Some of the most creative film work you see today, indeed that is where many budding directors like Ridley Scott cut their teeth. Productions, such as the Honda ad, are works of genius. The only trouble is that if you watch them on tv, they’re usually edited down because the advertsing budget just won’t run to the full version.
The alternative was to watch them at the cinema with the full benefit of Dolby sound etc, but if like me, you’re not a great cinema-goer, you don’t get to see too many, and, of course, you still only get to see what someone is trying to sell you in the UK.
Great news then that more and more advertisers are using the web to premiere their work, relying on word of mouth, or viral marketing, to spread the news. And because it’s the web, they have to make you want to visit, so the ads have to be very clever, very funny, or very strange.
A great example of the funny variety is the pairing of Superman and Jerry Seinfeld to get us to sign up to American Express in an on-film relationship reminiscent of the Odd Couple. (If you visit, don’t forget to click on the sing-a-long and the answerphone.) Alternatively, watch the Reebok, Terry Tate: the Office Linebacker ads for something a tad more rough and tumble.
I can hear you thinking, “Yeah, but yesterday you were telling us what a waste of space celebrity endorsements are,” and in a way you’d be right. Except that the celebrities in this case are earning their money by working for it, not simply picking up a pay cheque for having their mug shot next to a steam cleaner in the hope that it will convince us to stump up for it.
The point is that the web and viral marketing mean that showcasing the work is relatively cheap, certainly cheaper than prime-time tv which means that what is saved can be used creatively in buying in real talent, good scripts and decent filming.