Monday, March 15, 2021

Reverse in study A

 Let's go back in time.

That seems to be the current gestalt, as we all yearn to go back to life before Covid. But nowhere is this reverse the clock trend more evident than in our advertising.

In the last month alone I've seen 3, count 'em three, TV spots where the time continuum is twisted and the film is run in reverse. And because it's a Saturday morning and I have nothing better to do, I'm going to suss them out for your reading pleasure. And to prove my point. 

As R17 readers know, I love to prove my points.

First up is a FedEx spot from the mighty (or perhaps I should say once mighty) offices of BBDO in New York.  Toy can see that here

As one would expect, the production value is high. I know a million dollar spot when I see one. But it seems like a long walk for a sandwich beef roast and the headscratching culmination line, "Where next meets now."


In addition to knowing high production value, I also know focus groups. And I've got to believe more than one focus group attendee told the moderator, "I don't get that last line. I liked FedEx, when it absolutely, positively has to be there overnight."

Moving on, there's also a Hyundai Genesis spot that rolls the film in the chem machine backwards.

You can see that here.

Like the BBDO spot, this is also dripping with production value. And a shit ton of CGI work. 

And like the FedEx spot it too ends, with a line that disappoints, "Creating tomorrow, today." Perhaps I'm a little biased because when I worked in recruitment advertising and was busy luring engineers and rocket scientists to Northrop, Lockheed, TRW and Raytheon, that was our go-to headline. And a thousand other variations on it.

Finally, there's this little gem. From a healthcare company. 

This is by far is my favorite. Not only because I have become sadly aware of the healthcare mishigas in this country, but also because it's small (I am a fan of "small" commercials) and simple human storytelling technique.

You can see that here.

I love everything about this spot. And the others in the campaign. Including the sepia overtones, drab settings and mangled dialogue, all of which harken back to some Soviet style Hellscape.

Surely there must be a reason why I've gone off on this lengthy review of this spate of running film in reverse commercials. And there is. You see, even though I have parked my significantly wide ass with a new and steady employer,, I believe the shameless self promotion must go on. 

Apologies to Mamet and Alec Baldwin, "ABSP, A, Always, B, Be, S, Self, P, Promoting."

And so I give you this 1993 Nissan Altima spot, not the first time a commercial was run backwards, I'd never attempt to take credit for that. But still it's a piece of work that my partner Maryann Caperna and I can still be proud of.



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