It’s all over but the shouting

01.03.2015

What is it with all the screaming? Are braying animals or shrieking humans really the best way to, um, break through the clutter? From Discover Card’s “No surprises” (a goat, a mic, a man with an extreme startle reflex) to Geico’s “Scapegoat” (bad karma on the assembly line) and Sprint’s “Apology” (don’t ass-k), engaging viewers seems to have taken second place to shocking them with high-decibel tactics that all but drown out the key messages. For futures, let’s all use our inside voices, OK?

Speaking of unpleasant, the new BMW campaign promoting the X5 SUV hits all the low points—tense family dynamics and dialogue centering on a very unfunny portrayal of a grandmother in her 80s with overly romanticized memories of her youth. Although the vehicle has three rows of seats (one for the designated “backseat driver”), it’s clearly not large enough to accommodate all the emotional ugliness. A surprising turn for a brand that usually takes the creative high road.

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