Well, I just invested fifty-eight seconds in a spot…to finally see the name of the advertiser.
Why did I stick around till the end when 99 percent of the time I just zip past or change channels? Because it jogged my mind – that I wanted to write this installment of DC to White Light.
It starts with one or two people in an agency “creative” group. One thinks (or says to the other) “Let’s create some mystery. Let’s tell a story and let folks try to figure out what it’s about.”
“Yeah,” he/she thinks or hears back from his/her creative partner, “we get this story line going about [place product here] and no one can figure it out till the end and we super the name and fade out.”
Then he/she suggests that the thing be done without ever revealing the sponsor, ignorant of 317 of the CFR and 73.1212 of the FCC rules, “It’s a tease. We run it for awhile then finally we air the version with the sponsor payoff,” but settles for that closing reveal in each spot.
He/she/they take it up the creative the ladder, through legal, to the client – who has to be talked out of the logo being up for the entire spot – out to production and onto the air. And what’s important to them? The reveal. It’s like they’re the first ones to think of it.
Get a creative life, will you? Said another way, just how narcissistic are you or your client to think that 99.999% of the world actually cares enough about the connection you’re trying to make between Iowa-raised corn and your cereal to stick around, watch the end and muse to themselves, “Wow, I never realized that.”
I’m not suggesting that these folks are trying to HIDE the sponsor name altogether. They’re not out there pitching a POV or concept without being discovered. I have a “warm spot” for those guys, but it’s not of this world. The folks I’m talking about are just trying to be cute. Inventive. As if doing something that’s been done tens of times before is inventive.
“Not with this product. This is a first.”
One more time with the narcissism. Very few people care. If you want to sell something, be upfront about it and show me how that product is a hero. How does it make my life better. I’ll buy it. But if you’re playin’ hide the logo with me, well, guess what…the zip button gets punched and I’ll never even see what the product is. That’s a tough one to explain to a client.
It’s a zip/zap age. And people are in a hurry. Want to use that surprise reveal technique? Do it as a ten second preroll online. Ask a question or show a situation then show me the product as the answer. Your answer will beat me to the “skip” button and I’ll get your message. Make it :15 and I’ll bet I’m faster on the draw with the remote than you are with your reveal.
And one final thing: When it does work, it only works once.
“Dummy. That’s what we want. The second time someone sees it, they automatically recall the sponsor.”
I don’t think so. You may find some of that but you’ll find more zippers and skippers than recallers.
One last time. As an appeal. Show me the product solving a problem for me. Don’t hide its name. I’m in.
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