Tag Archives: Television

Mitsubishi Car Dancing – Music Makes the Ad Series

In 2003 Mitsubishi Tokyo Drifted an ad that perfectly married the form and function music can lend to an commercial.  Set to band Dirty Vegas’s song “Days Go By” the ad for the 2003 Eclipse features the eye catching Pop and Lock dancing of the passenger.

The ad increased product awareness of the Mitsubishi brand in the USA over 10% and opened the door to a new target market – cool young adults. “Sure,” the ad seems to say, “you’ve got a job now, but you can still par-tay!” (yeah, that was super dorky of me.)

Two notes on this ad: 1. There is a guy in the back seat I didn’t notice on my first several views.

2Mitsubishi still
I keep thinking about that old Urban Legend with the guy in the back seat and the cars blinking their lights at you. Maybe the dancing isn’t the only thing killing it here!

2. Dave Chappelle did a fairly dirty parody of the ad. I’ll let you kids seek that out for yourselves, least Aunt Mary’s fine name be sullied. (But it is pretty funny)

As always, be sure to join me on the Ad Story Time Facebook page, or let me know about your favorite ads in the comments below!

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My God, That’s Good Lamb!

Kids, the Storytime is a space that welcomes all faiths! Reasonable minds can agree that great ads are here for everyone to enjoy, no matter what day, if any, you set aside to ponder the mysteries of life.

It’s been said that if folks could just break bread together there would be a lot less misunderstand in the world, but that leads to another problem…what to serve? With many creeds’ dietary restrictions this is no easy feat.

Good News! The Aussies have figured it out; lamb is the answer! No beef? No pork? No problem! (You vegetarians can fill up on sides)

The PR ad shows divine figures at a barbecue, mingling with mortals and joking around. Finally they realize that lamb is the one meat they can all agree on. The commercial is fun but at the same time respectful, though there is a slight poke at Scientology. I especially like the appearance by a Jedi.

Still, not everyone’s a fan. The Australian Hindu community has taken issue with the image of Ganesha seemingly drinking wine and eating meat, which are no-nos.

The commercial runs a little long, clocking in at over two minutes, but the in-joke gags give it remarkable rewatchability.

I’m also impressed by the Australian commercials in general. Aunt Mary’s first Friday Ad Spotlight was for the achingly beautiful spot for Boag’s Draft Beer.

Evidently, whatever the Aussies are selling, Aunt Mary is buying. I must be a sucker for that dreamy accent.

Crock dundee
Actual image of Aunt Mary writing this post

Car Commercials Throwing Shade

In 2014 Cadillac released its “Poolside” Ad, featuring actor Neal McDonough’s unapologetic and fast talking tribute to the good life.

Taking great pains to make fun of such goofy things as Europe, bad luck and actually taking your vacation time, Cadillac boldly insists the time is now for the well-off to come out and proudly proclaim what they haven’t really been hiding: “Yo! I’ve got money!”

The first line of that ad asks “Why do we work so hard? For Stuff?” and and finally answers its own question with “Yeah, stuff is good!”

The commercial is slick, smirking, and the patter is so fast-paced and clever it actually has a Gilmore Girls vibe to it. It boldly smacks its chest and dares you to to decline the American dream.

In answer Ford had one response…don’t be a dick.

Opposed to Cadillac’s use of an actor, the commercial for Ford’s CMAX hybrid features “Real Woman” Pashon Murray, founder of Detroit nonprofit Detroit Dirt, an organization that creates urban gardens in order to help keep food local.

While brilliantly matching the Cadillac ad scene for scene, arched eyebrow for side glance, what really is impressive is the stand alone nature of the spot. You need not have seen the Cadillac ad for Ford’s to make sense, but it sure does make an even stronger impression if you have.

While McDonough’s delivery is of mocking and hubris, Pashon’s is more impassioned and hopeful. Furthermore, the only other humans in the Cadillac ad are the presumed family of the speaker who are lounging around a well appointed and so-clean-it’s-sanitized house. The folks in Ford’s spot are at at work in kitchens and gardens literally getting their hands dirty.

Obviously the target markets for these cars are wildly different, which is probably why Cadillac didn’t shout “unfair!” too much. I have to give much credit to Ford’s ad agency (Rogue) for a fast and thoughtful response to a fellow car maker and neighboring company.

Yes, treat yourself and enjoy life, but remember your community…n’est pas?

 

For more info on this ad battle, see this article from Ad Age

An Ad that Changed the World – Really

In 1964 Lyndon Johnson and Barry Goldwater were locked in battle for the presidential election of the US. With two months until election day, LBJ released an ad that would not only lock him in for the seat, but also change the face of political advertising.

Named “Peace Little Girl” it became to be known simply as “The Daisy Ad.” A young girl counts the petals on a flower as the camera comes in for a close up. When the camera reaches just her eye, a military countdown begins ending in a mushroom cloud of an atomic bomb with a voice-over of LBJ speaking about loving each other or perishing together.

While the race was never particularly close, LBJ’s lead widened after the ad aired and he easily won re-election come November.

What makes this ad amazing is two-fold.

  1. It only aired the one time, on NBC during the Monday Night Movie.
  2. It never once mentioned Barry Goldwater’s name, but the message was clear – he will take us to war.

The commercial was created by advertising firm Doyle Dane Bernbach, who are famous for their simple, yet compelling, graphic-driven ads. One of their most enduring and well known campaigns is for Volkswagen, making the teeny Beetle a hot ticket despite the US culture of huge cars and a not-too-distant memory of WWII.

vw-lemon

The girl from the Daisy Ad reemerged in October of 2016 in a campaign ad for Hillary Clinton.

It’s Great Advertising, Charlie Brown!

You guys, “It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown” is on TONIGHT! What’s more, this is 50th anniversary and I’m totally geeking out. I love “Great Pumpkin.” It’s sweet and classic and they say “tricks or treats.” But there is another reason why I’m so fond of the show, watching “Great Pumpkin” is where I realized that maybe I enjoyed advertising more than the average kid.

You see, for me Peanuts holiday specials and their years-long sponsor, Dolly Madison, (makers of fine snack cakes) are inextricably linked. 1980’s Aunt Mary greeted the Dolly Madison ads as a welcome part of the show, an old friend that was as much a part of the tradition as every pumpkin in the patch or ghost costume.  Even now when I watch a Peanuts show I have a deep sadness that they no longer run the sponsor card for Dolly Madison. “Can’t they just add it in for nostalgia’s sake?” I think, even though I know they can’t.

When “Great Pumpkin” first aired in the 1960’s, the opening sequence included a shout-out to their sponsors. The nod was edited out for later viewings, though Dolly Madison continued sponsoring the show into the 1980’s.

Dolly Madison used the Peanuts characters in their advertising and packaging from the 1960’s through the 1980’s. Hostess, makers of Dolly Madison cakes, announced plans to stop producing snack cakes in 2012, though subsequent communication indicated a plan to relaunch in the future.

Happy watching! May your pumpkin patch be sincere and your rock treats be few.

Aunt Mary’s Least Favorite Ad

As an ardent lover of advertising, I truly respect the skill that goes into crafting a spot that reaches a target market and speaks to their sensibilities. I also understand that not every ad is meant for every audience. It’s simply impossible to create a commercial that will vibe with everyone. But every once in a while I look at a commercial and wonder what the hell they are trying to do.

This commercial for travel company Kayak.com ignited a burning hatred in me I really can’t compare to any other ad. Yes, even more than the Charmin Bears. I apologize for the low quality of the video, it’s certainly the best one I could find leading me to wonder if Kayak is scrubbing the internet of its presence.

 

 

Sam and Lisa West are champion dancers in a style called Shag (pause for giggling). Clearly they are wonderful dancers who have worked hard at perfecting their art.

That doesn’t stop me from hating this commercial.

As wonderful as they may be (and I’m sure they are generally delightful), I find them to be the least charismatic spokespeople I have seen. Not only do they seem uncomfortable having to act while dancing, I feel like they were handed some really crappy lines to begin with. The entire ad feels off and weird and all too precious.

Additionally, Spokespeople generally have a built in fan base and a wide appeal. These folks are truly obscure to the population in general, leaving viewer to wonder what is going on, who these people are and why should we listen to them.

The ad starts off with Sam enthusiastically proclaiming how he misses shiny floors (what?) He goes on to expound on the wonders of Kayak.com (sounds good) then he makes a hard turn to the camera, breaking the 4th wall, and yells “Tip Tap Time!” (Again, What?) Lisa instructs him to do the “Wet Dog Wiggle” (huh??) Then they shuffle up to the reception desk where Sam hits the bell with his foot, despite the hotel employee being right there (gross.) She doesn’t seem too impressed with them.

kayak-dance-bell

This is also such a departure from Kayak’s usual advertising of awkward people looking for travel accommodations in visually interesting ways.

Or is it?

joey-shocked

Despite repeated watching of the ad, I’m still not sure why it has struck such a white-hot hatred in me. Maybe it’s because so many companies use amazing spokespeople to their advantage such as Eminem in that brilliant Chrysler “Imported from Detroit” ad. Maybe its because it seems to have sucked out all the joy and excitement that can come from a great trip. Maybe it’s because I feel if you are going to ask people to listen to your message, it better be on point; if you’re going to ask someone to represent your company, you better make them look great.

I don’t know, but I do know a crappy commercial when I see one.

 

 

 

 

 

Ad-vent Countdown

Kids, if advertising was a religion, then Super Bowl Sunday would be the holiest day of the year. In honor of this very special and exciting time join me on my new Facebook page every day until the big game as I feature the best and worst of Super Bowl commercials throughout the years. I call it Aunt Mary’s AD-vent! (Ha! Get it!)

Then be sure to join me on Facebook during the game for the 3rd annual Aunt Mary’s Super Bowl Ad Viewing Jamboree! I will live post my thoughts and impressions and hear what you have to say as well. I also understand some burly millionaires will beat the snot out of each other at that time too.

Until then, let’s support our East Coast friends as they ride out this year’s Snow-my-God snowstorm.  May your craft beer and Netflix last through to the end. In your honor I present one of the best commercials ever, the classic Volkswagen Beetle Snow Plow spot.