I'm constantly on the lookout for the various ways manufacturers have of grabbing our attention and getting us interested in their product. One of my favorite ad campaigns was Mazda's "Zoom-Zoom" series which they used forever. Even in one of their recent commmercials (which is awesome and uses the song "Safe and Sound" by Capital Cities), right at the very end as the Mazda logo comes up you see...ever so briefly...the words "Zoom-Zoom" materialize and then shoot offscreen to the right- a "callback" to their earlier ads. It happens so fast that it's easy to miss. I like that.
Zoom-Zoom, Mazda, I'm impressed!
And of course I love the "Most Interesting Man In The World" campaign for Dos Equis beer. There's even a new version of the commercial. I love that they keep coming up with new angles on this guy!
In the latest spot, along with the hilarious narration we see the tuxedo-clad MIMITW arriving at a swanky dinner party via dogsled. Then they cut to archival TV news footage of a much-younger MIMITW saving a fireman from a burning building. In his other hand is a goldfish bowl (still full of water) which he casually hands to the displaced tenant. Back to present-day, from his seat in the stands of an operating room theater he advises the surgeon on which scalpel to use. Finally, switching again back to archival footage we see him diving for pearls - of course he brings up an entire necklace!
I imagine that the producers of this campaign must have a grand time thinking up new things for TMIMITW to do. It must be incredibly fun working on that team.
And then we come to those ads for Progressive Insurance. You know, the ones with that perky, "Flo" character. Say what you will about the ads (and a lot of people dislike them), but the unique campaign just works. Even the people who don't like the spots remember them and the name of the insurance company.
Over the years, "Flo," played by acress/comedienne Stephanie Courtney has found herself in various situations. In the new series of spots that began airing around Thanksgiving we got to meet her extremely, uhh, quirky family. There is her crazy mom Diane ("No dear, we say 'creative,' not crazy, right?"), her mean sister Janice (who has a fashion blog and who is always on her phone), and her brother Todd (who has a child but whose wife is always mysteriously "on vacation"). There is also Flo's nutcase dad Richard, and her grandfather. All of the parts are brilliantly played by Ms. Courtney.
In this hilarious two-minute spot, we are treated to Flo's family as they get ready to eat Thanksgiving dinner. Mom has decided to do "Thanksgiving Tapas," meaning that all food is cubed and served on toothpicks (yes, even the Jello). As preparations go on in the kitchen, Todd walks in and snidely says, "Can we please just go sit in front of the TV and eat like a normal family?" In the living room, Grandpa is not impressed with the tiny portion of food on his plate. "What is this, the Great Depression?" he barks before yelling, "Nurse!" Flo corrects him, "Grandpa, I'm not a nurse."
The beauty of this ad campaign is that they don't beat you up over the head with the product info. The producers just assume that we're already familiar with Flo and Progressive Insurance. So while their logo is always visible (especially on Flo's uniform) it is not prominent in any of the spots.
Commercial ad campaigns like the three mentioned above are what keep me watching TV. I can't wait to see what the ad agencies come up with for the Super Bowl!