Monday, March 17, 2008

TV Ad Talk and a Request to Help Find One.


I
like a good advertisement.


Some of the best work of television, print and radio, is done by advertisers. Marshall McLuhan, philosopher, Roman Catholic convert and social critic, said, "Advertising is the greatest art form of the twentieth century." I doubt he meant this as a compliment, but rather, as a matter of sad fact. That is, we are not producing art any better than our ads. Sad commentary of modernity, or not, I like advertising. Here are a couple of my TV favorites of late:

Apple Computer commercials are almost always good, though I am not a fan of the PC dork vs. Mac cool guy ads. I understand why they work, I just find the cool guy's smugness annoying. Apple's iPhone ad was perfect, and their current ad for the light and thin Air Mac notebook is almost as good. Apple understands the cool medium that is television. Less is often more. The ad communicates, what they want it to: lightness and smallness. The television ad doesn't tell you that that the notebook is about 9 inches by 12 inches, and only 1/2 inch thick. It shows you by showing one hand sliding it smoothly out of a document envelope. The red string on the envelope that is wrapped around the fastener is slowly unwound, creating the slightest bit of tease. If you want to watch it online: http://www.apple.com/macbookair. The "New Soul" song in the background is No. 7 on Billboard and the top phone ringtone, thanks to this ad, which means Apple is selling it's notebook and making money selling the song on iTunes.

My other favorite ad is by Verizon. A very attractive brunette charges out of an office building with her Verizon phone, her chutzpah and her daily mission of chatting with friends on the phone. I absolutely love the commercial, the copy, her attitude and it's movement towards me in perspective. Good stuff. But I don't know what she is saying when she looks at the guy and says "not Brad."

If you have a link to a transcript let me know. I can't find it.

26 comments:

Anonymous said...

She says "Hey Brad" and then says "not Brad".

Anonymous said...

That is dumb and makes no sense. The commercial bugged me too as she came across as one of those clueless celebrity bimbos like Lindsay Lohan, Paris Hilton all obnoxious and "oh so popular". Why would she say "Hey Brad." and then say, "Not Brad"? Was it a case of mistaken identity? Was she talking on the phone or the guy she passed in person? She can't recognize her own friend Brad? It's not like she saw him from behind at first. Dumc and clueless commercial and the bitch irks me.

Francis Shivone said...

I like your attitude. I thought she said, hey Brad, not Brad, too. But I can't figure out why. Can anyone help here. Funny post, thanks. I gotta say though, I really like her acting.

Anonymous said...

Also the "Hey Brad" "Not Brad" thing bugs me if that is what they intended her to say. Just super poor grammar for a so called professional woman. Picture yourself seeing someone you thought you knew and said "Hey (insert name here)", when you realize you don't recognize them you say "Ooops sorry you're not (insert name here)" You wouldn't say in a third person perspective, "Not (insert name here)". Sounds idiotic, which maybe was what they were going for, with the ultra trendy miss popular chick.

Francis Shivone said...

I like the "coming at you" attitude and think she pulls it off without being too brash. And she's good-looking, which helps. I think the "hey Brad, not Brad" was an ad-lib. How do you write something like that?

likeradium said...

The way I interpret it is that she is juggling boyfriends and intends to call back Justin, Troy, Brad. When she passes Brad as she's leaving the building, she confides to us that maybe she won't call Brad. It's a spontaneous and fickle decision. "Hey Brad. Not Brad" is the catchiest part of the commercial. I love the rhythm of it.

Francis Shivone said...

likeradium --- thank you. That makes sense. The great thing about the commercial is that you get the message without getting the details. And like you, as a guy that likes good ad copy, I like the way that works and sounds.
In answer to anonymous, she looks away on the "not Brad".

Anonymous said...

okay haters... like likeradium and francis said, the brunette plans on calling all these guys back, but passes brad in the lobby and decides against it for some reason. it's hilarious because it's such a normal thing to go through a woman's (or man's) head. great stuff. take it at face value and don't try to read into it so much.

Francis Shivone said...

Agreed. I still love watching the commercial and admire the copywriter's skill.

Anonymous said...

Likeradium, that makes about the most sense possible out of it that I can gather. She still seems like one of those troubled Hollywood starlets (there is an actual name for the likes of Paris, Nichole Ritchie, Britney and Lindsay Lohan but I can't place the actual word. I thought it was like celebutant or something like that) even more now that she is juggling boyfriends. If that was one of her boyfriends (Brad) she could do much better he didn't look all that impressive. I know it's a commercial and no I am not taking it too literally. I just can't stand these narcissistic superficial freaks like this gossip queen.

Francis Shivone said...

It's not intended to be serious like Hamlet. It's a caricature of a kind of person that is kind of funny to watch, like Jim Carrey.

Maybe you people don't have kids or something.

:)

Anonymous said...

Okay, It's a great commerical and it helps that she's good looking. I agree with the other posters, she's juggling boyfriends.

What is this actresses name?

Francis Shivone said...

I tried to find the commercial online, to no avail. If anyone knows how to get the details I would be interested.

Likeradium's comments reflect my opinion the best. Next time you watch it listen to the "word flow." This is good stuff.

Anonymous said...

Francis is she supposed to be a caricature of one of these Hollywood starlets? If so then yes they succeeded. Everything I hate about them is summed up in this one commercial. Bravo to them. This is like the kind of people when cell phones became trendy you'd see them talking on it whenever and wherever and I used to make fun of freaks like that. I have a cell phone and I purposely go out of my way to never use it in public.

Francis Shivone said...

Okay --- let's start over.

A. She's cute
B. She has attitude
C. She just got off work and has a mission to talk gossip
D. There are 40 gazillion girls like that in America
E. She is an exaggerated version of that atypical girl.
F. The copywriting is very tight and humorous in its devil-may-care kind of way.
G. It's a mild caricature but more like an exaggeration.
H. If that kind of person annoys you, you won't think its funny. I think that kind of girl is kind of cute/funny.

Whew!

(And "Hey Brad, not Brad" is a great copywriting line)

Anonymous said...

A. She's cute

I will agree she is cute and she is Becky O Donahue and was on American Idol and was in Maxim with her twin sister in 2004. That's about the only good thing I can say about her.

B. She has attitude

So does Paris Hilton and the other hollywood whores, that's not a good thing.

C. She just got off work and has a mission to talk gossip

You said it right there, gossip. Obviously a phone company wants people to talk more, but in real life, these people look/are pathetic. It's like a cell phone is their security blanket. What did these types do 10 years ago?

D. There are 40 gazillion girls like that in America

I'm glad the girls I know can't be compared to this. The girl in the commercial is 25/26 and has the attitude of a 15 year old "Today I want to call Justin, Troy, Brad (hell I'll even add some more gay sounding male names... Todd, Remy, Alexander, Buffy, Stewart etc.)

E. She is an exaggerated version of that atypical girl.

They pulled it off as being pretty dry as you didn't see the Verizon guy making faces at her like he usually does to people that are acting strange.

F. The copywriting is very tight and humorous in its devil-may-care kind of way.

Definitely a different camera angle that's one thing I can say. I do prefer the other similar Verizon commercial with the guy that did the Subway commercial where his boss says "Hoochie Mama" after he looks at his butt after asking for a receipt for Burger Town.

G. It's a mild caricature but more like an exaggeration.

Probably both.

H. If that kind of person annoys you, you won't think its funny. I think that kind of girl is kind of cute/funny.

You got that one right. She is cute but damn that attitude ruins it for me.

Anonymous said...

Weird I found this video clip of her on an interview for American Idol.

http://www.americanidol.com/videos/?vid=149

I would have never recognized her as being the ine from this commercial. The voice sounds similar but still doesn't have that valley girl tart quality like the commercial. The eyes look different, and I prefer her "look" in the commercial actually as much as I thought I'd never say it.

Francis Shivone said...

Okay -- you wore me out.

Anonymous said...

Hey Brad/Not Brad.

Drives me crazy. The fickle interpretation kind of works. My thought was that she owed them all phone calls but the "hey brad" got her off the hook for brad. Either way the actress just isn't pulling off the line.

Scott Lacy said...

Funny, I had a different interpretation of the "not Brad" line. It seems to me she's saying she's going to call Brad and then by coincidence runs into another guy named Brad. She then says "Hi Brad," and turns to the camera and says "not Brad"--as in, not THAT Brad.

I love that there are a few ways to interpret the line.

Francis Shivone said...

Actually Scot, I think you are right. Or might be right, who knows. But I do think you are onto something. I need to watch it a few more times. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know the song playing in the background? Was it made just for the commercial? It's been stuck in my head for two weeks...

Anonymous said...

Yeah the tuba in the song is the best part. It grows on you and stays with you throughout the day humming the tune.

Damund said...

I too love this commerical. And love it for all the reasons listed. Got a question. Another verizon commerical I liked seems to have been pulled and reshot with an edited ending. Did anyone see the verizon commerical with the girl running into the guy she had previously dated. Originally, at the end, he says "why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free". Now it ends with the woman just saying "you haven't changed". Can anyone tell me where I can find the original cut of the commerical.

Francis Shivone said...

Damund -- You are at the tail end of the comments so I'm not sure if too many people will read this. I haven't seen the ad but I do find many ads on YouTube. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Ummm....

There are two separate "Brads" in reference here.

Brad #1 is the Brad she wants to call.

Brad #2 is the one she runs into in the hall.

Now... keep up with me here...

She says she wants to talk to "Brad" (#1). She then runs into "Brad" (#2) and says - you guessed it - "Hey Brad". However, this Brad is not the Brad she wanted to talk to nor is he the one she had just immediately referred to, so to clarify for the audience to whom she is addressing, she says "Not Brad", indicating that Brad #2 is not Brad #1.