Good Ad, Bad Ad.
Discussing commercials currently on air
I’m an absolute believer that the best commercials have humor or elicit a particular emotion. Fear and motivation work best. There is plenty of research out there backing this up. But, how is a 30 or 60 second commercial going to capture my attention? The average attention span is roughly 8 seconds, less than half of a 30 second commercial. This is a tough challenge for advertisers.
I’ve previously wrote about my thoughts on ads here. But today, I’m going to give you 2 examples of ads currently running — one good, one bad.
McDonald’s: ‘Nothing Comes Before Coffee: Mom’
All mom’s immediately drove to the nearest McDonald’s to buy a cup of joe after watching this. If you have a sibling you can relate to the arguing. And when you’re in college, you know just how important coffee is. This ad is easily relatable to different types of people, despite this particular ad featuring a mother. Here’s another version.
Usually, I’m not a fan of McDonald’s ads. I was pleasantly surprised by how great this ad was. I found it very funny and it easily caught my attention. It’s very hard to pull off a commercial where you tell a story and sell your own products. I see brands struggling with this situation all the time. Mcd’s has a solid balance and nailed this ad. Give a bonus to the creative director on my behalf.
It’s a very funny ad, and very straight forward. The coffee cup is distinctly branded as the mom sips it. It’s a unique way to tie in coffee and McDonald’s. I wasn’t sure what to expect as I watched it, but it was a well-made commercial. The kids are the stars of the show. Imagine instead of the kids they had dogs barking? After the first cut back to the Mom, a little light went off in my head. It makes sense, it’s funny, and it’s relatable. Bingo.
Gap: ‘Meet Me in the Gap: Cher & Future’
I understand the gap between the ages, but I don’t get why this is a GAP ad. (Cher is 71 and Future is 33….) Nowadays, agencies and brands just toss some celebrities in an ad and assume it will be magically great. I guarantee you that Cher and Future both don’t shop at GAP. It’s a unique collaboration, and I’d prefer to just hear the song. The ad doesn't even promote the brand! All it says is, “Hey we’re GAP, and we have 2 celebrities singing a song and sitting on steps! Oh, and they met in a GAP store!” The clothes don’t look like they are from Gap, but I truly hope they are. And let's take a moment to cringe over how Future’s jeans have the biggest cuff in history.
Seriously, are celebrities essential for ads?
After doing some digging, I found clarity in why Future is in this ad. “It’s part of my DNA, growing up wearing Gap and now to see my son wearing it and doing a campaign ties the whole family together,” Future explains to XXL Mag. Future continues to discusses how meaningful GAP was to him, particularly since his 3-year-old son modeled for the company previously.
Without knowing that information, this ad makes little sense. Why pair up 2 different types of artists for a clothing brand they don’t wear? The copy is above average (the transition is too fast to read and comprehend in my opinion), you have 2 well known celebrities, and it’s a unique twist to a song. Great. But your GAP. In my mind, GAP is for kids and pre-teens. I’m sure my generation will agree with me on that. Future did. And that goes back to my initial point, why Cher and Future? 2 completely different generations, talking about a brand focused on kids. I’ll even throw in the 25–40 crowd, but say they aren't the most fashion forward people out there. No offense.
What ads have you cracking up? Any that make you fall asleep? Or are you on your phone the whole time?