Effective Billboard Ad from Gain Detergent

It may seem like billboard ads are easy, but the reality is that it is exceptionally difficult to make a high impact, memorable billboard ad.  In most cases, people have about 2 seconds max to see the piece.  That means you have to create something that is memorable with a clear message to be digested by someone doing one or more of the following:

  • Going 55 mph
  • Talking on the phone
  • Trying to avoid an accident
  • Shaving
  • Putting on makeup
  • Getting cut off by asshole drivers
  • Singing off key to whatever’s on the radio
  • Scolding their kids who are fighting in the back seat

That’s why it’s always impressive to see an outdoor ad that succeeds, which brings us to this billboard from Gain detergent:


The colors are right, the message is clear.  The brand is visible.  Even the stupid hashtag is easy to remember.

Posted in Advertising.

The Sour and Sweet Sour Patch Kids Commercials

Last year, Sour Patch Kids put out a series of short TV spots using the concept of “first they’re sour, then they’re sweet”.  Good concept with mixed results.

The first takes a somewhat literal approach, although I wouldn’t call getting a face full of skunk spray sour as much as I would just a completely awful nightmare that would cause heaving and uncontrollable vomiting.

Really, that commercial makes me think of this:


Now this version of the commercial is much, much better:

It’s cute, the target audience can relate to it and the visual doesn’t convey the message of “eat Sour Patch Kids and get a mouth full of skunk ass”. Given the fact that they got Method Man to do a song/music video with a bunch of animated candy, all is forgiven over the skunkface.

Agency: Mother, New York

Posted in Advertising.

New “Drive High Get A DUI” Campaign from the Colorado DOT

PSA’s are tough.  Generally speaking, PSA’s all have some sort of “don’t do this” message.  You can’t make them too preachy or graphic, as those typically get completely ignored and turn off the core audience.  At the same time, if you use humor, you have to make sure that you’re not making light of the core point.  It’s a fine line to walk, and here’s how the CDOT went about it:

These ads are, let’s just call it “fine”. I love the fact that the ads aren’t preachy or hyperbolic like those gawdawful “buying drugs means you’re a murderer who supports terrorism” ads, but they’re also not terribly memorable.  It’s just sort of a one note joke that people will likely see, give a quick chuckle and forget.

The visuals simply aren’t strong enough (or funny enough) to stand alone.  Not the worst PSA campaign I’ve ever seen, but it certainly isn’t a single tear running down the face of of a Native American either.

Posted in Advertising.