Dancing Babies, Talk About Ship and Dads in Briefs: Creativity With Relevance Gets Results!

The Evian babies are back! In a new spot, which has received more than 41 million views on YouTube, adults find themselves face-to-face with their younger selves in a large mirrored window–and the dancing ensues. It’s adorable–but does it sell water? Where’s the relevance?

Contrast this spot to an equally creative–and far more out-of-the-box–spot created by KMart for YouTube and achieving more than 15 million views before ever even hitting the airwaves. Kmart’s “Ship My Pants” ad, uses a play on words which involves shoppers talking about “shipping” their pants, drawers, nightie and bed. It’s funny stuff to many–although offensive to some (One Million Moms says the ad is attracting the wrong kind of attention).

Another series of spots, created in Australia, and pointed out to me by students in my Advertising Copy & Design class called “Dads in Briefs” promotes BGH air conditioners through images of brief-clad middle-aged men in awkward situations. Funny, attention-getting, the kind of content that is likely to be shared and talked about which is, after all, the first thing that advertisers hope to do–generate awareness.

Here’s the deal: the process of creating consumer engagement, and ultimately sales, starts with awareness. Each of these spots certainly generates awareness and, through the power of the Internet, viral sharing that serves to increase that awareness exponentially. Beyond awareness, though, marketing communication must also generate knowledge, perception and preference before actual sales will ensue.

The KMart ad gets to knowledge: after viewing it we know that KMart is offering shipping on a variety of products. That may lead to a positive perception and perhaps even preference if other retailers aren’t offering the same option.

The air conditioner ad generates awareness in a very clever and memorable way and also provides viral content likely to benefit from the pass-along factor. While, unlike the Evian ad, this ad’s creativity is relevant to the product, there is not a lot of knowledge conveyed. Still, awareness is “Step #1.” And this ad does generate awareness.

So do the other two.

The outstanding question for all of the advertisers is whether massive awareness translates, eventually, into sales. Time will tell.

Recommended Reading:

Ogilvy on Advertising (a classic and one of my still-favorite books on effective advertising)

How to Make Your Advertising Make Money (another classic, by John Caples–truly a “must read”!)

Related Blog Posts:

Iconic Brands Revisited With a Boost From Technology

What You Can Learn From the Super Bowl Advertisers

The Three C’s to Cementing Your Brand in the Minds of Your Market: Coca-Cola Style

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