Category Archives: Advertising
The video below looks a great deal better on the big screen, which is where I saw it last weekend. Nevertheless, it’s still good in the smaller format. As an example of letting your fans do your work for you, it’s superb. It’s also a great example of how to form a bond with your clients, to make them feel all warm and fuzzy as well as reaching out to prospective travellers and making them want to pack and take a plane and head for your shores that instant.
What did the Canadian Tourist Board do? Just asked Canadians to send in their videos. Which they did – 65 hours of it, of which this commercial spans two short minutes. Great minutes – not simply showing the beauty of the country, something we know about, but demonstrating what it’s like to be there. It will have taken some time to edit all that footage, of course, but that would have cost a fraction of the amount needed to create a commercial from scratch. It might have been the cheaper option but this film is far from cheap. It’s clever, intelligent and engaging and fun.
Maybe it did cost 4 million pounds to make. It could have been 5 million as far as I’m concerned. Much better to spend that sort of money on this stunningly gorgeous film than on a banker’s bonus. I watched it a week ago at the Islington Vue and again the following day. Going to the movies on a weekend morning is one of my great pleasures. Especially as, unless you are very unlucky, there’s no one else there. I do love a sparsely populated cinema. But I digress.
Watching this commercial made me think of others that stand out from the crowd. Like the Smirnoff ads, made during the eighties and nineties. A whole series, press ads as well as TV, presented beautiful and often strange images through the prism of the iconic Smirnoff bottle. There have been many other imaginative and creative ads – some action packed, others crazy or witty. Commercials such as Gap’s ‘Pardon Our Dust’, Sony Bravia’s ‘Bouncing Balls’ or ‘The Chase’ made for Levi 501s by David Fincher. And one of my favourites of all time Vauxhall Corsa’s ‘Hide and Seek’, which inspired many similar commercials. Relatively few, however, come anywhere near L’Odyssée.
Honda’s commercials have been especially impressive and ground breaking. Garrison Keillor’s throaty voice helps too, although they’ve had the intelligence to use it sparingly for the most part. There are of course some exceptions, such as ‘Grrr’ where the whole point was the song. There is no voiceover at all in the sensational ‘Cog’ except for the wonderful line at the very end ‘Isn’t it nice when things just work.’ And although the latest offering ‘Spark’ has rather more, they are again not only perfect but used judiciously.
In its 165-year history, Cartier has created many memorable commercials – ‘Winter Tale’, ‘Calibre’ and ‘Promenade d’un Panthere’ – to name just a few. Of course the famous Cartier panther is actually a leopard. But that’s an observation, not a criticism. I can find no fault with this surreal, spectacular and elegant film, which runs for a full three and a half minutes, a minute longer than Honda’s cog. From the original score by Pierre Adenot and its classic and exotic imagery to the palette of subtle colours it simply oozes class.