Friday, December 20, 2013

Whips, chains and jewellery - Creative Excellence Fridays

Forevermark jewellery

With elbow pads firmly in position, people head to the malls tonight and tomorrow for the last weekend of shopping before Christmas. And this is the last Creative Excellence Friday post for this year. I wanted to wrap up with a bang and found the perfect commercial to start it off this week. I've railed on and on in this feature about the importance of not letting the sell get lost in the sizzle.  This ad by Miami MG for Panache Distilleries is very funny, but honestly, do you remember it's about vodka at the end, let alone whose vodka?


 To add insult to injury, this brand was railed in 2011 for a very insensitive billboard posted in New York city.

The agency went doe eyed and claimed innocence, but it was obviously a carefully planned stunt to gain free publicity for the brand. But is this the kind of publicity anyone besides a  cast member from Duck Dynasty would want? Sex sells.  It always has.  But it tends to sell much better when the product is inherently woven into the sell.  This ad is great for the leather and plastic industries.  But the vodka is an after thought.

Now to a commercial that hits the mark, and then some.  Jewellery advertising is all over this time of year.  It's difficult to stand out.  This commercial is not blazing a new path for the category, but it takes an old strategy and maps out a fresh message. The male voice is perfectly cast as a guy who sounds like he has his act together, knows what he wants and is madly in love.  Instead of a montage of couples attempting to touch as many demographics as possible this ad focuses on one special woman who is the centre of this families universe.  Beautiful slow motion cinematography and a carefully crafted mix of lifestyle and family shots make her seem real, and even without speaking, exceptional.   The ad was produced by New York's 3rd Strand, a video boutique that specializes in the jewellery industry.  This is a great ad.


 That's it for this year. Thank you for taking the time to stop by and I hope you'll set aside a moment or two in 2014 to continue to read CEFridays each Friday morning. Have a beautiful holiday. We leave you with this Holiday video greeting card.  Happy Holidays from me personally, Heronymo, Ana and our happy little video branding family.


Ontrackblog is a division of OntrackCommunications Inc.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Convenience products from the fifties. Creative Excellence Fridays

I made the choice to go retro for this week's Creative Excellence Fridays. Stumbling across a Jello commercial from 1958 I was more intrigued by the show it was sponsoring. "Do You Trust your Wife?"


Johnny Carson fans will know this was the precursor to his taking over the Tonight Show in 1962 from Jack Paar. Real sticklers will tell you the show was renamed "Who Do You Trust."

Now on to the commercial. What you may notice, I certainly did, was the casual pace of the presentation. We have learned to digest 15 second commercials as part of media flow. So watching a 60 second commercial almost allows our societal attention deficit to wander. I found half way through the commercial I wanted to go into the kitchen for a snack, come back and watch the rest of it.

It's a pure MadMen-esque feel with the  theme built around "the little woman" and her busy day doing all the domestic duties before the "king of the castle" arrives home from work. This was also one of the many convenience products introduced in the fifties.  These were products built around making her life easier and they were coming out fast and furious.

I did take note on the product claims. Under today's standards they might have a bit of a challenge getting this by AdStandards with the claim "nutritional" describing a bit of milk and a lot of sugar. Although Nutella's present day commercials certainly imply the same message without being so blatant.


Hosts doing live endorsements was common place in the fifties.  And sponsors loved when the endorsements were blended right into the shows.  Here Jack Narz, host of Video Village promotes another convenience product, Swanson TV Dinners.  I do remember as a kid growing up in the sixties what a  big deal it was to set up the little metal tv tables, have a Swanson's salisbury steak tv dinner and eat in front of the set.


Interesting to note,  there seemed to be a lot of gameshow host intermingling. He had a brother, Tom Kennedy who was also prominent in gameshows and Narz was married to gameshow host Bill Cullen's sister-in-law. There must have been some sort of game show convention where, after a few bottles of Faygo and Canadian Club and a years supply of Eskimo Pies they all peaked behind door number 3.

Ron Burgundy would have been proud.

With over 30 years experience, Tim McLarty  currently works out of Toronto Canada as a writer/voice performer, producer and media strategist producing advertising and entertainment content.

Ontrackblog is a division of OntrackCommunications Inc.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Good night Mandela

I had a dream last night. Not the Martin Luther King kind. The Nelson Mandela kind. The CBC was playing in the background as I slept and no doubt the mention of his passing caused the dream. Or the man simply took on a transcendental, angelic quality that permeated my dreams.

Whatever the explanation, Mandela spoke to me last night and gave me the warmest handshake as he turned and walked away and down the street into the distance. Perhaps I've seen one too many Mandela biopics, but it felt strangely calming.

It was a special talent of his if you believe the myriad of people lucky enough to have had an audience with the South African "father". I remember being a disc jockey at a Saskatoon radio station in the mid 80's and reading Bloom County. Mandela was featured in the strip, and across the liberal media as free society fought for his release. That day finally came in 1990 after 27 years. 

Good night Mandela. There's nothing I could write here that would be more eloquent than what has already been written, but I wanted to say my goodbyes just the same. You're welcome back into my dreams any time.

With over 30 years experience, Tim McLarty  currently works out of Toronto Canada as a writer/voice performer, producer and media strategist producing advertising and entertainment content.

Ontrackblog is a division of OntrackCommunications Inc.