Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Hummer Ad: You Can See the Strings

Slate has a write up of the new Hummer television spot. Slate gives it a C, but for all the wrong reasons. They say that the brand is not connecting with its consumers, and makes a big deal out of the fact that they re-cut the spot.

The problem with the ad is that you can see the strings. That is, you know (as a viewer, as a consumer, and as an owner) precisely why they created this commercial. The ad deals with someone who feels his masculinity has been compromised and fights back by buying a Hummer--but not the enormous one. The (allegedly) more sane H3.

This is one of those ads where you feel like the creative team simply filmed the brief. That is, there's clearly an issue with Hummers, in that people hate them and they are isolating themselves within a pretty narrow target segment.

They need to build out past that with both products (the H3) and messaging. There's little art here. A problem is displayed, and Hummer is shown as the cure. There's probably a few issues, in that the problem is not necessarily one that a person would feel comfortable admitting. But it is really just way too mechanical to be effective.

In a media-saturated world, where everyone is hyper-aware of advertising, a little more art is necessary.
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3 Comments:

Blogger owen said...

I haven't seen the hummer ad you're describing, but it's funny that you bring up the idea of art. When we interviewed Shane Hutton and Tim Vaccarino of Modernista! (Hummer's agency) Shane brought up the question of the art/ad divide. He describes advertising as "artful" rather than art. (He also talks about consumer reaction to the Hummer "Big Race" ad). As for me, I don't know how I'd treat Hummer if it was my campaign to run. Probably you'd have to do it in the way CP+B is handling BK...by speaking to the "heavy users" and giving everyone else the finger.

Here's the video of our Modernista! interview:
http://tinyurl.com/phzxn

8:34 AM  
Blogger Gary Stein said...

Thanks, Owen. You know, the primary difference between art and advertising is that advertising uses art toward the goal of generating economic value. You could argue that Munch used art toward the goal of making people aware of the human condition in the 20th century. But not to specifically selling a thing.

So, I agree with Shane: ads are artful, but--because they are not their own value--they are distinct from 'art'

Good lord. We should all be hunched over bitter coffee in some dark cafe somewhere!

12:59 PM  
Anonymous Limo said...

I agree with Gary Stein,because he is right in ,that
There's little art here. A problem is displayed, and Hummer is shown as the cure. There's probably a few issues, in that the problem is not necessarily one that a person would feel comfortable admitting. But it is really just way too mechanical to be effective.

4:16 AM  

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