It's easy to point out things in advertising that you don't like. I do it all the time on this blog (cough…Starbucks logo redesign…cough). It's a much harder task to pick the advertising you do like.
However, listed below are my three favorite campaigns currently on TV right now. I picked them for several reasons, but mainly because I find them the best at what they're designed to do: sell. And, if they make me laugh while doing it, that's an extra tip of the hat to the agency.
3) Southwest Airlines - "Bags Fly Free" - GSD&M
Southwest is pounding the airwaves with their "Bags Fly Free" campaign. It launched the campaign in the summer of 2009 using their long-time agency GSD&M. The campaign recently has featured a "Fee Court," where other airlines face a jury of Southwest employees about passenger exploitation.
Not every commercial is a gut-buster, but the commercials do a damn fine job at positioning Southwest as the low budget, low hassle airline of choice. And, when passengers are increasingly cost conscience, Southwest is in a great position to start eating up some market share in the air travel industry.
It still has some time to beat its reputation for its "cattle call" boarding process of the past. But, if Southwest continues to position itself as the fee-free airlines, I think it will pick up a lot of business from passengers tired of being nickel-and-dimed by other airlines.
2) Reese's - "Perfect" - ArnoldWorldwide
(Agency: ARN Worldwide)
"We knew that consumers loved the product the way it was and that we needed to capture the simple brand essence of chocolate, peanut butter, orange, two cups," says ArnoldNYC President Lynn Power. "The solution? 'Reese's Perfect,' a campaign that treats the product as the icon it is, and gives Reese's a bold leadership voice that elevates it from the rest of the candy in the category."
Power's comments encapsulate what I like most about this ad series. In a medium where viewers are bombarded with flashy, over-the-top, outrageous campaigns, ARN took the simple beauty of the Reese's cup and makes a television ad out of it.
The simplicity of the commercials makes them stand out, which grabs attention. Entertaining copy and techniques, featuring the product front and center, brings it all together.
It truly is a "perfect" combination.
1) Allstate - "Mayhem is Everywhere" - Leo Burnett
(Agency: Leo Burnett)
Like Southwest and GSD&M, Allstate and ad agency Leo Burnett have been together a looooong time. Though, when your ad agency is putting out ad gold like Burnett recently has with the launch of the "Mayhem" campaign, it's not hard to see why.
Hands down, the "Mayhem is Everywhere" campaign featuring the hilarious Dean Winters is the best ad series on TV right now.
I can't think of a commercial that has made me laugh time and time again, with each new spot, like these Mayhem commercials.
And, to top it all off, they're not just good for laughs. Pitching the idea that "mayhem is everywhere" by using common, real life situations (deer, limbs, an oblivious teen on a lawn mower), it makes consumers stop and think if they're covered if something like that were to happen.
Let's not forget that Matt Miller, the copywriter on the campaign, continues to churn out brilliant stuff.
When you combine great copy with wicked-funny creative, you create the perfect storm for advertising.
I only blame Allstate for my recent switch to State Farm.