It's Called Strategic Communications Now

Advertising- some of it we like, some we don't. For some reason, beer commercials are the funniest, while local car dealer ads are among the most nauseous. GEICO splits the line with annoying ads, like the "Hey, but there's good news" line, and great ideas, like the Caveman campaign or having celebrities talk about real customer's claims (the best is the movie trailer voice-over guy).

UPDATE: Having watched some of the "Hey, there's good news" ads on YouTube, I've changed my mind- most of them are actually pretty amusing.

But a few campaigns have caught my eye (or ears) recently, and I'd like to take this opportunity to expound.

First, two ad campaigns that get on my nerves:

Dancing Robot/Alien/Shadow People (click here for visual)

Not a lot to say here, except that I'm really tired of dancing aliens or robots or silouhettes popping up on my screen, telling me about some mortgage discount thing that probably doesn't even work that well. That's about it.


You all remember the scene in "Christmas Story," when Ralphie finally gets his awesome decoder ring, only to find that the decoded message, which he had agonized months over and had ached to reveal, said, "Be sure to drink your Ovaltine." It's a classic piece of cinema. And yet, here we are, 24 years later, and we're still being bombarded by Ovaltine's archaic ad campaigns.

I usually hear them driving home from KRCG, on KFRU- Columbia's talk radio station. It's a great station, except when they play these commercials.

The thing is, they sound like they were written 80 years ago (and probably were). Two things in particular:

1) Kids would never get this excited about Ovaltine. They don't get this excited over Gatorade or Coke or Red Bull (unless they are hyperactive and relish driving their parents crazy). No one ever gets this excited over a beverage, unless it's Tamara or Emily craving a Sonic or lame college freshmen looking forward to a Thursday night filled with "Natty Light" and Jager Bombs.

Plus, no one in their right mind wants to drink Ovaltine after a workout. It's thick and not refreshing and...BLECH! Give me water anytime.

2) Nobody talks like the kids or parents do. I know it's advertising, but people REALLY don't talk like that. Sure it's radio, but who says the word "Ovaltine" in every sentence once it's been mentioned? That's why God invented pronouns, like "it." And usually parents don't give a crap about vitamins and minerals, as long as it shuts the kids up.

Sunny Delight has similar problems.

Now, to an ad campaign which has brought tears or joy and laughter, smiles, and warm hearts to the world:

Bud Light's Real Men of Genius (or Real American Heroes)

Classic Americana, that's all I can say. There are video versions of a few, like Mr. Way Too Much Cologne Wearer, but the best of the best are on the radio. You can catch them during Cardinals games, or randomly on music stations.

Here's a link to all the commercials- I'm not sure if they all still work (or if any of them do), but it's worth the effort if they do work.

Here's another one I just found that has all the MP3 files for the commercials. It's worth wasting 15 minutes just to listen to a few of them.

And for kicks, here's a pic (courtesy of of the voices behind "Real Men of Genius," a great ad campaign made by real men of genius.
Happy Listening!


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