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Sunday, October 11, 2009

Where Have All the Clio Contenders Gone?

The other day at work I was talking to one of the guys and he mentioned how annoying advertising is--both television and radio--which of course got me going since I was an advertising copywriting major in college. I love talking about advertising.

My fascination began in junior high. Every year my school would get reels of the Clio Award (advertising's Oscars) winning television ads in and play them in the library. If we had a free period, we could go there and watch them, and I would spend as much time in there as possible. I loved watching the Clio Award winners. Seeing these ads after I left middle school was tough, but every now and then I managed it. I think my junior high fascination with good advertising is a large part of what had me switching majors from broadcast journalism to advertising.

You can imagine with my educational background that I dissect ads. You'd be right. The thing that disappoints me most is that the number of good ads on television has plummeted dramatically in the last 5-10 years. This is IMO, of course. Instead of being clever and entertaining, most of them are just annoying. I know some of it comes down to taste--I loathe the talking baby commercials for that online trading company for example--but others enjoy them.

And radio ads have been by and large terrible for a lot longer than this. Bad enough that I've threatened to dust off my portfolio and get into the business. :-) I might be out of practice, but I couldn't do worse than what's on the air now. Seriously.

Where have all the creative and entertaining ads gone?

Sure, there were always annoying, hard-sell commercials out there, but there also used to be fabulous spots that people talked about at work. You don't hear people talking about many now--unless it's to complain about how horribly annoying they are. That's not a positive even if there is a certain amount of name recognition there for the product.

Take the Geico commercials for example, the ones with the wad of money with the eyes atop it. All I've heard people say about those ads is that they're "creepy" and "stalkerish." Yes, everyone remembers it's a Geico ad, but does the company really want to associate itself with those two words?

I could maybe understand the creative ads switching to the internet, but you know what? I haven't seen anything particularly innovative and exciting online either. Where has all my good advertising gone? I can't even count on the Super Bowl any longer to deliver a wealth of good advertising. The best stuff I'm seeing right now is coming out of Europe and that's sad. America used to have some awesome campaigns and this current state saddens me.

I'm going to have to find out which ads were nominated for Clios recently and hop over to You Tube to watch them. I hope there's better ones out there than I'm seeing when I have the television on.