Tuesday, June 4, 2013

The Other Shoe has Dropped

This is an old print ad (remember those?) John Shirley and I did way back in 1999.

Not a great ad. But not bad either. At the risk of making of humble brag, I believe it was shortlisted at Cannes. And lost out to a bunch of Swedes who did some fun drop leaflets for a parachute school in Svedensk.

My point is, the whole 'people living in a shoe' motif was done in the previous millennium.

Apparently the statue of limitations has expired, because in the last week alone -- a week where I have been watching a great deal of TV thanks to the exciting NBA playoffs -- I have spotted THREE separate commercials featuring residents of the proverbial overgrown shoe.

The first one comes from adidas. This one almost slipped by me because the shoe visual is only evident at the beginning of the spot and once more towards the end. Moreover the commercial is voiced over by a fast talking rapper, meaning I only caught every other word. I've never been good with rhymes or limericks, so I have a special appreciation for people who can make it work.

Also, of note, the rapper is sporting a full grill of gold teeth. Years ago, some of my good friends, quite possibly the most liberal-minded people on the planet, got in hot water with Rev. Jesse Jackson for doing a Toyota spot about gold teeth and being racially insensitive. I wonder why the principled Reverend isn't all over this adidas spot?

The second spot, from DirecTV shows us an old man who lives in a shoe with seemingly hundreds of little children. Fortunately, with Directv, he can watch his favorite shows on any portable device. This begs a certain question. Most people who have multiple portable devices are technically savvy. And they already know that they can stream TV, movies, etc.,  to their various platforms. Why then do tech clients feel the need to produce multimillion dollar commercials to promote a non-proprietary feature?

Plus, I'd rather DirecTV shoot more commercials that feature the Genie. I can't get enough of the Genie.

The third spot is a newcomer. It comes from T-Mobile. This is a competitive spot and highlights the many advantages T-Mobile has over AT&T. So many advantages that, according to the teenage resident, it almost negates the social stigma of living in a shoe.

I don't know about the social stigma of living in a shoe, but at one time there was a professional stigma about doing ads that looked like other people's ads.

If I were in an edit bay staring at footage of a 50 foot shoe and people walking out the door of the heel, I'd pull the plug and start over. But maybe that's just me, I'm kind of old school.


Bragging Bob said...

If they're going to use that concept, at least they could tweak it a bit. The old lady who lived in Shaq's shoe because she REALLY had a lot of kids; the old lady who hung herself with a giant shoelace because her 50 kids drove her crazy; the old lady who bought a huge Dr. Scholl's insert because of the immense amount of dirty clothes and dishes in the house; the old lady who was movin' on up to a deluxe Jimmy Choo in the sky; the old lady serial killer who buried male prostitutes under the sole; the white trash old lady who lived in a Double E trailer.

Anonymous said...

Wait, she's a genie???