I’m always so taken with advertisements like Land Rover’s new print placements that take a dominant image, minimal copy, and a peripheral angle to really make the observer think. But what is it that the observer thinks exactly? Do readers react like so and go, “hey now, that’s CLEVER!” or do they reject the ad for its trickery? What some may find delightfully oblique, do others find vexingly presumptuous? I like my intelligence uninsulted, but perhaps others find offense in the stretch, an audacity mistaken for arrogance.
For one of my courses, we’ve been assigned a client and asked to create a campaign calling for fresh new ads. As a class, a group of 19 NYC bound assistant account planners in the making, we all wanted to conceive ads that circumvent a tired problem of speaking too plainly about a practical product. “Pointing out the product in the ad is so….expected,” we’d say disdainfully, as if scorned by central persuasion routes once too many in our, ahem, established advertising careers.
We reeled it in, recognizing that to whom we’re speaking guides the speech. In our case, targeting The Bible Belt and other traditionally traditional groups will likely result in ads that may not speak to us, a collegiate bubble ranging from rising cynics to mini-idealists. The best we can do? Agree to disagree, get our kicks elsewhere (thanks, AdAge) and compromise where it counts.
Otherwise, there are larvae in lasagna telling me to buy a Land Rover, and that’s the way I like it.