Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Why Can't I Find Your Ad?

In this day and age of TiVo and other DVR products widely available in the market, it is a wonder to me that a company would have a television ad created--especially one that is well produced and fun to watch--that cannot also be easily found on the internet. Advertisers are up nights trying to figure out how to get people to watch ads given the fast-forward option. Most ads are utterly unwatchable, and I often find myself thinking "someone really got paid to make that commercial?" Yet here is an ad that I am voluntarily watching, nay, SEEKING OUT to watch again, and where is it? Not there. Not on youtube, not on their website.

The commercial was for Lexus from a number of years back featuring R&B musician John Legend. It was especially memorable to me because I love R&B, and especially love Nina Simone, who was singing in the background. The song was a version that I had never heard before. As splendAd describes it, "Legend describes how the music makes him feel, and how the energy gains momentum," until she gets to the point, where "'She's not going to take it any more'". It showcased the sound system in a Lexus vehicle.

There were numerous wasted selling opportunities in that ad. I would love to get my hands on--and legally download--a copy of that song. I am definitely impressed with Lexus for appreciating the awesomeness that is Nina Simone, yet if I wanted to show that commercial to someone else, I would be unable. Stupid.

I have been saying for a long time, with the advent of DVR, companies will have to start making commercials that are watchable, which means high production quality, and an intriguing storyline that can grab--and keep--a viewer's attention for the 30 seconds, or however long it is on the air. It is not as though people have stopped watching commercials altogether. I definitely stop fast-forwarding the DVR if I see a commercial that catches my eye. Yet I don't because most commercials are horrible. But if there happens to be a commercial that is especially funny or poignant, I will watch it, and watch it again, and again, and most likely make my friends watch this new hilarious ad I saw. Hell, I watched the AllState "Mayhem" commercials until I could recite every line in some of the spots. Those commercials were hilarious."I'm a teenaged girl..." HAHAHA.

 

What marketers must begin to do--and they have begun to realize it now--is to start making commercials that are just as well produced as--if not, better than--the shows that they will be aired during or between. Many companies have realized this. Allstate has a youtube account where they post all of their spots (including the one embedded above). And their commercials are hilarious; there is the rewatchability factor. Hopefully the day will come when commercials will be just as enjoyable to watch as the programs they are sponsoring. But probably not local advertising (those will be eternally doomed to fast-forward-dom). Although not the gem below, a long-running New Orleans staple that has tons of rewatchability:

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