Watching holiday season commercials can sometimes feel like sport — akin to tuning in for the Super Bowl for the creative execution of the advertising as opposed to the game itself. My research for this post turned up a plethora of opinions on the web. (As much as I loved the Gap commercials, there were plenty of viewers who found them annoying.)
That said, there were a few commercials that I found particularly inspiring this holiday season. Amazon features musician/actress Annie Little (http://www.annielittle.com/) singing “Fly Me Away” in their spot for the Kindle. She not only sings the song, but also is the woman who appears in the stop-action animation. Amazon also features her music for sale on their site: http://www.amazon.com/Fly-Me-Away/dp/B002VXMLO2
The remarkable thing is that the ad was actually not professionally produced, but was the winner of a competition called the “Your Amazon Ad Contest.” Filmed in just 7 hours during a single session in July, this was a memorable commercial — and one that will reap immeasurable benefits for Amazon. The song is simple, curious and folk-like, with lyrics written by Ms. Little that strike a certain chord. It seemed to resonate with the popular culture, or at least among the Blogs I read. Through the number of impressions and global reach, like so many successful commercials, the music “Fly Me Away” will be indelibly connected to the Kindle forever. Please see the website if you would like to view the runner-up award winners. It’s an amazing testament to the creative ability of those without the empowerment of agencies resources, who entered the contest.
Advertising for Gap, Inc. is generally excellent, but this year’s campaign, designed around an upbeat cheerleader theme was especially powerful. The company even created a microsite (http://www.cheerfactory.com/).
Crispin Porter & Bogusky created the campaign, which features a multi-pronged, integrated strategy of social media, traditional print and broadcast advertising, and even a four-city tour by a troupe of cheerleaders and drummers who will “appear in unexpected places when you least expect it,” according to Ivy Ross, executive vice president of marketing for the Gap brand.
New York Times article:
Something to Rah-Rah-Rah About for Christmas
J.C. Penny Company supplemented their ads in traditional media this year with a presence in social media. According to Mike Boylson, executive vice president and chief marketing officer at J. C. Penney, “We’ll be leaking out our best deals on Facebook and Twitter.” The company also purchased time on YouTube on Thanksgiving Day to air its first holiday season commercial.
And, of course, what would the holidays be without an “i-Everything product” and an equally impressive commercial? Apple jumped impressively into the fray this Fall with its spots for the iPod Nano:
As for my 2 cents, the freshness and raw, simple expression of the Amazon Kindle campaign wins the vote for best commercial of 2009. Congratulations to Angela Kohler and her boyfriend, Ithyle Griffiths, who simply purchased the product and were inspired to make the short film.