I have often thought highly emotional advertising that does not
rely on comedy in any way is difficult to come by, yet it can be
extremely effective in breaking through the clutter. It is different in
that it attempts to touch a deeper chord with its audience, which is not
always easy in 30 or 60 seconds.
This is why I find the ’think different’ campaign for Apple Computer so
exciting and involving. It elevates the stature of the entire
advertising industry. But more importantly, it builds an emotional bond
with customers in a highly aspirational manner by saluting those who
chose to think differently.
It does so with beautiful production values and the empathetic voice of
the the actor, Richard Dreyfus, who would never put his voice on
anything he didn’t believe in. I know this - l’ve worked with him. So I
congratulate the folks at TBWA Chiat Day for this moving piece of work
that made me think and feel different, and wonder if I should have
bought an Apple.
At a different end of the spectrum, I congratulate the folks at Arnold
Advertising for the Volkswagen ads. I believe this campaign put an
agency no-one had ever heard of on the map. I also believe one of the
global definitions of the word ’Volkswagen’ is ’brilliantly executed,
In my favourite spot, set to Da-da-da - a wonderful nonsensical tune
that’s made a big comeback - we follow two teenage boys who go on an
outing to fight their boredom. They do very little other than drive
around without speaking. They finally retrieve a chair with a strange
odour that they eventually discard. This story, which is told visually,
portrays the wonderful reality of a Saturday afternoon drive, truly
endearing us to the Volkswagen brand. This is very refreshing for us in
the US because we love to talk incessantly in our commercials.
My final pick for favourite US ad is a definite ’I wish I’d thought of
that.’ It’s an entertaining, engaging, memorable campaign for Home Box
Office. In my favourite commercial, ’haircuts’, everyone has
unbelievably bad and ridiculous haircuts. We have no idea why until we
find out the barber cuts hair while watching HBO. This embraces the
notion of ’viewer reward’. It’s excellently crafted, as most pieces are
from BBDO, and leaves you with the same satisfied feeling you have after
watching an entertaining, well-acted HBO movie.
This advertising serves as an inspiration to all of us in the US.
Cheryl Berman is chief creative officer of Leo Burnett.