Filed under: Comment
I know … I know … having me write about keeping your mouth shut is the equivalent of Oscar Pistorius going on about why you should not be violent, but hey, it’s my blog so I’ll be as hypocritical as I want.
Anyway, the reason for that long title is because I recently watched this ad featuring Aussie Rock Legend, Jimmy Barnes …
OK, so the ad is nothing special … just the usual self-congratulatory ego piece you see telecommunication companies often put out. The reason for the long post is because I recently read the press release from DDB Sydney that went with that ad.
“People love to solve puzzles when watching ads and are curious to know why some of Australia’s favourite celebrities are now working for Telstra.”
Now excuse me for being a bit cynical, but apart from the fact that ad is about as much of a puzzle as a 4 piece jigsaw, I sincerely doubt Australians are sitting at home wondering why B-grade celebrities are appearing in a Telstra ad and even in the unlikely event they are, I would assume they’d suggest the answer is because they got paid a shedload of money.
Seriously, what were they thinking?
If the ad was genuinely pushing boundaries, then maybe – and it’s a very big maybe – people might be engaged enough to be interested in what is going on, but when it’s one of the most cliched type of ads you will ever see, the only consideration I would imagine going on inside the heads of Aussie TV viewers is:
“When the fuck does this rubbish stop so I can get back to watching the journalistic excellence of Today Tonight?
To be honest, that isn’t even the worst part of the press release, it also said:
“The punch line works really well, when a real Telstra staff member takes over from the celebrity, representing all Telstra employees who not only want to be famous themselves but are the people who are making it happen.”
I don’t know the person who uttered this drivel but I’m sure he’s very good and this was just a really bad off day [hey, I have them every 24 hours, so it’s perfectly understandable] but claiming the way they [‘they’ being DDB Sydney] executed this ad actually elevated its power and influence is both questionable and ridiculous.
In fact, I’d go as far as to say it does them – and the industry – harm, because if they’re claiming this is what breakthrough communication is, then it’s no wonder business thinks adland talks a crock of shit.
From VW’s Snow Plough, to that Telstra ad.
I bet Bernbach is spinning so quickly in his grave right now, he could power Shanghai.
Anyway, by all means be proud of the work you do – regardless what it is, finishing something is worthy of feeling a sense of accomplishment – however keep some perspective on it all, because if you have to explain why it’s breakthrough, it generally means it isn’t.
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