Quit while you’re ahead!

Something for the “Don’t Make Me Come Over There” file.

Last fall, Rickard’s Red beer had an absolutely amazing commercial. A guy orders a beer, and as it’s poured a choir starts singing a grand hymn. If you remember the name of the song, please enlighten us cuz I don’t recall. And whatever the song is, that rates as one of the best beer commercials I’ve ever seen.

Sadly, they couldn’t leave well enough alone.

Tonight, I saw a second commercial in the same vein. Only problem is, this time around it sucked. Seen it. Been there. Done that.

To be clear, the commercial might be fine, but I can’t tell because I couldn’t be bothered to watch it.

Silly beer company…you had a good idea, and now you’ve dragged it out to long and ruined the legacy.

More accurately, silly beer company’s advertising agency. You clearly don’t understand the industry that you work in. Or perhaps you understand it so well that you were able to sell the beer company on a second commercial even though you knew it would be hideously ineffective.

Either way, you suck. Learn how to do your jobs, or start doing your job ethically. Whichever may be the case.

Don’t make me come over there.

Effective fundraising

There’s a commercial featuring an older guy in a third-world country. It’s a long commercial, and he spends the entire time essentially laying a guilt trip on viewers for not giving money to the cause. But I don’t know what the cause is, because every time the commercial comes on, I change the channel.

As bad as that sounds, I’m sure that I’m not the only one who does it. Guilt has never been an effective motivator, and I question the wisdom of those who created the advertisement.

Truth is, there’s no good way to advertise this sort of thing. Or is there?

There’s a United Way commercial that shows a guy pushing a cart through a warehouse while the announcer talks. Suddenly it morphs to the same guy pushing a shopping cart down an alley, and then back to the warehouse, with the United Way slogan: “Without U, there is no Way.” It’s a simple, powerful, and moving message. If I didn’t already donate to United Way, I probably would based on that commercial.

I don’t mean to sound harsh against the other cause…it’s not easy to send a positive message when you’re talking about starving children. But you’d think that someone along the line of approvals would have wondered aloud how effective this advertisement would be.

And hey, I’m sure that there are people who are moved by it and pick up the phone to donate. Maybe I’m in the minority. I really hope that I am.

Bravo Ebay

I have to say that the new Ebay advertising is absolutely stunning in its execution. It’s brilliant. If you haven’t seen it, then you don’t know what it’s about. But once you do, it’s obvious.

And that’s the beauty of “it”. Whatever “it” is, you’ll find it on Ebay. Or something like that.

It’s simple, obvious, and fun. It’s not at all annoying, and it’s highly representative of Ebay’s business.

In truth, I wonder why Ebay feels the need to advertise…while I know lots of people who have never used it, I don’t know anyone who’s never heard of the auction site. Personally, I’ve used it on numerous occasions with great results. But rather than turn this scatterthought into an Ebay commercial, I’ll stop there.

It’s nice to know that some advertisers are still capable of creating unique and intelligent marketing campaigns.


Toyota Commercials: selling cars without actually selling cars

It seems as if Toyota has completely abandoned the notion of selling cars based on performance and features…all of their commercials are about salesmen doing odd things or guys tossing Blackberries and toupees out of minivans. And then there’s the one that came on just now, in which a daughter askes mom how her new boyfriend “is”. Yikes.

This is either complete idiocy or complete confidence…and given Toyota’s reputation, I’m inclined to think that it’s the latter. It’s tough to question their credentials, so it would seem that they think it’s better to just keep their name out there. And hey, even if I think the commercials are silly, I do remember them.

Hey, I’m writing about them now, aren’t I?

Happy Thanksgiving!

I’ve had a pretty decent Thanksgiving weekend. Went to Windsor with some friends for a post-wedding-reception/family-reunion get-together. Twas a fun time for all. Came home on Sunday afternoon and watched football for the balance of the day while working on an article.

Now I’m just sitting on my couch, watching baseball, waiting for football, and thinking about dinner. My roommate and I are doing the KFC Thanksgiving, just for the heck of it.

Throughout university, Thanksgiving was my “leave me alone” weekend. Every once in awhile I used to find it nice to have a weekend to myself. Everyone else would go home, and I’d just relax and take it easy.


It has just been pointed out to me that two completely different guys in two commercials that just aired back to back (for WestJet and Swiss Chalet, respectively) may be wearing the same shirt. Now that’s an interesting coincidence.

Continuing with the sidetrack, those WestJet commercials are annoying me. In this particular commercial, a guy tells his girlfriend’s father that he’s an “owner of WestJet” so that the father will like and respect him. When in reality, the idiot is probably a high school dropout who has no greater ambition than to take tickets for a living.

If I were a WestJet employee, I’d be offended by the commercial. It’s great that employees have some ownership in the company, but this commercial suggests that an employee might want to hide his ticket-taking job. You know what? If you can’t be proud of what you do, then you need to get off your ass and do something else. You gotta work to get where you want to be, and if you have to take tickets for awhile in order to get there, then you should be proud of the fact that you’ve got a plan and, more importantly, that you’ll do what it takes to make that plan happen.

Besides, no one should ever be ashamed of a job that offers a positive contribution to society.

I’d like to see the follow-up commercial, when the father discovers that the boyfriend mislead him and kicks his ass. Not because he takes tickets, but because he’s a no-good liar. In fact, there are lots of commercials that I’d like to see follow ups to; most of them are beer commercials (go figure). This WestJet commercial definitely makes the list.

Hey, a list. What a great idea. Seeing as I can now categorize my scatterthoughts, why not start with my first category: Commercial-lyzing.

This is all coming together quite nicely.

And now to get some Thanksgiving chicken…