I love the creativity in marketing. I write about marketing often on my blog. I believe that marketing done well is an art (even though I know an argument can be made that it is somewhat science, based on market analysis and known quantities that can be pandered to and easily manipulated).
Marketing is a huge industry. The cost of conceiving a campaign, pulling it together (whether that means in a print ad, commercial, display, whatever…), and buying the space and/or time to get it out to the audience is a multi-billion dollar industry. It is also a brutal industry – even if you are an artist (or a scientist) - the public are a fickle lot. With a decreasing national attention span, DVRs that allow you to fast forward through commercial air time, and an internet that is based more on speed and volume than the ability to find quality items to linger over, the creation of effective marketing schemes has become much more difficult.
I see advertising everywhere, but I no longer get to see a lot of television commercials. We have a DVR and sitting through television shows that are even 20 minutes long without commercials often takes about as much attention as I can muster…I have to fast forward through the commercials (well, I do stop for some – like the Sundrop dancing guy - I love that commercial…partially because of the dancing and partially because Cheyenne finds it utterly disturbing that I like it).
Last night, Cheyenne, Mike and I watched the Hallmark movie about Space Camp (A Smile as Big as the Moon) and we watched all the commercials because it was a rare visit for us to the Hallmark channel and Cheyenne wanted to catch every single one of the Hallmark heartfelt commercials. Goodness gracious, I do believe Hallmark and Kleenex are in cahoots – is there ever a Hallmark movie or even a stretch of Hallmark commercials that does not require a tissue or two? The movie, by the way, was very touching and based on a true story regarding a special education class that went to Space Camp. It delivered a great message about inclusion, opportunity and perserverance and I would recommend it for family viewing (with Kleenex close by of course).
I do have a new favorite commercial that I want to share with you – a commercial that comes out of Crystal Light’s new marketing campaign. The Crystal Light commercial features two overworked business women on a plane – one who is drinking Crystal Light as part of a diet strategy because bikini season is coming up. Her friend asks her when, given their schedules, they will find themselves sitting on the beach. Cut to the next scene where the two bewildered women are sitting on the beach after their plane crashed. They are approached by a hunk of a man with his shirt unbuttoned who needs help looking for water. The Crystal Light drinker volunteers to help and walks off with the hunk.
30 seconds and Crystal Light has been able to tie itself in viewers’ minds from the realities of an overworked woman’s busy life to a Harlequin Romance-esque adventure filled with the potentiality of some hot deserted island sex. A powdered drink mix people, that is what they are selling. This commercial ranks right up there for me with the Lindt commercial featuring tennis player Roger Federer in the airport with his chocolate balls. I simply must applaud creative genius when I see it.
Today is the Super Bowl – a football match-up that determines the national champion; but, it is also the Super Bowl of marketing efforts with some of the most expensive advertisement time on television being offered. Many companies choose the Super Bowl to roll out their new marketing campaigns. The marketing rolled out today tends to be much bolder and ambitious that the average marketing campaigns. So hyped are the expectations that many folks just watch the Super Bowl for the commercials.
Not me…at least not just for the commercials…at least not anymore. These days all the commercials hit the internet shortly after they air on the Super Bowl. It makes more sense to me to catch them at my leisure if they sound interesting (make no mistake – the commercials receive as much buzz as the football game – if not more). I guess in practice my approach is similar to my DVR fast forward. It takes an awful lot to get me to stop and watch even 30 seconds of commercial advertisement.
But here’s the thing – once you have me, I’ll stop every single time for my favorite commercials. Will I buy the product – Sundrop, Lindt Truffles, Crystal Light, etc? No, probably not – I am not as easily manipulated as I used to be by this stuff; but, I will stand back and watch it as the art it is.
Day nine hundred and forty-four of the new forty – obla di obla da