July 10, 2018

  By Gonzalo López Martí - Creative director, etc / LMMiami.com

  • When you’ve been in the biz far too long -like yours truly- every time you confront an advertising execution of some sort you can see right through it: the stale “strategy”, the focus groups, the power point decks, the creative tropes, the tired gimmicks, the usual clichés.
  • Like any drug dealer would tell you, only fools consume their own product.
  • Every now and then though a campaign crosses my path that truly and honestly makes me interested in the actual product it is peddling.
  • As opposed to just trying to force feed me some artificial lifestyle or other.
  • I’m talking about the latest Smirnoff vodka campaign featuring Ted Danson.
  •  See, I’ve done my share of work in the spirits category.
  • Granted, it is a damn tough category to crack.
  • Everything’s been tried, everything you come up with looks and sounds like déjà vu.
  • At some point in the early 00s liquor advertising became a litany of self-help slogans out of a Tony Robbins seminar.
  • Usually with some Pavlovian play on words reminiscent of the brand name, such as “Keep Walking” (Johnny Walker, duh)*
  • As Ted Sann, legendary creative director at BBDO in the golden years of the 80s & 90s, used to say: cut the middleman, shoot the brief.
  • Another tired fetish of the category is to prey on the hormone-fueled insecurities of 20-something post adolescents.
  • It’s cringe-inducing.
  • Been there, done that.
  • Guilty as charged.
  • Anyhoo.
  • Not all is lost.
  • The Smirnoff campaign I mentioned above, IMHO, hits all the right notes.
  • An honest brief devoid of nonsense.
  • A solid value prop.
  • A few clever testimonial-style scripts with a generous dose of self-deprecating humor.
  • A relevant spokesperson with proven comedic timing and unafraid to make fun of himself.
  • Bingo.

See for yourself here:





*Other examples: Live with chivalry (Chivas Regal); Be cointreauversial (Cointreau) and the worst planning-driven, focus group-vetted piece of crap I’ve seen in years: Be the mëister (Jägermeister)



Leave a reply

Enter the characters shown in the image.