TV: Still A Big Medium, Still Deserves Big Ads

I’ll admit it.  I grew up producing TV ads, and occasionally, big TV ads.  I rode the post Apple “1984” wave of Super Bowl spots and over-the-top production value designed specifically to impact the culture and generate talk value.  And you know what?  A lot of it impacted the culture and generated talk value…

Then suddenly, as we started spending more time online, television ads got small.  TV took a rocketsled to the bottom in search of  “relevance” and in the process, visually-uninspired descriptors like “real” and “authentic” became enduring marketing buzzwords.  All sorts of people–agencies and clients alike–mistook the promise of digital, and began rendering it into small bits and bytes of uninspiration, an electronic halfling hobbled by direct mail’s metric-centricity.

And the world became a more boring place.  No longer inspired, consumer conversations moved on and elsewhere.  And clients suffered, though many failed to recognize exactly how…or why.

But ads like this give me hope.  Ads like this spark the waning flame of possibility and light the way back to cultural relevance for commercials.  This type of ad–and the visionary agency/client teams behind it–once again impact the culture and generate talk value by leveraging the big market impact of our industry’s most powerful media platform.

At least, that’s how I choose to see it.  Or maybe I just like watching things blow up.  Either way, enjoy this bit of high-octane and strategically-relevant brilliance for “Black Ops”–the latest installment in the Call of Duty series.  And recognize that an authentic insight–‘everyone likes to play make believe soldier’–can be presented in a badass way yet still be friggin’ “authentic.”  Lovely work, Chiat LA.


By Dennis Ryan, CCO, Element 79


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