In part 1, we took a look at some ‘different’ television commercials that shrugged aside the usual boundaries limiting creativity in regular advertising. In part 2, we’ll continue to look at some outstanding adverts and analyse these from both an artistic and commercial view.
TV or Internet?
Essentially, the adverts that go out of their way to be different intend to ‘wow’ their viewers in their limited time slot. They have to make up for the lack of regular advertising techniques by creating something memorable that may possibly go viral online. As such, for this form of advertising, creativity is paramount.
For television advertisers in this modern day, there is a greater reward for airing outrageous commercials. This is primarily thanks to the Internet. Spreading a message online has proved to be more effective than the medium of TV, yet few advertisers with large budgets would reject the (still exceptionally broad) audience a prime time slot can offer. Therefore, an advert that can impress a TV audience AND the online masses has astonishing potential to raise company profits. Rather predictably, money talks in this situation and it is still the bigger companies that can produce adverts such as those I showed you in part 1. In addition to the extra budget required to produce and air longer adverts, such companies already have a well-known reputation throughout the world, and so can also afford the higher risk strategies. This opens up many unique possibilities, and one such company known for taking advantage of these, is Cadbury.
This advert is one of the most famous adverts on television and online. The beauty of YouTube allowed this commercial to spread through the world like wildfire, accumulating millions of views. What is almost forgotten is the fact that it is still just an advertisement.
Taking a closer look at the advert makes it even more baffling to deduce why this became such a big success. What actually is it? The first minute or so of a Phil Collins song, while the camera pans around a gorilla playing the drums on an unspectacular set. If I had pitched that idea to most companies, I would have probably lost my job. Yet for some reason, this advert works. There is no fancy camera work. There are no special effects. It is clearly just a man in a suit; there is no pretence.
Let’s take a look at another of Cadbury’s successful commercials:
Once again, there appears to be nothing amazing about this advert. From the perspective of a regular advertiser, this leaves many vital boxes unticked. It is quite lengthy and there is no immediate mention of any product, offer or slogan. It’s weird, unique and unusual, but most importantly, it’s memorable.
Why are these adverts successful?
With no stunning visual effects or a staggeringly good storyline, this question initially seems to be very difficult to answer. However, part of its success is down to its simplicity. It bucks the trend and snaps the stereotypes. It is so ridiculous, yet incredibly catchy that it’s almost impossible to forget. Coupled with with the big name brand that shows up at the very end and you immediately refer to it as the ‘Cadbury advert’. Suddenly you’re talking about the ‘Cadbury advert’ with your friends, sharing it on social networks and before too long it is recognised worldwide. Simply because it is unexpectedly different, yet also contains a certain ‘feel-good’ factor, generated through the way the shots have been directed with the music.
Here is one more of their delights:
So can advertising really be art?
Memorable adverts are invariably few and far between, but a combination of some unique ideas, careful directing and a ‘funky’ soundtrack is the ideal recipe for success. All of this comes at a price and with great risk, which is probably why we see so few really ‘entertaining’ adverts. Currently, it is very much a hero or zero strategy; if all goes well your advert could become famous worldwide, but if the public don’t like it, it risks a company’s reputation.