I didn’t know whether to hate it or hate
myself for liking it. But the Brian Setzer Orchestra is up for some good
fun and suddenly the TV is swinging for 30 whole seconds.
Don’t believe the title card that suggests ’Khakis swing’ - these spots
are no more about khakis than talking frogs are about beer. Their only
objective is to get you to groove a little, smile a little and maybe
show some goodwill towards the slack-jawed cashier you’ll encounter on
your next visit to the Gap.
The Ikea decorating crew descends upon decidedly unattractive subway
cars, operating rooms and bowling alleys to transform them into a copy
of the most recent spread from Martha Stewart. And, no surprise here,
they succeed. One walks away feeling the ease and good humour with which
it’s all carried out. And the stuff looks pretty good. Ikea has always
known who its customers are. It has created a lot of good advertising
starring the people who buy its products. But sooner, rather than later,
these folks must want to know that the settee they’re about to buy (and
no longer assemble themselves, one presumes) will confirm their
suspicions that Ikea is, indeed, stylish. The ads were created by
Deutsch, New York.
Finally, I come to the Adidas ads by Leagas Delaney, San Francisco.
There are a lot of ads out there looking for something up-lifting to say
about the state of professional sport. Why do these silly men love the
New York Yankees so? Maybe it’s Dave Wells’s perfect game. Maybe it’s
the Yankee’s record-setting 114 victories. Maybe it’s actually all about
the fact that the Yanks are playing and behaving as if they value the
love given by their fans. That’s what makes this work feel right.
Congratulations to Adidas for having the good sense to celebrate fans.
And for having the good luck to sign a team that deserves fans. And for
having some pretty funny fat-guy spots.
Eric McClellan is the former managing partner and executive creative
director of TBWA Chiat/Day, New York.