The Second Hardest Thing To Do In Advertising…

Creating a unique voice is the second hardest thing to do in advertising. To make a fresh statement or express a distinctive point of view in a traditional ad sell provides a huge daily challenge for every working creative.

Because as much as that’s the task, it’s extraordinarily difficult to accomplish. Regularly generating original concepts taxes the imagination. Add that to the surplus of messages in a crowded, parity market and the challenge increases. Top that with a need to sell the new, the novel, or the unproven to clients who feel their careers ride on our labors and the challenge increases exponentially.

That’s what makes this television spot for FAGE Total Greek Yogurt so impressive. Instead of a spoon and smile, we get gleaming wet sculpture. Instead of ‘active cultures,’ we get poetry. And then there’s that marvelous, distinctive voice…

This magnificently fresh blend of live action and computer animation was brought to vivid life by Psyop. But the nearly nonsensical poem with its roll and rhythm that rises far above the vast desert of ordinary copy came straight from the writer.

“Plain was the same as it ever was the same. Plainly plain, samely same…”

This is truly remarkable work by Brian Tierney, a creative director and copywriter at Mullen Advertising of Boston. In an online interview, he credits his client with wanting to do something different to distinguish themselves–a seemingly obvious request but one that is actually rather rare; when you try something different, you can fail very publicly. And that’s scary.

Brian also cites a major influence on the copy as not Dr. Seuss but rather  “The Rowing Song” from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. This is marvelous writing made vivid by the inspired vocal casting of Willem Defoe. His weary yet excited tone jars the viewer from the stupor typical ad programming creates.

Some critics say that it’s all too much for a yogurt ad: too silly, too far-fetched, too too…  Distinctive ideas have a way of drawing that kind of opinion.  But I think it’s remarkable. It’s distinctive and again, creating this kind of unique voice is the second hardest thing to do in advertising.

The hardest thing to do is sustain it. Good luck with that–here’s hoping you keep surprising and delighting us.


By Dennis Ryan, CCO, OLSON


One thought on “The Second Hardest Thing To Do In Advertising…

  1. producierge says:

    I agree, this spot is magical. Makes me want to go out and ONLY
    eat yogurt. I have a new appreciation for the creamy goodness
    that always seemed to aim towards nutritional value only.

    It’s a work of delicious art indeed.


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