10 Feb

Nitpicking: ‘Best Advert Ever’?

Hmmm, I often seem to be going against popular opinion: pushing firmly in the opposite direction of the zeitgeist. Perhaps I should start listening to the voice that says ‘maybe everyone else is right, and you’re wrong’?
Or maybe I should carry on being a stubborn sod…

I watched several friends post the latest Budweiser (Bud Light) Superbowl offering on social media, last night, heralded under the banner: ‘the best advert ever’.

Problem is, I never see statements like that as ‘fact’, I merely see them as a challenge: is it really ‘the best advert ever’ or has one overexuberant fan posted it under such banner and had it passed around? Worse still, is it a self-proclaimed title from the client themselves??

Well, here’s the ‘best advert ever’:

…and here’s why I disagree with that title… quite a bit:

I’d actually like to offer up faint praise, first, by saying that the endline – ‘The perfect beer for whatever happens’ – is quite a good one. It’s hard to pin down a line for a product as generic as bottled lager.
However, the endline bolted to the idea itself, reeks of ‘Carslberg don’t do flatmates/pub teams/dreams, but if they did they’d probably be the best in the world’.
Think about it: the Bud Light guy (Ian) gets whisked away in a limo with a DJ,  goes to a party where – lo and behold – all of the girls just happen to be beautiful, identical twins, then he plays ping pong with Arnie etc.

Something else that bugged me (and being a natural cynic I’m always suspicious when someone needs to be marked out as ‘not an actor’) is Ian’s reaction to Don Cheadle, in the lift (sorry, elevator).
If I were next to Don Cheadle, in that scenario, I’d be pretty surprised – maybe even a little shaky – but I’m not sure I could steam in with: ‘Hey! Don! How are you? Nice to see you’.
Maybe Ian’s just an incredibly confident guy, not phased by these things…

My main bugbear, though, is this:
couldn’t any brand, with an almost limitless budget,  pay for a nearly-4-minute ad break during Superbowl,  and just throw in Arnold Schwartzenegger, Don Cheadle, (or any other high-grossing actor/actress at a loose end), OneRepublic, hire a limo, etc?
Think about it: take Arnie, Don Cheadle, Minka Kelly, OneRepublic (and anyone else who cost millions of dollars to hire) away from the idea and what are you left with?

If you follow football/soccer, it’s a bit like Manchester City winning the Premier League just by having the luck to have billionaire owners, who can buy the best, ready-made, multi-million pound players on the planet. Who wouldn’t have a fantastic football team by doing that?

My point is, where’s the skill gone of arriving at a great creative idea which can be made without spending millions of pounds/dollars, and dumping ‘star names’ in it?
A great idea should shine through without all the additional bells and whistles. It’s easy to throw money at something.

What of ads like this, for John West Tuna? Great idea, simple benefit, cost 0.001% of that spent on the Bud Light ad (maybe), even in today’s money.

Or, more recently, there was this for Cadbury’s. I’m sure production didn’t cost nuppence, but the main ‘stars’ were two, previously unknown, children and the key props were string and selotape.

How about an idea such as Movember, to highlight awareness of Prostate Cancer? Granted, raising awareness of the idea itself can’t have been free, but the basic premise is getting men to grow something on their face, that naturally appears there, free of charge.
It allows men to raise funds while looking ridiculous for a month: what’s not to like?

Orrrr….. if you absolutely have to just chuck loads of money at a creative idea, at least make it something that no-one else can do or that’s never been done before.
I leave you with the entire Lego ad break, which ran last night:

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