Posts Tagged ‘guinness’

Follow That Gorilla

Monday, January 26th, 2009

What makes a great ad? I’m not talking about success, which is boring, but greatness; a great ad is one you talk about at work the next day. A great ad is one you stop and enjoy every time it comes on. A great ad is one you actually look for on YouTube because everyone tells you how great it is.

Take, for example, the Skoda Fabia cake ad, or just about any Guinness ad, or the sublime Honda ‘Hate Something, Change Something‘ ad with Garrison Keillor, which I would quite happily put on my iTunes. Even the ‘Ambassador’s Reception‘ ad for Ferrero Rocher must surely qualify as a great ad (and a successful one), albeit by a slightly different standard of greatness.

The trouble with great ads is that they raise expectations to levels that the creative agencies then struggle to reach. Guinness and Honda are two brands that have managed to do surprisingly well at keeping things interesting in their ads, but even then, Guinness’s massively expensive ‘Domino‘ ad felt disappointingly like old ground. Look, it’s like that one Honda ad, filtered through all the Stella Artois ads! Turns out my fascination for the quirky pastimes of gap-toothed provincial beer-drinkers only extends so far!

Cadbury has also struggled to follow up on an iconic ad, namely the prize-winning Gorilla ad, which was so widely talked about that I think I heard it described three times before I ever saw it. I was thus unreasonably excited when I happened to be in the right place at the right time for the debut of the follow-up, Airport Trucks. And I watched, and I waited, and… the advert ended. It was just some trucks! Where was the twist? So boring!

In retrospect the Airport Trucks ad is not as bad as all that; it’s just no Gorilla. And now we have come to the third ‘Glass And A Half Full Production’; Eyebrows.

What do we make of this one, then? It feels like an attempt to recapture the Gorilla magic - unexpected behaviour with a musical flavour - but does it work? The CGI on the eyebrows put me off, but I’ve come to realise that a lot of people are pretty blind to ‘natural’ CGI, so that may only bother me. This may be another Airport Trucks - it’s certainly no Gorilla - but I will say this; the balloon is brilliant.