Thursday, July 07, 2011

An Alternative Approach

About a week and a half ago I gave my armchair adman commentary on a recent TV campaign featuring Nutrigrain Bars; praising how, through subtle editing, its creators cleverly managed to tie a product of questionable nutrition and wholesomeness with an effective message of all purpose wellness and self improvement. I thought it was a pretty nifty bit of soft selling.

In STARK contrast to those ads, here is a previous Nutrigrain Bar spot from around five years ago I found that also promises similar themes of great self improvement using what I can be considered an alternative approach:

From what the ad indicates, it would appear that Kelloggs was experimenting with a new line of Nutrigrain Bars containing significant doses of PCP in the mid oughts. While the current spots says choosing to eat a Nutrigrain Bar will bring you happiness and self improvement by leading you to make other modest but effective positive lifestyle choices, this ad seems to say that eating a Nutrigrain Bar will bring you happiness and self improvement through reckless and insane decisions and actions. What I don't understand is why is everyone else also insane? The main character is the only one who actually ate the laced Nutrigrain Bar. Shouldn't they all dismiss his wild eyed, hyper intense behavior? Maybe that's just how powerful these new bars were, they would give you the power (in addition to invulnerability from physical attacks) to get everyone on your side (whether it be quitting your job or having hundreds of babies), no matter how ludicrous your proposition was, through sheer force of will.

Now is this a "good" advertisement. Well, people remember it and I'm writing about it for free aren't I? Did it move Nutrigrain Bars? I'm not sure. I suspect that this ad might not even have aired publicly. It's all part of that age old advertising debate of whether the quality of an advert is judged solely on it's effectiveness in the market place or is there an inherent creative, cultural value regardless of sales? Ideally it should be both but more often it's one or another. As for me I don't know, I just liked the ad (Nutrigrain Bars still sorta suck though).

Also, did you notice the protagonist's friend Larry was handling woman's lingerie right before he burst into his office to tell him he was quitting? I must have seen video like five times before I spotted that. Not sure how that contributes to the story.

1 comment:

  1. It appears the nutrigrain bar gave the ad the power to extend to three times its length.