adgrunt comments

deke's picture

I haven't even seen one of those coins and they've been in circulation for months. One of their key strategies for circulation was to sell millions of them to Wal-Mart and have them placed in cash registers. That way, consumers would get them as change and (ideally) go on to use them at other stores and continue to spread them around.

For Wal-Mart's part, they were going to get the Early Adopters and collector-types rushing into their stores to get some. You had to make a purchase, then receive the dollar coins in change.

I thought it was a brilliant concept for both the U.S. Mint and Wal-Mart. I'm disappointed Wal-Mart didn't focus a campaign around this, or at least I never saw/heard of one.

As for the Washington commercials, I find his appearance creepy at best. I've seen it splattered around buses in the Boston area as well. It's uncomfortable to see the head disjointed from the body, even in a cartoon form. But if it gets attention, a little shock value isn't a bad thing.

deke's picture

After a few years at Pyro, Hummer decided to move their account to Modernista! in Boston, the agency co-founded by former VW Creative Director Lance Jensen. I would have to assume that the level of creative will remain very high.

There is a huge amount of clutter in the automotive segment of the industry. A lot of it comes in the form of individual dealer "screamy ads" where price and rebates and silly jingles are the norm. The next level up is regional brand advertising, where you get a little more subtle, but still some hard-hitting ads price and promotion ads. The creme de la creme is in the national brand stuff, where some of America's best and most memorable ads are made. But without a doubt (just like the cars themselves) there are some real clunkers. They're usually overloaded with gratuitous "professional driver on closed track" shots, silly puns, and high-priced, high-energy music tracks. They often focus on lifestyle messages, ie "simplify your life," "get out and enjoy," "for the busy family," "for the outdoorsman," "safety for the family" etc. All good and relevant messages, just not many new executions of them. Just big $$ on production and media.

deke's picture

"In order to win the Chrysler account, BBDO Worldwide officials had to agree to hire the top people at True North's FCB Worldwide."

So Chrysler was happy with the people working on the account, just not the agency? Maybe they wanted to restructure the fees and FCB wasn't willing. Maybe they just got a better deal with BBDO. Who knows? Automotive advertising is HUGE business, and I think a lot of it comes down to the production level. Who can do it the best, the fastest, for the least amount of money? And who has the greater media clout to get the best deals? FCB is a great agency, but Chrysler will do just fine with BBDO's creative efforts. I imagine that had to be considered. And I imagine they felt very comfortable with BBDO's reputation for great work.

Peter, to your comments regarding the creative output on this side of the water, I don't dispute that Europe creates more intelligent and sophisticated ads. There are a great many cultural differences that explain this (primarily Americans' just-give-me-the-facts mentality). However, I would point to some very nice work from the past few years to prove that it is still being done over here.

Leading the way, Volkswagon (Arnold)

Jeep (Bozell)

Saab (The Martin Agency)

Nissan (hit or miss brilliance from TBWA/Chiat)

Hummer (Pyro)

And the current Mitsubishi campaign is pretty good too (Deutshe)