Tuesday, December 8, 2015

To the High Life

Last week it was announced that Kedric George, perhaps the last smart client in America, had decided to reach in the vault and rebroadcast several TV commercials from Miller's famed late 1990's High Life campaign.

If ever there was work I wish I had done, this campaign, including 50 commercials, would take the top spot.

This is advertising that doesn't feel like advertising.

It's small.
Purposefully and brilliantly small.
There are no more than 7-8 cuts in each spot. And each vignette is born from the seemingly meaningless banality of life: running out of mayonnaise, lawn maintenance and dirty bowling balls.

These spots couldn't be smaller or less significant if they wanted to.

And that's what makes the work so authentic.
And genius.
Because Jeff Kling, the copywriter, and I'm sure he had help from his art director (s), mined these tiny micromoments and found truthful gold.

Though Jeff and I are connected via social media, I've never met him or had the pleasure of working with or for him. But should this post ever get back to him, he should know that I hold him in the highest regard.

If you've been a regular reader of RoundSeventeen you know that I rarely engage in flattery and often dish up a steady diet of mockery and disdain for the lost art of copywriting. So today's post is truly bucking a trend.

Similarly, I've never worked with the Director Errol Morris, who also deserves recognition for the pitch perfect casting, sets, locations and camera angles. And for briefly reviving the always-stylish Johnny Unitas buzz cut.

To say I am in awe of this body of work is an understatement. I'd be lying if I told you I never tried to emulate or take a similar approach with other assignments. But creating a singular tone of voice or planting a flag and adopting a distinguishable POV is just not something today's crop of CMOs have any interest in.

They're more interested in going viral.
Or as yesterday's post pointed out, racking up the Likes.

If you've got an hour or so to to kill, do yourself a favor and watch all 50 commercials. And crack open a six pack of beer while you're doing so.

But not Miller.
Troy Aikman may know football, but he doesn't know crap about beer.

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