Not The Honda Cog Ad

So Honda did this great ad called 'Cog'. So great in fact that it went right over the heads of the Cannes judges. See the post below for that whole disaster. Well, like any great ad, there's a always some spoofmeister out there ready to pay homage and the 'Cog' spot is not spared this paean of respect.


by Steve Hall    Jun-22-03    

What the Hell Were the Cannes Judges Thinking?

This Ikea commercial from Crispin Porter & Bogusky was awarded the Film Grand Prix last week. Give it a watch. Then watch the Honda Cog spot and the Saturn Sheet Metal spot. How the hell could anyone think this lame spot from IKEA could top Cog or Metal? OK, it's not lame but it is not even close to the brilliance of the other two.

Industry big wigs gushed over the spot though. "Everybody felt very good about the winner," said jury president Dan Wieden. "What it does is it connects with this insight into human nature, that we form irrational attachments to these objects, and then it slaps you for having this attachment. And it solves a business problem that keeps the sector from growing as much as it could, which is that people do form these attachments."

Blah, blah, blah. Boring. Not even amusing. The Cog and Metal spots, by far, do much more to catch your attention, entertain you, and make you think about the product. How is a light sitting on the sidewalk in the rain supposed to make us feel sad? Please! Did anyone feel sad for that lamp? Oh, I guess the judges at Cannes did. So sad, in fact that I guess they gave the award out of pity.

And listen to this blather from an industry big wig. "It's just a very, very fresh idea and a new piece of thinking," said Nick Bell, executive creative director at J. Walter Thompson/London.

Fresh idea? New thinking? Are you high, Nick? Have you even seen the Cog and Metal spots?

Am I the only one that feels this way? Please let me know.

by Steve Hall    Jun-22-03    

A Little 'Gapingvoid' Jab at the Magazine Industry

From Hugh Macleod

by Steve Hall    Jun-22-03    

The "Blanding" of Radio

Walter Kirn, writing in the New York Times Magazine, laments the sad state of radio these days and I can't disagree with him at all.

Recently, I found out whom to blame: a company called Clear Channel Communications. The mammoth buyer and consolidator of hundreds of independent local radio stations -- along with its smaller competitors, Infinity Broadcasting and Cumulus Media -- is body-snatching America's sonic soul, turning Whitman's vivacious democratic cacophony into a monotonous numbing hum.

I was out of the radio buying side of things in my agency career for about 2.5 years and when I returned I was stunned at the consolidation that had occurred. Oh sure, it's very convenient to buy now because you can call two people and reach the whole country! But what kind of leverage is that? Not to mention the incredible "blanding" of programming that passes for good radio. Every station sounds the same now. Carson Daly can pump out "localized" voice overs to hundreds of stations from his apartment in New York.

I thought radio was a local medium. It's really a sad state.

by Steve Hall    Jun-22-03    

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The Return of Pabst Blue Ribbon

What is the perfect beer brand? One with millions of dollars behind it? One with stacked beer babes having pillow fights? No. The perfect beer brand is one that is created by consumers.

For Pabst Blue Ribbon, that is the current incarnation of its brand. PBR was big years ago and had slid into oblivion but is now making a comeback with the Hipster audience and doing so in very interesting ways.

In this New York Times Article, Rob Walker examines how Pabst Blue Ribbon fell from popularity in the 70's to near obscurity and how it is making a very profitable comeback today.

by Steve Hall    Jun-22-03