Saturday, December 3, 2016

Burger King goes Back to the Future....

Burger King in introducing the newest bit of fast food the "cheesy tots" reprises two of the lead characters from Napoleon Dynamite: Pedro and of course Napoleon. This cult movie is now over 13 years old so all the young followers are almost thirty somethings...as are Pedro and Napoleon in this
shill piece.

Unfortunately the commercial doesn't work. It just lies there like a cold tater tot. And the reason is obvious:  these thirty something guys look thirty something trying to reprise the bumbling, awkward
nerdy high school kids they once were known for in the movie.

The sad part is they look like old guys who never grew up and really have become the losers they portray in the movie because at thirtysomething they have stopped growing even in their ability to act.

This is a sad case of nostalgia gone off the rails. People grow, people change, even if they don't want to. Of course you see people who try to resist time by dressing and keeping a semblance of the same hair as their high school days when that was the apex of their lives, usually those are the shots you see under the title: The People at Walmart... sad to say. But when you see it reprised here for Burger King it's just pathetic.

What might have been more interesting is to have seen Napoleon now married to Deb and bringing their own kids to try one of Dad's favorites, the cheesy tots. That would be interesting and
cover off a larger target.

Or even the two dads Napoleon and Pedro meeting up with their various broods of kids and doing the same.

However this may appeal to all those thirty somethings still living in their parent's basements.

Sad to see these two mature guys, who haven't had any acting roles of note since,  trying to recreate the gawky/geeky/nerdy teenagers they once were in a cult movie is just bad
bad bad....the unique chemistry of then has gone through the cruelty of time now....

1 out of 10

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

H&M Delivers a Christmas Confection...

Wes Anderson, Adrien Brody and H&M team up to create a sweet Christmas tale. Taking a page from the John Lewis playbook, H&M gives full rein to Wes Anderson. He takes us on a train ride where Adrien Brody as the Conductor resolutely announces a delay of the train on Christmas due to bad weather and mechanical difficulties. As we enjoy Wes Anderson's vision of a pastel green passenger train rhythmically bobbing to and fro down the endless track, we peek into various riders window settings. Adrien Brody's 'Conductor Ralph' projects a blend of calm yet officious determination but also has a slightly unpolished edge which makes him doubly sweet.

Anderson creates this ditty with his signature childlike vision.  While the traditional Drummer Boy song plays over the radio, the soft watery colors, set details and wonderful light changing he uses in the train hallway, conveys the passing of time. Passengers cleverly use the train's hall as runway passing by a window to us viewers as they head to the dining car.

Anderson tells a simple tale of strangers being thrown together on a delayed train on Christmas. 'Conductor Ralph' becomes the hero and saves the day with his imagination and ingenuity in transforming the dining car into a Christmas celebration while John Lennon's "So This is Christmas"  shifts the mood.


There's no mention of H&M in the script. And only faintly in a few scenes do you notice the familiar H&M red logo while wrapped packages in each passenger window show a subtle card with a picture of a person (wearing the gift?).

Overall it's a non-sell sell message. H&M knows their customers know what they sell. H&M also knows the smartest thing a retailer can do at this time of year is to play down the hard sell and play up the good feelings with a season of imagination and celebration going right for your heart.

The idea for H&M to be represented by Wes Anderson was from H&M's agency Adam & Eve/DDB London. Another wonderful aspect of this production  was letting Wes Anderson be Wes Anderson and create a message for the client in his signature rather than the brands. Many times agencies enlist top directors, spokespeople, or other well known artists but they are limited in presenting an idea about a product in their own persona by having the client insist they be more representative of the product's voice. When you do that you lose the idea of what the famous name can bring to the brand. Not the case here with H&M.

H&M is British. And the British love their ads. When you watch the telly in England, ads come at the beginning and end of shows. They don't interrupt the shows like in North America. Brits watch their ads as passionately as the shows themselves. Brits are proud of the ads produced for them and recognize the talent, hard work and ability needed to create great ideas. Consumers there are encouraged to complain to their industry standards board if they find an ad not to their taste or level of expectation. Plus when they do complain, they are heard. If the ad is not liked, it gets pulled immediately.

A few other key things about the Brits is they have a keen sense of humour. While NorthAmericans live in fear and fret over appearances, the Brits under the same circumstances just have a bloody good laugh.  Plus their vocabularies run circles around North Americans. As a people, they are highly articulate and know regional dialects, they appreciate nuance, rhymes and innuendo along with satire and a verbal joust. Which leaves North Americans sadly lacking in all these areas. And I am not speaking of only the Lords and Ladies, I mean the most common commoner has a much bigger, broader vocabulary all round. It makes for superlative and untouchable ad copywriting (sigh).

Great choice for H&M, Great for Wes Anderson who I adore, Adrien Brody too....9 for 10 here.