Sunday, February 09, 2014

In the name of progress

It's always nice to see a campaign find its way. This week Jeep appeared to finally find the right spot for their Don't Hold Back campaign.

Sure it's not revolutionary, but there's something nice and simple about the idea that buying a Jeep is a sign of being adventurous and energetic in a world of Utes and status 4x4's, yet for me the ads have never quite felt right.

However this week I saw the latest version, and it really starts to move the campaign in the right direction. Where the first few ads felt a bit blunt and forced, the latest takes it to a far nicer place. More subtle, but more relevant and engaging at the same time.

The simple change of representing the adventure of Jeep through an external object rather than a person directly expressing it makes so much difference.

For a campaign that has been labelled annoying by many people, it's a nice change to see it improve and start to live up to the potential of the idea behind it.

Advertising as a reflection of society

I read a great post by Richard Huntingdon the other week, which discussed how advertising should be more representitive of society, and how we can help break down barriers.

In the last two weeks, two huge brands have taken small but important steps along that road - and whilst we should always be mindful of what our target audience's preferences are, sometimes, reality is too important not to show.

Coca Cola and Chevrolet have done a great job of taking the realities of life in America, and bringing them into their advertising. Both are excellent examples of how the vocal conservative minorities should never stop what we do from reflecting the world around us.

In fact, in both cases, the inclusion of gay couples is so natural and subtle, that it's hard to understand how anyone could object. We know better of course, some people are just that reactionary. But those few seconds are very important to both advertising and the world around us. These are big brands, HUGE brands, who have produced campaigns that truly reflect their audience.

This is not some minority focused campaign, these are superbowl and olympic ads. No escaping or hiding from reality here. I think it's magnificent to see brands take this step, where many would have backed away. I trust and hope that for every idiot who can't see through their own xenophobia or homophobia, there will be a decent minded person or two to replace and increase their sales.

With that in mind, I'm sipping a coke as I type this. Well done Coca Cola and well done Chevrolet.