Thursday, December 31, 2015

Robitussin “What If You Could See Your Cough” Ad

In this spot for Robitussin cough syrup, we see a man in a car with his family, and as he coughs, the announcer says: “What if you could see your cough?” (Or I think that’s what they said, anyway: I can’t find this ad online yet.) Then we see his cough spill through the car’s interior as a blue animated cloud, disgusting everyone.

This is a great callback to one of the great ads of all time. I think it was for Scope mouthwash, and it asked: “What if you could see bad breath?” Then we see someone say: “Hi!” or something like that, and this big greenish-brown cloud came forth from his mouth, disgusting everyone.

This was one of the most memorable ads from my childhood. That I cannot find this online to show you amazes me. I could find the Clagon “Spotmaker” ad, so why not this one?

Anyway, nice job on the callback of a great ad from yesteryear. The concept is still fun, even if nobody remembers it anymore.

(Like I said, I can’t seem to find this Robitussin ad online yet. But watch football if you want to see it.)

BTW: When I was a kid growing up, I lived in Massachusetts, and it was freezing cold all the time, with our breath visible all the time. So we used to go to school and make fun of this ad, breathing our steam breath and laughing. I'm sure none of us will ever forget it.

Football Programming Hosts

When I was a little kid, it was all men talking about football and interviewing players and coaches on TV. Now there are lots of beautiful women interviewing players and coaches and such on TV, like Tracy Wolfson. (I love her. I’m so mad she’s not doing college football anymore.)

But married men actually get in trouble with their wives for watching TV when pretty women are onscreen. So how about an ESPNM (for: “Married”) and an ESPNS (for: “Single”), where the one for married men would have all old men talking about football, and the one for single men would have all beautiful women talking about football.

How many marriages will be saved and how many single men will be made happy with such an arrangement? Correctness be damned: shouldn’t marriages be saved and young men be happy? I ask you.

Rocket Mortgage Blastoff Ad

We see a rocket blasting off in close-up, and it just goes on forever, like the rocket is a mile long. Then they ask us if we like rockets. Then they ask if we like rocket mortgages.

Okay, let me think about this. Lots of rockets explode. Maybe not the best mortgage. Also, rockets go very high up: does that mean a Rocket Mortgage’s APR will skyrocket like a real rocket? We just saw a rocket blast off in the ad: is that what they meant about their rates: they will just keep going up and up and up?

Thanks, I will stay with a bank mortgage for now. Not that I trust them, but given the imagery in this ad, maybe it’s the best bet? (Are these payday loan people starting a mortgage company and just being honest by accident about their policy? I don’t know. But it looks like it, based upon the messaging. My apologies if they are not, by the way. But that’s what this ad’s messaging says to me.)

Here’s the spacey spot:

Bottled Water Laptop Ad (Proposed)

Everyone loves to bash bottled water due to plastic, and because of fun facts like how many times we can circle the Earth with plastic bottles. But there are good things bottled water can provide, besides just water.

I just saw an ad for, um, what was it? Wait; let me look. It was for Charter Spectrum. (I have that, by the way, and would recommend it.) Another great ad that had me not remember what the product was immediately after I saw it.

So anyway, in this ad, some guy imagines his life, I think as what it’s not, and he sees a child he doesn’t have pour his cereal bowl into his laptop, and then he pours the milk out of it.

I never really thought about this as being an ad concept before seeing this one, but I always drink water out of a plastic water bottle next to my computer for just this reason. I remember a friend of mine spilling coffee into his, and it was ruined forever. So I use a bottle: I open the top, take a sip, close the cap again, and I put the bottle down. And it seems to me that this would make a great ad for bottled water. Environmentalists hate it so much, but would they prefer a ruined laptop?

Just show someone doing what I do, and then show someone with a glass of water and spilling it, ruining their laptop. Message sent.

2015 Nissan Rogue Evil Snowmen Ad

Yet another car commercial during football. This is another wonderfully well-intentioned ad that doesn’t quite hit the mark. (Sorry, guys.)

This ad is great, but not for a Nissan Rogue. It would have been a perfect ad for an antifreeze, but not for a car. But without the right antifreeze, evil snowmen can ruin any car’s performance. I doubt the Nissan Rogue SUV performs better in the cold than any other car. (Oh, oops: I considered facts? Sorry. Advertising creativity is wonderful, but if it makes us think of the wrong things, then it doesn’t work. Sorry. I recognize great creativity, but if it doesn’t serve the product honestly and send the right message, then it doesn’t work. Sometime I wonder if ad creatives make ads that don’t work hoping to get hired by products it would work for. I wonder how often that happens, and if it ever works.)

It is interesting that they say it’s the: “all new Nissan Rogue” for a 2015 model. Didn’t they sell enough of them? Everyone else is advertising the 2016 models now.

I wonder when I will see an ad with the Game of Thrones: “Winter is Coming” thing. Maybe I missed it already?

Here’s the snowy spot (Great ad, but not for this product, again. {It happens all the time…}):

Chick-fil-A “Stayin’ Alive” Ad

We all know the Chick-fil-A ads, where the cows want us to: “Eet Mor Chikin”, or whatever they say. Well this is the best of them all, in my opinion, with a slight modification.

A cow walks down a street in a city, carrying in its mouth a boombox with the Bee Gees’ song: “Stayin’ Alive” playing on it. Wow, that’s great! I wish I had thought of it.

But I think what should have come next was the cow holding up a sign saying: “If You Eat Mor Chikin, I’m Stayin’ Alive!” Then we should have heard the Bee Gees singing: “I’m staying alive!” (We never hear them sing at all in this spot. What a waste!)

That would have been perfect with this ad campaign, in my opinion. (What they say is: “U Eat Chikin We Feel Gud.” Not as ‘gud’, I don’t think. The song is called: “Stayin’ Alive.” They should use the title in the ad dialogue, as it’s perfect for this concept, and because not everyone knows it. I do, but I’m middle age, so of course I would, wouldn’t I? But I am not the target demographic anymore. {By the way, I think the advertising target demographic is off nowadays, but that is another issue for another time, and not on this post.})

Great ad otherwise, I’d say. Fun, silly, nice music: what else can you ask for? I hope they make the change. It would not be the first time a blog post of mine altered an ad.

Here’s the spot that’s stayin’ alive despite my criticism:

2016 Nissan Altima Stand Out Ad

Okay, here we have a car commercial that has exactly the same problem as the one I just wrote about: the Honda Accord. This is a great ad, but not for this car.

The ad talks about how you never fit in, never wanted to go with the grain, etc., because you liked to stand out. And we see people growing up being different, etc. And then they say that’s why you’re going to buy a run of the mill Japanese sedan? Um, I doubt it, unless they show how you can’t afford something else.

Great ad, but for another car. I seriously doubt anyone ever declared their difference from others by buying a Nissan. The Altima is a nice family car, but it’s not rebellion incarnate. Nice try with this ad: slick, stylish, great concept, nice execution, but not for that car. Sorry: just being honest.

Here’s the stand-outy spot:

Honda Accord Dreams Ad

We see a little boy playing with toy racing cars, and then we see him, I guess, imagining his father washing a Formula 1 racecar. Then we see the same kid growing older and playing with toy cars and imagining driving them, etc. And then we see him, as an adult, get out of some lame car after what I imagine to be an hour of hell in gridlock (I live in LA and am from NYC, so I understand about traffic), and he sees a Honda Accord, and they say to keep the dream alive.

Really, with a Honda Accord we will keep the racing car dreams alive?

The Honda Accord is a good car: an affordable family sedan. It is not a race car.

This would have made a way better ad for a Dodge Challenger or maybe a Corvette.

Look, advertisers: we know when you are lying to us. So don’t do it. It’s a waste of our time and your client’s money. But it’s just a suggestion; obviously you can do as you like, if you can get it approved.

Here’s the dreamy spot:

BTW: This is a great ad: it's wonderfully conceived and beautifully shot; it's just not a great ad for a Honda Accord. I have known many people over the years who have owned Honda Accords: they are great cars, they are affordable, and they have low maintenance costs associated with them: terrific! But they are not fast cars, and they most certainly are not what kids grow up dreaming about as a fantasy car. The Honda Accord ads should be more like the Suburu ads: family stuff. That's who is going to buy these cars. We all know the Suburu ads, like with the thirty something mom looking at her beautiful daughter, and her daughter saying: "What? What?" Everyone my age knows that feeling. What a great ad!