In what is probably the most nerve-wracking spot on television, the new Infiniti Q50 takes us into the mind and front seat of a driver who’s more at home in his head than on the road. Apart from the great driver-assist technologies, the auto maker has a message we should all take to heart: don’t (over)think, text or do anything else except drive. A riveting and heart attack-inducing job from TBWA.
The styling is impeccable. (If I were Apple, I’d lodge a defamation suit or at least demand a huge product placement fee.) The talent, excellent (and politically correct). The storytelling is mesmerizing. (I admit it, I paid attention. I had no idea where it was going.) But the message? Obama is—surprise—cast as the villain, the disappointer-in-chief. More political humor (and magical thinking) from the Americans for Shared Prosperity (talk about a misnomer!) and their Republican friends, who approved this message.
My co-workers are animals. Literally. Whether it’s a demanding tortie pawing at my keyboard or a dachshund interrupting a conference call for an “urgent” game of fetch, they are a built-in source of amusement and delight, a welcome distraction not just from work, but from the world.
But you don’t have to be an animal lover (um, obsessive companion human) to be captivated by these two campaigns that bring a subtle wit and light touch to their sales messages:
– In “Kindergarten,” the cows from Real California Milk do their diva act during big events like Gracie’s first day of school.
– And in “Focus Group,” Big Lots, which bills itself as the nation’s largest closeout retailer, shows that #PetsRPeople2 in a riotous series of “focus groups” where pets test products and their interviewers’ patience. I had never heard of Big Lots before I saw the first spot (I know, I live a sheltered life) but you can be sure I will check them out now!
And that, my friends, is why good old-fashioned storytelling beats click bait and algorithms every time.