You know you’re a 52-year-old ad man if, when watching the Billboard Music Awards you find yourself responding with greater enthusiasm for the commercials than red carpet appearances by Zendaya, Lukas Graham, Wiz Khalifa, and Ciara. Of course, I might get excited if I had any idea who these people are. I mean, I have known some of the corporate sponsors my entire life while these pop stars are younger than most of my neckties.
With that said, I may be out of touch with the pop stars of today, but I can watch a live television broadcast while following properly hash tagged tweets on my smartphone just as well as Shawn Mendes or Meghan Trainor – #MultiTaskingOldMan. Which is the only reason I watch live TV events – to get the nation’s immediate reaction to iconic pop culture milestones. Why wasn’t this a thing during Janet Jackson’s wardrobe malfunction of the 2004 Super Bowl? #IThinkISawANipple
But I digress. So, because I was watching a live television broadcast, I was exposed to something I rarely see any more, TV commercials. The first spot that caught my attention was from Delta. In sharp contrast to clichéd airline spots which focus on the journey from within comfy airline cabins staffed with smiling flight attendants and void of screaming babies, this intensely dramatic spot featured unique and sometimes ominous destinations. The spot ends with Donald Sutherland’s commanding voice stating: …with a mighty roar, that tells the world…we’re coming for you.” Upon hearing this, I looked up from my phone and smiled broadly. As an avid traveler, I immediately thought of exotic locations I have visited and destinations I hope to visit soon.
My wanderlust was quickly squashed when the next commercial came on. It too focused on going. However, its destination was much less inspired. No, make that simply insipid. The Charmin family of bears carried on about life being full of pleasures – including going to the bathroom, especially if you use the right toilet paper. The spot ended with a voiceover stating: We all go. Why not enjoy the go? #BecauseIHaveALife #BecauseOtherPeopleNeedTheBathroom #IsMyToiletPaperBroken?
Oddly enough, a third spot with a “go” theme followed, and I was relieved that it returned my focus to travel – and not just an enjoyable daytrip to the john. Airbnb is now encouraging people: Don’t go to Paris. Don’t tour Paris. But live in Paris. The spot encourages its audience to travel “outside the box” and truly experience the places you visit rather than accept pre-packaged homogenized sites and tours. Wherever you go. Don’t go there. Live there. A smile quickly returned to my face as I began counting the days until my next vacation and wondering where I might go and what adventures I might experience.
Is your brand messaging inspiring or insulting? Cliché? Forgettable? Contact Electrum Branding for a compellling brand message that differentiates you from the competition and inspires your audience to take action.