Michael Lee had a splendid piece a few days ago… “Why some of the best ads just show what the product does.” In which he sang the praises of advertising based on demonstrating to the consumer just what the hell the product actually does. Amongst the examples of ads that did this, he includes the VW ‘Snow Plow.’ In my humble opinion, a classic that puts 99 per cent of today’s rubbish to shame.
However, moving on… I was reminded of the time I was at an Ad Age conference in New York during which various agencies and their clients made presentations extolling the virtues of their most recent work. One of them was GE and their agency BBDO, which had recently launched their ‘Imagination at Work’ campaign with lots of obviously very expensive spots showing situations throughout history that could have been improved with GE technology.
One showed the Wright Brothers taking off from Kitty Hawk and as the balsa wood and string contraption got fifty feet up it developed massive GE jet engines and zoomed into the clouds. Very impressive, obviously, very expensive.
The presenters said that after spending a couple of hundred million dollars, consumer awareness was up. Which is one of those vaporous, non-quantifiable claims the adverati love to chuck about, particularly at conferences and new business presentations.
Next up was a guy from a company called Blendtec, a Utah outfit run by Mormons which manufactures the high powered blenders you see in trendy cocktail lounges mashing up mangos, beriberi fruit and high priced vodka for your $30 libation. Yes, figure that particular dichotomy out for yourselves. (Hint: Booze: Mormon.) So, Mr. Blendtec does a live demo in which he blends a six foot garden rake, a concrete block, and a Blackberry someone in the audience (obviously a plant) had offered up.
Then Mr. Blendtec shows us that for the last umpteen years they have been running videos on YouTube titled ‘Will It Blend’ demonstrating how their sinful machine can mash up anything. They shoot the videos in-house for five bucks, then get millions of views… and sales spike significantly every time they run a new video.
Currently, they have blended a brand new Apple Watch (below)…and are looking forward to blending the forthcoming Apple Car. Now that’s a product demo I will really enjoy!