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Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Sorry, We Only Give Awards to One Another

Not Invented Here, Dept.:

Last night I viewed a poorly-done commercial starring Ben Johnson chatting with Frank D'Angelo, owner of Steelback Brewery, the producer of a new energy drink called Cheetah Power Surge. I would have given it a couple of stars out of five, because it was pretty easy to remember the product due to the cheesy play on words ("cheating," "cheetah").

D'Angelo's no Donny Deutsch, but he's getting plenty of P.R. out of this already.

But the ad was pretty rotten. So it heartened me at first when I saw that the panel of ad execs in the Hard Sell column in the Globe and Mail unanimously gave it zero stars! For once, they all stood up to be counted instead of giving mealy-mouthed praise. Way to go!

Except there's one problem with that "stand." You guessed it, D'Angelo produced the commercial himself, without using the services of an ad agency.

Karen Howe of Due North Communications said that "this commercial has taken advertising to a new low." Compared to what, the current ad for a sporty small car that relies heavily on a graphic shot of a dog's hindquarters mooning other drivers out the window?

Simone Creet of Saatchi & Saatchi states that "Ben Johnson is reduced to doing a commercial that insults his integrity, his accomplishments and our intelligence. It makes me sad." Compared to, say, watching clips of Ben racing animals for money?

Dale Roberts of Enterprise Creative Selling sez: "These are really big nails on a very big chalkboard." (Compared with, say, the current Gas-X commercial that includes really loud farts in a really small room?) He adds: "Will it sell product? Oh yikes, maybe."

Yikes. Imagine being judged on that criterion.

Posted by Andrew Goodman




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