Monday, June 09, 2014

Those Ads You Have A Strong Opinion About... Have You Actually Seen Them?

It's very common for people to pretend to have read books, when in fact they haven't.

Apparently this is particularly true of the classics, such as Moby-Dick, Catch-22, and 1984.

Part of this is shame - people just don't want to admit they haven't read them. But I reckon part of it is that they just don't feel they need to. Even people who haven't read Moby-Dick know that it's about Captain Ahab's obsession with catching a white whale -  a story of compulsion on the high seas. People probably feel they've 'got the idea' so they don't need to invest the time in actually reading it.

And looking at the Leo Burnett Cannes predictions, which came out this week, made me wonder... are a lot of us doing the same with ads now?

You see, I found myself having quite strong opinions about which ideas deserved to win... even ones I suddenly realised that I hadn't actually watched.

The ad industry is well-served with trade magazines and websites. So what happens nowadays is that we read about a new TV ad, or activation, or social media idea, in a neat package: headline, a few lines of description about the project, and an accompanying screenshot. My question is - once you've digested these, do you then actually click through and watch the film? Or do you feel you don't need to, because you've 'got the idea'?

Take this quick test.

Here are five examples of an ad, activation, or social media idea - all of them (in my opinion) great ideas, and all hotly tipped to win at Cannes. I guarantee that you 'know the idea' for all of them. And probably have strong opinions about them.

But please tell me - just for research - how many of the 5 have you actually watched?

And if you haven't, does it matter?

1 Cancer Council Australia "I Touch Myself - Breast Cancer Anthem" From JWT / Sydney 


2 Virgin Mobile "Game of Phones" From Havas Worldwide & One Green Bean

3  Australia Post "Video Stamp" From Clemenger BBDO

4  7-Eleven - Slurpee "The Xpandinator" From Leo Burnett / Melbourne

5  RAC Insurance "Attention Powered Car" From JWT / Sydney


Derek said...

I agree Simon. Found myself rushing through the LB prediction reel, and Donald Gunn's Gunn Report prediction sweepstakes, as worked with both, when Donald was actually putting the prediction reel together at Leo Burnett. Found myself having to stop several times and actually look at some of the spots or content for the first time. Of the pieces you predict as contenders here. I must confess I have only seen the 'Touch Myself' piece. So excuse me while I have a decent look at these others.

Anonymous said...

Nice post. And here lies one of the problems with award shows. In a bid to judge all the work submitted, success can easily be dependent on how familiar a (foreign) juror is with the work. 'Have they seen it?' versus 'Have they heard about it?'
Enter the role of the campaign PR and the case study.

Red said...

At award school you get taught to nail the idea in one sentence and stick it at the top of your A3 page. If you can do that, the tutors say, the campaign will simply fall into place. Maybe this is to make it easy for the judges to flick through all of the work and get to the bar before the tab is out, or maybe it's because a good idea is a simple one. I get all of these ideas by the title of the video, but I only watch the ones that sound new or interesting. Surely that should count for something in the awards.

Anonymous said...

I've watched 1 and 3. I refuse to watch the others.

J-Alice HOFLER said...

Admit, even though a TV addict, have not seen any of them. Now ask me how much I hate the NRMA country fencer ad with all its non sequiturs. Besides too many 'mates' in dialogue, would there be mobile phone reception out there, how is ute owner to get back to civilisation, and with tools and star pickets and wire in ute, what is he to do in meantime?