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Publicerad: 24 Februari 2021, 08:52
Här är reklamen som hyllades av svenska reklamare 2020. Vår amerikanske reklamkritiker är inte lika imponerad.
Remember how we were so looking forward to 2020? 2020! 20-20, perfect clear vision for The Future! Probably something like they felt in the year 1010 (Perfect 10s!).
Yeah-Nah, as they say in New Zealand. 2020 should be renamed 2086, as in just ”86” that Hellish year. (For those not up on English slang ”Eighty-Six” means ”reject, discard or cancel”. True story: in the 80s, I saw Bill Murray on the streets of NYC, I asked for an autograph, he signed: ”86 this man, Bill Murray”. Asshole.)
Which, finally, brings me to the point of this article: 2020 was a bad year for everybody and everything, including advertising creativity. Brands gingerly yet cluelessly tried to address the pandemic with their ads and, almost universally, showed their asses, and then went right ahead and shit their beds.
But the Swedish ad industry’s two favorite ads of 2020 were not completely terrible.
Burger King: ”Moldy Whopper”
It was a stunt that was loved … by industry creatives. (It cleaned up at award shows.) By consumers? Maybe not as much. (An educated guess, which includes a survey of my friends.) I am very impressed that Ingo (and David Miami) convinced BK to run the campaign at all, considering how obsessed fast feeders are with making their food look as unrealistically scrumptious as possible. I think the campaign did more harm than good to the industry by reminding us how much unnatural shit is in most fast food.
AND it was just a stunt, a one-time stunt; I don’t think we’ll be seeing a time-lapse video of moldy fries this year. The ad industry has a well-earned reputation for deception and cheating with its product stunts (Hello Volvo!). But this one is, seemingly, mostly honest.
Volvo XC60: ”The Parents”
Well look at this: a big brand spot released during the pandemic that didn’t address it. That’s a positive. I have no kids so I can’t comment on how effectively the ad connects with parents. I will say that I doubt raising kids in the 21st century is harder than it was working in textile mills in the mid-20th century, so the song choice— Pete Seeger’s ”Hard Times In The Mill”—was maybe worth a smile but not much else.
The commercial tried real hard to show Millennial parents how ”cool” Volvo thinks they are. ”The father must have a tattoo” said some Volvo marketer, probably—though from my perspective, tattoos haven’t been cool since the 1960s. (Yes, I’m a bitter old man.)
That said, it is brilliantly directed and edited by Niclas Larsson. And I guess the concept is a decent enough tie-in to Volvo’s ongoing message of being the safest car on the road. But, for me, the commercial serves a double purpose of making me feel happy as SHIT that I don’t have kids. I guess I’m not the target audience.
Mark Duffy är copywriter verksam i New York. Han har skrivit reklamkritik under namnet Copyranter de senaste tjugo åren.