Archive for May, 2013

That’s Entertainment. . . Not Advertising

May 19th, 2013

Don’t you just love that State Farm TV campaign where the young man interviews several cute and funny kids?

Me too. . . . except that it’s not a State Farm campaign; it’s an AT&T campaign.

This is just the latest example of clever, humorous entertainment that many people–including advertisers and the ad agencies–mistake for effective advertising.

In this case, there’s absolutely no reference to the brand or the benefits it provides until the commercial is three-quarters complete.  Even then, you hear the AT&T name a grand total of one time as part of a rapid-fire voiceover that is virtually indiscernible.  This campaign doesn’t sell; it merely entertains.  And it does a marvelous job of entertaining.  The campaign is brilliantly cast; the guy is dryly hysterical, and every one of the kids is very cute, charming and funny.  But while the campaign is doing viewers a favor by providing free entertainment, it’s doing AT&T no favors.

This is what happens when ads are written by people who would rather be working on a sitcom than on an ad campaign.  (To be fair, I don’t know for a fact that this is the case with this campaign, but it certainly fits an all-too-common pattern.)

And frankly, if the people who created this campaign were to ever develop a sitcom, I’d want to see it.

I just wouldn’t want to see them doing my advertising.