The good, the bad, and the confusing

10/23/2009 at 2:13 PM Leave a comment

CollinWe are always entitled to our own opinion. Advertising, like pretty much anything in life, is something that can be critiqued and analyzed. Ever since I became a part of this industry, I find myself watching advertisements with a more discerning eye. Over my lifetime, I have seen some really good ads, some really bad ones and some that just keep me thinking – in a bad way most of the time, but there have been exceptions. Here are a few examples of recent ads that I have enjoyed, hated and never understood:

The Good – “Laptop Hunters” from Microsoft

I honestly can’t remember any Microsoft advertising in the 90’s and early 00’s, but with Apple increasing its market share, Microsoft had to kick into high gear. After a string of misguided attempts (i.e. the Jerry Seinfeld spots), they finally got it right with the “Laptop Hunters”. A counter-attack to Apple’s “Get a Mac” ads, the “Laptop Hunters” spots were great because of how the messaging was paired with the timing of the economy. Instead of focusing on their systems, Microsoft highlighted how Mac’s are substantially more expensive than PC’s and even hinted that Mac’s were successful only because they were viewed as a fashion statement. In an economy where price and frivolous spending definitely matters, these spots hit the nail on the head. In fact, the “Laptop Hunter spots” were able to drastically hurt the public perception of Apple while simultaneously helping the perception of Microsoft —which really is what advertising is all about.

The Bad – Palm Pre campaign

I don’t think I have met a soul on this earth who enjoyed this campaign. The music is strange, and the copy sounds like it came from a failed haiku writer. But what everyone (including me) seems to hate is the woman featured in the ads— I don’t know if it’s her blank gaze that she doesn’t break once, the horrible writing or the fact that she looks like a cross between that guy from the movie Powder and the witch from Narnia. This woman creeps me out and makes me uncomfortable. The agency responsible stood by their work, saying they meant for the ads to do that and they’re happy that people are talking about it. First off, history has proven multiple times that the “any press is good press” idea isn’t true— just ask O.J. Simpson. Secondly, if the agency meant to get the reaction they have from the ads, then I think they need to canned for sabotaging their client.

The Confusing – Playstation 3’s Baby

There are times in advertising that an agency’s creative department can get a little too creative and release something only Hunter S. Thompson can comprehend. This is one of those ads. I don’t know what just happened, I don’t know what a porcelain doll reverse crying has to do with video games, I just know I’m a little scared of my Playstation at home now.


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