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A nobody; a nitwit; a pilot; a motorcyclist; a raconteur; a lover...of life - who loves to laugh, who tries to not take myself (or anything) too seriously...just a normal guy who knows his place in the universe by being in touch with my spiritual side. What more is there?

02 September 2008

Sonic Drive-In: The Art of the TV Commercial

Although I don’t watch much t.v., I am fascinated by it, and how creative it can sometimes be. Especially the commercials. Most are insipid and forgettable, but some are genuine works of art. The Budweiser “Real Men of Genius” spots are truly some of the best commercials ever to be broadcast.

In 2005 the fast-food chain Sonic Drive-In began running an interesting ad campaign featuring two people in a car interacting as they enjoy Sonic food. At first it was two guys (“improv” actors named T.J. Jagodowski and Peter Grosz), and then with a “husband and wife” couple (Molly Erdman and Brian Huskey). The repartee between the players seems very relaxed and natural, much like it is with real friends/couples.

The ads are incredible – not just for the humor but for the insights we get into their relationships and the questions that get raised. The woman and man: Are they really married? Then there’s the controversial: Are the two guys just friends or something more? Is the guy on the left (T.J.) really that dumb? Is the husband really that obtuse? I’m not sure whether Sonic should be applauded or criticized for showing Americans that we really can be, err…not too bright. Either way, it’s pretty funny.

The commercials are not scripted but mostly ad-libbed. One food industry insider tried to get Sonic to comment on the clever commercials and was peeved when he was stonewalled by both the Sonic corporate headquarters and their ad agency.

Sonic, which reportedly is spending $100 Million on this campaign, is running the spots nationally, even in markets where they do not have stores! And then they won’t talk to "The Press" about their television commercials? That’s pretty ballsy, if you ask me. I love it.

The commercials have spawned a bunch of YouTube imitators, as you might imagine. All of the ones I've seen are horrible. (No offense YouTubers, but you really should leave the professional stuff to the professionals.)

The ad campaign has been running since 2005, so there are a bunch of real Sonic spots, and it's hard to choose examples to include here. But below are three that I find amusing. I have only three words for Sonic: Best. Campaign. Ever.

"May I sub-respond before you finish?"

"You have a mustache on you, right now...only now...n-no other times...just now..."

"Minty!" "That's...not really the word for it."


Redlefty said...

I love the campaign as well but those three were totally new to me. Thanks for posting them!

DAVID said...

Some of them are really funny. I didn't know they were improved.

Trivia that gets to me-

The whole thing started in Shawnee, OK and the guy with the greatest idea in burger history had a devil of a time getting it financed!


Anonymous said...

Lame! What can i say, I'm from NY.

Did you see the RNC tonite? Mitt... Huck... Rudy... Sarah?


Bob Barbanes said...

Lame?! I think they've very clever. Ah well, to each their own.

And yes, I did see the RNC convention last night - looking forward to the old man's speech tonight. But I have to tell you, *NONE* of these candidates fires me up, Democrat or Republican, not one bit. This is the sorriest excuse for a presidential election that I can remember in my lifetime. It will go down in history as the presidential term in which America really did go down the toilet. Sad.

Bob said...

Yes I love the Sonic ads too and LOVE Budweiser's "Real Men of Genius." My sons and I listen to those and roll. Also like Bud Lite's recent "dude" series.