Virtual gingerbread house vacations lead off December’s “Good, Bad and Ugh…”

In Ad Creative on December 29, 2014 at 6:04 pm

Okay, glad we have a nice opening item for this month’s edition of “The Good, the Bad, and the Ugh” in the marketing and advertising world.

The Good.

The good this month is, oddly enough, a nice piece of self-promotion/charity effort by New York ad agency McKinney. Instead of the lame attempt at too-cool humor many agencies launch, the folks at McKinney helped create  A just-plain-fun way to raise funds to help the homeless in New York City. You donate to book a “virtual stay” in one of three wonderfully-created gingerbread rental properties, featuring clever and funny edible amenities that even HGTV’s Property Brothers could never imagine. It’s difficult to explain in detail, but the best and most visual write-up I found is here.

It’s earned international attention, and well-deserved. Credit to everyone involved, for the agency in doing something meaningful with those Christmas sentiments (and writing it up very well), and to the artists themselves. It must have been a blast. Thanks to all who booked a virtual stay, as well – you obviously “get it.”  I endorse this concept without, uh, reservations!


The Bad

I’m getting  a little tired of talking about Wendy’s, frankly. But they keep earning it. THIS month, it’s another annoying radio commercial, this time for their Bacon Portobello melt.  In the spot, buyers sing their way through a horribly-forced jingle format, explaining what they did to “deserve” the sandwich. That’s not the bad part – creative is subjective, and some might disagree with me on the creative quality (though they’d be wrong if they did).

The problem here is in the “deeds” credited for earning the awards. They are all “little” things – which is fine, and fits the lilliputian point of the spot. But they are unflattering little things. A (lousy) dad says, “Bacon and mushroom were my reward for sittin’ through my kid’s recital without looking bored.” Big of you, dad. A woman then  chimes in  “That brioche bun was mine, all mine, cuz I sneaked eleven items through the ten or less line.”  That’s not all you would have gotten if I were behind you, you self-absorbed airhead.

Not a big crime, of course – but another tone-deaf emission from a company turning what used to be a brand into a wobbly tray table barely supporting a parade of featured items.

The Ugh.

Small ugh this month, but years in the making. Christmas-season car commercials. I wish someone could do research and prove to me that more than .5% of the people in this country either give or receive a brand new automobile for Christmas.  I don’t mean just “in December” – but a full, bow-on-the-roof, “go look in the driveway honey” present.  Oh, a few of them are cute – the guy sucking up to Santa is fairly well done. But the precocious kids on Santa’s lap, and Santa choosing his “sled” at the Pole -yeck. I did dealer group advertising for a while, and know it’s always a challenge to develop a creative theme. And sure, Christmas is out there for the taking. But please.


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