thesilversiren: (tv)
A million apologies to anyone who has a narrow layout, like I do. The first ad that I have is just too wide and makes my layout look horrible. Eep. So two ads behind the cut. Sprint's "What's Happening" and Visa's "Pizza."

Read more... )
thesilversiren: (iron man - my space)
Tropicana recent rebrand failed. Clearly it failed- when I saw the story I thought, "Tropicana rebranded?"

In short, all of Tropicana's competitors saw huge gains following the rebrand- which is completely against typical statistics. Usually the product will see a boost (even if it's just temporary), not a loss.

But, not all brands are Tropicana. First of all, they felt that they needed to promote the health benefits of drinking orange juice. Because, of course, people don't know that OJ is loaded with vitamin C. (Yes, that was sarcasm) So they decided to slick up the package, make it a little sexier... (Again, what orange juice has totally been missing: sex appeal.)

Their main problem is the redesign made them invisible. The Tropicana logo and orange with the straw are basically iconic. The new design, since it contains nothing from the old design... doesn't bring any recognition. To explain what I mean, it'd be like Coca-Cola suddenly redesigning to a black can with two green C's on it. Without the red can or the familiar white swoosh, there's nothing to tell you that it's linked to the product you're familiar with.

Not only that, the new logo is boring. There's nothing to distinguish it from a nicely designed store brand carton. There's nothing that stands out about it, it's just too generic.

I could also point out that I watch a lot of TV and saw very few ads. Without a major media push, a drastic change just can't be effective.
thesilversiren: (tv)
Ouch, Apple. What happened? You've had your "I'm a Mac. I'm a PC." series of ads, that are without a doubt... hilarious. Witty, clever, you've had plenty of fun pointing out Microsoft's diminishing market share in colleges, pointing out what a strong OS you have. Even how easy it is to switch.

Then Microsoft released their "I'm a PC campaign" and tried to take back their image, as well as focus a positive light on their overall brand- not necessarily the OS.

So you followed up with these two spots: "The V Word" and "Bean Counter." Both videos behind a cut to save f-lists )

Do they work? No. They've lost the clever, hip attitude of the ENTIRE ad campaign. "The V Word" seems more in line with the previous ads, but focuses on Microsoft, rather than Apple. In a different way. Even when PC was doing something silly to get people to buy his computers, it was mostly aimed at pointing out how Apple works different. But in "The V Word," there's no mention of Apple's OS. It's just making fun of Microsoft.

Then, there's "The Bean Counter." The sole focus of the ad is pointing out that Microsoft is spending money on advertising. When, if you think about it, we've been inundated with ads from Apple for the iPod, Macs, iPhone. While Apple's advertising was focused on gaining market share, they're essentially calling Microsoft out for trying to rebrand themselves- after Apple has succeeded in labeling them as a "fuddy duddy."

Bottom line, these two ads come across as mudslinging. Minimal focus on products, just attacks. The campaign has been becoming more and more negative, but up until now, they at least tried to be fun.

EDIT: There's ANOTHER new ad called "Bake Sale." Same take, making fun of Microsoft for spending money on advertising rather than "fixing Vista." By the by, if you're actually believing Apple's line... let's look at it this way. The "I'm a PC" campaign was a huge push to revitalize the BRAND for Microsoft. To humanize it, since the brand has always been Bill Gates, who despite giving away more money to charity than just about anyone out there- still comes off as a little cold, geeky and well... just unhip. Vista, as far as operating systems goes, has been touted as a big failure. They build it up as the next big thing, released an OS that isn't compatible with most software and has a tendency to eat up a lot of computer resources. So I don't blame them for trying to change people's minds. It's just good business.

Bake Sale behind the Cut )
thesilversiren: (mad men)
I'm trying to find video clips for these ads, but you'll have to do with my poorly mocked up concepts for two new ads. One from DiGiornio (the frozen pizza brand) and the other for Pizza Hut's new pasta.

DiGiornio. In their newest TV ad, they put up a picture of a delivery pizza with a price appearing with rising numbers, like a gas pump. Next to it, they have an image of a DiGiornio pizza with a price below it, same style. The delivery pizza is $16.13. The DiGiornio pizza is $6.99.

Does it work? Absolutely. While their previous ads have all built on the idea that you can't tell a DiGiornio pizza from delivery (It's not delivery, it's DiGiornio!), this focused solely on the economics of it. They assume we know that the pizzas are comparable, but they point out how much more affordable the pizza is- while reminding us that a larger part of the budget is being taken up by rising gas costs. They even end the ad with the reminder that DiGiornio won't leave your wallet on empty.

It's direct, clever and doesn't pretend to be anything other than a reminder that they know what America's going through right now. Well done, Kraft foods.

Domino's. In their latest ad for their new pasta line, a family of four is getting ready for dinner. It's Domino's. Out of the blue, a rapping Penne pasta with the Domino's logo starts walking towards them. The mother is disturbed, the son is intrigued, and the mom winds up smacking the pasta who calls her a "pasta playa hater."

Does it work? Not quite. Pizza Hut's gone to great lengths to make their pasta dishes seem classy (since they're Toscana recipes). This seems cheap (even the pasta is a poor CG). Not only that, but the concept seems to be aiming for the weirdness level of the King from Burger King... but misses.

So who wins this round? DiGiornio, hands down.
thesilversiren: (tv)
Does it work? )
thesilversiren: (typewriter head)
For the second installment of Does it Work? we have a print ad from the AMPTP. Click the thumbnail for the full size picture.

Does it Work?

The concept: Inform people as to why we shouldn't go to strike for the second time in a year.

Does it work? Not really, no.

Typically, when the industry puts out an informative ad, they try to make it as uncluttered as possible so that the text of the ad is what you notice first, and so that you aren't bogged down by interpreting image choice and so on. (You might not realize that you do that when you look at ads, but you do)

Here's an ad that is the perfect example of what an informative ad should be. "Pencils Down" put out by the WGA during the strike.

Does it Work?  WGA Pencils Down ad

This works because they picked a straight forward headline. "Pencils Down" immediately tells you that they plan on not writing at all during the strike, and the image echoes this.

Now, back to the AMPTP's "A Clear Choice." Let's first break the ad apart into three sections, the headline, the content and the images. Given that the ad is designed to inform us why an actor's strike is a bad thing, the headline is good. The content of the ad is straightforward, breaking down what will happen if an agreement is reached, versus the after effects of another strike. (I might have used more basic terminology since these ads also work in swaying those outside of the industry, too)

The images. Oh, the images. I can already visualize the day the ad was being created. At the agency, the creative director says to the designer, "I need two images that'll show the two choices. One will have people on strike and the other will have people working. Go." Then the designer sat, staring at the pages of stock photos, trying to figure out how you show people working in the industry. "Hey, this crane looks cool." While the crane is indeed cool, it doesn't work. The layout with the headline on top and the two images side by side is a disaster. To me, it makes the ad read as though we have a choice between a strike or riding on the crane. (Note: Rej did point out this comment someone made on the ad, and while I agree with it completely, I thought I should point out that I wasn't the only one, or the first to say so)

Here's what I learned mocking up ads - if you're a little iffy on the correlation between an image and the ad's content, don't use the image.

My solution? I would have used checkboxes with two options: Strike or Labor Agreement, with the box for Labor Agreement having an X or a tick mark. No ambiguity there. Also, I would ditched the bullet points and simply gone with using indents. To me, the bullet points look more than a little amateurish.

I do look forward to seeing SAG's rebuttal ad, and I'll likely profile it here. But first, I'll find a television ad that works - so that you won't think I'm against anyone else's work than my own.

-------------------------------
AMPTP ad source: Deadline Hollywood Daily
WGA ad source: WGA East
thesilversiren: (tv)
Thanks to Rej (aka [livejournal.com profile] 5cent) who sent this my way. I think that this is going to be the first in a long line of ad critiques - where I question whether or not an ad accomplishes what the client/agency wanted.

My critique of this ad has nothing to do with my political views. Any discussion on this post should be related directly to the ad itself, not your personal political views. Thanks.



The concept: Obama is Dr. No - he says no to all sorts of things. A James Bond like theme plays, and the background is similar to the 60's openings for the Bond series.

Does it work? No. First of all, McCain is trying to have a "cool" ad, geared towards a younger demographic. This is obvious with the usage of a concept, rather than a straightforward campaign ad. Yes, James Bond is cool. But unfortunately, Dr. No was the first James Bond movie released. While it's one of the more famous ones... it's a dated reference that decreases the odds that younger generations have actually seen it.

It's never a good idea to play a snazzy theme and have exciting backgrounds while you show images of your opponent. Note that they don't actually mention McCain until the very end of the campaign. For the duration, all you get are images of Obama + neat backgrounds + fun music. If you aren't paying attention to the content of the ad itself, it seems pro-Obama. The point of television advertising is to get the viewer to walk away understanding what you're selling, even if they're barely paying attention. (Sometimes the stranger concepts work in grabbing attention, but we aren't talking about dancing lizards hawking flavored water... this is about selling a political candidate

And on a humorous note, despite the fact that Dr. No was a bad guy who tried to kill James Bond, he did have a lair, minions and a successful operation going. Say what you will, Dr. No did get things done.

I'm sure that what I wrote for the concept was how they pitched it, and it sounds just fine on paper. But the reality is that it doesn't work on any level that they intended it.

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