We have been watching a lot of soccer at the clypd NYC office, between the ESPN networks’ broadcasts of Euro 2016 and the FOX networks’ Copa America Centenario games.
Soccer games have a light commercial load, with breaks limited to pregame, halftime, and the postgame. There are fewer spots, and they stand out. One of them has not only stood out, but stuck with me.
This week, we introduce a guest writer, Tom Yobage, who also happens to be Alison's father. Beginning in the Mad Men era of the 1960s, Tom worked on Madison Avenue for four decades at Doyle Dane Bernbach. The advertising agency started the Creative Revolution with its breakthrough campaigns for Volkswagen ("Think small." "Lemon.") and Avis ("We try harder.") At Doyle Dane Bernbach,Tom worked as a copywriter and creative director. The stories he can and will tell about the ad campaigns created by Doyle Dane Bernbach deserve their own blog, but we’ll start with the clypd blog. What follows is a story he shared with Alison earlier this week, about the power of celebrity in advertising.
Last week I was watching a TV show that had quite a bit of violence in it, so much that the network alerted viewers that viewer discretion was advised. I watch a lot of TV that could fit that bill: politics and espionage shows such as “The Americans,” "Scandal,” “The Blacklist.” So that was not what caught my attention.
What caught my attention was the commercial that ran before the warning: an animated spot about an election of sorts for new Pop-Tarts flavors. The commercial caught me so off guard that after it ran, I had to look at my TV’s program guide to see if I was watching a show for kids without realizing I had changed the channel.
A fan of the first three seasons, I deliberately allowed several episodes of season four to pile up on my DVR. The final few minutes of each episode, coupled with the “scenes from next week” tease are some of the factors that create an exceptionally rewarding experience. Additional reward comes paying close attention to the details the show, catching subtle hints about the characters as well as the time period: before today’s modern surveillance technology, there was espionage done largely done in person, via disguises of clothing and personality.
Last Friday, I was at a bar where it was so loud I could hardly hear the person next to me, much less the music coming from the speakers. Empty beer bottles rattled as they were consolidated from one trash can to another. Then, like magic, three or four chords into the opening of “Purple Rain,” the place went silent and stayed that way throughout the song.
I do not think it was a unique experience. I imagine that across the country, his familiar hits stopped people in their tracks, a little louder than they had been in recent years. Prince had died at his home near Minneapolis just the day prior. Tributes continue to pour in from celebrities, musicians, and from brands.
The Swan. I had forgotten all about that swan and the role it played in so many lives in the 1980s. It was a status symbol, a badge, a side some people chose in a now silly but then important battle. It took just a passing mention in a show I watched last weekend to remind me. We talk today about cell phone, beer, and cola wars in advertising. In the 1980s, there was a blue jeans war and the Swan was a force.
With Easter in the books, it is time to look forward to the next great American holiday: April Fool’s Day. It is one of my favorites, and not just for the office pranks (see below). I also love that in recent years, marketers are embracing it too.
March is said to come in like a lion and go out like a lamb.
Here on the east coast, March usually starts with cold, windy and rainy weather, and ends mild and pleasant. This year has been no different.
Recently, I came in from an early March night – a very cold, very rainy one. I turned on the TV and as I was peeling off my soggy, wet shoes, I saw that Craig Kilborn was back on TV, as the spokesperson for the new and improved Kraft Mac and Cheese.
Some things that you will come to know about me through this blog series: I watch a lot of TV, I watch a lot of commercials, and I love to talk about both, at length. I think about how I would make that commercial just a little different if I had written it, how I would change a character’s dialog in a scene, how a fictional character might react if he were standing next to me.