It’s easy to pick on TV commercials. The tired conventions, the endless compromises, the poor executional decisions that condemn certain ideas to ‘almost’ status–almost interesting, almost memorable, almost good. And yet, TV ads often serve as a common ground for our culture, something shared despite varying geographies or differing politics. They still matter.
The categories with the heaviest media investments–insurance, beer, cars–have it particularly difficult. Sure, they often have bigger budgets, but mo’ money often means mo’ cooks, and that rarely helps matters.
Which is why I love this ad for the 2011 Dodge Charger. Much like the car, it’s all about Detroit macho: hemi-powered, sheet metal muscle with little redeeming value aside from torque-y horsepower. And yet this ad flatters my mind, my ability to understand references to a dozen Hollywood sci-fi blockbusters and fill in the gaping blank. And so, without CGI or special effects of any kind, with only aggressive footage of the car and an inspired script, they make me care. And think.
Sure, I could do without the tagline and yes, the shots could have been a bit more interesting, but still–this is a rare achievement: a car ad built on a clever, distinctive, memorable message.
God bless them. I so hope this works. It deserves to.
By Dennis Ryan, CCO, Element 79