Converse Grateful For Mindless Sitcoms, Pointless Pageantry

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Continuing its Anomaly-created Disruption campaign launched last month, Converse, in two new spots debuting tonight (Grateful, Pageant), attacks the idiocy of beauty pageants, American Idol, democracy, mindless sitcoms, reality shows and video games. While it seeks to set apart the viewer from the idiocy it highlights and, perhaps by disassociation, elevate the viewer in some way, one has to wonder whether or not calling everyone else an idiot is smart marketing.

For sure, the above-mentioned items are idiotically mindless but in a capitalistic society such as the one in which we live, nothing gets created unless people want it. Even if they are idiotic and mind numbing. As current culture indicates and as Converse points out, perhaps a lot of people are suffering from some form of idiotic mindlessness. Or at least the creators of this so-called mindless stuff are.

While we do like the simple intensity of these two new commercials, it's somewhat overly simplistic to lump everyone except the individual viewer into the categories Converse slams here. While we may dislike the "everyone else is an idiot" approach, we absolutely love the use of no sound (which is intentional) in the spots. That, alone, almost guarantees these commercial decent viewership.

Interpreted from a different angle, these spots aren't so much slamming the rest of the world as they are motivating the person viewing them to get off their ass, go buy some Converse kicks and make their mark on the world lest they end up the loser these allude to. That's a good thing.

Overall, the simple messaging and the power of silence outweigh the possibly society-slamming angle theses ads take and, upon repeat viewing, become more and more powerful and, in our mind, more effective.

by Steve Hall    Dec-17-07   Click to Comment   
Topic: Campaigns, Commercials, Creative Commentary, Good   

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Comments



Comments

I hate this commercial. I was fine with their new ad campaign until I saw the "Pageant" one. It is not a smart strategy because it is hypocritical for them to criticizse the very capitalistic system that they support and survive in. I find no connection between democracy and sneakers and the very idea that buying a pair of their shoes would in some way fix the current apathetic attitude that is the problem in this country annoys me. I was interested in the commercial when it began and I thought it had something valuable to say. When I realized that it was created, paid for and meant to promote a SHOE I became angry enough to go online and voice my opinions.

Posted by: Carolyn on December 17, 2007 11:17 PM

I hate this commercial. I was fine with their new ad campaign until I saw the "Pageant" one. It is not a smart strategy because it is hypocritical for them to criticizse the very capitalistic system that they support and survive in. I find no connection between democracy and sneakers and the very idea that buying a pair of their shoes would in some way fix the current apathetic attitude that is the problem in this country annoys me. I was interested in the commercial when it began and I thought it had something valuable to say. When I realized that it was created, paid for and meant to promote a SHOE I became angry enough to go online and voice my opinions.

Posted by: Carolyn on December 17, 2007 11:18 PM

Relax, Carolyn. It's just an ad.

Posted by: baldmonkey on December 18, 2007 9:23 AM

Which means what baldmonkey? That it's harmless because of advertisements' proven inability to persuade? We know that's not true.

Posted by: rattan on December 18, 2007 11:14 AM

You know what's interesting about this?

It's good creative.

If it runs on TV, which I very seriously doubt will happen. But if it DOES run on TV, it's good. Because it's so much different than everything else.

On TV.

If it stays online, it's a total failure.

For all the press Byrne's Converse work has got, the numbers break down like this:

Anomaly's Converse YouTube Channel:

Nine people subscribe to it.

NINE.

How many people are employed at the agency? Hey Mike, how's about getting your tattoo-artist documentarian coworkers to spike the numbers into the double digits?

The f'ing "three chords" "viral"? 9600 views. Total.

And that's the channel's biggest success.

How much did Anomaly spend for the online rights to a Marley song? And for what?

But hey. It's only a failure if we don't LEARN something. Hopefully the learning happens on the agency side faster than the client side.

For the record, I have no personal bone to pick with Anomaly. But if you PR yourself and your agency like second Jesus, expect this.

Also for the record. At least you don't PR yourself like you're first Jesus.

That's Greenberg and Droga.

Posted by: VoxUnpopuli on December 19, 2007 2:56 AM

Vox,

The spots are on TV. The broke last night on MTV, VH-1, CW and Comedy Central

Posted by: Steve Hall on December 19, 2007 9:40 AM

Hey Vox. I don't think Three Chords was a viral. I've seen all of the spots on TV.

Posted by: WarmComm on December 19, 2007 12:09 PM

Hey Vox. I don't think Three Chords was a viral. I've seen all of the spots on TV.

Posted by: WarmComm on December 19, 2007 12:12 PM

Well. There you go.

It's a good spot.

Posted by: VoxUnpopuli on December 19, 2007 12:55 PM

Eh. It's okay. I'm not wowed. Could've been way better, but then again, Anomaly is not my fave creative agency.

Posted by: sofia on December 24, 2007 12:00 AM

Eh. It's okay. I'm not wowed. Could've been way better, but then again, Anomaly is not my fave creative agency.

Posted by: sofia on December 24, 2007 12:00 AM

I really liked the Pageant commercial. I saw it while I was watching Crowned on the CW. It shocked me to see it played during that show and made me question why I was wasting my life away on the couch.

It did not, however, make me want to buy sneakers.

Posted by: Mike on January 11, 2008 10:41 AM

Connverse actually appropriated the work of an artist named lauren woods who worked with the concept of a "beauty queen/pageant" and reedited and recontextualized beauty pageants including the footage that they used in this particular ad. I first started seeing this work in 2005-2006. Her approach is very thoughtful. If you are able to see her work and then look at the ad again you will know what i am talking about.

Posted by: m. e. pleasant on February 4, 2008 3:07 AM





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