Tuesday, June 25, 2013

It's just a soda

Last week I saw a truly amazing piece of advertising.

I don't say that too often.

Partially because a lot of what passes for amazing, isn't. And partially because it goes against my nature to lay too much praise on other people's work.

It's not my most becoming attribute, but shouldn't I get some points for honesty?

Anyway, the piece I'm referring to came from Weiden & Kennedy. As I've said many times before, I'm a huge fan of their work. They are one of the few remaining ad agencies that will not dumb it down. Or treat their audience with disrespect.

See for yourself:

Go ahead, get some tissue paper and dry your eyes.

But before you start thinking, "Thank God Coca Cola stepped up to the plate and put that potential armegeddon to rest", let's back the truck up a bit.

A few dozen Indians and Pakistanis put their hands on a vending machine to get a free can of of soda. That's a great way to sell more sugar water. It's fun. It's smart. And it's entertaining. But let's not delude ourselves and mistake this clever marketing ploy for diplomacy. Or nuclear disarmament. Or anything close to settling 66 years of death match animosity.

The film may be titled, Bringing India and Pakistan together, but if you have even most fundamental understanding of geo-politics you know that is a bit of an over-statement.

I know this is my cynicism showing but we ad people are fond of making overpromises. We're even fonder of self-delusion. And the silly, egocentric notion that what we do, can make the world a better place.

I could argue just the opposite.

If we did less of what we do -- made fewer commercials, made fewer banner ads, and stopped defacing every seatback, every handrail and every urinal cake we could get a press check on -- the world would actually be a better place.

1 comment:

Jeff said...

It's a beautifully produced piece that at least made a few dozen people happy. That's more than a lot of advertising does.