Fresh and charming

Talk to a room full of people from different age groups and you’re in for some interesting opinions about mobile phones. Whatever yours is, these devices are not going anywhere, and – with even the worst technophobe’s starting to weigh-in – phone companies now have bigger audiences to entice.

Cue these TV commercials for Sprint done by Goodby Silverstein & Partners, SF. At a dinner table, Mother announces to the family that her parents are moving in and will be Staying Awhile, all via a series of texts and emails from her mobile phone. In response to their shock and horror, the forum allows her to tell the family that texts, emails, tweeting and other expected standards are unlimited – while conveniently missing the point.

Others in the series offer the same straightforward communication in differently-dry yet quirky situations. I don’t think they will have anyone winning any Yellow Pencils or offer them the opportunity to say “I’d like to thank God, and my Mom and Dad…” – but that’s not to say they don’t do the job.

Hey just because you have someone’s number, doesn’t mean you actually want to talk to them, right?

They’re not going to start a cinematic revolution, but they never said they would. They are all short, sharp and to the point while the relevant information is conveyed through fresh and charming performances. When it comes to these ads for Sprint, it’s mac and cheese being mac and cheese! That’s all.

I like them, do you?

Someone like you

I tend to have a big mouth, but, every now and then something comes along that has the power to silence even the most opinionated of us. It’s music – and good music – that can do that to me. It’s not always what is being said that has the power to floor me; it’s the combination and composition of how it is being said – set upon a melody that exists in the space between the viewer and the performer.

Few have real talent these days. Most are manufactured. Some are able to capture a feeling that people all around the planet can identify with, and paint it for all of us to see. This is one such example.

Just standing there, being raw, real and really really good.

I love it. Do you?

Active beds aren’t always a good thing

I haven’t gone completely mad, I promise you. I have to ask that you watch this commercial for the movement-absorbing bed from Pfister, more than once before you see what I saw. Then you’ll undertand why I like this spot more and more with every time I press play (and trust me, there have been plenty).

Performance is everything to me. I appreciate the greats and think a lot of the fluff we have filling our screens in movies these days could learn plenty from them. Meryl Streep, Kate Winslet, Sean Penn, Greg Kinear, Edward Norton, Javier Bardem, Leonardo Di Caprio, Marion Cotillard and Julia Roberts – the list is long (enough). They are masters at subtlety; that’s why they gat paid the big bucks. Kate Winslet is able to convey half a dozen emotions without opening her mouth and saying a word. With a glimmer in her eye, you can see the desolate desperation of one core substance or the appreciated sanctity of another.

The two performers cast in this commercial, directed by Ben Gregor from Production Company, Knucklehead London for Pfister Furniture, have more than enough talent to leave you convinced. Watch the subtlety in their eyes, the flirtation, the shyness, the temperament of a new covert relationship that is hopeful about flourishing, even after dinner with food that makes it uncomfortable to be cool with. But it is the svelte seriousness of it in this setting that makes it oddly funny.

Set in a dream sequence only afforded to those who can sleep soundly, the hotness of her date is interrupted by the reality of her snoring husband – because they don’t have the new movement-absorbing bed from Pfister… yet. I like the soundtrack, I like the treatment, art direction, extras, colours and grade used, food, actor and actress and, I reckon, in a nutshell, the director has captured what it takes to make a definite hit with his audience. Commercials can be mini movies and Ben Gregor proves it with this spot.

Watch it more than once and let me know what you think. I like. Do you?

Spitting milk through your nose for Doritos?

I thank my lucky stars that we are all unique. I couldn’t imagine the world having to put up with two of me, let alone two Robert Pattinson’s, Justin Bieber’s, Robert Mugabe’s or two Mubarak’s. God alone knows, one of each keeps us busy enough. This makes for an interesting landscape for advertisers and the scope they aim their messages at. Even though we are unique, we most certainly fall into groups with common interests. Mine do not include Pattinson or Bieber, but yours might and that is cool too.

Advertising appeals to how we view ourselves. So at first, when looking at these two Doritos commercials, I would have said I preferred one above the other. In hindsight, I simply think they are smart enough to have hit on different audiences under the common element of humour. They work for the brand because they are able to attract the attention of a (hopefully) versatile audience that has one thing in common: a love for Doritos.

I don’t like The Best Part’s geeky guy. He is a little over enthusiastic about Doritos if you ask me, but, in all fairness, I don’t fit into a group of people who think electrons, data and the hypothetico-deductive model is cool or phenomenal. The guy in this spot strikes me as one who does – so that is exactly who they are appealing to. His type – and anyone closely associated with his type – is going to find this funny, whereas it just left me straight-faced and unimpressed.

The House Sitting version appeals to me in a bigger, better way. Yeah, it’s silly, but it is also simultaneously cheeky and self-deprecating. The college guy forgets to attend to any of the things he was supposed to do and is faced with that last minute panic to get the house back in order – with one final clincher that aims to score points for the power of Doritos.

The difference between the two is that one highlights Doritos as the hero and the other lets the (supposed) humour take over. No matter which one you prefer (if any) it comes down to whether you are buying into these corny chip ads or not – and whether that is translating into sales of their products. The rest of the series proves they are definitely that – corny. I am sure that their creative team salutes everything about Revenge of the Nerds, and I don’t doubt for a second that they have some people laughing so much they spit milk through their noses or suddenly discover their own incontinence. But, like I said, I thank my lucky stars that we are all unique.

Others in the series:

No matter how you feel about these, they are harmless. Even if you don’t like them, it is unlikely that they are going to mean you refuse to buy Doritos from this moment forward. I’m thrilled they haven’t won me over entirely. I hate spitting milk through my nose and quite fancy the idea of being able to control my bladder.


Pigs can’t fly. Purina Puppies can!

Clever Ads are clever because, without trying too hard, they make you step back, have an ‘ah’ moment and with a bit of extra luck, start conversations about themselves that last long after the ad itself does. Publicis Montreal does exactly this with this print execution for Purina; a puppy so happy with his food that he is about to take flight. Because what do happy puppies do? They wag their tales! So enough said!

It’s clever without trying too hard. There is no copy because conceptually it is strong enough without any and, for any pet owner looking for a new brand for man’s best friend, you are going to remember this one and no doubt be convinced to spend some money on it.

Advertising effective: ka ching!

Credits:  Creative Directors: Nicolas Massey, Carl Robichaud | Art Director: Julien Thiry | Copywriter: Florence Majérus | Photographer: Alain Desjean |

I like! What do you think?

Finding your talent is finding your voice

I like tales of survival. I like the underdog who rises above circumstances and makes something notable of their reality. Pressure is a horrible place to be and there is no truer justice than when those injustices can be shown the door. Here’s a story just like that one… about a girl who undeniably dug her way out of blood and fire.

Let’s just get one thing out the way for starters: P!NK is an absolute mastermind at her craft! The way I see it, her art makes an important contribution to pop culture because of what her music means to the millions of boys, girls, men and women of all shapes and sizes – all around the world. And when you come to think about it, what unites us better than music?


Her latest offering is no different and the release of the video for “F**kin Perfect” has so many people saying “…that is so my life right now!” This girl certainly digs her way out of blood and fire and what I get from Alecia Moore’s message is that she owed it to herself, if not anyone else – because there is something inside that needed its chance to shine, right?

Finding your talent is finding your voice. A voice that speaks about a love for whatever you do best; paint, draw, sing, add, build, solve, advise, enthuse, amuse or write. There’s a place inside you that you should celebrate and it is absolutely necessary to find your way home. I’m glad she did and I hope all those who need the same thing have the chance to see this.

It will help.

I promise.

Change the voices in your head. Embrace change and nurture your own rebirth.

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