Development in The Netherlands:
… I thought you might be interested in a Dutch 2005 example of how they tried selling broadband to 50+ consumers. The theme is: "it's hard to keep up with technology”:I agree with Martijn. I’ve written about these types of campaigns in my book and blogged about them a number of times. Here’s just one:
They even won the Dutch advertising prize for it. Although I think it’s funny I seriously doubt they got many of the target group to buy it.
You can look at it in 2 ways:
- the target group laughed because they didn't identify but got the message that was told at the end
- the target group was insulted and laughed it off
I think the latter but would love to hear your opinion …
Passat's Midlife Crisis
The spot from the Netherlands is kind of cute, very well produced, acted, directed. Not particularly original. The first scenario is a direct lift from the 1st edition cover of my book (I’m sure it wasn’t intentional) - a clever tongue-in-cheek visual metaphor birthed by Anne Kilgore – graphic artist/book designer extraordinaire. Click here to take a look at it.
The driving into the bushes gag is old (at least since the invention of car navigation systems – so five or six years old). I’ve seen it before. The gag about the mouse held up to the monitor is even older (a variation is a piece of blank paper pressed against a monitor so it will ‘print’).
And, of course, it’s always older people who are the foils for these tepid attempts at humor.
Why would you want to viciously ridicule your target market? They might laugh – but will they buy your product? I think not.
On NPR recently there was a report about students who were given laptops instead of textbooks. While these kids certainly knew how to download music, hang out at Facebook, and play video games – they had real problems opening up and using a word processing program. Many had no idea how to save a document. And when they did save it, they couldn’t find it again to open and work on it – or figure out how to print it.
As an exercise, let’s pretend that a company wants to sell computers to teenagers. I come up with a brilliantly funny spot. It’s full of the greatest of gags. In fact, they’re hysterical. For example - a drooling, pimply-faced, frenzied kid is working on a homework assignment - and is trying to type with a joystick! What a moron! Ha-ha! In another scenario, a kid is unscrewing and taking apart a computer to look inside it – trying to find the document he saved! Ha-ha-ha!!!
I tell ya, everybody'll be falling out of their chairs watching this one. It’ll get lots of advertising awards, too.
And most teenagers will probably laugh – but you won’t see them rushing to buy these computers. They have been made fools of.
And they know it.
"I no longer enter my agency's layouts in the contests ... for fear that one of them might be disgraced by an award." - David Ogilvy