Tonight, at ten seconds to midnight, we’ll begin to countdown the moments that lead up to a new year, a new decade, a new beginning. Similarly, over the past couple weeks, we’ve been counting down ten of the best television ads of the past decade. After all, what we see on television is often a direct feedback of what the collective consciousness is thinking, feeling, wanting.
Yes, the primary role of commercials is to sell a product – or at least make you remember a brand the next time you’re trying to decide between the plethora of carefully designed packaging and starbursts and promises that line store shelves. But, can a commercial be more than just a tool for Herr Commercialism? I think so.
Put it this way – there are huge award shows and galas to celebrate the ‘best’ film of the year. We pick one movie that stands above roughly 150 viable options. In that single reel, the filmmakers have around two hours to make you feel what they want you to feel, question what they want you to question, push home the point they intended to.
By contrast, the average American sees as many as 3,000 advertisements a day. In the case of television ads, the advertiser has 15, 30, at most 60 seconds to get his point across. And yet, among this HIGHLY competitive market, given mere moments of a viewer’s (generally divided) attention, we still remember the ads that touch us, make us laugh, make us think. And that’s pretty great.
So at the end of one decade and threshold of a new one, I think this ad – more parable than commercial – is a perfect example of how a 60-second spot can makes us laugh, gasp, think and react. And if you end up buying something, that’s fine with me.
Happy New Years everyone!