Commercials: The Good, The Bad and the Ugly - Feb 10

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Dating back to my B-School days, I love commercials. It's a fascinating Science.

The Good:

Nextel - Dance Party

As with a TV show or movie, characters make the difference. Here, what plot there is is simple, and the message is simple, clear and memorable. The characters working it (and they are working it baybee!!) locks the viewer in. It also helps to be recognized. It is common knowledge that Nextel is the carrier sporting a walkie-talkie feature. So, they can concentrate on showing a tangible benefit of that feature, interwoven with non-distracting entertainment.

The Bad:

Ameriquest - That Killed Him

After investing a lot of setup time, the "punchline" is a letdown. But Ameriquest has a bigger problem - they don't have the recognition that Nextel enjoys. Nothing wrong with that, except when you let a stupid joke muscle your brand and message right out of the commercial. This was a Super Bowl ad, which means they paid buku bucks to run it. Half of America probably came away thinking it was an AmeriTRADE spot.

The Ugly:

Kellogg's Smart Start

Would it be possible to find two less-appealing, more-annoying people in the world? Not likely. I'll give Kellogg's credit though - it is easy to believe that these two are kin. The girl is every bit as dense and spirit-less as her "mom." By the way, mom, if you must talk (and really, let me suggest that less, much, much less is more), don't do it with a mouthful of cereal!


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